York City 4 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
August 27th 2016
Four home strikes in barely 17 minutes stunned Woking at Bootham Crescent on Saturday, an early Gozie Ugwu – his first competitive strike for the Cards – quickly forgotten amid the onslaught that followed.
Garry Hill’s winless visitors proved vulnerable while in front, and within a minute strike threat Richard Brodie had wiped their lead out, with far worse to follow.
Thankfully the home scoring was over before the half-hour mark – as was the case in the 3-1 home defeat by Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend. But while the Surrey side looked better after the break, they had nothing to show for their endeavours and can have no complaints at a fifth defeat from six games.
It all started promisingly, Hill’s team overcoming early pressure – Joey Jones heading away a deep cross, the next raid quickly closed down, then Briah Saah clearing the follow-up attack – before going ahead against the run of play.
Zak Ansah’s delivery from halfway set Ugwu away, the striker keeping his nerve as he advanced then coolly firing past Kyle Letheren.
But if there was a secret hope that the Cards were on their way to that elusive first victory, it was soon forgotten, Brodie given too much time on the ball on the edge of the area, firing home a ninth-minute equaliser.
Four minutes later the Minstermen were in front, the visitors again standing off as Yan Klukowski unleashed a cracking strike from all of 30 yards.
It was difficult to keep up, Woking scorer Ugwu - suffering after an earlier incident the physio was monitoring – replaced by Charlie Penny within 16 minutes, the visitors’ fragility apparent as Aidan Connolly took charge, the diminutive Scot running the Cards rampant.
It was from a Connolly corner that Jake Wright made it three, touching home after captain Matt Fry’s diving header on 20 minutes, the defence static again.
Wright was quickly in on goal again, but the flag was raised for offside, while at the other end a Jake Caprice free-kick found Jones, but he couldn’t get a clean finish, further frustration following as the Cards defender hesitated too long with a clearance at the other end and Wright robbed him before teeing up Connolly for an easy fourth on 26 minutes.
Connolly and Wright remained threats, Woking on the ropes, the next attack leading to a caution for Cards skipper Keiran Murtagh, the resultant 20-yard Klukowski free-kick hit just wide of Michael Poke’s right post.
Alex Whittle and Wright continued to stretch Woking from the Minstermen’s left flank, the visitors struggling to make any impact in the opposition half.
A Shaun Rooney centre from the right led to a fine reaction save from Poke, Connolly continuing to pull the strings as the Cards failed to make headway in midfield.
Poke got down well to a drilled Connolly effort after another home surge, while as Woking hit back Caprice and Saraiva exchanged passes but couldn’t get a meaningful shot in.
Saah cleared the next Connolly corner after Matty Dixon’s finish was deflected behind, Connolly’s next set-piece coming to nothing.
Penny had half a chance on the left of the goal area but was shepherded out, with Klukowski and Connolly almost in again in added time, Hill and Steve Thompson no doubt relieved to have their players back in the dressing room.
Half time: York City 4 Woking 1
A fresh change followed for the second half, Max Kretzschmar replacing Anthony Edgar and Woking first out of the blocks, although Nathan Ralph’s cross-shot was no problem for Letheren.
Jackie McNamara’s hosts seemed content absorbing the visitors’ pressure, Ansah and Kretzschmar combining, while Saraiva headed over from a promising Kretzschmar cross.
The new sub’s next free-kick also caused concern, five Woking players in a crowded box somehow failing to get a killer touch, the referee finally spotting a foul.
Ralph made a sharp run down the left but couldn’t beat his marker, while centre-half Rooney showed composure to head away the next Kretzschmar free-kick.
As York countered, Jones lost out to Brodie in dangerous territory, the home marksman firing across the area but with no one able to convert, the ball deflected for a corner that Woking also survived.
Caprice made a strong run down the right flank, but couldn’t quite find Penny – more of a handful now - in the middle, Jones going close from the resultant corner and Kretzschmar having another half-chance.
Poke soon had to turn away home sub Scott Fenwick’s drill after a Connolly-orchestrated move, while the Cards came close again as Murtagh put away third sub Chike Kandi, but his finish wasn’t strong enough to wrong-foot Letheren.
A neat Saraiva volley took a deflection, Woking again unable to find a way through from Kretzschmar’s resultant set-piece, while York sub Reece Thompson tested Poke with a volley.
Charlie Carter, also starting to make an impact, was at the heart of a Cards move that was finally snuffed out, Jones having to head away as the hosts countered.
Hopes of a consolation followed as Carter and Penny combined, with another Saraiva volley tipped away down low by Letheren and a further Cards corner also repelled.
Finally, Kretzschmar’s low cross evaded everyone in the six-yard box, reflective of second-bottom Woking’s fortunes in front of goal this August.
But at least the Cards have a chance to bounce right back when 16th-place Chester – 4-0 home winners over Sutton United on Saturday – visit the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, August 29th, with kick-off at 3pm.
York City: Kyle Letheren, Shaun Rooney, Alex Whittle, Clovis Kamdjo (Daniel Nti 62), Matt Fry ©, Richard Brodie (Scott Fenwick 69), Yan Klukowski, Aidan Connolly, Ben Clappison, Matty Dixon, Jake Wright (Reece Thompson 69).
Unused subs: Jack Higgins, Luke Simpson.
Goals: Brodie 9, Klukowski 13, Wright 20, Connolly 26.
Booking: Reece Thompson 88
Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh ©, Gozie Ugwu (Charlie Penny 16), Zak Ansah (Chike Kandi 72), Nathan Ralph, Charlie Carter, Fabio Saraiva, Anthony Edgar (Max Kretzschmar 46).
Unused subs: Dennon Lewis, Brandon Hall.
Goal: Ugwu 8.
Booking: Keiran Murtagh 27.
Referee: David Richardson.
Attendance: 1,972 (56 from Woking)
My MOTM: Max Kretzschmar – on another day to forget for Woking, former Wycombe midfielder Kretzschmar at least gave the travelling faithful future hope with a series of set-piece deliveries as a second-half substitute.