Woking 3 Barrow 1
Blue Square Bet Premier
18th August 2012
Kingfield sweltered as Cards fans luxuriated in their side's second win in five days – an open and often end-to-end game that saw Woking gradually take command as Barrow tired in the second half. Loick Pires' 'man of the match' performance, particularly after half-time, showed why Garry Hill had been quick to secure his signature over the summer. The striker’s clinical finish for Woking’s third wrapped up the three points. For most of the half the Barrow defence had found him virtually unplayable as he tormented them with his excellent hold-up play.
Unsurprisingly, Garry Hill started with the same eleven sent out on Tuesday. The only change was on the bench with Jay Davies coming in for the injured Sole.
Woking had an early opportunity when Barrow keeper Hurst picked up a back pass but Bubb’s shot flew off the advancing defensive wall.
The visitors had yet to open their account in two previous goalless draws but, as the sun beat down, so they pressed forward in search of an opener. Owen’s long-range effort took a wicked deflection off a Woking defender and Aaron Howe made an excellent diving save, parrying the ball as he was required to change direction hurriedly.
But after fifteen minutes Barrow did take the lead and, on the balance of play, this was merited. Garry Hunter had just seen his side-footed effort hit the post with Howe beaten but immediately afterwards he curled his shot from outside the box into the far corner with the Woking defence stopping to appeal for a handball decision.
Almost immediately Pires had an opportunity to find an equaliser but his shot from a tight angle rebounded off the post. A cross might have been the better option.
On twenty minutes Woking were level. Kevin Betsy was hacked down as he cut deep into the heart of the Barrow defence on a typical mazy run. Joe McNerney stepped up to take the free-kick and his excellent effort was directed past the wall and into the near corner.
Barrow’s efforts were mainly coming from long range and Rowe had another effort for the visitors from outside the box that was well over the bar.
Mike Cestor, who spent much of the game raiding very effectively down the left-hand flank, saw his own long-range cross-cum-shot almost catch out Hurst, who just managed to pluck the ball from under his crossbar before it crossed the line.
Williams then combined well with Pires and the one-two saw Pires side foot an effort past Hurst but the ball was cleared off the line.
And just before the break another fine move from Barrow saw Rowe cross the ball to the unmarked Boyes. His shot from fourteen yards beat Howe but cannoned away off the right-hand post
Half-time: Woking 1 Barrow 1
Woking took the initiative from the start of the second half and an early long-range Pires effort took a wicked deflection and Hurst did well to save low down to his left.
After a succession of Sawyer free-kicks as a result of defenders struggling to keep Pires in check, Woking engineered a second goal. Sawyer’s ball in from the left was met by the head of Bubb, who flicked the ball over Hurst and into the far corner.
As the sun continued to beat down and substitutions came thick and fast, Loick Pires continued to create havoc in the Barrow defence. Despite a dangerous effort close in from Rowe that Woking just managed to scrape away, the Cards looked increasingly in control and deservedly stretched their lead after seventy-nine minutes.
This time it was the Barrow defence that stopped to appeal for a foul that wasn’t given and Betsy was through in a flash. His beautifully-weighted pass split the visitors' rear-guard and there was Pires to score emphatically with his left-foot shot flying into the far corner.
He almost doubled his account immediately – a smart turn, another flashing shot, which Hurst tipped expertly over the bar.
It was now all Woking as Sawyer saw his effort almost squirm past Hunter into the near corner after he had latched onto McCallum’s pass.
So six points from three games and seventh in the league. Cards fans will be delighted with that, as they will with their team’s overall performance. The sun shone down brightly on the home fans' smiles as they left Kingfield – it had been a very good afternoon!
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Loick Pires, Bradley Bubb (Jack Parkinson 77), Kevin Betsy, Brett Williams (Gavin McCallum 66), Lee Sawyer (Jay Davies 90), Brett Johnson
Unused subs: Adam Doyle, Sam Beasant
Cautions: Brett Johnson 69
Barrow: Danny Hurst, Mike Pearson, Gavin Skelton, Sean Hessey, Tom Anderson, Paul Rutherford (Aaron Cole 67), James Owen, Garry Hunter, Adam Boyes (Vinny Mukendi 59), Joe Jackson (Obi Anoruo 59), Danny Rowe
Unused subs: Shaun Pearson, Richie Baker
Cautions: Danny Hurst 2, James Owen 53, Tom Anderson 63
MOTM: Loick Pires