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Woking fall victim to Grimsby smash and grab

Frankie Hullett - 17th April 2013

Woking fall victim to Grimsby smash and grab Woking 0 Grimsby Town 1
Blue Square Bet Premier
16th April 2013


Lenell John-Lewis scored the only goal of the game as Woking were unable to make their dominance pay against a strong Grimsby Town side at Kingfield last night.

Woking created countless opportunities in front of goal but the heroics of Grimsby number one Greg Fleming was enough to make the away side the first league team to come away from Kingfield with a clean sheet all season.

The Cards started much the stronger side in the opening minutes and within 90 seconds, Billy Knott (pictured) fashioned an easy chance with a cut-back to Lee Sawyer who somehow scuffed it wide from 8 yards out.

Ten minutes into the game and Woking could have had a penalty. A long pump forward bounced all the way through to Gavin McCallum who knocked it past the keeper and was completely taken out but the flag was up for offside, preventing a penalty and a possible straight red card.

The Cards’ were doing all of the early running and soon after McCallum laid it off in the box for Knott to hit it first time, but he failed to test Fleming too much with his weaker foot.

It took twenty-five minutes for the visitors to create their first chance, as Marcus Marshall attempted a cross from the left - it took a wicked deflection which took it straight into the path of Andi Thanoj who should have scored from 9 yards out, but he passed it straight into the grateful arms of Aaron Howe.

Three minutes later Howe had to be alert again, when the ball dropped to John-Lewis. He hit a thunderous volley from a narrow angle which Howe had to meet with a strong arm up high to keep the scores level.

Howe was on the ball again just two minutes later. Some brilliant feet in the box from ex Matlock striker Ross Hannah helped him slip past Mark Ricketts but Howe was out to his feet quickly to make a smart block.

Knott and McCallum both came close from range just before the break as they tried curling efforts which both dropped just wide of the left-hand post.

Half-time: Woking 0 Grimsby Town 0

The opening exchanges of the second half were physical and both sides found themselves cancelling each other out with both defences on top.

The second half finally opened up in the sixty-ninth minute with Knott on the edge of the box making room for a shot which was so unlucky to crash off the post with Fleming left helpless.

Not long after the deadlock was finally broken by the visitors when Jamie Devitt put in a wicked cross to find Lewis unmarked at the far post to head his first ever league goal for Grimsby and put them ahead against the run of play.

Woking’s response was impressive, and immediately from the kick off Fleming had to be alert to tip over a Ricketts header that was destined for the net.

One minute later and Knott clipped a wonderful ball into the box for Jack Parkinson to glance it past Fleming into the net, but again the flag was raised for a dubious offside.

Woking started to push more and more and gaps were left at the back. Howe had to make a superb save from a looping header by Ian Miller, then Dayle Southwell would have had an easy one on one if not for an extremely heavy first touch.

As the board to indicate four additional minutes was lifted The Cards put ball after ball into the box, and Fleming had to be on top form to make five stoppage time saves.

First a header from Brett Williams was tipped wide. Then from the resulting corner Joe McNerneys’ header was blocked by Fleming, the rebound fell to Kevin Betsy whose shot was quickly blocked out by Fleming again.

From the resulting corner Fleming had to be alive again to keep another header out and then defenders were on hand to clear the rebound off the line.

Betsy won a free kick on the right wing and Sawyer was all alone on the edge of the box for a simple set piece routine which he struck with venom and Fleming yet again made another outstanding save.

Knott whipped another dangerous corner in which Fleming came for and this time missed, but again Grimsby defenders were on hand to clear it off the line and clear it away to allow the referee to blow for full time.

Woking will wonder how they were unable to breach the Grimsby Town back line as the visitors leave Kingfield with a hard earned three points, but the Cards’ can feel proud of a performance which saw them dominate for large periods of the game against one of the league’s top sides.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mark Ricketts (Joe McNerney 86), Lee Sawyer, Jack Parkinson, Billy Knott, Kevin Betsy, Brett Johnson, Jayden Stockley (Brett Williams 86), John Nutter

Unused subs: Mike Cestor, Elvijs Putnin, George Frith

Cautions: Billy Knott 55

MOTM: Billy Knott

Grimsby Town: Greg Fleming, Sam Hatton, Derek Niven, Jamie Devitt (Frankie Artus 77), Simon Ford (Ian Miller 29), Bradley Wood, Andi Thanoj, Ross Hannah (Dayle Southwell), Marcus Marshall, Lenell John-Lewis, Tom Naylor

Unused subs: Aswad Thomas, Cleveland Taylor

Cautions: Jamie Devitt 45, Marcus Marshal 59, Bradley Wood 90+2

Attendance: 1,570
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