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Cards buzz and sting the Bees!

Alan Worth - 1st March 2014

Cards buzz and sting the Bees! Barnet 1 Woking 3
The Skrill Premier
1st March 2014

Woking made their first ever visit to The Hive, Barnet’s smart new home, hoping to put behind them the disappointment of their defeat midweek at Kidderminster.

The Bees, on a hot streak since the departure of Edgar Davids and with five wins from their last five starts, were looking to cement a place in the play-offs and lay in third position at the start of the afternoon. But a goal from Josh Payne and a Scott Rendell brace was more than sufficient for the Cards to leave with all three precious points.

Garry Hill was without the services of the injured Mike Cestor and, with Joey Jones serving the final game of his three-match ban, captain Mark Ricketts linked up with Joe McNerney in the centre of defence. Adam Newton returned at right back. The rest of the side was as at Kidderminster with Aaron Howe retaining his place in goal.

On a beautiful early spring afternoon and on an excellent playing surface both sides were happy to play passing football with The Bees in particular looking after the ball well and playing everything out from the back.

Woking’s first opportunity came after only four minutes. Payne lobbed the ball into the Bee’s box for Rendell to nod on to Marriott. His snap shot was diverted wide of the left hand post for an early Cards’ corner.

Barnet’s main attacking threat was coming down their right hand side with the dangerous Marsh-Brown occupying the Woking defence. He managed to get past John Nutter after ten minutes and Woking failed to clear their lines as a result of the winger’s incisive cross. The ball fell to Adams but a diving Howe deflected his shot behind for a corner.

Marsh-Brown set up two further chances for Lopez with a deft flick and then a perfectly weighted lob but both came to nothing with Lopez shooting wide and being ruled offside for the second opportunity.

But Woking were now beginning to put pressure on the Bee’s defence and on 23 minutes took the lead. A cross to the far post from Newton was not cleared. Stephens and keeper Jupp appeared to get in each other’s way with Payne stealing in to prod the ball home from close range at the second attempt.

But the Cards were only able to hold on to their lead for three minutes. Barnet’s response was effective but hardly reflected their passing game as the ball was lumped forward by Byrne. Weston was quick to pick up the ball and easily beat the onrushing Howe. Having rounded the Cards’ stopper he buried his effort despite McNerney’s despairing effort to get back and save the day.

Four minutes later and the Cards had restored their lead. Again Jupp was involved in a moment of controversy. He appeared to bundle over Goddard as he chased down Marriott’s looped cross into the box. Referee Lymer hesitated, possibly checking to see if the ball had run out of play, but finally blew to signal a penalty. Rendell confidently slotted the spot kick home into the left hand corner with Jupp sent the wrong way.

The Woking travelling support was now in full voice as Barnet attempted to pull back the deficit for a second time. A brilliant last gasp tackle from McNerney was enough to deny Weston, through on goal, and ensure the Cards went in at the break in the lead.

Half-time: Barnet 1 Woking 2

The start of the second period saw a passage of frenetic football as the hosts pushed for a quick equaliser while Woking also looked to extend their lead rather than hold what they had.

Marriott, who had been well marshalled in the first period, now began to see a little more of the ball. A Betsy pass saw him into the box but unable to get a shot away. Finally free on the left his fierce shot was blocked and Betsy, following up, saw his own effort headed off the line with Jupp well beaten.

Immediately Barnet broke and a fierce cross from the left flew across the face of the Cards’ goal with no one able to get a touch.

Another Betsy shot was blocked and this time it was Marriott who got on the end of the rebound but his snap shot was diverted away for a corner.

Woking were now looking the most likely to score with the defence coping well with any Bees’ threat, their final ball too often over hit to be of any real danger.

At the other end Betsy continued to cause Barnet problems, a cross in from the right finding its way to Payne whose side footed effort was saved. A Goddard cross was scraped away by Stephens and then Marriott played in his partner Rendell but Jupp was out quickly to smother the ball.

Garry Hill made his first substitution after 84 minutes with Sole replacing Marriott and Woking, for once, looking as if they were now just happy to see the game out.

But with two minutes remaining a delightful reverse pass from Sole played in Payne but his shot was just wide. It was a great chance to put the game to bed and the singing Woking faithful no doubt hoping that the miss wouldn’t be regretted.

They had nothing to fear! As the game moved into time added on the Cards constructed a very well worked third goal that sealed the points.

Betsy, again the catalyst, appeared to be soaking up time as he took the ball towards the right hand corner flag. Somehow, surround by three Barnet defenders, he managed to slip the ball inside to Sole who immediately moved the ball across to Goddard. Again the ball was moved on to Rendell who finished magnificently burying the ball in the far corner and in front of the rejoicing Cards’ travelling support.

This was an excellent all round performance against a good footballing side riding high in the league and on a very good run of form. Despite that the Cards’ defence coped well with the pressure, retained their shape and pressing the ball effectively. A measure of the performance was that Howe had little to do of note in the Woking goal.

Barnet will have been unhappy with the first two goals they conceded with some sloppy defending of their own but can have no complaints about a superb third that condemned them to a first defeat in six games.

Woking now need to build on this very welcome result at home against Southport next weekend. Make sure you get down to Kingfield and support the Cards!

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Mark Rickets, Joe McNerney, Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Reece Beckles 90), Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 84)

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, Anthony McNamee, Adam Brice

Goals: Josh Payne 23, Scott Rendell 33 (pen); 88

Caution: Jack Marriott 45

Barnet: Nick Jupp, Andy Yiadom, Elliot Johnson, Curtis Weston, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Mark Byrne (Jon Nurse 53), Ahmed Abdulla (Mauro Vilhete 53), David Stephens, Dani Lopez (Marciano Mengerink 73), Charlie Adams, Valentin Gjokaj

Unused subs: Jack Saville, Kieron Cadogan

Goals: Curtis Weston 26

Cautions: Ahmed Abdulla 35, Curtis Weston 82,

Attendance: 1708

MOTM: Kevin Betsy (pictured) - always dangerous on the ball and the source of most of Woking’s attacking opportunities.
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