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Rendell the hat-trick hero as Cards fire five past Southport

Malcolm Wyatt - 5th October 2014

Rendell the hat-trick hero as Cards fire five past Southport Southport 2 Woking 5
Vanarama Conference
4th October 2014

A revitalised Woking side rediscovered their shooting boots on the Lancashire coast on Saturday, in a game where the first-half performance appeared to tell a familiar story.

The Cards might have been out of sight at that point, Martin Foyle’s hosts showing little of the spirit that saw them to a commendable midweek victory at Grimsby.

But all that stood between the sides at the turnaround was a perfectly executed Scott Rendell header, and there was a fear that Garry Hill’s visitors might soon rue all those other missed chances.

Woking got there in the end, however, and in emphatic style, moving up to fourth place while their hosts are fourth-bottom. Yet the game was fairly open up to the 80-minute mark.

In the end, though, Rendell took his season’s tally to a table-topping 11, while the away faithful witnessed yet another bit of set-piece magic from Giuseppe Sole.

Southport made the first foray on goal, Ross Worner coming out to deny Stephen Brogan, but as the sunshine dried up after a pre-match shower, Woking warmed to their task.

Rendell’s opener arrived right on five minutes, directing a seemingly nonchalant header past David Raya Martin after good work by first-half stand-out Joey Jones (pictured) led to a cross from Theo Lewis.

There were home appeals for a penalty after a swift Port raid inspired by Ross Dyer, but the referee was dismissive, while David Fitzpatrick and Brogan worked hard to make openings on the left. Yet Jones blocked out one attack and Worner the next.

The Cards were nearly in again as Keiran Murtagh and John Goddard combined to put away Jack Marriott, but Raya Martin was quick off his line and tipped away for a corner that came to nothing.

Lewis wasn’t far off with a header from a Chris Arthur delivery, while Paul Smith was unlucky with a dipping volley at the other end.

Goddard then drilled wide after good work by Josh Payne, while Lewis gave the home keeper a scare with a low header from Murtagh’s cross.

Lewis couldn’t capitalise on Goddard’s next ball after Jones engineered an opening, and on the rare occasions Foyle’s hosts created chances, Cards skipper Joe McNerney swept up.

Brogan caused flutters with a deep cross that led to a miscued Rendell clearance that had to be stopped by Worner, but the visiting striker did better on the break after Murtagh’s build-up play.

Jones headed away as Southport came forward again, while Fitzpatrick almost waltzed through the penalty area unopposed in the last meaningful attack of the half.

Half-time: Southport 0 Woking 1

Murtagh soon tested the keeper after the break after seeing off two defenders, while Worner denied Richard Brodie as Port countered.

Goddard could have done better after Arthur opened up the home defence, but waited too long, his resultant off-load falling just behind Rendell.

But in the 53rd minute Woking doubled their lead, Lewis finding a gap by drilling through a static defence for his debut league goal.

That should have settled the nerves, but the Sandgrounders fought back, and after Worner cut out from Luke Foster, a 58th-minute error by the on-loan keeper on the edge of his area let in Fitzpatrick, who fired past a covering McNerney on the line.

Fitzpatrick was involved in another raid as Woking wobbled, but this time Worner collected comfortably.

It proved a frustrating afternoon for fellow loanee Marriott, and on 64 minutes he made way for Sole, the Cards’ saviour on Tuesday against Nuneaton.

Lo and behold, within two minutes, Rendell won a free-kick to the left of the penalty area, and up stepped the dead-ball specialist.

We wondered if the home team had done their internet homework on Sole, seeing Raya Martin frantically organising his defensive wall.

But pretty soon he was picking the ball out of the back of the net, Sole with his seventh strike this term and 99th for the club.

The visitors’ pressure continued, and as Sole and Lewis combined, Matty Challoner put behind under pressure, while Payne caused problems with a free-kick of his own.

It wasn’t over yet, though, and after Worner was nearly caught out by a Brodie centre, Dominic Collins tested Worner with a header from sub Paul Rutherford’s cross, and from the following cross Luke Foster found a gap with a header.

That pulled Port back to 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining, and Dyer, proving a handful, blazed over soon after.

However, Murtagh came close for the visitors before Rendell added his second on 82 minutes from close range, after a great strike by McNerney struck the left-hand post.

Still Foyle’s fighters laboured, home sub John Marsden and away sub Kevin Betsy with half-chances before the seventh goal of the afternoon. This time a defender pulled down Sole just inside the penalty area, two minutes from time, and Rendell stepped up to complete the scoring, stuttering his run-up in customary fashion before sending the keeper the wrong way.

And while a home steward temporarily relieved the three-goal frontman of his prize after the final whistle, he was soon reunited with his souvenir matchball.

Southport: David Raya Martin, Dominic Collins, Scott Kay (Luke George 77), David Fitzpatrick, Luke Foster, Paul Smith (John Marsden 57), Ross Dyer, Matty Challoner, Richard Brodie, Stephen Brogan, Clayton McDonald (Paul Rutherford 46)

Unused subs: Joe Connor, Jonny Lynch

Caution: Foster 88

Goals: Fitzpatrick 58, Foster 80

Woking: Ross Worner, Mike Cestor (Adam Newton 77), Joe McNerney (c), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, Scott Rendell, Theo Lewis, Jack Marriott (Giuseppe Sole 64), Joey Jones, John Goddard (Kevin Betsy 77), Chris Arthur

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Dean Morgan

Goals: Rendell 5, 82, 88 (pen), Lewis 53, Sole 66

Attendance: 730

My MOTM: Joey Jones – while Scott Rendell will get the headlines, Joey worked hard for the cause in a playmaker’s role that brought Southport plenty of problems.
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