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Eight-goal Yorkshire thriller ends in stalemate for youthful Cards

Malcolm Wyatt - 13th September 2015

Eight-goal Yorkshire thriller ends in stalemate for youthful Cards Guiseley 4 Woking 4
The Vanarama National League
September 12th 2015

Gutsy Guiseley secured a point that seemed beyond them at times in this thriller of a fixture in West Yorkshire, a youthful Cards outfit scoring four times away from home but ultimately being pegged back at the death.

In-form midfielder John Goddard netted twice in the first quarter-hour to put Garry Hill’s outfit in a demanding position in the Cards’ first ever visit to Nethermoor Park, but time and again the white-shirted Lions roared back, a young side’s inexperience in closing down a match costing them.

There was a sense that stand-in skipper Brian Saah’s goal before the break after Guiseley had pulled back to 2-2 might unsettle the hosts. But they came back again.

Similarly, when loan striker Dan Holman put Woking 4-3 up with one last quarter-hour to come, it seemed like victory was finally on for the Cards. Yet last term’s Conference North play-off winners are clearly made of sterner stuff, and levelled deep into an eight-minute period added by referee Karl Evans. And you couldn’t really begrudge them their share of the spoils.

An injury to midfielder Joey Jones in the warm-up didn’t bode well for the visitors, but replacement Harry Cardwell - on his Woking debut - proved a capable replacement on this late summer afternoon.

Guiseley started promisingly, the all-yellow visitors exposed as Adam Boyes found Nicky Boshell at the left post, just moments after strong shouts for a penalty following a push in the area.

The home crowd soon saw what their Surrey opponents were capable of though, an explosive right-wing raid by Bruno Andrade following a neat Cardwell lay-off, only spoiled by a poor final ball to the waiting Jimmy Keohane, who put in a commendable shift in his first start, in place of injured Keiran Murtagh.

In a similar move, Holman was next to put Andrade away, although the Portuguese winger‘s chip into the area gave Scottish Under-19 international Cardwell little chance in the middle. But Andrade’s pace then led to a corner on the right, and after Godfrey Poku – in Kadell Daniel’s place – was fouled, Goddard unleashed a 30-yard strike into the top left corner that keeper Steve Drench could not stop, despite a despairing dive.

Guiseley weren’t bowed, and from Ryan Toulson’s searching free-kick Boyes was denied by a one-handed save from Jake Cole. However, Woking soon carved out an opening again, a swift break seeing Reading teenager Cardwell and Colchester loanee Holman combine in the middle before a less dynamic Goddard finish, easily snaffled by Drench.

Holman was next to test the goalie following a ball over the top, the home side living on their nerves. And while Terell Thomas and Jake Caprice stood up well to nullify the next attack, Woking countered and Goddard added his second on 13 minutes. This time, a pacy left-wing break ended with a Chris Arthur lay-off and an assured finish from close range.

Liam Dickinson headed over from a deep Zac Thompson free-kick as the hosts looked to hit right back, but Cardwell came closer at the other end with a glancing header, following nice inter-play between Holman and Andrade.

Another flowing move involving Keohane, Cardwell and Holman led to the latter’s effort from distance, and – unlike at Macclesfield the previous weekend – Woking were clearly the more dominant, inventive outfit. Yet a pretty wretched quarter-hour followed, Cole stopping a powerful header from Dickinson and Caprice denying Boyes before Guiseley got off the mark on 33 minutes, the Cards failing to defend properly and Rob Atkinson drilling home following a set-piece on the right.

An untidy spell followed, both sides struggling to renew any authority, Thomas coming to the rescue to keep out Boshell after Boyes found a gap before the former’s 41st-minute equaliser - something which looked highly unlikely just 10 minutes before - a glancing effort finding Cole’s left-hand corner after Will Hatfield wrong-footed the defence with his lay-off.

There was still time for one more before the break though, Caprice winning a corner on the right, from which Saah made his presence felt to head powerfully home and see his side into a 3-2 interval lead.

Half-time: Guiseley 2 Woking 3

The home team made the brighter start to the second half amid continued West Riding sunshine, Arthur and Keohane forced to dig in at the back to repel one attack while Cole put behind a fine effort by Boyes, Goddard half-clearing the next foray forward.

Two home free-kicks were then kept out by the Woking defence, while Boyes fired over, the Yorkshiremen soon pressed into changes, the Cards looking vulnerable again as Thompson ghosted in but couldn’t get a clean strike.

As Woking finally countered, Cardwell was unlucky from a deep Arthur free-kick, while Andrade might have done better with a centre, instead drilling straight at Drench after former Exeter midfielder Keohane put him away. Holman was next to float a ball in as the visitors pushed up again, but there were no options on hand.

Yet Thomas had to make a timely tackle to stop Thompson in his tracks at the other end, and on 66 minutes Guiseley were level again, Tom Craddock on target with a seemingly nonchalant finish after good work by fellow sub Wayne Brooksby on the left of the box.

This see-saw of a match wasn’t done yet though, Holman finding himself in on goal and seeing the smallest of gaps yet striking the outside of the bar. Meanwhile, Cardwell was back to clear from a floated free-kick at the other end, and Caprice headed away a Thompson cross from the right flank before Woking grabbed a fourth on 75 minutes.

This time the hosts seemingly stopped en masse in the hope of a raised flag as Keohane played in Holman, who turned the keeper then struck coolly home. And it might have finally been game over as Woking powered forward again, yet Cardwell’s finish was not strong enough after good work by Goddard and Keohane, and Drench then made a great save from a stronger Goddard finish.

However, there were signs of what was still to come as Brooksby’s deflected finish brought a corner, from which Woking sub Giuseppe Sole cleared at the back post, Cardwell then hacking away to safety.

As Woking countered, Arthur’s roaming run on the left caused concern, but Thomas had to clear again at the other end. And as the action continued to flow, sub Daniel arrived just too late with a diving header after a flowing move, while Cardwell had a shot deflected for a corner after a fine Caprice cross, the roaming defender injured in the process and replaced by Ben Pattie.

Guiseley remained a threat though, rallying to the cause after the ref signified that rather unexpected eight minutes, Mr Evans clearly enjoying his afternoon out. Soon after, Cole collected a tame ball in from Toulson, while Brooksby deserved praise for continuing a run when he might gone to ground and won a penalty, his way finally blocked off.

Cardwell against tested Drench as Woking broke, but the action quickly returned to the visitors’ half, with one raid charged down before a throw-in wasn’t properly dealt with and the imposing Jake Lawlor tapped home the final equaliser, to the delight of the white and navy blue home contingent.

Late sub Pattie might still have nicked a winner after a Sole free-kick was only half-cleared, but the Cards were forced to defend again in the closing minute, the ref finally blowing for time after Lawlor blazed over. In the end, Garry Hill saw it as two points dropped rather than one gained, and there will be further concern after the latest injuries as the Cards, now fifth, look to regroup before Tuesday’s appealing home clash with nine wins out of nine leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Guiseley: Steve Drench, Ryan Toulson, Ben Parker ©, Adam Lockwood, Jake Lawlor, Adam Boyes (Tom Craddock 55), Will Hatfield, Liam Dickinson, Nicky Boshell (Wayne Brooksby 55), Zac Thompson (Luke Porritt 77), Rob Atkinson

Subs not used: Danny Boshell, Steve Dickinson

Goals: Atkinson 33, Boshell 41, Craddock 67, Lawlor 90

Cautions: Hatfield 45, Porritt 90

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice (Ben Pattie 89), Chris Arthur, Brian Saah ©, Terell Thomas, Godfrey Poku, Harry Cardwell, Jimmy Keohane, John Goddard, Bruno Andrade (Kadell Daniel 65), Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 83)

Sub not used: Nick Hamann

Goals: Goddard 8, 13, Saah 45, Holman 75

No cautions

Attendance: 643

My MOTM: John Goddard - while the defending was suspect at key stages, Woking were impressive going forward. And while Harry Cardwell, Dan Holman and Jimmy Keohane ran him close, Goddard's two goals set an impressive tone.
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