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Cards' wizardry bewitches Imps

Brian Caffarey - 5th December 2015

Cards' wizardry bewitches Imps Woking 3 Lincoln City 1
Vanarama National League
5 December 2015

Another superb home display saw Garry Hill’s side register an emphatic win over high-flying Lincoln City. Bruno Andrade, with some outrageous tricks, John Goddard and Dan Holman vied for the conjuror-in-chief title but there were fine performances throughout the side, with perhaps a special mention too to Matt Robinson, who caught the eye in midfield. Holman and Joe Quigley put the Cards two goals up by half-time, with Holman grabbing another, after a scintillating run and cross from Andrade, in the second half. The visitors got a late, somewhat fortunate, consolation goal before having a man sent off in extra-time.

Garry Hill decided not to chance Chris Arthur’s hamstring, switching the impressively reliable Cameron Norman to left back while Jake Caprice got the chance to shine at right back against his former club. A welcome sight was the return of Keiran Murtagh to the bench after his operation.

On a very blustery, gloomy afternoon, with the wind in their favour, the Cards kicked off towards the KRE and quickly showed their attacking intent as Holman fired a speculative effort over the bar with less than a minute gone. Andrade went even closer a couple of minutes later at the end of a fine move, involving Robinson and Goddard, with keeper Farman tipping the winger’s shot round the post.

But it was a short reprieve for the Imps for, in the 6th minute, Goddard’s clever footwork created an opening for Holman, who, with a sharp drag back, made space to smash the ball home to give the Cards an early lead.

The wonderfully industrious Holman threatened again in the 10th minute, after an excellent tackle by Robinson, with the sting being taken out of his shot by a defender.

The visitors’ first real threat came on the quarter-hour mark when Nathan Blissett stuck out a foot to divert a shot towards the Woking goal but there was not enough pace on the ball to seriously trouble Jake Cole.

The Cards continued to attack vigorously, with Robinson setting up Andrade for another searing run, which only faltered when Goddard misread his through ball.

At the other end, it became apparent that the Imps’ main goal threat would come from Bradley Wood’s long throws and, in the 19th minute, Blissett nearly succeeded in bundling the ball into the goal from one such launch.

Another superb Woking move saw more splendid interplay between Goddard, Robinson and Holman, with the last-named having the ball nicked off his toes just as goal number two seemed in his sights.

Next up was another pacy run by Andrade but this time the winger wasted the break, using Caprice as the dummy run but failing to make progress inside. After Joey Jones – who again looked wonderfully composed at centre back – had fired over the bar after a short free-kick routine, there was a scare at the other end as Jones and Cole got in a muddle, but the intervening Blissett could only head harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Holman, far from sated by the opening goal, did superbly on the half-hour mark to ride a tackle, advance and then shoot narrowly wide from distance. The second goal, however, was not far away. After Andrade had crossed rather aimlessly on one break, on the next, supplied by Robinson, he put in a fine low cross to Quigley, only a few yards out. The on-loan Bournemouth striker controlled the ball well and slammed it home to make it 2-0.

The Cards made it safely to half-time, with the only anxious moments coming when Goddard lost the ball in a dangerous position, Cole saving the resulting shot, and when Cole had to punch clear from a corner.

Half-time: Woking 2 Lincoln City 0

The concern now was whether a two-goal lead would be enough if the Imps profited from having the wind behind them. An early effort by Rhead went just wide but Holman went closer still after some slick play from Caprice and Andrade saw Holman’s goal-bound header cleared by a defender. A few minutes later both Holman and Goddard saw their shots blocked as the Cards sought a third goal to kill off their opponents.

That goal was so nearly achieved in the 51st minute. Once again, Holman managed to hold off a defender to win the ball initially and then went on an excellent run down Woking’s left. Perhaps he should have crossed to Robinson, who had made a great accompanying run into the box, but he chose to shoot, seeing the ball cannon off the inside of the far post and away to safety.

A succession of Bradley Wood throws, now wind assisted, tested the Woking defence, which remained impressively solid. Jones also found time to register the next Woking attempt on goal, heading down from a corner, only to see the ball cleared.

In the 58th minute Craig Stanley, who had just come on, came the closest so far for the visitors, firing off a snap shot which Cole could only beat away for a corner. Stanley’s next effort, with the outside of his foot, produced a more comfortable save for the Woking keeper.

Woking resumed their attacking play as a fine move started by Andrade in the 65th minute saw the overlapping Caprice fire in an inviting cross for the ever-tenacious Holman, whose shot was however saved by the Imps keeper. The pressure continued as Robinson, Holman and Goddard combined once more in clever interplay. But that was quickly capped by a thrilling third goal. Quigley supplied Andrade, who set off on a dazzling run, bemusing defenders with his clever footwork, before pulling back a terrific cross which Holman, from a couple of yards out, netted emphatically to the delight of the crowd in the Leslie Gosden Stand.

The three-goal lead looked a bit less comfortable when, in the 76th minute, Lincoln grabbed a goal back. A quickly-taken long throw saw the ball headed backwards by Rhead, whence it caught the wind and sailed over Cole and into the far corner of the Woking goal.

Holman very nearly restored the three-goal margin a few minutes later when, latching onto a through ball, he tried to delicately chip Farman but got the angle wrong. Goddard, free on the other side of the goal, might have been a better bet but you couldn’t blame Holman for going for goal himself.

Lincoln then pushed for a second goal and there were a couple of worrying moments as balls were thrown into the Woking box and a couple of clearances were scrambled away.
As four minutes of added time began Andrade capped a fine display with a stunning piece of skill in beating a defender and crossing for Goddard, who was unlucky to see his shot deflected over for a corner. The subsequent short corner routine ended with Goddard being bundled over and then stamped on by Beevers, who, to no one’s surprise other than, apparently, his own, was shown a red card.

Caprice then showed some clever footwork of his own before, with Goddard’s effort being tipped round the post and then, at the other end, Cole punching clear the final Lincoln corner.

Justifiably, Garry Hill’s side left the field to very warm applause from the Woking faithful, who had enjoyed another display full of commitment, skill and enterprise.

The win moves the Cards up to 11th place, six points behind fifth-placed Wrexham.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Cameron Norman, Bruno Andrade (Keiran Murtagh 95), Mark Ricketts, Matt Robinson, John Goddard, Joe Quigley, Dan Holman (Terell Thomas 89)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Kadell Daniel, Jimmy Keohane

Goals: Dan Holman 6 and 68, Joe Quigley 40

Booked: Cameron Norman, John Goddard

Lincoln City: Paul Farman, Bradley Wood, Luke Waterfall, Jack Muldoon, Alan Power (Craig Stanley 58), Matt Rhead, Terry Hawkbridge (Greg Tempest 45), Lee Beevers, Matt Sparrow, Callum Howe, Nathan Blissett (Conner Robinson 69)

Unused subs: Aiden Grant, Chris Bush

Goals: Matt Rhead 76

Sent Off: Lee Beevers

Booked: Bradley Wood, Matt Sparrow

Sponsors’ MOTM: Dan Holman (pictured)

Attendance: 1432

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