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NORTHWICH VICTORIA 1 WOKING 3

Andy Avery - 30th September 2007

3.00pm on Saturday 29 September 2007
Blue Square Premier

Woking produced a fine performance against struggling Northwich who failed to rise off the foot of the table, whilst the three points for the Cards helped them stay 6 points clear of the relegation places.

The game started in weather more akin to the start of the summer than late September with sunshine lighting up the Victoria Stadium, and it was Woking who shone first. In the 2nd minute, Danny Bunce set up Morgan but his shot fizzed wide of the far post. It didn?t matter as a minute later Woking took the lead. The ball was played back to Connett in the Northwich goal. He hesitated and had to use his weaker foot to clear the ball. Matt Pattison had chased hard and was able to block the clearance, take the ball past the stranded keeper and slot it into the empty net.

Woking continued to press, and both Gatting and Pattison again went close. Northwich?s first real chance came in the 15th minute. A foul just outside the box gave them a central position to see what they could do. They tried a planned set piece which seemed quite confusing and Morgan had the chance to block the eventual shot and the chance came to nothing.

Four minutes later, a Woking free kick found Gatting unmarked but he fired over. Northwich weren?t out of the game by any means, and in the 21st minute only a superb double save from Gindre kept Woking?s lead. This proved crucial, as shortly afterwards, Gatting doubled Woking?s advantage. A nice move freed Goma Lambu down the right. He provided a perfect cross from which Gatting produced a wonderful header past Connett and into the top corner.

Woking assumed complete control, and although Brown fired wide for Northwich, the rest of the half was dominated by some positive football from Woking. Kevin James fired over after another nice move, and after more hesitation from Connett, Marvin Morgan almost got in but couldn?t quite provide enough power as he was stretching to get the ball, and his effort was cleared by the defence.

Then, with half time approaching, Woking almost let their guard down but a fine tackle from Matt Ruby prevented Townsend from getting his shot in and Woking went into half time 2 goals up having played positive football right from the start.

Half time: Northwich 0 Woking 2

Whatever Dino Maamria said to Northwich at half time had an effect on the Northwich team as there was a clear lift in their play during the second half.

In the 48th minute, they broke away at pace, following a Woking corner, but once again Gindre saved the day, blocking Coulson?s effort.

Five minutes later Carr found some space and his lob cleared Gindre but fell on the roof of the net. Ryan Brown was probably Northwich?s most dangerous player on the day and on 59 minutes he had a great chance but as he was about to shoot Lambu, chasing back well, slid in to dispossess him superbly.

Frank Gray tried changing things on the hour bringing on Paul Hakim for Morgan and he had an immediate impact shooting just wide only a minute after coming onto the pitch.

As Northwich continued to press forward, Woking began to find some breaks, and after 68 minutes, Pattison?s hot was deflected wide. Hakim saw another effort miss the target and on 80 minutes, Pattison went on a fine run at pace but the finish flew wide of Connet?s goal.

The game was sewn up in the 83rd minute. Once again there was hesitation in the Northwich defence and Hakim was able to rob the defender, run on and coolly slot the ball past the advancing keeper ? a fine goal.

Just when we thought we could relax, Woking gave away a free kick on the touchline level with the penalty area. Ryan Brown floated the ball across, it eluded everyone including Gindre and found the top corner.

The game fizzled out after this goal. Carl Gibbs came on for Joe Gatting and looked lively, but there were no further chances for either side and the final whistle blew giving Woking a crucial 3 points.

Full time Northwich 1 Woking 3

It may not exactly be a football revolution, but Woking looked hugely different from they style of play over the last few years. Right from kick off they looked positive, confident and played the ball around well. With Gerry Murphy continually calling out words of support from the sidelines, and the players encouraging each other, today was a good game to watch for Woking fans. Northwich looked a reasonable side who can pas the ball well but lacked any real cutting edge up front. They had a lot of possession in the second half but the whole time, Woking worked hard and gave them few good chances.

MAN OF THE MATCH.
This is a tough call as there was a universal work ethic amongst the whole team as well as good individual displays but my vote goes to Matt Ruby who was outstanding in the centre of defence ? so much so that we didn?t miss Tom Hutchinson nearly as much as we feared we would when we heard he was out.

Northwich: Connett, Birch (Wilson 46), Battersby, Strong, Brown, Maylett (Byrne 64), Carr, Heslop, Williams (Tait 75), Townson, Coulson.

Subs Not Used: Andrew Murphy, Maamria.

Booked: Coulson, Williams.

Goals: Brown 84.


Woking: Gindre, Lorraine, Gasson, Ruby, Bunce, Morgan (Hakim 61), Quamina, Pattison, James, Lambu, Gatting (Gibbs 85).

Subs Not Used: Maledon, Harusha, Sole.

Booked: Lorraine.

Goals: Pattison 3, Gatting 22, Hakim 83.

Att: 550

Ref: D Webb (Lancashire).
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