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Odubade continues Cards' love-in on Valentine's Day

Haydn Cobb - 15th February 2015
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 1
Vanarama Conference
14th February 2015

Yemi Odubade scored for the second consecutive game to give Woking a share of the points with Kidderminster Harriers after Lee Hughes had put the home side ahead.

The experienced striker gave Kidderminster the lead at Aggborough with a right-footed strike just past the half-hour mark. Garry Hill’s half-time words stirred his men into action as they fought back into the match and Odubade’s poke-home from a Scott Rendell knockdown gave Woking the point they deserved.

Woking kicked off the Valentine’s Day fixture in their bright yellow away strip and were hunting a first away win in the league since November. Joey Jones filled in at centre back alongside James Clarke with Joe McNerney suspended and Mike Cestor out with a long-term knee injury.
Yemi Odubade partnered Woking top-scorer Scott Rendell up front with Giuseppe Sole, Kevin Betsy and Ross Lafayette on an attacking substitute bench.

Both sides eased into the game with Charles Banya having the only effort of note in the first ten minutes. A left-foot effort narrowly whistled past the foot of the far post after he cut inside the Harriers defence from Mark Ricketts’ through ball.

A lapse in concentration in the Woking backline saw Aaron Wildig break free for a one-on-one with Jake Cole. The Harriers forward hit his shot low at the left-hand corner but it lacked power which allowed Cole to palm the ball away. Lee Hughes chased the loose ball and clipped it back to WIldig who unselfishly knocked the ball down to Aman Verma. The midfielder had plenty of time to pick his spot but rushed his action and missed the ball completely.

Kidderminster’s miss sparked an immediate Woking counter-attack, with the tricky Banya again creating space in the box. The winger cut inside from the right wing and this time aimed at the near post, and his effort clipped the outside of the frame.

The home side had a series of half-chances but failed to call Cole into action in the opening half-hour. A Danny Wright header found its way into the Woking goal but it was disallowed after the forward was penalised for climbing on Clarke.

The corresponding home fixture in September saw the Cards three-nil down within the first 30 minutes but the Woking defence stood firm on this occasion against sustained Harriers pressure.

John Goddard (pictured) saw a freekick float over the crossbar just before the home side opened the scoring.

In the 39th minute Hughes controlled the ball on the left flank and ran at Newton before cutting inside and unleashing an effort on the edge of the penalty area. His low shot hit a divot on the badly cut-up pitch, which cruelly evaded Cole’s outstretched arms. The strike was the 38-year-old’s first goal on his return to the club for whom he had played 18 years ago, before moving to West Bromwich Albion for £380,000.

The Cards tried to grab an equaliser before half-time but were snuffed out by the home side.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0

Woking started the second half with a fresh urgency which was exemplified by John Goddard, who struck an audacious volley from just outside the box that had the Harriers’ goalkeeper scrambling.

Goddard continued to cause the Harriers defence problems as he tore down the right flank, crossing smartly to Rendell, but his right-foot shot was straight at Danny Lewis in goal. The restart marked the Cards' best period of the match.

With just over an hour gone the Harriers goalkeeper made a superb save from a Joey Jones header. Woking were getting joy from Josh Payne’s corners and two minutes later the Cards drew level through Odubade.

Payne’s in-swinging corner to Rendell at the back post was deflected into his striker partner’s path and from seven yards out Odubade slammed the ball home for his second Woking goal of the season.

The equaliser had the home side on the ropes as Hill’s men began to dominate possession. Sole and Betsy gave Woking fresh energy in attack, coming on for Banya and goal-scorer Odubade.

Both sides were pushing for a winner as the game entered the final ten minutes and Jake Cole rescued his team from going behind for a second time with an outstanding save.

The home side’s striker Wright was sent through by Ahmed Obeng and had a simple one-on-one right in front of goal. His well-hit effort looked destined for the bottom right corner but Cole got down smartly and clawed the ball away.

In a full-blooded but fair encounter, Payne and Harriers’ Jack Byrne then had a tussle which referee Ross Joyce was quick to put a stop to.

Both sides hunted a winner in stoppage time but neither attack could produce a clear-cut chance as the points were shared. The result leaves both teams level on 50 points in the table, albeit with Kidderminster having played one game less than the Cards, who drop to eighth place by dint of Halifax's victory against Dover.

Kidderminster Harriers: Danny Lewis, Kevin Nicholson, Jamie Grimes, Josh Gowling (c), Jared Hodgkiss, Aaron Wildig (Keyon Reffell 72), Jack Byrne, Aman Verma, Dominic Knowles (Ahmed Obeng 64), Lee Hughes (Akwsi Asante 80), Danny Wright

Unused substitutes: Jake Green, Jordan Tunnicliffe

Goal: Hughes (39)

Booked: Grimes (90)

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur Joey Jones, James Clarke, Adam Newton, John Goddard, Josh Payne, Mark Ricketts (c), Charles Banya (Kevin Betsy 66), Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 72), Scott Rendell (Ross Lafayette 85)

Unused substitutes: Andy Little, Keiran Murtagh

Goal: Odubade (68)

Booked: Rendell (61), Ricketts (86)

Attendance: 1,646

My MOTM: John Goddard – characterised Woking’s second half resurgence and was a threat all game