MKJ Group

Cards back on track

Alan Worth
8:55pm, Sat 5th Dec 2009
5th December 2009


With this performance Woking went some way to erasing as quickly as possible the memory of the “horror show� that was last Tuesday. This victory owed much to a solid back four that saw Jon Boardman reunited with Tom Hutchinson as the centre pairing with Tony Sinclair on the right, replacing flu victim Ricky Anane, and Aswad Thomas on the left. The league’s leading goal scorer, Charlie Sheringham, watched from the stand by father Teddy, had little joy against a dominant Woking defence and his dangerous partner Lewis Smith fared little better.

Harry Arter and ‘man of the match’, Mark Ricketts (pictured) were back together in their central midfield pairing, which has consistently proved to be the Cards’ most effective arrangement. Snapping at the heels of their hosts throughout the match, this was a determined and steely performance that the Cards desperately needed and, despite the predictable yellow card for Harry in the second half, not much got by these two key players. Gez Sole started out on the left but had a disappointing game overall, with Moses Ademola on the right. This allowed Graham Baker to retain his two young loan signings, Matthew Wright and Nathaniel Pinney, up front.

Luke Medley returned to the bench alongside Joe McNerney. back from his loan spell at Corinthian Casuals. There were also places on the bench for Charlie Moone, Sam Sloma and Jamie Hand. The Bishop’s Stortford side included Hassan Sulaiman, who had featured pre-season for Woking as a trialist.

From the start it was evident that Woking were going to take the game to the hosts and for the first twenty minutes Bishop’s Stortford were pressed into their own half as the Cards pushed for an early goal.

On 13 minutes the Woking bench were on their feet calling for a penalty as Pinney’s cross flicked off Sole and appeared to bounce up and strike a defender’s hand. Mr. Bentley waved away the appeals. The home side, having brought on Abdullahi for the injured Shulton, then saw the new man flash a shot wide of Ross Worner’s right-hand post. This was quickly followed by a long-range effort from Jones but it was well wide as the hosts attacked for the first time.

On 27 minutes Woking put together an excellent move as Thomas released Pinney down the left. The young forward got to the bye line and pulled back a great ball to Wright, who moved the ball on to Ademola. Moses’s shot was just wide of the left-hand post, with Eyre beaten. A minute later Pinney turned his marker but under pressure his shot went wide. Woking were clearly the most likely to score at this point and on 32 minutes they duly took the lead.

A long free-kick from Ross Worner carried over the Bishop’s Stortford defence and found Wright on the right. His fierce shot from a tight angle flew across the keeper and into the far corner – an excellent strike.

Bishop’s Stortford almost levelled the score immediately with a snap shot from Smith that went narrowly wide. They had a further chance after Pinney, only just booked for petulantly throwing the ball away, tripped an opposition forward just outside the Cards’ box. Fortunately for the visitors, the free-kick was wasted and Woking made it safely through to the break with no further alarms.

HALF-TIME – Bishop’s Stortford 0 Woking 1

Almost immediately after the re-start Woking were forced to make a change as Matthew Wright was replaced by Joe McNerney, presumably as the result of an injury. Joe immediately took his place up front alongside Pinney and used the opportunity to show his manager that he can also be effective as a big target man.

Woking’s first chance of the half came only a few minutes later as a Gez free-kick found Hutchinson in the box but, with his back to the goal, Tom was unable to get his shot away.

On the hour mark the home side had an opportunity to score after a Southam corner was half cleared and returned with interest into the box. Sheringham, on his knees, could only nod the ball, agonisingly for the home support, inches wide of the post. Minutes later a Nunn shot from well outside the box saw Ross saving down to his left.

But it was a horror show of their own in defence that saw the hosts help Woking to increase their lead. A mix-up from a Bishop’s Stortford free-kick saw the ball driven across the field and out for a throw directly opposite. It was quickly taken and with two defenders getting in yet more of a mess, Moses was through to the bye line. His low cross was just diverted away for a corner as McNerney closed in from close range. The corner that followed was not dealt with by the defence, knocked on by Boardman to Ademola, who gleefully scored from close range.

On 73 minutes Sloma was introduced as Pinney was substituted. With virtually his first touch, Sam’s delightful through ball saw Gez running clear on goal. To be honest, he didn’t look too convincing as he advanced into the box and was quickly caught by Champion but the defender could only bring the Cards forward down as he challenged. Gez stepped up to take the resulting penalty and this time it was all totally convincing as he buried his spot kick and in doing so made the game safe.

As Woking looked to consolidate and keep what they had, so the hosts did manage to create a couple of further chances to get one back. With ten minutes to go, Smith managed to wriggle past two Woking defenders and fizzed his shot past Ross Worner’s left-hand post. Mark Ricketts then magnificently blocked what looked like a certain goal, as a shot came in from close range. Again it was Ricketts who, right on ninety minutes, put Medley away down the left. Luke, on for Sole, controlled the ball well, cut into the box but his resulting shot hit the side netting. Woking had be content with three!

SCORERS: Woking – Wright 32, Ademola 62, Sole (pen) 76
BOOKED: Bishop’s Stortford – Champion 74, Abdullahi 90
Woking – Pinney 42, Arter 67
HALF-TIME: Bishop’s Stortford 0 Woking 1
MOTM: Mark Ricketts
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Jon Boardman, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Nathaniel Pinney (Sam Sloma 73), Harry Arter, Moses Ademola, Giuseppe Sole (Luke Medley 80), Matthew Wright (Joe McNerney 48)
UNUSED SUBS: Jamie Hand, Charlie Moone
BISHOP’S STORTFORD LINE-UP: Eyre, Nunn, Jones (Palmer 77), Shulton (Abdullahi 14), Angus, Champion, Sulaiman (Riddle 71), Southam, Smith, Sheringham, Lathrope
UNUSED SUBS: Essandoh, Sargent
REFEREE: I.Bentley
ASSISTANT REFEREES: K. Theobald, I. Johnston

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