MKJ Group

Wright Back In It!

11:51am, Wed 14th Apr 2010
Maidenhead United 1 Woking 2
Blue Square South
Tuesday 13th April 2010

By Tom Barnardo

Woking moved up to 5th in the Blue Square South table with two games to play as a brace of assists from on-loan Crystal Palace striker Matthew Wright sparked an improbable comeback against Maidenhead United at a wind-swept York Road.

Looking for their sixth win in seven games, Graham Baker’s side lined up with two changes from the side which beat Bromley on Saturday afternoon. Coming into the side, Jon Boardman and Mark Ricketts filled in at right-back and centre midfield respectively, whilst Harry Arter and Nicky Nicolau moved to the bench.

Unsurprisingly it was the side chasing a play-off place who started the brighter, with a long-range shots from both Guiseppe Sole and Jerome Maledon forcing good saves from Warren Carter in the Maidenhead goal.

In the thirteenth minute, a splendid header from Craig Faulconbridge fell to Moses Ademola who, under pressure from Maidenhead captain Mark Nisbet, hit his effort just wide. Faulconbridge had a chance to score his sixth goal for the club on the twenty minute mark, but the ball fell unkindly for the ex-Coventry City man and he failed to test the keeper from short range.

Young striker Alex Wall was causing the Cards’ defence all sorts of problems as he was caught narrowly off-side on several occasions. On the half hour mark however, a clumsy tackle on the pacey striker inside the box by Jon Boardman gave United the chance to take the lead.

Versatile attacking player and ex-QPR man Kieran St Aimie stepped up to take the spot kick, sending the ball low to Ross Worner’s right and into the back of the net.

Minutes before the break and roared on by hoards of travelling Woking fans, the Cards had their best chance of the half. A lob-come-cross by top-goalscorer Giuseppe Sole fell to the head of Faulconbridge, whose header was cleared behind by the United full-back.

Half-time: Maidenhead United 1 Woking 0

With two half-time substitutions from the Woking manager (Boardman and Maledon making way for Nicolau and Arter) there was a new attacking intent about the away side after the break. Woking were once again falling into long-ball mode however, and Maidenhead looked the more likely to score.

On 55 minutes, Sole - who picked up his fourth Man of the Match award of the season on Saturday – tested the United shot stopper with a stinging effort from outside the area. Ademola had a golden opportunity, but he was once again closed down in the box by ex-Stevenage player Bobby Behzadi. It seemed as though it may be another frustrating night for the Cards.

The pivotal moment in the match came twenty minutes into the half, when Tom Hutchinson – making his 140th appearance for Woking – was replaced by target man Matthew Wright. Moments later and Wright should have equalised, spooning a shot sky-high when in the area.

Sole twice tested Carter (once with a trade mark free-kick and once from a further long-range effort) but Woking were level on 74 minutes, when his inswinging corner found Wright on the back post, only for the 6’4” forward’s header to be turned into the net by Tom Baddeley.

Tempers boiled over moments later when a scuffle on the edge of the Woking penalty area ended up with Wright lying face down on the floor. Presumably for violent conduct – and on the advice of his assistant referee – Baddeley was shown a red card and United were down to ten men.

Having cleared the imminent danger, the away side were awarded a free-kick midway inside their half. An intelligent ball from Harry Arter found Wright hugging the right touchline, who cleverly and skilfully cut into the penalty area before being hauled down as he went to cross the ball.

With the pressure on, Sole duly stepped up to score his 19th goal of the campaign. Hitting the ball into the same place as United’s first half effort, Woking now had just 8 minutes to hold on.

St Aimie put a snap shot high over the stand, but Woking defended the remaining time comfortably to claim their 6th win in 7 Blue Square South games. Though their fate is still in others’ hands, the Cards are now in prime position to pounce should either Bath or Braintree slip up in their remaining fixtures.

Woking: Ross Worner, Jon Boardman (Nicky Nicolau, 45), Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson (Matthew Wright, 64), Tony Sinclair, Ricky Anane, Jerome Maledon (Harry Arter, 45), Craig Faulconbridge, Moses Ademola, Giuseppe Sole

Subs not used: Charlie Moone, Billy Hussey

Booked: Matthew Wright, Harry Arter

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