MKJ Group

Cards enjoy a Good, Good Friday!

Alan Worth
7:33pm, Fri 6th Apr 2012
Basingstoke Town 0 Woking 3
Blue Square Bet South
6th April 2012

This was a comfortable victory for Woking as they saw off a recently resurgent Basingstoke Town at The Camrose. Two more goals from Blue Square Bet South, Player of the Month Gez Sole and a third from Kevin Betsy capped off a performance described by Garry Hill in his post-match interview as “very, very professional�. The Manager made a number of changes to the side for this fixture, some as a result of injury or illness (Jack King was unwell), some because of suspensions (Adam Doyle) and finally as a result of players arriving late due to traffic congestion (Paris Cowan-Hall, Mike Cestor and Adam Newton).

Joe McNerney returned to the team partnering Alan Inns at the back with Glenn Wilson continuing at right back and Derek Duncan on the left. Keiran Murtgah partnered Tom Davis in the centre of midfield with Moses Ademola back on the right and Kevin Betsy on the left. Betsy will miss the next two games through suspension. Gez Sole was partnered up front by Elvis Hammond.

On an uneven and slippery surface the game was played, in the first period, at a very high tempo with both sides looking to get on the front foot and attack. An early Basingstoke free-kick gave Wes Daly the chance to plant the ball into the Woking area. The midfielder managed to get on the end of the subsequent clearance but his shot from outside the area was straight at Aaron Howe.

Almost immediately Woking had two reasonable shouts for a penalty – the first after Ademola appeared to be brought down inside the area and then Sole, also brought down by a Basingstoke defender. Elvis Hammond then turned on a Davis pass to scuff his shot just wide of the post with Ashley Bayes beaten.

After fourteen minutes the Cards took the lead. Betsy set up the opportunity with a mazy run into the hosts’ penalty area. Basingstoke struggled to clear and the ball fell to Sole. The striker, in the form of his life, proceeded to rifle his left-foot shot, first time, low into the corner of the net. It was a fabulous strike!

As the Basingstoke back line, led by ex-Card Jay Gasson, looked increasingly uncertain against the pace and control of the Woking attack so the chances continued to flow. Duncan set up Murtagh and his cross from the left just flicked off Sole’s head and wide. Hammond and Ademola then combined and the latter’s shot was deflected over the bar. From the subsequent corner Alan Inns attempted to volley home at the far post but the angle was too tight.

On twenty-four minutes Moses Ademola came close to doubling the lead. A great left-foot shot from outside the box flew off the cross bar with Bayes again groping at thin air. But with thirty-eight minutes played the Cards did manage to take a deserved two-goal advantage. Ademola got to the bye line and his low cross found Hammond. His effort was blocked on the line but Sole was again on hand to stab home the rebound from very close range.

Half-time: Basingstoke Town 0 Woking 2

From the start of the second half Woking were back on the offensive and looking to make the points safe. A wonderful back heel from Elvis Hammond put Betsy in on goal but Kevin just over-ran the ball. However, he didn’t have to wait long before a further opportunity presented itself and this time the chance was taken.

A “give and go� saw Sole play in the veteran midfielder and Betsy, left-footed, played the ball under Bayes. Just short of an hour gone and the game was as good as over.

Gez Sole almost immediately had a great chance to secure his hat-trick when played in by the hardworking Hammond, one-on-one with the Basingstoke keeper. Bayes saved and then recovered to make a double save as Ademola attempted to side foot the rebound home – he should have scored.

As the substitutions were made so the game began to slow with the Cards generally happy to preserve what they had and the hosts becoming ever more frustrated as they failed to retain possession against an excellent Woking midfield. At the back Inns and McNerney were rarely troubled and both full backs will be pleased with their contributions to this “professional� performance.

More chances fell to the Cards – a Bayes clearance was charged down by Sole but the ball bounced away from goal; Gez then hit a powerful shot from outside the box only to see it hit Ademola and deflect away; a Sole free-kick hit the Basingstoke wall and a Murtgah drive from twenty-five yards was just over the bar.

The home side were reduced to ten men after Stuart Lake was dismissed for petulantly kicking the ball at a prone Davis after he had been adjudged to have fouled the midfielder.

Finally, as the game drew to a close, Woking almost managed a fourth in time added on. Betsy chased down a long clearance which Bayes, rushing out of his box, headed away. Cowan–Hall, on as a substitute, was unable to take advantage as the ball rebounded to him as he was tackled on the edge of the area. And, at the death, Gasson blocked a Cowan-Hall close-range shot on the line with Sole’s deflected effort from the rebound saved.

Woking move eight points clear again at the top thanks to this convincing win. If they are able to maintain this level and quality of football in the final four games they should have little to concern them as they rush to get over the finishing line.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Glenn Wilson, Derek Duncan (Mike Cestor 79), Keiran Murtagh, Alan Inns, Joe McNerney, Elvis Hammond (Dale Binns 62), Tom Davis, Moses Ademola (Paris Cowan-Hall 79), Giuseppe Sole, Kevin Betsy

Unused subs: Adam Newton, Andy Little

Cautions: Derek Duncan 36

Basingstoke Town: Ashley Bayes, Nathan Smart, Matt Warner, Rob Rice, Jay Gasson, Stuart Lake, Wes Daley, Shaun McAuley, Tim Sills, David Pratt (Rob Gradwell 68), Jide Ogunbote (Ross Adams 59)

Unused subs: Steven Old, Toby Little, Chay Morris

Cautions: Tim Sills 78
Sent Off: Stuart Lake 83

MOTM: Tom Davis (pictured top right) – worked incredibly hard and effectively to ensure control of the midfield.

Attendance: 1198

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