Nuneaton hit for six as Cards run riot!
8:31pm, Sat 8th Sep 2012
Woking 6 Nuneaton Town 1
Blue Square Premier
8th September 2012
The Woking players provided the perfect response to a run of four consecutive defeats, as they struck six past Nuneaton Town.
An incisive break-away attack from the home side allowed Gavin McCallum to open the scoring, before Lee Sawyer doubled the advantage in first-half stoppage time with a neatly-placed finish.
After the break it was all about Bradley Bubb (pictured). The Cards forward pounced on an early goalkeeping error to grab his first, produced a wonderfully cool finish for number two, flicked on a Joe McNerney drive to complete his hat-trick and still had time to round a despairing Nuneaton keeper for his fourth.
Despite the score-line, the hosts did not have it all their own way, and had Aaron Howe to thank for a pair of fine stops early on. The Woking number one also saved a second-half penalty, before Andy Brown belatedly grabbed a late consolation.
Garry Hill this week acted to freshen up a side that had endured two long away days in the last week, bringing in Adam Doyle, Dean Sinclair and Bubb, returned from injury, to start the game. Mike Cestor and Loick Pires dropped to the bench, while the injured Mark Rickets missed out altogether.
This allowed for an interchangeable 4-3-3 formation, starting with a back four of Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson and Doyle, a midfield of Sinclair, Sawyer and Jack Parkinson, with McCallum and Kevin Betsy wide of Bubb up front.
A refreshing approach brought with it encouraging early signs: Bubb winning a free-kick on the edge of the area inside the first minute, with Sinclairâ€™s deflected effort flying just wide. The resulting McCallum corner bounced around chaotically in the Nuneaton penalty area, with the visitors eventually hacking the ball clear.
Woking continued to look dangerous, especially down the right, where Betsy and an often overlapping Newton chipped numerous crosses into the danger zone.
The goal did appear to be coming, but when it did, it came from an unlikely source: a Nuneaton attack. Good work from the visitors, this time down their right-hand side, allowed Wes York to slide a ball across goal. Kyle Perry slid successfully to meet the ball, only to have his point-blank effort wonderfully blocked by Howe.
In as little as three passes the Cards were at the other end, Lee Sawyer feeding the vital ball down the left for McCallum. The winger took one touch to control before placing an inch-perfect finish into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
Nuneaton might have had an instant response, were it not once again for the brilliance of Howe. A loose pass from Johnson initially presented Boroâ€™ with the ball and, following a series of deflections, a bouncing cross fell kindly for Perry. With his back to goal the striker produced an extravagant overhead kick that smashed agonisingly against the crossbar, clipping the Woking keeperâ€™s fingertips on its way.
For the second time the visitors were made to pay for missing upon a rare sight of the Woking goal. Again the goal came from a quick break out of defence, this time after Nuneaton had initially gained the refereeâ€™s advantage for a Sawyer foul.
Betsyâ€™s pass found Bubb in space down the right, and the pair burst forward. The latter looked to have played the ideal return ball, but Betsy instead produced a wonderful dummy to fool the Boroâ€™ defender and leave Sawyer, ironically, to apply the simple finish â€“ his goal not preventing a yellow card for his previous misdeed.
Half-time: Woking 2 Nuneaton Town 0
Visibly boosted by their second goal the Cards came out in top form after the interval. Within three minutes of the re-start Boroâ€™ keeper Ben McNamara had spilt McCallumâ€™s low cross from the left, and Bubb had calmly taken advantage.
Nuneaton were now close to turmoil as they tried desperately to re-organise â€“ bringing on the more attacking Robbie Thompson-Brown in place of defensive midfielder James Armson. It made little difference, Betsy again the architect as his through ball set the stage for Bubb to slot home his second.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to pull one goal back just after the hour mark, but instead only emphasised the fact that nothing was going their way in the game. Perry chipped the ball over an on-rushing Howe, only to be brought down by McNerney when trying to apply a finish. The striker stepped up himself, but saw his well-hit penalty superbly saved by the goalkeeper, diving to his right.
In contrast, everything was going Wokingâ€™s way. Just three minutes after the visitors' penalty miss, McNerney picked up possession at the back post after a McCallum corner. He rounded one defender, and unleashed what initially appeared a fairly harmless attempt on goal. Unfortunately for Nuneaton, however, the ball flicked up off the heels of Bubb and into the top corner of the goal, leaving McNamara with no chance.
The Nuneaton keeper summed up his bad day soon after when he was robbed on the edge of his own area by Bubb, who survived the keeperâ€™s attempted tackle, and rolled in number six.
Substitute Brett Williams had two efforts pushed round the post, while McCallum also came close to adding to Wokingâ€™s lead with a free-kick.
Perhaps deservedly, the visitors did eventually claim a consolation in stoppage time. Much to the displeasure of Howe, Adam Walker was allowed to fight his way to the Cards' goal-line, and pull the ball back for Brown to tap home.
Despite the late blemish on an otherwise perfect Woking day, resounding cheers rang round Kingfield on the full-time whistle. It was, all in all, an excellent performance and result, that will no doubt provide the Cards with a much-needed confidence boost ahead of next weekâ€™s tougher looking trip to Stockport County.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Adam Doyle, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Jack Parkinson, Dean Sinclair (Brett Williams 59), Lee Sawyer (George Frith 63), Kevin Betsy, Bradley Bubb (Loick Pires 71), Gavin McCallum
Unused Subs: Sam Beasant, Mike Cestor
Goal(s): McCallum 25, Sawyer 45, Bubb 48, 55, 68 & 70
Booked: Sawyer 45, McNerney 64
Nuneaton Town: Ben McNamara, Delroy Gordon, Stephen Oâ€™Halloran, Gavin Cowan, Gareth Dean, James Armson (Robbie Thompson-Brown 53), Daniel Sleath, Adam Walker, Andy Brown, Wesley York (Kyle Patterson 59), Kyle Perry (Jon Adams 73)
Unused Subs: Tom James, Simon Forsdick
Goal(s): Brown 90
Booked: Armson 36, McNamara 70
MOTM (joint): Bradley Bubb & Aaron Howe â€“ Bubb found the net an incredible four times, thanks in the main to some extremely cool finishing, while Howe made several vital saves, including a penalty.