Turn of the Cards for 1st away win

Ray Avards
1:06pm, Sun 16th Sep 2012
Stockport County 1 Woking 2
Blue Square Bet Premier
15th September 2012

Woking’s very own dynamic duo of Garry Hill and Steve Thompson pulled off another Cards’ trick to take the points out of County, the first success on their travels this Conference National season.

Mark Ricketts was welcomed back in a 4-3-3 (actually 4-1-2-3) set-up against Stockport's two up front. They were first to show, Rowe shooting wide as Joe McNerney was lobbed. County’s probing of central defence was countered by the quicksilver Bradley Bubb who, in on Mark Ricketts' pass, managed to roll the ball across an open goal area but it was hacked away.

McNerney recovered in his own area to get a vital foot in on Rowe. On the right Kevin Betsy (pictured) back-headed for Bubb’s diagonal curler from well out to beat Ormson's flail, saved by the inside of his post. Woking scented blood and Adam Newton, well forward, set up Betsy for another dangerous cross. But when McNerney trapped Rowe on the flag wide right to concede a corner, Sheridan’s kick found Kenyon’s near post leap to deflect past Howe and it was 1-0.

The Cards teetered, Mainwaring, returning to the County fold, drove down the left supplying County’s full back Newton and when his cross was headed back only diving bodies blocked Hattersley's swing on the penalty spot. Mainwaring crossed again for Howe to flap away and as Betsy broke to free Bubb, close in on the right, Ormson blocked for a corner from which Ricketts shot over.

Stockport’s Sam Sheridan was pulling strings and found time to raid on the right and skim the goal area without a touch from anyone. Gavin McCallum’s touchline surge from his own half was only ended by a foul at the corner stick. But County hadn’t read last week’s script as the next time he was fed he cut inside firing across Ormson and into the bottom corner, 1-1.

The Cards were creating space now, as Betsy and Bubb interchanged sweetly. Ricketts' crunch tackle in the centre circle sent Betsy away without success this time, but Lee Sawyer picked up the pieces from a corner won and Bubb shot wide from his pass.

Rowe nutmegged Newton and wriggled past Ricketts on the goal line to fire against Howe point blank and a Hattersley header was wide from a deep right-hand cross. As play switched, Ormson slid out to foil Bubb as a back pass caught him short!

It should have been Woking's turn for a stoppage time strike in the one minute of added time, but Jack Parkinson failed to rise above a flighted free-kick when all alone on the far post and it went over.

The Cards were well in the hunt after an unsteady start in central defence with some excellent pass and move in an intriguing first half.

Half-time: Stockport 1 Woking 1

Dean Sinclair coming on for Mark Ricketts as the second half started made little difference to County as they quickly gained the upper hand with a bombardment from the flanks, Sheridan hunting the ball to the right-hand corner before play was held up for Rowe’s nosebleed. On the re-start Sawyer fed Bubb and Betsy snaked into the centre towards the goal, but his shot was tame.

Mainwaring, freed by Sheridan again, saw his low cross hammered wide at the near post with desperate Woking cover. McNerney cleared only for Rowe to rise but his steepling header was palmed over by Howe. Mainwaring’s surge was not closed down as he shot over, Kenyon’s right-wing run and Sean Newton’s left-wing cross drilled across the face of goal went clear.

This was enough for Garry Hill to put on Loick Pires for McCallum and the Cards went 4-5-1 to try to stem the tide. Mainwaring rose above Newton on the far post to head over and Kenyon, played in behind Doyle, was only foiled by Howe’s vital block. County threw on striker Hobson but it was Bubb who threaded the ball through to Pires in an inside right channel for him to find Ormson's bottom left-hand corner as Edgeley Park froze. Woking were in front!

Stockport pressed the Cards again but Whitehead’s right-wing run was stopped unfairly and free-kicks mounted. Manager Gannon had seen enough to make his move and Meaney and Nolan joined the action for Rowe and Sheridan, only for Nolan to trip Betsy in the centre circle as he broke and get a yellow card. Adam Doyle tackled and led a charge for Bubb to feed Sawyer but he shot wide. Nolan lunged at Doyle and caught him late as he cleared. A second yellow, harsh, but he was off.

County sagged. With five minutes ‘extra time’, they put the high balls in and Hobson was half-impeded as he turned on the spot for Howe to collect. Instead Mike Cestor on for Bubb and Parkinson‘s chip and run along the bye line set up Sawyer in the centre but his sliding shot was wide. Howe charged out amidst his own defenders to hack clear. Betsy raided once more and, having left his man inside the box, sliced just wide but Pires should have stayed onside as five faced three on the break. This left Mike Cestor to spin out time with a cameo of corners and free-kicks.

The Cards survived their uncertain start and heavy pressure in the second half to deserve these points for their tight midfield and dangerous counter-attacks, a vital boost to the early season effort.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Adam Doyle, Mark Ricketts (Dean Sinclair 46) Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Bradley Bubb (Mike Cestor 86), Gavin McCallum (Loick Pires 63).

Unused Subs: Sam Beasant, Brett Williams

Goal(s): McCallum 24, Pires 65

Booked: none

Stockport County: Ian Ormson, Danny Whitehead Joe Connor, James Tunnicliffe, Jordan Fagbola, Sam Sheridan (Jon Nolan 77), Alex Kenyon, Matty Mainwaring, (Craig Hobson71), Danny Hattersley, Danny Rowe (Alex Meaney 77)

Unused subs: Lewis King, Andy Halls

Goal: Kenyon 15
Booked: Jon Nolan x2 and sent off 81

Att. 3,151

MotM: Kevin Betsy, who beat his man or men with regularity and still found time and energy to hunt down opponents to set his own men free.

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