Late Cards comeback only serves to deceive

Malcolm Wyatt
9:41am, Sun 22nd Sep 2013

Macclesfield Town 3 Woking 2
Skrill Premier
21st September 2013

A lacklustre Woking outfit came close to what would have been an undeserved point at the Moss Rose on Saturday, two late goals at fellow strugglers Macclesfield having put the gloss on a poor performance.

While two-goal Connor Jennings and fellow strike threat Chris Holroyd ran the show for the hosts, the visitors showed very little creativity, while again making mistakes at key stages.

The Cards started brightly enough, John Goddard, on his first start for the Cards, and Scott Rendell not far off from respective early John Nutter and Josh Payne deliveries.

A mazy run followed from Kevin Betsy, buoyed by his late double in the midweek win at Hyde, but Rendell stepped over at a prime moment rather than firing home.

The visitors were soon made to pay, Holroyd offered a great opportunity on the edge of the area after a poor Woking back-pass. And while Sam Beasant blocked his shot, Jennings was on hand to his right for a 12th-minute opener as the Cards defence looked to plug gaps.

Goddard came close to levelling two minutes later but volleyed over after a promising raid, having first released Anthony McNamee, another starter after his Hyde heroics.

But the half soon belonged to Holroyd and Jennings, time and again in on goal as Macc effectively countered, showing the kind of desire the visitors seemed to be lacking.

On occasions the flag would be raised for offside or the finish would be weak or off-target, as you might expect from a side without a win to their name beforehand.

But it was clear that Beasant was up against it, his defence repeatedly undone after Woking attacks broke down.

Jack Parkinson and Mark Ricketts stood their ground at key times, but the hosts looked far more likely to score as the action switched between ends, a McNamee cross too strong for Betsy, while a Payne free-kick was no problem for home keeper Rhys Taylor.

Betsy, Rendell and Goddard occasionally threatened, but too many times the final touch was poor or no one could get on the end of a promising delivery.

Just before the break, Garry Hill sacrificed defender Adam Newton for Lee Sawyer, at around the same point he himself had made way for McNamee on Tuesday night.

But the Silkmen carried on regardless, Beasant having to clear another dangerous Jennings delivery, while on the break Rendell struggled to get near a Nutter centre.

Then came a killer blow from the hosts, a great cross from Peter Winn finding Jennings unmarked beyond the last Cards defender, heading majestically home to double the lead in the second added minute of the half.

While Macclesfield looked effortlessly impressive and quick on the break, Woking were largely uninventive and somewhat laboured, as dozy sometimes as the wasps circling the main stand.

Half-time: Macclesfield Town 2 Woking 0

It was more of the same just after the break, another raised flag thankfully denying Holroyd before Woking briefly improved.

Betsy and Payne combined to play in McNamee, who unleashed a mighty dipping left-foot volley which smacked the crossbar. Sawyer then went on a mazy run that played in Rendell, but the Silkmen again stood their ground.

Mike Cestor started making an impact, linking with Betsy before another off-kilter Payne finish, the visitors continuing to huff and puff on the edge of the home area to no great effect.

Hill replaced Nutter with Giuseppe Sole with half an hour to go, but still the Silkmen sallied forth, Jennings denied a hat-trick from a fine volley by the right post.

Woking appealed for handball in the area from a McNamee corner, while at the other end Beasant kept out Jennings’ next volley, with Whitaker’s follow-up well over.

Joe McNerney replaced Ricketts, but Macc’s Winn was next to find the net, the linesman’s flag indicating offside, though.

Parkinson denied Holroyd as he again waltzed through, while Sole began to threaten but was offside from a Betsy delivery - the same fate afforded Holroyd moments later.

Woking were left stretched as they pushed up and lost possession, home captain Paul Turnball going close before home shouts for a penalty after Holroyd went down in the box, the ref unmoved and issuing a caution.

Beasant was quick off his line to deny Holroyd’s next chance, but it was only a matter of time before the next home goal, Jack Mackreth finishing a swift move after good work by Jennings, making it 3-0 with 12 minutes remaining.

That finally woke up the visitors and two minutes later Betsy forayed down the left again, playing in Sole, who showed great composure as he struck home left-footed from the edge of the box.

A foul on the Woking sub soon after set hearts racing as Sole teed up a long-range free-kick. But it wasn’t his best, ending up where most of the previous volleys had.

The Cards remained on the offensive, Goddard and McNamee brighter on the right, and Sole and Sawyer marginally more creative inside.

But the pressure soon faded, four added minutes ticking away before a second Cards goal, a McNerney volley from a Goddard left-wing corner deflected in by a home defender, although the PA announcer credited the goal to Betsy.

Macclesfield were looking edgy by then, terrified of letting their first win slip away as Cestor threatened an undeserved equaliser at the death. But the defender’s shot too was well over, summing up his side’s poor finishing.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton (Lee Sawyer 43), John Nutter (Giuseppe Sole 59), Mark Ricketts © (Joe McNerney 67), Kevin Betsy, Anthony McNamee, Mike Cestor, Jack Parkinson, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, John Goddard.

Subs not used: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams.

Cautions: Lee Sawyer

Macclesfield Town: Rhys Taylor, Joe Connor, Danny Andrew, Carl Martin, Paul Turnbull ©, Jack Mackreth, Connor Jennings, Chris Holroyd (Lewis Chalmers 86), Peter Winn, Danny Whitaker, Andy Halls.

Subs not used: John Paul Kissock, Scott Boden, Daniel Rowe, Dan Cowan.

Cautions: Andy Halls, Danny Whitaker, Chris Holroyd

Attendance: 1,195

MOTM: Sam Beasant – it was tricky to pick anyone out for the visitors, but Beasant deserved better for his efforts on the day.

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