Boz's Fruit & Veg

Unlucky Cards have to settle for a draw

Joe Martin
10:09am, Wed 9th Oct 2013
Woking 0 Barnet 0
The Skrill Premier
8th October 2013

A solid and disciplined performance from Woking resulted in a 0-0 draw with Barnet after they were unluckily denied a late winner when several goal-bound headers from Joe McNerney were miraculously cleared off the line by the Barnet defence.

Woking made two changes to the team which earned a creditable draw away to Southport on Saturday with John Goddard coming in for Darren Murphy and Adam Newton returning to the starting line up for Mike Cestor, which allowed Mark Ricketts to return to his familiar holding role in midfield.

In the first ten minutes the Cards looked the more positive side, having some good possession in midfield and creating a couple of half-chances. Barnet’s main threat was through counter attacks with Kieron Cadogan having a good effort on twelve minutes. Woking had a few speculative efforts early on: one from Gavin Williams that went low to the keeper’s right and another from Josh Payne that went marginally wide of the right hand side of the goal from just outside the box.

The home side's first clear chance came after half an hour. A John Nutter cross was not dealt with by the Barnet defence and the ball fell to John Goddard whose left footed shot from just inside the box was blocked and span out for a corner. Woking had another good opportunity five minutes later. Scott Rendell played in Gavin Williams but the Welshman's shot was scuffed wide from the right corner of the penalty box.

As the interval approached, the game became more even with Barnet starting to look more of a threat, a shot from Keanu Marsh-Brown flying only just wide of the Woking net.

Overall, it had been a very positive half for the Cards who had looked sharp and purposeful throughout and had taken the game to the visitors, who had been content to soak up the pressure and try to hit their opponents on the counter-attack.

Half-time Woking 0 Barnet 0

Both sides came out after the interval unchanged. Having looked rather subdued in the first half, the visitors set about their task in a much more determined fashion in what turned out to be an entertaining forty-five minutes with chances and goalmouth incidents galore at either end.

The first chance of the half fell to Barnet’s Harry Crawford who saw his shot sail over the bar from six yards out when he might have done better.

After this the game opened up and sparked counter attacks from both teams. In the fifty-seventh minute, Kevin Betsy broke clear down the right and put a teasing cross but there was no Woking player on hand to apply the finishing touch. Soon after Barnet had a couple of half-chances but the Woking defence remained alert to snuff out the danger.

The end to end pattern of play continued throughout the second half with both teams playing neatly through midfield but lacking the cutting edge in the last quarter to engineer the vital breakthrough. In the 75th minute, John Goddard, who had run himself into the ground for the Woking cause, was replaced by Anthony Mcnamee as Garry Hill looked to find a way to break the deadlock.

With time ticking by, it looked as though both teams were ready to settle for a stalemate as Kevin Betsy was replaced by the more defensively-minded Mike Cestor with a couple of minutes remaining. This, however, was only a prelude to a final frenetic ending played out in the Barnet penalty box. The Cards forced a number of corners and on three occasions, headers from the towering Joe McNerney all looked bound for the back of the net only for the Barnet defence to somehow scramble them to safety. It was agony for the watching faithful in the Leslie Gosden stand! There was still time for the visitors to briefly threaten at the other end but the referee blew to end a match which had had its fair share of thrills and spills.

This was a heartening performance from the home side who will consider themselves desperately unlucky not to have nicked a victory, particularly in the last few minutes when the Barnet goal led a very charmed life. That said, Barnet also had their moments and looked slick and dangerous, particularly on the counter. No doubt Garry and Steve will be disappointed not to have bagged all three points but the draw extends their unbeaten run to three games and they will be looking to climb out of the relegation places when they take on FC Halifax Town at Kingfield this coming Saturday.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Jack Parkinson, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts, Josh Payne, John Goddard (Anthony McNamee 75), Gavin Williams, Kevin Betsy (Mike Cestor 87), Scott Rendell

Unused Subs: Aaron Howe, Giuseppe Sole, George Frith

Caution: Josh Payne (47)

Barnet: Graham Stack, Elliot Johnson, David Stephens, Jack Saville, Anthony Acheampong, Kieron Cadogan, Curtis Weston, Roberto Garcia Casabella, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Harry Crawford (Luisma 83), Marciano Mengerink (Iffy Allen 69)

Unused Subs: Nick Jupp, Ahmed Abdulla, Edgar Davids

Caution: Keanu Marsh-Brown (86)

Sponsor's Man of the Match: John Goddard. A hardworking and effective game in all areas of the pitch.

Attendance: 1,413

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