Stubborn Lambs won't lie down but superior Cards prevail

Malcolm Wyatt
10:15am, Sun 27th Apr 2014
Tamworth 2 Woking 4
The Skrill Premier
26th April 2014

Garry Hill’s Woking wrapped up a truly positive Skrill Premier campaign with a fine win in Staffordshire, but relegated Tamworth made them work for their points.

While Giuseppe Sole and Scott Rendell’s goals put the Cards into a commanding 2-0 lead within the first quarter-hour, Dale Belford’s Lambs fought back after the break, and threatened at least a draw.

But the experienced Kevin Betsy made sure in the closing stages, adding to Rendell’s second to secure a 4-2 victory and fire Woking up to a highly commendable ninth-place finish.

Betsy had soon proved a nuisance on Woking’s right flank, with support from stand-in skipper Adam Newton, and Sole tested manager’s son and home captain Cameron Belford from distance.

Richard Peniket tried his luck for the hosts, but Sam Beasant was equal to it, and the Cards soon had their eighth-minute opener.

Newton, John Goddard and Rendell were also involved in the build-up, Sole finishing with a degree of measured nonchalance, with his head.

Within five minutes, confusion in the home defence led to a second, Sole beating a defender and cutting back to Rendell, who powerfully finished off to double the lead.
Goddard was almost through soon after, from a Josh Payne delivery, beating two men before a third headed behind, Belford surviving the corner.

Betsy and Newton again combined on the right, and Rendell was in again, but this time was deemed offside, while at the other end Joe McNerney and John Nutter combined to stop Kevin Thornton.

As Woking pushed up again, Payne looked to chip Belford from distance, while Goddard played in Rendell, but referee Mrs Fearn – who overall enjoyed a good game and allowed the action to flow - signalled a foul.

The first of many mighty Keiran Murtagh through-balls put Sole in again, but the flag was raised, while Peniket put a powerful strike for the hosts just wide.

Betsy’s shot was poor after nice touches from Rendell and Sole, while a big Beasant kick was expertly flicked on by Rendell, but Sole was again deemed offside.

As Tamworth countered, Claudiu Hoban had a worthy effort stopped by Beasant, while a Nutter corner for Woking almost gave airborne McNerney an opening.

Woking continued to roast the Lambs, but Rendell fired over after Belford could only push away a stinging Payne volley, while Sole drilled wide.

Murtagh remained the midfield lynchpin, while Betsy and Goddard continued to inspire coming forward.

But while Sole netted again before the break, the flag saved the Lambs once more, after good work by Newton and Rendell.

Half-time: Tamworth 0 Woking 2

After the break, Woking were climbing the hill and up against not only the wind but a seemingly-revitalised home team. And although Brett Johnson and McNerney stood firm at first, their breakthrough soon arrived.

With barely five more minutes gone, Tamworth grabbed their lifeline, a marauding run from Kaiyne Woolery on the left leading to a perfect cutback to Jessy Reindorf, who found Besant’s unguarded corner.

Reindorf then headed over from a deep free-kick, the home side’s added vigour continuing to show until a breakaway third goal from Woking.

A Payne set-piece caused problems in the box, a home defender appearing to beat his own keeper under pressure from Rendell, who claimed the headed finish.

Still the Lambs weren’t ready to lie down, and after McNerney headed away a corner, they struck again, a mighty Jack Evans strike hitting the woodwork and falling into the path of the instinctive Reindorf, who added his second.

The Lambs had their tails up now, and the next four attacks could have ended in goals, with Reindorf twice going close to his hat-trick, while Thornton and Peniket also threatened.

More home chances followed, McNerney blocking from Hoban while Beasant punched away a corner and Jordan Keane lobbed over.

McNerney headed away the next corner, while Newton and Rendell made important touches to clear the next attack, and Murtagh blocked a hopeful Reindorf overhead kick.
As Woking countered, good work by Betsy and Goddard almost let Sole through on goal, while Beasant stopped from Lloyd Kerry then denied Woolery and Hoban again.

As time wore on, Woking seemed happy enough to just run the clock down, but remained a threat on the break, with Betsy and Payne the chief trouble-makers.
And after further half-chances for Tamworth’s Thornton and Peniket, and a no-nonsense clearance by Cards sub Mike Cestor, came Betsy’s decider, the veteran play-maker starting and finishing a move with the help of Rendell, firing home from close range to ensure the victory.

Jubilant scenes followed from the away fans – who out-sang their hosts throughout – mobbing the popular No.11, and celebrating not only another deserved victory, but also a further successful campaign under Hill and Steve Thompson.

Tamworth: Cameron Belford (c), Jack Evans, Claudiu Hoban, Jessy Reindorf, Ben Richards-Everton, Lloyd Kerry, Kevin Thornton, Jake Caprice, Richard Peniket, Kaiyne Woolery, Jordan Keane

Subs not used: Richie Baker, Darren Byfield, De-Reece Vanderhyde, Amido Batis-Cande, Dale Belford

Goals: Jessy Reindorf 51, 57

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton (c), John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson (Mike Cestor 66), Giuseppe Sole (Niall Wright 78), Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, John Goddard, Keiran Murtagh

Subs not used: Liam Allan, Anthony McNamee, Reece Beckles

Goals: Giuseppe Sole 8, Scott Rendell 13, 55, Kevin Betsy 90

Cautions: Josh Payne 28, John Nutter 76

Attendance: 788

My MOTM: Kevin Betsy – a close call, with McNerney, Murtagh and Rendell adding the formidable spine of the side, but it was the experienced campaigner’s trickery that helped ensure the result.

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