Hard-working Cards grind out valuable point
10:07am, Thu 8th Jan 2015
Gateshead 0 Woking 0
7th January 2014
Woking travelled to Tyneside looking to move back into the top five of the Vanarama Conference after a poor run of results. Their hosts had also suffered an embarrassing reversal in their previous match, going down 0-7 at Premiership West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup third round.
It was a blustery night with rain at times, making conditions difficult for the two teams. Chances were created at both ends but, on balance, the home side had the more clear-cut ones.
Woking were missing Theo Lewis, who had transferred to Ebbsfleet United earlier in the week. Included in the side, however, were Chris Arthur, now signed permanently following his release from AFC Wimbledon and Jack Marriott, whose loan spell from Ipswich Town had been extended. There was also the welcome sight for Cards fans of club captain Mark Ricketts warming the bench, his first appearance since sustaining a knee injury at Aldershot in September. The team lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Dean Morgan ploughing a lone furrow up front.
The Cards almost had a very rude awakening to the match as the Heed should have been in front after only three minutes, Alex Rodman heading wide when well-placed.
The visitors then settled to their task and their first attempt came in the twelfth minute as Morgan screwed his shot wide, having been set up by Kevin Betsy.
Jake Cole (pictured) in the Woking goal then did well to tip away a dangerous swirling cross from the right with the follow-up header being blocked.
Marriott had the ball in the net on twenty-five minutes but was ruled offside.
With the interval approaching, the home side also found the back of the net but, fortunately for the Cards, the 'goal' was ruled out as the referee had blown for a foul on Cole.
Half-time: Gateshead 0 Woking 0
The home side was first to return to the pitch after the break and might have broken the deadlock soon after but a shot from a Heed attacker went wide.
Soon after, a Rodman cross just evaded everyone and ended up as a throw for the Cards.
Woking then came back into it and Chris Arthur, turning on the burners, made a fine run from halfway, slicing through the home defence, but his shot across the face of the goal went just wide.
Marriott, who spent most of the game tucked in behind Morgan, was next in the action. The Ipswich youngster embarked on a good run but his shot narrowly missed the target.
After seventy minutes, a long ball forward was chased down by Giuseppe Sole, who had come on for Morgan just after the hour mark. Adam Bartlett in the home goal got there first but appeared to handle the ball just outside the area. The referee, however, waved play on.
As the minutes ticked down, Gateshead put in two dangerous crosses but they were both scooped away from danger by the impressive Cole.
Overall, a draw was a fair result on a night when two footballing sides found it difficult to play to their strengths due to the adverse weather conditions. All credit to the Cards, however, who came with a game plan and executed it to the letter. The attitude and commitment of the players was first-class throughout, with the goalkeeper and back four in particular showing great resolve to keep a clean sheet and help their side take an important point as the quest for a play-off place continues.
Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, ,Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Jack Marriott(John Goddard 80), Joey Jones, Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 65), Chris Arthur
Unused Subs: Andy Little, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter
Gateshead:Adam Bartlett, Andrai Jones, Jamie Chandler ,James Curtis, Ben Clark, John Oster (Michael Rankine 65), Phil Turnbull, Jon Shaw (Danny Wright 84), Rob Ramshaw, Matt Robson, Alex Rodman (Valentin Gjokaj 80)
Unused Subs: Craig Baxter, Matthew Pattison
My MotM: Jake Cole: excellent handling throughout on a difficult night for goalkeepers