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Woking slip to another defeat

Alan Worth - 3rd October 2015

Woking slip to another defeat Woking 1 Southport 2
Vanarama National League
3rd October 2015

Woking slumped to their fourth defeat on the spin after a tepid and unconvincing performance at home to Southport.

The Sandgrounders arrived at the Laithwaite with only eight points from their first thirteen games and sitting in 22nd position. They had recorded only a single win against Altrincham along with five draws and were winless away from home.

The visitors were quickly in the lead and had doubled their account by half time. Only a change in formation and Garry Hill’s introduction of Gez Sole and Bruno Andrade after fifty minutes seemed to add some urgency to the Cards’ play. A Murtagh goal late on offered some hope but the Port coped comfortably enough and were able to see the game out for their second win of the season.

With Terell Thomas unavailable Garry Hill started with three at the back – Jones, Ricketts and Saah with Caprice and Braham-Barrett as wing-backs. Murtagh and Keohane looked after midfield with Goddard playing just behind the front two of Holman and Cardwell. A 3-4-1-2 formation hasn’t been employed since the pre-season and to be honest it was soon fairly evident that it wasn’t working.

It took the visitors just eight minutes to open the scoring and it came directly as a result of some sloppy defending. Braham-Barrett gave the ball way and as Southport crossed the ball from the right, Saah slipped and the resulting shot on the turn from Stockton deflected off Ricketts and past Cole into the far corner of the net.

The Port nearly had two as Beesley’s long range effort flew just wide of Cole’s right hand post. But on seventeen minutes the Sandgrounders did double their lead.

As they prepared to take their first corner of the game a huge explosion, possibly a large firework set off behind the KRE, silenced the Laithwaite Stadium momentarily. Everyone appeared slightly fazed by the noise, including the Woking defence, as the corner from the right sailed towards the far post where Stockton was again on hand to stab the ball home.

Woking’s best chance of the half came as the hard-working Holman, who was to have a hugely frustrating afternoon, for once was able to dispossess Jones inside the box. His sharp left-foot effort was deflected away for a corner.

With half an hour gone Southport should have made it three. Nolan rose unchallenged at another corner but directed his header wide of the target.

Half-time: Woking 0 Southport 2

No doubt the management team had plenty to say during the break but, apart from another Holman effort after Goddard had wriggled his way to the bye-line, it was much the same for the Cards. Long balls pumped forward coming straight back and a very comfortable afternoon for the visitors’ defence.

On fifty-two minutes Garry made three changes – Sole, Pattie and Andrade were on for Cardwell, Keohane and Holman.

Woking were now back in a more familiar 4-4-2 and it had an immediate impact. Caprice and Andrade combined well down the right and with the extra pace began to cause a few problems for Southport. A Jones long range effort was just wide after a free kick on the right, Pattie headed onto the roof of the net and a Sole free kick from the left edge of the box came back off the wall.

At the other end Cole made an excellent save to thwart Joyce, who was clean through on goal, and a volleyed back pass from Ricketts had the Cards’ stopper scrambling as the ball flew behind for a corner. Sole and Goddard both had opportunities before the Cards finally secured something of a lifeline.

With just over ten minutes remaining Sole hoofed a clearance down field from a Southport corner. Beesley miscued his attempt to get the ball under control and Woking found themselves with an unlikely corner of their own.

Goddard’s out-swinging delivery was met by Keiran Murtagh, who thundered his header home from the centre of the Southport area.

Woking had a couple of further opportunities to grab an unlikely point – Sole stretched at the far post to head Goddard’s cross just wide and another Murtagh effort from all of thirty yards was only just wide. Pattie had the ball in the net but was offside.

But it was all to no account as the Port saw out the game for a crucial victory. Woking must now hurriedly regroup as they travel next week to lowly Halifax – themselves on the end of a seven goal hammering at home to Cheltenham.

Woking: Jake Cole; Jake Caprice; Mark Ricketts; Brian Saah; Joey Jones; Keiran Murtagh; John Goddard; Daniel Holman (Bruno Andrade 52); Jimmy Keohane (Giuseppe Sole 52); Harry Cardwell (Ben Pattie 52); Craig Braham-Barrett

Unused subs: Kadell Daniel; Nick Hamman

Goal: Keiran Murtagh 78

Southport: Andy Coughlin; Will Beesley; Liam Nolan; Luke Foster; Andy Wright; Cole Stockton (Jamie Allen 90); Charlie Joyce; Paul Rutherford; Louis Almond (Matty Challoner 90); Andrai Jones; Ben Davies

Unused subs: Jon Viscosi; Adam Blakeman; Courtney Cameron

Goals: Cole Stockton 8, 17

Caution: Paul Rutherford 90

Attendance: 1510

MOTM: John Goddard – worked hard and created a few opportunities in a very lacklustre team performance.
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