Woking News & Mail

Kiddie Wake Up Late To Take Candy

Ray Avards
12:45pm, Sun 1st Nov 2015
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0

The Vanarama National League

31st October 2015

The Cards brought in new loan signings Adam Cunnington up front for Giuseppe Sole and Cameron Norman at right back for Jake Caprice. Brian Saah returned from suspension to replace Terell Thomas at the heart of the defence whilst Nick Hamann came in for Jake Cole in goal. They lined up in an orthodox 4-4-2, matching the home side's set-up for this game.

Joey Jones’ free header from a corner early on was well over. He would get a similar chance mid-way through the first half with the same outcome.

As Kidderminster probed, they gained an early free kick for Jared Hodgkiss to whip in but it was cleared by the Woking rearguard. Shortly afterwards, Chris Arthur was in trouble from Hamann’s pass out as he slipped but the defence snuffed out the threat.

Vociferous support from the visiting fans sought to lift the Cards’ effort. A Keiran Murtagh shot was half blocked and Cunnington got in on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but was given offside.

The Cards asserted control without ever looking quite penetrative enough in the last third. Holman had another headed chance from Murtagh’s set-up but couldn’t finish on target. A swift counter attack was then led by John Goddard as he weaved clear from halfway. He shot early when he might have taken it on with a promising three-on-three situation looming.

Lathaniel Rowe-Turner made inroads down the Cards' right and a left wing cross fell to Harriers’ returning striker Matthew Barnes-Homer well inside the area, deflected to him with time and space, but he shot over.

A Holman shot on the turn lacked power and was easily saved by Dean Snedker in the home goal. Goddard then arrived late on a Robinson cross and was wide of the far post with his header. The midfielder's chip a little later was easy for Snedker and a Mark Ricketts' flick set up Robinson’s cross but Holman's header in front of goal was wide.

On a home side counter from a corner, Murtagh took the legs away from a Harriers midfielder and found his way into the referee’s notebook.

There was another overlap after a debatable free kick given to Kidderminster. Rowe-Turner and Zaine Francis-Angol combined and forced Ricketts into a crucial interception, to give away another corner.

A Holman run then led to a corner which Snedker flapped at but when Robinson returned it in, a foul was given against the visitors.

The Cards were now starting to press and when Holman had his shot charged down, the ball flew for Cunnington in the area on the byline. He turned back as 'keeper Snedker rushed out and set up Goddard but his shot was blocked and the chance was gone.

For Harriers, Francis-Angol was away again in stoppage time and won another corner, which was deflected back into the middle of the box only for Ricketts to clear.

Overall, the Cards had seemed comfortable without being threatening enough during the first forty-five minutes, with too many crosses angled in from wide and lacking sufficient penetration to really hurt the home side.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 0 Woking 0

Manager Dave Hockaday had seen enough from the home side in the first half to make immediate changes for the start of the second period. Matt Young replaced full back Rowe-Turner and ex-Fulham Serb Dino Fazlic took over in midfield from Luke Maxwell.

Harriers had their best spell after half-time. Spurred on by Hockaday bellowing out orders from the touchline, Francis-Angol and Ben Whitfield both started to find more space on the flanks.

Jordan Murphy was played in and with clear sight of goal forced Hamann to hold on low at full length to his right. Then Murphy narrowly failed to meet a Barnes-Homer cross swept in from the right after he got away from Arthur. It was Arthur who headed behind his own goal from another curving cross from the left, a foreboding of what was to come.

Next Murphy was put clear as Saah and Jones could not seal up the middle for once. Hamann was out smartly to smother superbly with a crucial save.

The Cards countered and Robinson’s deep cross from the right was met by Holman but it was a fraction too high and he could only head over. Goddard, on the break, cut in on the edge of the area but sliced high and wide. Holman then turned on his axis neatly wide right and curved his left-footed shot superbly, but Snedker got to it full length at his far post to tip round for a corner, in one of the moments of the match. Next, Holman’s shot on the turn was blocked after a Goddard up and under.

Arthur was then caught out by a swift move by Harriers and, although he got back to bring down the overlapping Hodgkiss, he found himself in the referee’s notebook. Barnes-Homer headed the free kick wide. Soon after, perhaps with a stretched hamstring, Chris Arthur stayed down on the pitch and was replaced by Kadell Daniel.

Back came the visitors and Cunnington set up Holman but he shot over. A Murtagh cross then found Cunnington arriving in the six-yard box but he put a golden headed chance wide.

Soon after, Bruno Andrade joined the action for Goddard and Giuseppe Sole came on for the hard-working Holman.

For Harriers, Whitfield got his shot away after a free kick was swung in to him but again Hamann saved low down. Kelvin Langmead, up for the corner, headed back across Hamann but wide of the far post. The warning signs were starting to flash, however, and with 87 minutes gone, a right wing cross was cleared out to the left. The ball was delivered back in low for Murphy to deflect his header across Hamann to nestle in the far corner of the net to give the home side the lead.

In four minutes of added time, the Cards sought to counter, but crosses from Robinson and Norman were too close to the 'keeper. Andrade, behind the defence inside the area on the left, then shot wastefully high and over, when there were players arriving in the six-yard box.

The home side almost added a second as the clock ticked down when Hamann mistimed a dash out of his area. The Woking stopper was forced into a slide tackle and then had to rely on Jones to save his blushes.

Garry Hill’s side were far more solid in this encounter than in last week's FA Cup debacle at Maidenhead and probably deserved a point, although they were rarely able to open up a hesitant home side. With six defeats from their last eight league matches, it is fortunate that their early season form sees them currently in sixteenth place and not lower.

Being out of the FA Cup, they now have a ten-day break (apart from the Surrey Senior Cup at home on Tuesday evening), before they take on Braintree Town at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on November 10th.

Kidderminster Harriers: Dean Snedker, Jared Hodgkiss (c), Kelvin Langmead, Kyle Howkins, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (Matt Young 46), Ben Whitfield, Luke Maxwell (Dino Fazlic 46), Jordan Jones, Jordan Murphy, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Zaine Francis-Angol (Jake Green 61)

Unused subs: Gurjit Singh, Jonathan Brown 

Goal: Jordan Murphy 87

Cautioned: Kyle Howkins 69

Woking: Nick Hamann, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur (Kadell Daniel 78), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts (c), Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 80), Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 86), Adam Cunnington

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Jimmy Keohane

Cautioned: Keiran Murtagh 40, Chris Arthur 72

My MotM: this was a game with few outstanding performances so my vote goes to Brian Saah for a solid performance, coming to the aid of his fellow defenders and dominating his opponents.

Attendance: 1,449

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