Cards held to frustrating home draw
7:54pm, Mon 28th Dec 2015
Woking 0 Boreham Wood 0
The Vanarama National League
December 28th 2015
The Cards extended their unbeaten run to five games in all competitions, although the home side will undoubtedly be disappointed not to have come away with all three points against their relegation-threatened opponents.
In a tight and tense game of few chances, it was the two goalkeepers who emerged with the most credit, as 'man of the match' Jake Cole (pictured) and his opposite number James Russell both made a couple of important saves to keep the game goalless – Woking’s first 0-0 draw since January.
It was the hosts who just shaded the game, particularly in the second-half, with Russell doing well to get down low to his left and deny substitute Giuseppe Sole – who must have thought his header was destined to be the winner, two weeks on from his decider against the same opposition in the FA Trophy.
However, the visitors put in a determined display which belied their lowly position in the league table, and might have taken more from the game had Cole not been alert enough to palm away Mustafa Tiryaki’s ferocious first-half shot.
Garry Hill and Steve Thompson named an unchanged team for the fifth game in succession – despite this match coming just 48 hours on from the win over local rivals Aldershot Town – and the tiredness was showing for both teams as the game wore on.
Woking had the better of the early chances, with Matt Robinson and Joe Quigley both forcing saves from Russell, but the Cards were too often let down by the final delivery into the box – with Bruno Andrade finding the going particularly tough down the right-hand flank.
Tiryaki went close for the visitors before the home side once again got back on top, with the ever-dangerous Dan Holman finding some space for the first time and lashing a shot just over the bar from 30 yards out.
The striker, with 17 goals to his name already this season, had an unusually quiet afternoon – but did have the ball in the net two minutes before the break, getting his head to an Andrade free-kick, only to see the linesman’s flag raised for offside.
Half-time: Woking 0 Boreham Wood 0
Woking’s hopes of a fifth successive victory suffered a blow just ten minutes into the second-half as Quigley, arguably the Cards’ best outlet during the first-half, was forced off with a knock that he’d picked up earlier in the afternoon – Giuseppe Sole coming on as his replacement.
Cameron Norman also limped off after a heavy tackle, with Chris Arthur replacing him, and it was the second of these changes which gave the Cards a bit more of an attacking presence on the left-hand side, taking some of the pressure away from Andrade on the opposite flank – the powerful defender going close with one ambitious long range effort.
For the most part though, the two defences held firm, with Scott Doe and Callum Reynolds doing well to deny Holman as he attempted to worm his way through for a shot midway through the second-half, while Joey Jones and Brian Saah – supported well by Mark Ricketts just in front of them – continued to stand up well to the threat of the towering Tiryaki and the pacey Anthony Jeffrey.
It was Tiryaki who had the visitor’s best second-half chance – with an ambitious chip dropping just over the top of the Woking crossbar – although Ricky Shakes will have been disappointed not to have done better with a header from Jeffrey’s fine cross.
There was still time for Sole to be denied by Russell as Woking launched a late onslaught, while fellow substitute Keiran Murtagh also caused problems with a succession of dangerous crosses, twice forcing the Wood goalkeeper to punch clear under pressure.
As it was, both teams will have to make do with a point, a result which is likely to satisfy both managers following Boxing Day wins. Garry will no doubt be slightly disappointed not to have seen his team grab a late winner to keep up the momentum ahead of Saturday’s return game with Aldershot, but with the Cards now up to seventh place, there’s plenty of reasons to be positive heading into the New Year.
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Cameron Norman (Chris Arthur 60), Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Mark Ricketts (c), Matthew Robinson (Keiran Murtagh 71), Bruno Andrade, John Goddard, Dan Holman, Joe Quigley (Giuseppe Sole 55)
Subs not used: Jimmy Keohane, Nick Hamann
Bookings: Mark Ricketts 80
Boreham Wood: James Russell, Ben Nunn, Dan Woodards, Scott Doe, Callum Reynolds, Sam Cox, Conor Clifford, Ricky Shakes, Mauro Vilhete (Luke Howell 19), Anthony Jeffrey, Mustafa Tiryaki
Subs not used: Charlie MacDonald, Junior Morias, Billy Clifford, Preston Edwards
Bookings: Anthony Jeffrey 64, Callum Reynolds 90
Sponsor's MOTM: Jake Cole – made one fine stop to deny Tiryaki midway through the first-half, and although he was rarely threatened thereafter, he put in a faultless display to ensure a clean sheet.