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Cards lack cutting edge in Guiseley stalemate

Nathan Thomas - 17th December 2016

Woking 0 Guiseley 0
Vanarama National League
17th December 2016

The Cards made four changes to the team that were shocked by Ebbsfleet in midweek, with Nathan Ralph returning from injury. They faced a Guiseley team three places and five points below them in the table. Guiseley's last away win in the league was against Woking back in February.

The game kicked off with the visitors in an all-yellow strip on what was a fairly mild December afternoon. Woking played in a rigid system with Ugwu joining Sam-Yorke upfront. It was the visitors who started the brightest out of the two teams, looking slightly more comfortable on the ball. But it was Woking who won the first corner of the game in the 3rd minute, only to find a Cards head which trickled wide.

Another set-piece came for the Cards three minutes later after Sutherland was bundled over 25 yards from goal. Fabio Saraiva stood over the ball, looking for another stunner to add to his collection this season, but just bent a delicious free-kick into the side-netting. Sutherland then caused more problems for the visitors in the 10th minute as he nicked the ball in the middle of the field and fizzed a powerful drive which Maxted could hold onto.

It was then Guiseley's turn for a dangerous set-piece in what was a fairly bitty start to the first half. But a combination of Yakubu and Sam-Yorke eventually dealt with it comfortably. Woking carved a good chance in the 20th minute after tenacious work by Ugwu found the marauding run of Caprice. The Woking right-back then bent in an inviting ball trying to find Nathan Ralph at the back post but the visitors saw it out for a corner.

Guiseley had a huge chance a minute later after a goal kick beat the Cards defence .It was busy work by the Yorkshire outfit which eventually found an unmarked Jordan Preston at the back post but he could only direct his header way over Woking's goal.

Guiseley continue to find joy from their direct style of play, pumping long balls into their strikers. Woking seemingly looked to be dealing with their style comfortably until another golden chance fell to Guiseley's Preston. A long pull directed at Brandon Hall was spilled half an hour in. The ball then rolled to Preston who had a gaping goal to roll it into. But instead the winger decided to loft the ball over the net. The imperious figure of Woking's Yakubu may have put him off but it was a huge chance.

Woking's top scorer then had a nasty scare on the 36th minute; a good ball by Saraiva put Ugwu in behind, but he was then bundled over advertising boards by Connor Brown. There was a collective sigh of relief as Ugwu rose to his feet. He was unaffected by the fall two minutes later as Woking's clearest chance of the half came. Jake Caprice put in yet another inviting ball which found Ugwu. His header looked destined for the bottom left hand corner, only to be prevented by the strong palm of Atkinson.

Five minutes before half-time saw Guiseley handed yet another golden chance. Another long ball beat the Cards defence and fell to Cassidy who had beaten the offside trap. Cassidy then had all the time in the world to pick his corner - he only had Hall to beat. Instead, Cassidy poked a fairly tame effort onto the left-hand post which rebounded back into the grateful arms of Brandon Hall. Another let off for the Cards.

Woking found themselves lucky to be level at half-time after two golden chances for the visitors were spurned. Ugwu's header on target was Woking's only real chance of note in a fairly uninspiring first half.

Half-time: Woking 0 Guiseley 0

As darkness fell in the second half so did the temperature, Cards fans hoped for a rousing performance that would warm them up.

Saraiva was booked early in the 2nd half as he pushed the ball away in frustration after the referee looked to have given a soft foul against the Cards. Chances were at a premium again at the start of the half with no team not carving any real opportunities. Caprice continued his lively work down the right finding Saraiva, who could only produce a speculative volley from the edge of the area.

Despite the lack of chances, Woking started the half with much more urgency and desire in coming up to the hour mark. Sam-Yorke was unlucky to be judged offside following a long ball triggering groans from the Woking end.

Guiseley once again produced a good opportunity after a quick run from Preston got himself to the by-line; he then the fizzed a ball in the Cards box which was blazed off target again. Preston continued to cause problems down the left forcing another chance which Hall held onto comfortably.

The flurry of chances for the away side saw Garry Hill swap Jake Caprice for Watford loanee Dennon Lewis in the 64th minute. A Cards corner almost instantly after the change, nearly broke the deadlock as Brian Saah's header was cleared off the line. The cross following the clearance then found Saah's head again. Saah went down after pressure from the away side, but the referee waved away any penalty claims.

As the game opened up 68 minutes in, so did the amount of chances, a superb effort from the edge of the area from Guiseley's Cassidy forced a smart stop from Hall who got down low to his left to palm away the shot on target.

The 75th minute then saw the introduction of Luke Kandi for Delano Sam-Yorke in a straight swap. Woking's continued efforts were struggling to be converted into opportunities.

The final 10 minutes were frantic with both teams wanting that elusive winner, a succession of Guiseley corners came to efforts off target. Saraiva tried to win the game with another good long range effort that was just wide of the right-hand post. The same man then had another opportunity in the 85th minute after being found on the penalty spot by Luke Kandi. Unfortunately, he could only swivel and direct a weak effort into the arms of Maxted.

The fourth official added three minutes onto the second half, but Woking could not muster an opportunity. The 2nd half saw more chances fall to the Cards but they just lacked the cutting edge required to win the game.

Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice (Dennon Lewis 64), Terell Thomas, Nathan Ralph, Ismail Yakubu, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Frankie Sutherland, Fabio Saraiva, Gozie Ugwu, Delano Sam-Yorke (Luke Kandi 75)

Subs not used: Michael Poke, Anthony Edgar, Fraser Shaw

Bookings: Saraiva 52

Guiseley: Jonathan Maxted, Connor Brown, Daniel Lowe, Will Hatfield, Michael Rankine, Ashley Palmer, Jordan Preston (Joel Logan 90), Marcus Williams, Simon Walton, Jake Cassidy, James Wesolowski

Subs not used: Daniel Atkinson, Adam Boyes, Alex Purver, Elliot Green

Booked: Brown 68, Simon Walton 76)

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 969

Sponsors MotM: Terell Thomas, defensively resolute and dealt with the away sides direct threat with relative ease. Also found himself in good attacking positions on several occasions.
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