White earns his stripes as Cards travel light

Adam Leary
12:00am, Sat 12th Aug 2017
Barrow 3 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
12th August 2017

Woking slumped to their second defeat of the embryonic season in disappointing fashion on a sunny Saturday in Cumbria. This defeat marked the end of a difficult week in which the Cards travelling support have travelled more miles than The Proclaimers, however it is probably fair to say that most fans would have been feeling pretty downbeat on the return journey home.

Following a Tuesday night away defeat to bookies favorites Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night, a round trip of 594 miles to the Furness peninsula to face a typically strong and physical Barrow side desperate to chalk up their first win of the season would have been well down the list in terms of ideal away fixtures.

The Cards were beaten by a classy strike from exciting striker Adi Yussuf, and then a headed brace from Jordan White, from two set plays, which will have left the Cards coaching staff bitterly disappointed.

Anthony Limbrick made one change from the reverse at Prenton Park on Tuesday, Chez Isaac left out of the starting line up in favour of Jordan Wynter. The increased physical presence of Wynter may have been in response to the threat posed by the Bluebirds, who fielded a line up stacked with 6 foot plus players and a clear game plan to make the most of set-pieces and the prevailing wind. The Cards retained the same shape as in the previous match, with Wynter slotting in alongside Joey Jones at the base of the midfield.

Barrow, who will be hoping to make an impression on the expanded end of season play offs at the end of the season, fielded an unchanged side from that which were held to a goalless draw at home to Halifax on Tuesday night. Their line up included a number of new faces bought into the club by manager Paul Cox. Amongst the new boys was a new strike pairing in Adi Yussuf, signed from Grimsby Town, and Jordan Whyte, top scorer with Wrexham in the National League last season.

The game started brightly with both teams looking to get on the front foot in end-to-end exchanges. The home side came closest to opening the scoring in the 3rd minute when Yussuf found some space in the penalty area, only for Nathan Baxter to deny him with a brave save at the forwards feet.

At the other end, the Cards should have opened the scoring a minute later. Bright work on the right hand side from Louis Ramsay, played in Bobson Bawling, who got to the byline and pulled back a knee high cross. The cross fell invitingly onto the right foot of Joe Ward, who struck his volley sweetly from 8 yards, only to strike the ball against the legs of Bluebirds keeper Stuart Moore. This was a big chance for the Cards, and converting this opportunity may well have changed the narrative of the rest of the game.

Woking had another opportunity shortly afterwards, a corner swung in by Ward was met by the slightest of glances by Josh Staunton, at full stretch. For the home side, former Sutton United man Bedsente Gomis was increasingly influential, and Dan Jones demonstrated that his long throw could prove a very potent weapon, Jordan White coming close to converting from one thrown in from the right hand side.

Barrow took the lead in the 20th minute. The full back, Jones, played a straight ball in the channel between Ramsay and Staunton, which was latched onto by Yussuf, who, looked up, spotted Baxter rushing out to narrow the angle, and lifted the ball superbly over the young keeper’s head, to the delight of the home support.

Woking huffed and puffed to try and draw level before the break, with half chances coming from a Joe Ward cross and a Nathan Ralph free kick which was diverted towards goal by the head of a Barrow defender. Joey Jones was forced to change his shirt after drawing blood in an aerial challenge. A further injury delay occurred when the goalscorer Yussuf was forced to leave the field, replaced by Dan Cockerline, probably to the relief of the Woking back four.

In the final minute of 4 minutes of stoppage time, Inih Effiong headed a Bawling centre back across goal, however he was unable to find a yellow shirt and the whistle blew shortly after.

Half-time: Barrow 1 Woking 0

Just 2 minutes into the second half, Woking conceded a second goal. Another long throw from Jones, who made use of a number of towels dotted around the sidelines, could only be cleared by Cards skipper Richard Orlu with a looping header which held up in the wind, which was met by the head of White, who was able to nod the ball into the right hand corner of the net. The ball seemed to take an age to cross the line, agonisingly so for the Cards and their travelling support behind the goal.

Anthony Limbrick made his first change in the 53rd minute, with Jamie Philpot coming on for Charlie Carter, who had struggled to make an impression on the game in his withdrawn striker role, well marshalled by the home defence. As at Tranmere, Philpot was used in a more advanced role, closer to that of an orthodox strike partner for Effiong. Soon after the change though, White had the opportunity to make it three when Gomis found space on the right, found the big centre forward who could only head wide.

Limbrick made a second change on 63 minutes, Chez Isaac coming on for Jordan Wynter in the centre of midfield. Isaac brought some much needed energy and determination to the Cards, and soon linked up with Philpot well, however the on-loan striker failed to find a Woking shirt with his right wing cross. Woking made their final change with 20 minutes to go, Kane Ferdinand replacing Bawling, in what looked to be a move to a midfield three.

6 minutes from time Barrow made the game safe, and as on Tuesday the Cards conceded from a right wing corner. Jones, whose delivery with his left foot and his hands had caused Woking problems all afternoon, found the head of White at the near post, who beat Baxter from close range for his second goal of the game.

Shortly after this, Woking actually had a good chance of grabbing a consolation goal. Isaac played a ball through to Effiong, who showed a good turn of pace and considerable strength to hold off his marker. The former Barrow striker’s shot was too close to Moore, who was able to parry, and with that went Woking’s hopes of claiming anything from this match.

After a tricky week on their travels, the Cards will be delighted to return to home comforts on Tuesday night, when Eastleigh are the visitors. Woking will be hoping that they can produce a performance and result similar to their last home match on the opening day, and put this result behind them.

Barrow: Stuart Moore, Jack Barthram, Daniel Jones, Jimmy Dunne, Moussa Diarra, Dave Nieskens, Alex-Ray Harvey, Asa Hall, Bedsente Gomis (Donovan Makoma 87), Jordan White (Harry Panayiotou 90), Adi Yussuf (Dan Cockerline 41).

Subs not used: Thierry Audel, Liam Hughes

Goals: Yussuf (20), White (47, 83)

Bookings: Diarra, Dunne

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsay, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Josh Staunton, Richard Orlu, Bobson Bawling (Kane Ferdinand 70), Inih Effiong, Charlie Carter (Jamie Philpot 53), Jordan Wynter (Chez Isaac 63), Joe Ward

Subs not used: Declan Appau, Matt Young

Goals: None

Bookings: Orlu

Attendance: 1,075 (38 Away)

Referee: Marc Edwards

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