Woking held to draw by Maidenhead United
12:00am, Sat 18th Nov 2017
Woking 1 Maidenhead Untied 1
Vanarama National League
18th November 2017
Woking were restrained to their third draw of the season in the Vanarama National League in a feisty encounter against Maidenhead United to see the Cards slip to ninth place in the table.
Maidenhead United took a shock early lead through Adrian Clifton after 10 minutes but as Woking grew into the game, feeling the effects of Tuesday night’s fantastic FA 1st round replay victory over Bury, the home side found an equaliser through Charlie Carter.
Despite good opportunities for both sides to find a second goal neither team produced a clinical edge in the second half, which was overshadowed by some nasty challenges from the away side to slow down the closing minutes of action.
The draw sees Woking drop one spot to ninth in the league, with the chance to find a first league win since the 7th October next Tuesday with the visit of Ebbsfleet United to Kingfield.
Woking manager Anthony Limbrick made four changes to the starting line-up which shocked Bury in the FA Cup, with goalkeeper Nathan Baxter out injured, Nathan Ralph suspended and with Joey Jones and Inih Effiong dropping to the bench for a rest.
That handed Sam Mason his first competitive start for Woking, on the same day he made the England Colleges U18 squad, with Fabio Saraiva, Charlie Carter and Jamie Philpot also starting against Maidenhead.
After a subdued start to the game by both sides Maidenhead United silenced the home fans with the opening goal.
Jake Hyde, recalled into the Magpies’ line-up, played a quick one-two exchange with strike partner Clifton on the edge of the Woking penalty area, which enabled Clifton to work some space for a 20-yard shot which he dispatched for his seventh goal of the season, firing low past Mason’s outstretched arm.
Woking responded well to going a goal down by showing glimpses of sharp passing patterns and physicality against their opponents but the opening 30 minutes ticked by without the Cards testing goalkeeper Carl Pentney.
But Woking’s chances duly arrived with a sustained period pressure sparked by Regan Charles-Cook being fouled by James Mulley, who was the first player into referee Adam Bromley’s caution book. The resulting free-kick was punched away for a corner by Pentney but despite a barrage of following corners the Woking players couldn’t muster a clear-cut chance.
With the Cards crowd voicing encouragement, Jamie Philpot had his side’s first clear opportunity of the first half when he beat the offside trap to burst into the penalty area but his fierce shot was battered away by Pentney.
The pressure paid off minutes later when Woking’s fifth corner created the equaliser from Carter. Chez Isaac’s in-swinging cross was flicked on at the front post to eventually see the ball fall to the feet of Carter to poke in from two yards out for his fifth goal of the season in all competitions.
Woking hunted the lead before half-time and came close when Saraiva stormed free from left-back to unleash a dipping 25-year effort which forced the Maidenhead United goalkeeper into a fine save.
Halftime: Woking 1 Maidenhead United 1
Light rain greeted the return of the players for the second half and despite Woking dominating possession early on Limbrick made his first change with Effiong coming on in place of Philpot.
It was the visiting side who had the best chance immediately after the interval with Clifton breaking clear from his marker after a cross was deflected his way but his shot was boldly blocked for a corner by Jordan Wynter.
Effiong provided the physicality to hold-up play with the ball but the teams remained equally matched heading into the closing 20 minutes, with efforts from the substitute striker and Wynter providing the biggest threats from Woking.
Mason on his full Woking debut showed impressive steel, standing up to a cross under pressure while saving from a one-on-one chance against substitute Sean Marks.
With the next goal considering to be the winner, midfielder Isaac went inches away from providing it with a delicate 25-yard curling shot which narrowly went past Pentney’s left-hand post.
The final 10 minutes were somewhat overshadowed by a spikey cameo from Maidenhead United substitute Marks, who was involved in two bad tackles, one which left Kane Ferdinand with a bloodied head which required treatment. In the Ferdinand incident Woking assistant manager Jason Goodliffe was sent to the stands for his reaction.
But with the Woking fans in full voice the home side had a chance to win it with Saraiva’s 30-yard free-kick excellently saved by Pentney to share the points between the sides.
Woking return to action on Tuesday 21st November at the Laithwaite Community Stadium to welcome the visit of Ebbsfleet United in the Vanarama National League.
Woking: Sam Mason; Matt Young, Richard Orlu, Jordan Wynter, Fabio Saraiva; Chez Isaac, Kane Ferdinand, Charlie Carter (Joey Jones 69’); Jamie Philpot (Inih Effiong 56’), Regan Charles-Cook, Joe Ward (Declan Appau 85’)
Unused subs: None
Goals: Carter 39’
Bookings: Charles-Cook 49’
Maidenhead United: Carl Pentney; Remy Clerima, Jake Goodman, Alan Massey, Rene Steer; Harold Odametey, Ryan Upward, Harry Pritchard, James Mulley (Christian Smith 85’); Adrian Clifton, Jake Hyde (Sean Marks 75’)
Unused subs: Moses Emmanuel, Sam Barratt, Ryan Peters
Goals: Clifton 10’
Bookings: Mulley 30’, Upward 83’
Referee: Adam Bromley
Sponsors’ MOTM: Richard Orlu – the Woking captain marshalled an assured display by the defence.