In 2011, Cardinals Netball was nothing more than an idea shared between two former Sheerwater school friends. Nine years later, it’s one of the most successful and fastest growing clubs in Woking and Surrey at large.

Young cardinals with Surrey Storm and South Africa International player Shadine Van Der Merwe

Co-founders and level 2 head coaches Kate Carthy and Hilary ‘Hils’ Hooper have been instrumental in the meteoric rise in popularity of netball, with Cardinals now becoming a beacon for other clubs to aspire to.

“It was actually my husband who suggested that we should start a netball team. My daughter wanted to play netball in year three at school, but there wasn’t really anything that she could get involved with until she was in year five, so there was a gap to fill,” Carthy said.

In the early days, the club comprised a small group of friends, which included Carthy and Hooper’s sons, to help make up the numbers.

Since then, the club has grown year-on-year through word of mouth. It now has in-excess of 250 girls playing netball each week.

Kate Carthy and Hillary “Hils” Hooper

Speaking of Cardinals increasing popularity, Hopper added: “Netball is one of the biggest growing sports in the UK.

“Girls’ sport in particular has experienced high levels of growth over the past decade or so, not just through the likes of football and cricket, but netball too.

“The fact that they’re now showing netball on television has really helped to raise awareness of the sport; so much so, it’s actually becoming increasing more difficult to get tickets to watch Surrey Storm compete in the Netball Superleague.

“We now manage the best part of 20 teams, who train at Sythwood Primary School and SJB (St John the Baptist School).

“We promote the fact that we are inclusive, not exclusive and that we will always do our utmost to accommodate every player we can between the ages of six and 18,” added Hopper.

Carthy and Hooper are now looking into the possibilities of running a summer league this year to demonstrate the club’s ongoing commitment to provide a pathway for progression and soon to be unrivalled sporting achievements.

For the full interview get the 28 February edition of the News & Mail

PANTO season appears to have arrived at Woking Football Club.

It was a case of ‘Oh yes he is, oh no he isn’t’ after last week’s eagerly anticipated board meeting, as confusion surrounded the position of the club’s majority shareholder, Peter Jordan.

On Sunday, weekly football publication The Non-League Paper reported that Mr Jordan, 60, had informed the Woking FC board of directors of his intention to retire.

That claim was reiterated by The Non-League Paper officials when contacted by the News & Mail this week. Later on Sunday a newsflash was posted by BBC Radio Surrey on their social media account [the post was still live at the time of writing] which read: “Jordan to step down: BBC Surrey told that Peter Jordan has informed the board he intends to retire on January 2.”

The plot thickened for bemused Cards fans when those two media releases were then superseded by a statement, issued
via the official club website at noon on Sunday, by Chairman Mike Smith.

It stated: “Contrary to what you may be reading in the media, Peter Jordan is still a member of the club board.”

But the original claims have since been substantiated by sources at the club.

The revelation comes on the back of last week’s News & Mail reporting that our Sports desk had seen a copy of a letter of intent to buy the club, sent on behalf of local businessman Ashley Read, 34, by Wellers Law Group LLP to senior officials at Kingfield.

A subsequent letter received by the News & Mail directly from Mr Read states that, should any purchase to gain a controlling share in Woking Football Club go ahead, it would be funded by him alone.

He added that a consortium – understood to include six other parties ‘with football experience’ – is ready to be brought in to run the club with him, in what he calls ‘a new direction to the existing regime’.

It is only Mr Jordan’s 75 per cent stake in the limited company – trading as Woking Football Club Ltd – that is subject to the bid.

That interest comes despite the club announcing losses in excess of  £400,000 (to the year ending May 31, 2015).

It is understood the matter, plus a proposal from Mr Jordan that Mr Read fill a current vacancy on the board, were discussed at length at last Thursday evening’s board meeting.

It is claimed that Mr Jordan was asked to step outside the meeting while matters relating to Mr Read were attended to. Mr Jordan, who has served as a director at the club since 2005, had yet to issue a statement on his plans to retire as this paper went press.

Meanwhile, speaking to the News & Mail on Tuesday, Mr Read – already a club shareholder and sponsor – said he hopes
all parties can begin to present a united message on the direction of the club – after many supporters voiced their concerns over a lack of detail concerning recent activity.

He added: “The fans and the staff deserve to know what’s going on. It doesn’t matter if I buy the club or not; somebody needs
to because Peter is moving on.”

A regular at home games, Mr Read says that he is still hoping to meet with the Cards Trust supporters’ club – who own a 20
per cent share of Woking FC and are represented on the board by Ian Nicholson.

Mr Read explained that the progression of the deal is still subject to him receiving answers to his due diligence request.

“I need to get a timescale because it will be better to meet the supporters after that’s done,” he said. “If I find out that the credit card bill is higher than expected there may not be any point proceeding.”

Meanwhile, Cards Trust Chairman Rupert Phillips issued a statement saying: “The trust board have their monthly meeting on Wednesday [yesterday]; we will not be in a position to respond until after that.”

WOKING Football Club’s Kingfield Stadium has just rounded off two weeks of community tournaments hosted by the club’s official charity Cardinals in the Community over the last two weeks from events for local schools to over 50s men.

Chris Sexton, Senior Development Coach and Coach Mentor, said: “We are grateful for everyone’s support and this year for funding provided by The Premier League Primary Stars Programme. The children, in particular, enjoyed the opportunity to play in the stadium where they often come to watch matches.”

The victorious year 4 Pirbright girls team

The first event was the Year 4 Boys, which saw 15 teams entered with a semi-final between Goldsworth and Hermitage and Greenfield and Horsell. Both games were closely contested ending with a tense final between Horsell and Hermitages.

The following day it was the turn of the Year 4, 5 & 6 Girls. Six teams were entered in the Year 4 tournament and 15 in the year 5/6. Year 4 was run as a league basis with Pirbright coming out on top and lifting the cup.

The pace slowed a little for the next tournament and it was the turn of the over 50s men in their fifth Annual Walking Football Tournament. Eight teams competed with the top four proceeding to the semi-finals.

The last tournament was the 5th Annual Wellbeing Tournament, this year 15 teams took part and were divided into two leagues and then a cup and plate competition.

Chris added: “We would like to thank all teams for making all our tournaments so successful and look forward to seeing you all next year.”

For tournament results and more get the 13 June edition of the News & Mail

IT’S been 17 years in the making, but Woking fans will now get the opportunity to meet with the new developer for the proposed Cardinal Court stadium development at Kingfield.

With the various cross-party working contracts all signed, Woking’s board of directors are inviting fans to attend a special fans’ forum at Cardinals Bar on 16 April to learn more about the proposed plans to future-proof the National League South club.

For many, it will be the first time that they will have the opportunity to pose real questions to the project team after years of speculation as to what a new Woking Community Stadium project might comprise.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Mail, Wayne Gold, owner of GolDev Woking Limited, which is coordinating the proposed redevelopment of the Kingfield site in south Woking, is pleased with the progress to date.

He said: “When I first met representatives of Woking, they gave me their views and aspirations for the club.  Similarly, I gave my views in terms of ideas and we reached an agreement in principle.  I then went away to pull together the various components.

“There’s a lot of land interest at Kingfield and there were a lot of individual parties that had an interest through one means or another; however, we have now been able to get everyone on board contractually.

“We (GolDev) have since exchanged contracts with the football club and Woking Borough Council and we’re now proceeding with the planning application for the Kingfield site.

“Therefore, it’s the right time to properly engage with fans now that we have something we can share with them and discuss,” he added.

For more information on the time of the fans’ forum on 16 April, please go to www.wokingfc.co.uk or call the club on 01483 772470.

For the full story and further details of how to get involved get the 11 April edition of the News & Mail

WEST End Garage Kia has continued its support for local netball team, Cardinals Netball Club, by gifting the club two new Kia Rios.

The cars will be used by the team to reach more children in the community. Cardinals Netball Club encourages children to keep fit and active while providing them with the chance to be part of the local team.

For the full story, see the 22 March issue

GENEROUS charity supporters brought home the bacon for a couple of good causes this month.

Soroptimists International Woking & District’s annual pig racing event, which raised £720 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and yourSanctuary – the Surrey anti-domestic abuse charity – had all the drama and excitement of the Six Nations Rugby Championship game the same evening.

Organised like a real race meeting, with the same rules, the furry, mechanical pink pigs, urged on by ‘owners’ and ‘racegoers’ alike, gave their all.

The Ambassador’s Cup race (sponsored by the Ambassadors’ Theatre and Cinema Group) opened the meet, which saw Swampy’s Sister triumph in a closely fought race.

It was followed by the equally hard fought Cardinals’ Classic (sponsored by Woking Football Club), with Warrington Warrior
declared the winner by a snout.

The queue at the tote grew ever longer as folks eagerly placed their bets on their chosen runner – having studied the form and
established that the ‘muddy’ going was causing some pigs to prefer a sneaky wallow!

The next race, The Turner Trot (sponsored by Graham Turner Butcher of Pyrford) was a lively race which saw the Boris for President pig cross the line with aplomb to a huge cheer from his backers.

After a tasty chilli supper supplied by Avala Catering, the racing resumed with The Hair-Raising Hurdles (sponsored by Italian Inspiration Hair Salon, Burpham), which was won by Somerset Sweetheart.

This was followed by The Garden Gallop (sponsored by Bourne Valley Garden Centre in Addlestone), in which Piggle secured the top spot.

It was left to Rosy to romp home first, much to the delight of her owner in the last race of the evening, namely the Superfish Stakes (sponsored by Superfish Restaurant in West Byfleet).

A spokesman said: “It was truly an evening of traditional community entertainment worth missing the rugby for.

“Special thanks were awarded to the pigs who provided so much fun and brought home the bacon for yourSanctuary and the MND Association.”

FOOTBALL: WOKING Football Club have announced that their home ground in Kingfield Road shall now be known as the The Laithwaite Community Stadium.

COMMUNITY STADIUM – Mr Laithwaite, the first WFC ground sponsor in history, said he and his board ‘felt privileged’

COMMUNITY STADIUM – Mr Laithwaite, the first WFC ground sponsor in history, said he and his board are ‘privileged’

The two-year naming rights deal – with an option to extend – was brokered with Knaphill-based business Laithwaite Financial Services Ltd and unveiled at a press conference at the club last Thursday.

It is the first time in their 93-year tenure at the Kingfield Stadium that the Cardinals have entered into such an agreement – with this landmark deal believed to be in the region of a six-figure sum over the course of the contract.

Supporters will already be aware of the Laithwaite brand at the stadium after Managing Director, Andrew Laithwaite, tied up a deal last season to sponsor the revamped corporate Geoff Chapple Lounge.

Speaking at Thursday’s launch, Mr Laithwaite explained how he has been a keen advocate of youth football in the area for many years, being actively involved with the Surrey Primary League, which has included managing a team at local club Woking Town.

“For many years I have been involved in youth football and when the opportunity to become a sponsor at the club presented itself, I could see the benefit of a partnership between youth football and Woking Football Club,” he said.

“I just felt that there could be a good connection there to bring the youth into Woking Football Club. At the end of the day the success of any football club is its youth.”

Mr Laithwaite added that as part of the new arrangement, Woking FC’s commercial team were in talks with officials at local youth leagues, with proposals including hosting local boys and girls teams as VIP guests at home matches.

On being the first ground sponsor in Woking Football Club’s history, Mr Laithwaite added: “We are privileged and it is a great honour to have been offered this opportunity by the board of directors. This sponsorship further cements our relationship with this football club that is so well respected and important to the local community.”

Woking FC Chairman Mike Smith added his approval to the renaming of the ground, saying that the deal represents ‘a new chapter’ for the part-time Vanarama National League side, one which will ‘put us on a stronger financial footing going forward and allow us to focus on giving our best performance on the pitch’.

Mr Smith also spoke at length of his pride at securing a sponsorship partner with ‘serious community interests’ that will add to the club’s award-winning community efforts – recently named 2015 Non-League Community Club of the Year. Mr Smith described the set-up as helping to provide ‘a first class football club and a first rate community club’.

Operational for the past 10 years under the management of Community Co-ordinator, Jane Spong, the community arm of the club has itself undergone a name change this summer, and will now be known as Cardinals in the Community to reflect its change in status to a charitable organisation.

As reported in the News & Mail recently, a planning application is currently under review for proposed works to the classroom and playing facilities at the club’s youth base at Woking College.

CARDS motored away from rivals Lincoln in the Conference standings with an A1 display on the road.

In a game of ‘one-way traffic’, as boss Garry Hill described it, Woking raced into a two-goal lead by the half-way stage to all but ensure the three points would be returning back down the A1 with them on Saturday evening.

THE SCORING DOESN’T REND THERE – assured scorer Scott Rendell (centre) is congratulated by his Woking team-mates after his early opener

THE SCORING DOESN’T REND THERE – assured scorer Scott Rendell (centre) is congratulated by his Woking team-mates after his early opener

Hill will be hoping this long-awaited away-day cheer will steer his play-off hopes back on track – as his side ended a woeful, winless run of 10 games away (in all competitions) going back to a 3-1 victory at FC Halifax mid-November.

A satisfying day was put into perspective at the end of a difficult week for Hill personally, having attended his mother’s funeral the previous day. And the Cards’ gaffer dedicated an uplifting performance to his mother’s memory: “On the back of a tough 24/48 hours… to get a result here today, from my own point of view, it’s one for my mum.”

Woking fans arrived at Sincil Bank perhaps a little unsure as to what to expect from what proved an entertaining afternoon, given their paltry return of just three points from a possible 30 on the road.

Plus, this was just their side’s second appearance of a sparse February fixture list; both teams, in fact, had to postpone games with Torquay United in recent weeks.

But after encouraging recent displays at Barnet, and a Valentine’s Day’s draw at Kidderminster, the travelling Cardinals who made their way up to Lincolnshire caught a dominant display.

And their gaffer Hill says that there is plenty of gas left in the tank despite his side tailing off the play-off places during a bleak mid-winter – with one win in 11 games prior to this tie.

“With 11 games to go we’ve got to try and get as many points as we can and see where it takes us,” said Hill. “We proved at the start of the season that we could go nine games unbeaten and hopefully this one kick-starts us for a final push.”

With Woking now nine points off the play-off places – prior to playing Dartford on Tuesday – promotion opinions are split on the terraces; some reminding any boo-boys among the Cards’ crowd that trips to such grandiose venues like Sincil Bank were a mere pipedream not so long ago.

The players certainly seemed to appreciate the smooth Sincil Bank surface as Kevin Betsy and John Goddard burst out of the blocks – the lush Lincolnshire turf has thrived under the glare of two heat lamps donated by the local constabulary after a recent drugs bust.

Coming after last week’s announcement that this is to be his final campaign with the Cards, Betsy’s energetic display against Imps’ full-back Jordan Cranston was clear evidence that he is aiming to bow out on a high.

POIGNANT DAY – Josh Payne’s (above right) stunning free-kick sealed the win which Woking boss Garry Hill (above) dedicated to his mother’s memory (Pictures by: Andrew Vaughan)

POIGNANT DAY – Josh Payne’s (above right) stunning free-kick sealed the win which Woking boss Garry Hill (above) dedicated to his mother’s memory (Pictures by: Andrew Vaughan)

Having received a rapturous reception from the travelling supporters, Betsy flashed an early chance fractionally off target before Woking deservedly took the lead after 20 minutes as Cranston was penalised for impeding his man.

Midfield maestro Josh Payne – who was soon to score a stunner himself – floated over the assist for striker Scott Rendell to nod home from inside the six-yard box; his 16th of the campaign.

With Woking a goal to the good, 25 stop-start minutes followed before the Sincil Bank silence was broken on the stroke of half time. Payne caused uproar when he lunged into a 50:50 challenge with home goalkeeper, Paul Farman.

City stopper Farman had said prior to the game that he had expected Woking to challenge for the Conference title this term, and the Imps’ keeper was certainly playing like this was a title-decider.

“I think, had it not been for their goalkeeper, it would have been quite embarrassing today because he’s made four or five great saves,” was Hill’s view.

Back to the Payne incident, and despite cries of foul all around him referee Wayne Barratt opted not to blow up, and as play continued into a sixth minute of added time, City defender Jon Nolan barged over the lively Yemi Odubade in a dangerous position 25 yards out.

Despite taking treatment after being winded by his earlier collision, Payne preceded to simply stroll back on to the field and swerve an unstoppable effort into Farman’s top-right-hand corner with the last kick of the half – further compounding the sense of injustice in the home ranks.

Payne’s latest strike was even more spectacular than his effort in September’s 3-1 win over the Imps at Kingfield, adding to his – and fellow free-kick specialist Giuseppe Sole’s – deadly dead-ball reel.

“I’ll take a poor man’s Gez Sole free kick,” joked Payne. “I just wanted to try and reverse it [the ball] because he [Farman] had set up in the middle of the goal: sometimes they come off and sometimes they don’t.”

After the switch of ends City came out with renewed intent but didn’t cause any major worries to a solid looking Woking back-line. The visitors, meanwhile, were content to utilise the searing pace of wide-man Chris Arthur and loanee Eastleigh hitman Odubade on the break.

The fearless Farman continued his brilliance between the sticks to smother Odubade when through one-on-one: while a wasteful Cards were perhaps fortunate not to face an anxious final 30 minutes or so as Odubade headed over from close range before being replaced by super-sub Sole, who sliced high and wide with his first touch.

But a limited Lincoln attack never realistically looked like reducing the two-goal deficit, to leave Cards boss Hill to hail an away win – at last.

“All round [it was] a very good team performance,” he said. “[I’m] very pleased: their [Lincoln’s] home form has been very good… over eight or nine home games they’ve beaten some very good sides and had some very good wins.

“We’ll take those three points home with us and then it’s on to Dartford Tuesday night and we’ll see where we go. We haven’t done very well there in the last few years, but coming off the result at Lincoln hopefully we’ll go to Dartford and carry on the good work.”

WOKING: Cole, Jones, Arthur, Clarke, McNerney, Ricketts (Murtagh, 88mins), Payne, Goddard, Betsy (Newton, 82mins), Odubade (Sole, 77mins), Rendell.
ATTENDANCE: 2,347

FOOTBALL: A FIRST win in nine was just what the doctor ordered as Woking lifted the January blues down at Kingfield.

Having endured an off-colour start to the New Year, goals from Scott Rendell and loan duo Ross Lafayette and Charles Banya were just the tonic against obliging opponents Alfreton as the Cards tasted league success for the first time since December 2.

CARDINALS’ CHEER – Scott Rendell and (inset) his jolly team-mates toast the win (Picture by: David Holmes)

CARDINALS’ CHEER – Scott Rendell and (inset) his jolly team-mates toast the win (Picture by: David Holmes)

Speaking after last week’s limp FA Trophy exit, Cards boss Garry Hill challenged his players to end a run of three successive league draws and finish their campaign in style. “We mustn’t let the season go flat – we’ve got to turn draws into wins,” he said.

There was a certain symmetry to Cards’ first league victory of 2015, having beaten opponents Town on the opening day of the season. And boss Hill was indebted to his recuperated skipper Mark Ricketts, who put in a man-of-the match performance in his first start since September.

“If there’s anybody to get you going in the right direction again, it’s the skipper, Mark Ricketts,” beamed Hill.

Alongside a revived Ricketts, one of Hill’s new guns – young Crawley Town winger Banya – also capped a dazzling display with his first goal in Woking colours, having returned on loan.

“I’m pleased to be back at Woking,” said the 21-year-old. “The manager and the assistant manager have showed a lot of faith in me. It feels like home because I’ve been here before.”

New boy Banya and his team-mates will be hoping to take a taste of their home form on the road with them when they travel to league leaders Barnet this Saturday.

 

GIUSEPPE SOLE’S nightcap put the Bedfordshire Hatters to sleep in an epic 1-0 win over champions-elect Luton live on the box.

All those BT Sport viewers watching on from their armchairs, and a throng of vocal Cards fans in a packed Cardinals bar back at Kingfield HQ, would surely have thought that it is Woking that were the champions-in-waiting rather than their high-flying hosts on this showing, as Garry Hill and Steve Thompson masterminded a classic Cards away day against illustrious opposition to trump even those wins at Halifax, Gateshead and Barnet earlier in the campaign.

ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOUR SOLE - Giuseppe Sole scores the winner

ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOUR SOLE – Giuseppe Sole scores the winner

As many Cards fans who had managed to make the rush hour dash up to Kenilworth Road, took their seats, so too did supporters in front of the big screen at Kingfield, lured in by £2 pints, reduced grub, and the chance to see their heroes on the big screen for the first time in over two years.

Club marketing-man Elliot Machin was delighted with the bumper turn out. He said: “It was hard to call what the turnout would be, but it’s hard to get up to Luton on a Monday night, so it’s a great opportunity for the fans to take advantage and get behind Garry and the team.”

TV execs billed this as Hill versus Still, with Garry taking on his fellow-Dagger-in-the-dugout John who, prior to defeat here, had overseen a Luton club record 27-game unbeaten run, stretching all the way back to
September.

At kick-off Still sat on the brink of an unprecedented third Conference title, and the top-Hatters of a return to league football after five years away. But Woking hats on, all those stats do is confirm what a proud night this was for Hill and his men.

Hill spoke to the BT cameras straight after the final whistle to voice his pride at a ‘first class performance’ and a ‘thoroughly deserved three points’, a sentiment echoed on the night by BT pundit, and ex-England stopper David James.

“Truthfully I did (believe Woking could get a result against Luton),” said Hill. “I just had this feeling in the back of my mind you know, that we’ve gone at Halifax, Gateshead and Barnet and won, where no one gave us a chance of winning. You also have a situation where the boys were going to raise the bar to another level and show how good they are in front of the cameras.

“I thought we had a football team out on the park and a football club tonight that everybody can be proud of.”

The cameras gave Cards fans rare access to the pre-match team-talks. ‘Positivity’ was the message coming out of the away dressing-room, clearly up for a touch of Conference giant-killing.

As such, the Woking management-duo went with a brave starting XI, trying to match Luton’s 40-goal strike partnership of Andre Gray and Paul Benson with their own hot-shots; the in-form and returning ex-Hatter Scott Rendell, partnered by live wire loanee Jack Marriott.

Woking flew out of the blocks, silencing the 6,600-strong Kenilworth Road crowd in a stunning display.

Lining up against a number of his England C teammates, Josh Payne was clearly keen to impress and got stuck in to the centre of the action from the first whistle.

As the name might suggest, Luton enforcer Alex put in a Lawless over-the-top tackle to try and halt Payne’s powerful start. However the challenge – which went unpunished by ref Chris Kavanagh – merely seemed to push Payne on, as the midfielder sent two vicious volleys hurtling towards Luton’s ever-present keeper Mark Tyler from distance.

Tyler shovelled the dipping first attempt out of his bottom-right hand corner before being beaten all-ends up as Payne rattled a perfectly executed, swept half-volley on to the angle of post and bar from all of 25 yards.

Impish BT anchor Mark Clemmit roamed the dugouts to catch the views from the benches, with assistant-boss Thompson reiterating the positive message that Woking would ‘play without fear’ despite facing a Luton side who have scored more goals at home then Woking have combined home and away this season.

With the floodlights and camera giving this league clash a cup-tie feel, Kevin Betsy rolled back the years to take the game to Luton, giving young full-back Scott Griffiths a night he won’t forget down the right-hand wing.

Betsy strolled in behind the home defence three times in quick succession to cause panic in a Luton back line that has conceded just 11 goals at Kenilworth Road this season.

Payne shaved the outside of Tyler’s fortunate goal-frame again with a steered side-footer from range. The goal frame, aptly on St Patrick’s Day, increasingly benefiting from the luck of the Irish.

The on-screen stats confirmed Woking’s dominance in possession, as they kept Luton penned-in during a dominant first third of the game.

Ex-Hatter Rendell (right) almost capped a perfect first-half performance when he ghosted onto a Payne free-kick but saw his header chalked off by a marginal assistant’s flag.

Tangerine-shirted Luton could consider themselves well and truly squeezed as they went in for their half-time oranges.

‘Woking are smoking’ surmised the impressed commentator David Farrah.

The smoke signals were there for an equally hot second half, as the part-time visitors again took the game to their full-time hosts; Goddard seeing an early curler blocked on route to goal.

Fortunately Hatters stopper Tyler had left the lucky goalposts where they were at the switch of ends, with Howe this time the beneficiary of a charmed frame on two occasions.

A deflected Jake Howells left-wing cross bamboozled Howe and a deer-stalking Paul Benson as the ball sailed against the far upright on the full, before Adam Newton, in trying to nod the loose ball to safety sent it rolling against the opposite post. A flying Joe McNerney hacked off his own goal line.

No technology required.

Fraser Franks got his bonnet on a late corner with the league’s leading scorer Gray unable to bag the bobbling rebound.

Enter Sole for a subbed Marriott to show Gray how it’s done, with his first touch of the ball in the 87th minute.

Murtagh started and almost finished the move; winning a ball he had no right to in the centre of the park, he exchanged passes with Betsy before controlling a sweet half-volley over Tyler and against the woodwork, yet again.

But there was Sole, ahead of Franks in the box to nod past a helpless Tyler in front of the travelling fans.

Cue pandemonium at the final whistle, both at Kenilworth Road and Kingfield as Cards fans celebrated long into the night.

“Without doubt that’s the biggest result I’ve had since I’ve been at the football club. And it’s a very proud night for everybody connected,” said a jubilant Hill.