1-0

Cambridge United 1
Woking 0

A heartbreaking late winner dashed Woking’s hopes of edging closing to the 50 point survival target manager Garry Hill set at the start of the season.

It seemed as though the Cards were heading for a first at Cambridge – a first 0-0 draw of the season.

The last time they recorded that score was way back in October 2011 against Salisbury City, but Tom Shaw capitalised on Seb Brown’s error to hand the U’s all three points deep into added time.

The home side’s goal rubbed more salt in Woking’s wounds as moments before the Cards should have been awarded a penalty after Jayden Stockley was brought down.

Ref Robbie Whitton’s decision not to point to the penalty spot left Hill furious. He said: “You could see quite clearly from our end that the Cambridge player grabbed him (Jayden Stockley).

“I cannot believe what I have seen in respect of the referee just waved his arms as if nothing had happened. Why didn’t he book him for diving? It was a very, very bad decision from the referee. Any person in the ground today would say that it was an out and out blatant penalty. I just cannot believe what I have seen.”

Cambridge had all of the play in the first 15 minutes. Nathan Blissett’s flicked shot was held by Brown at his near post before the former Kidderminster man, who had troubled Woking at Kingfield earlier this season, headed wide from eight yards.

Lee Sawyer returned to the starting XI following his four game ban but even the exuberant creative midfielder couldn’t weather the U’s early storm.

But the former Chelsea and Southend youngster put in a put in a good performance to satisfy his boss.

Hill said: “He’s a good player (Lee Sawyer) and everyone knows that. There’s no secret about it, Lee let himself down in a bad way. He’s been disciplined by the club, disciplined by myself and he’s taken his punishment and accepts it.

“We’ve had a meeting and a chat with him and told him the standards we expect and need on and off the field.”

John Nutter put in a low cross out of Sawyer’s reach which was as close as Woking struggled to have an impact in the opening 45.

Hill knew his side were in good shape to come away with three points going into the second periods but rued his side’s missed chances.

The gaffer moaned: “I felt confident we could go on and win the game. Second half we had some good opportunities and we were trying to win the game, there’s no doubt about that.”

Kevin Betsy should have put Woking ahead when he found some space at the back stick – but his effort only found the side netting.

Then came the game’s flash point as Cards were denied a spot kick after being bundled to the ground when free in the box.

Hill was seething at Whitton’s decision and waited around at full time for an explanation.

He raged: “I’m disappointed with the referee. I’ll go and see him but that’s not going to achieve anything. I’d like to know how he’s made his decision, why he’s made his decision and if he can explain it to me I’d like to hear what he says.”

And it went from bad to worse for Woking in the third of three added minutes when Brown failed to punch the ball clearCurtis Haynes-Brown’s cross.

The delivery fell to Tom Shaw who with all but the last touch of the game headed into the far corner to give the U’s the three points.

Hill made it clear his keeper should have dealt with the situation.

“From where I am he should have dealt with it better. We’ll have a look at it, I’ve got a view at the moment but I’d like to see it again. It does hurt, there’s no doubt about that but when you see the events in the last two or three minutes of the game it is hard to accept.”

Woking: Brown,  Newton (Frith, 67mins), Ricketts, McNerney, Parkinson, Bubb (McCallum, 76mins), Betsy, Sawyer, Johnson, Stockley, Nutter.

Attendance: 2054

Woking 1
Stockport County 0

ADAM DOYLE glanced home an 85th-minute winner as Cards made it back-to-back victories and clean sheets in the Blue Square Premier.

The defender’s header five minutes from time kept Garry Hill’s men on the road to recovery, ensuring they followed up the midweek victory at Lincoln with another three points.

Brett Williams could have put Woking in control as early as the second minute but a rasping drive cannoned back off the underside of the bar.

WINNER – Adam Doyle celebrates his late goal against Stockport County

The Reading loanee then blazed well over with the goal at his mercy and it looked as if the Cards, for all their productivity in the final third, would fail to find the crucial goal.

But with time ticking away Doyle popped up to lift his side back into the top half of the table.

Hill said: “We are starting to realise that we have to do the ugly side of the game.

“We’ve had to work hard and sort a few things out this week but I’m well chuffed.

“It was a result we thoroughly deserved – I don’t think any club at any level can come off a result like we did last Saturday and get the two results that we’ve got.”

Pick up Thursday’s News & Mail for full reaction and report.

 

BRAWL - a fan was ejected from the stadium after entering the pitch

BRAWL – a fan was ejected from the stadium after entering the pitch

Woking 1
Dartford 0

THOUGH he refused to admit it, Garry Hill will be mightily relieved to have escaped this feisty encounter with all three points.

It took a Giuseppe Sole penalty eight minutes from the end to separate ­Woking and old Blue Square South adversaries Dartford at Kingfield.

And even that came from a foul on Loick Pires that looked to be more outside the box than in.

But the late drama of the winner does not even begin to scratch the surface of a fixture teeming with chaos.

Add to the mix the fact Dartford were reduced to 10 men when Lee Noble was dismissed midway through the first-half.

Not that Hill was expecting anything less than a brutal examination from a Darts side that tirelessly chased the Cards for so much of last season.

He said: “There are no games in this league where you can turn around and expect to win.

“What you can expect, whether it is home or away, every game you play is going to be hard.

“Dartford certainly had the upperhand in the first 20 minutes and we knew they were going to be a tough, competitive team.

“We knew that it would be hard – even more so as we were both beaten on Saturday.

“One goal was always going to win it and that’s the dividing line.

“But we got the breaks and I don’t think there is a better man under pressure in a penalty situation than
Gez Sole.

“I’ve said it before, it doesn’t matter who you play, every game in this league is going to be tough – it was a big three points.”

Woking looked all at sea in a woeful opening half-hour as they failed to create any chances of note against a solid looking Darts backline.

At the  other end, the visitor’s decision to go with two target men up front gave them the early edge.

A sliced clearance over his own crossbar was the only way Joe McNerney could relieve the pressure caused by Adam Green’s dangerous ball across the face of goal.

The subdued Pires was hacked to the ground twice in the opening 15 minutes but it was Dartford who were benefitting from Woking’s set-pieces.

Noble was allowed to break from deep inside his own half and threaded a pass to Jacob Erskine down the right channel.

The lumbering forward had the beating of Brett Johnson, but Aaron Howe was more than equal to his tame shot at the near post.

Bradley Bubb eventually tested Louis Wells in the Dartford goal on the half-hour mark, jinking into the area before drawing a smart save.

But it was five minutes of madness from dangerman Noble that turned the tide and handed Woking the initiative.

After scything down Kevin Betsy on the edge of the area, the Dartford midfielder then arrived late on Mike Cestor and was duly dismissed by  referee Dean Treleaven.

On the sending off, Hill said: “It was a big decision but it was the right ­decision – both fouls were bookable ­offences.

“Dartford know they can have no complaints and the boy knows he can have no complaints. He had a mad five minutes where he lost it.”

The dynamic of the match shifted and Woking ended the half in the ascendancy.

Bang on half-time Lee Sawyer travelled almost 50 yards before releasing a shot straight at Wells.

And a minute into stoppage time, on-loan forward Brett Williams produced a gut-busting run of his own before releasing a shot at the keeper.

A reluctance to recycle possession stifled Woking’s progress at start of the second-half.

But when Sawyer’s corner was headed clear by Jacob Erskine, Adam Newton controlled the ball on his chest and unleashed a swerving strike that seemed destined for the top corner until the fingertips of Wells intervened.

Bubb was lucky to see Danny Harris toe-poke well over from a narrow angle after the Woking winger surrendered possession in his own box with an hour played.

And with 23 minutes left on the clock Hill rolled the dice, hauling off Bubb and throwing on last season’s top
goalscorer Sole.

As the game moved into the final 10 minutes, Sole stepped up to demonstrate why a player of his calibre should not be warming the bench.

Pires latched on to McNerney’s incisive long throw and was pulled to the ground as he surged into the area.

The linesman raised his flag and the referee pointed to the spot, although it looked as if Pires had been fouled
outside the box.

Dartford players disputed the decision, none more so than Wells, who picked up a caution for moving the ball from the spot as Sole readied himself.

Unfazed, the classy forward sent the keeper the wrong way, slotting the penalty into the bottom left corner.

But there was more chaos for officials to address after the goal as Wells and Sole squared up before dragging a melee of players into the advertising hoardings.

One fan, who entered the pitch, was ejected from the stadium and play finally resumed.

One sour note was the sight of match-winner Sole hobbling out of the ground on crutches.

Hill will be praying his star forward makes a speedy recovery.

CAPTAIN'S SHIFT - Mark Ricketts was deployed just in front of the back four

CAPTAIN’S SHIFT – Mark Ricketts was deployed just in front of the back four

TINKERING Garry Hill toppled League One Crawley with a new-look formation he hopes will serve the club well next season.

The Cards lined up in a versatile 4-1-4-1 system against their Football League guests, with captain Mark Ricketts providing defensive cover in front of a rigid back four.

Summer signing Jack Parkinson partnered new recruit Brett Johnson at the heart of Woking’s defence. And the trio’s impressive display helped inject a healthy dose of optimism ahead of the Cards’ clash with a QPR XI on Saturday.

It’s no secret that our midfield and up top are the areas we are now looking to strengthen

Hill admits he still needs to bolster his attacking line-up, but revealed he could have concluded his defensive shopping by the end of the week.

The manager said: “I think during pre-season you have to look at different formations and see what is right going forward.

“I think we have to turn around and respect that we are going to play at a different level and there will be a step-up in quality.

“I think we’ll have to take a view of that and certainly away from home we may have to be a little bit more disciplined than we may have been in the past in the Blue Square South.

“There is a big gulf and that’s why, as you can see already, I’ve topped up our defensive areas.

“It’s not to be negative but to make sure that we’ve an area in our squad that is nearly complete.

“It’s no secret that our midfield and up top are the areas we are now looking to strengthen.

“As you can appreciate I’ve got phone calls going on with players and with clubs, and one or two things are very close.

“After I’ve cleared my head and spoken to Steve Thompson and Geoff Chapple I can have a look at the figures and  go from there.”

Trialist Keiron St Amie won and then missed a first-minute penalty but made amends six minutes later when he latched on to Kyle McFadzean’s loose back-pass and rounded keeper Paul Jones.

Greg Mills did his hopes of landing a contract little harm with an enterprising shift – his direct raids down the left offered Woking a valuable outlet as the game progressed.

Johnson capped a fine display with a tremendous block on the line from Nicky Adams’ low shot and Hill was pleased with the way his side rose to meet the challenge.

He also believes the club will be more active in the transfer market as the start of the season creeps into view.

“We had a very good workout and played with an excellent spirit – I appreciate Crawley coming down and doing that for us.

“When we didn’t have the ball we had to keep our shape. We didn’t give away cheap free-kicks which was pleasing and it was nice to get some of the younger boys involved. We are a football club that is building for the future.

“In midfield we need to be more creative and we need to look at players in the wide positions and up top – we’ve got options but we haven’t got enough.”

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