kevin betsy

Woking 2 Forest Green Rovers 0

JACK PARKINSON thundered in a second-half beauty to lift Cards up to ninth on a night when Garry Hill was quizzed about the vacant manager’s post at former club Dagenham and Redbridge.

Parkinson, usually known for his defensive qualities, rattled home a 79th-minute gem after Kevin Betsy had drilled Woking into a 1-0 lead.

JACK THE LAD - Parkinson celebrates his wonder strike

JACK THE LAD – Parkinson celebrates his wonder strike

And after claiming a sixth win in eight games to gatecrash the top half of the table, Hill moved quickly to assure fans his future lies at Kingfield.

The gaffer said: “Dagenham is a club I have had some great times with and some great memories. All chapters move on in life and I’m very happy with where I am.”

Hill had nothing but praise for his industrious team who ran themselves into the ground to secure back-to-back wins.

He added: “There is a big gulf between part-time and full-time in this league, but if you’ve got heart and if you want it bad enough, it’s surprising how far you can go.”

Full report and pictures in this week’s News & Mail – out Thursday.

Newport County 2 Woking 3

MAGNIFICENT Kevin Betsy had the league leaders looking like a bunch of plonkers as wonderful Woking tarred Newport’s unblemished Rodney Parade record.

The table-topping Exiles have been untouchable at home this season, racking up five wins and two draws from their opening seven games – conceding just two in a formidable start to their title push.

But their unbeaten record came to an unexpected end as the brilliant Betsy gave them a battering.

YOU BET-TER BELIEVE IT - Kevin Betsy ran riot at Rodney Parade

YOU BET-TER BELIEVE IT – Kevin Betsy ran riot at Rodney Parade

The veteran winger struck twice inside 16 minutes before Andy Sandell curled in for Newport bang on half time.

Bradley Bubb came off the bench to nab a precious third after 69 minutes.

But there was still time for more drama as Michael Flynn headed home in the 88th minute.

After hanging on to secure a rare away win, Betsy beamed: “It was a tremendous team performance.

“We were all disappointed with the performance and result last week but we dusted ourselves down and came out fighting.

“We are a good side on our day and we’ve got to put in these kinds of performances on a more consistent basis.

“If we cut out the errors and are more clinical when we are attacking then we can do OK in this division.

“In a few games we haven’t done ourselves justice and we’ve got to find that little bit of consistent form now.”

Full report and match reaction in your weekly Woking News & Mail

Woking 2
Southport 3

GARRY HILL locked his Woking players in the dressing room at full-time as he and Steve Thompson ruthlessly dissected Cards’ worst-ever performance under their stewardship.

Hill blew his top as goals from Andy Parry and Chris Lynch, plus Chris Lever’s late penalty, gave Southport all three points at Kingfield.

Cards had led through Kevin Betsy and, despite allowing the visitors to level before half-time, looked to be on course for back-to-back home wins after Liam Willis was sent off.

But the 10-men took the lead before Gavin McCallum hit back with just over quarter of an hour to play.

OVER BUT OUT - Gavin McCallum levels for Cards but Garry Hill was still left furious by the defeat

OVER BUT OUT – Gavin McCallum levels for Cards but Garry Hill was still left furious by the defeat

Again it appeared as if Woking would go on to win but Brett Johnson’s horrific error allowed Darren Stephenson to race through on goal.

Joe McNerney tried to make up the ground but was sent off after bringing down the forward in the area.

Lever converted the 82nd-minute spot-kick to leave Hill blind with rage.

Hill stormed: “Collectively they haven’t done their jobs and the players know that more than anybody.

“There are no excuses. You lose together and you win together in football, you stand up and be counted together and we’ve not done enough – no complaints no excuses.

“I’m very disappointed – the players have let themselves down and they’ve let the club down.

“You can’t be 1-0 up after 15 minutes and then turn around and think ‘job done’.

“That is the worst performance from a Woking team that I’ve seen in 18 months. I’m fuming at the moment.”

Dean Sinclair almost scored his first Woking goal but his 20-yard effort sailed over the bar after five minutes.

Cards did not have to wait long for the opener and after a confident start it was Betsy who came up trumps to capitalise on his opponents’ lack of attacking endeavor with the opener on 11 minutes.

In trademark fashion he skipped past three challenges down the right before clipping a cross into the area.

On the slick turf, the delivery avoided everyone before finding its way to McCallum on the left wing.

With a shimmy and measured square ball, McCallum found Betsy in the box and the forward had all the time in the world to sidefoot the game’s first goal past Tony McMillan.

And the Cards should have extended their lead but failed to apply the finish to a couple of tantalising crosses from Betsy and Lee Sawyer.

Southport’s leveller five minutes before the break came from nothing.

Russell Benjamin was allowed to squirm his way round Jack Parkinson on the edge of the area and roll off for Parry to drill past Sam Beasant.

Parkinson almost made amends for his soft piece of defending with a fierce left-foot drive that flew just wide, but the sides went in 1-1 at the interval.

Cards were slow out of the blocks in the second half but received a huge slice of good fortune when Southport were reduced to 10.

Betsy used all his experience to draw a foul from Willis who harshly received a second yellow after clattering into Mark Ricketts in the first half.

With Southport fighting an uphill battle and the 10 men there for the taking Cards were dealt an instant sucker punch.

Shaun Whalley’s near post corner could only be helped on by Mike Cestor and arriving at the back post was Lynch to volley in from close range.

A fantastic spin and snap shot from sub Loick Pires drew a good save from McMillan but the Cards struggled to settle into any rhythm against their depleted opponents.

Cards’ second goal was very similar to Southport’s first – a bolt from the blue in an otherwise lifeless second-half display.

A short corner allowed Bradley Bubb to smash a shot towards goal.

The strike hit a body and fell kindly to McCallum who, much like he did against Tamworth, fired off an effort that was hacked away from the goalmouth.

This time round the officials ruled in his favour and Woking were all square with 16 minutes to play.

But their hard work was undone eight minutes from the death when Johnson’s dreadful mistake allowed Stephenson to race through.

McNerney did his best to get across to make a challenge but the defender used too much force and bundled the Southport player to the ground.

McNerney was sent off and Lever coolly converted the resulting spot-kick in what Hill described as a real low point in his Woking career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woking 2
Cambridge 1

GARRY HILL admits he had almost forgotten what it was like to watch his side score first in a football match.

Woking have made an impressive start to life back in the Blue Square Premier but have only scored first in four games prior to Cambridge United’s ­arrival at Kingfield on Tuesday.

So it was a refreshing change to see Bradley Bubb and Kevin Betsy put the Cards in the driving seat with a goal either side of half-time.

And despite a late barrage from the U’s, kick started by Robbie Wilmott’s powerful header, Hill’s battlers held on to pick up their sixth win of the season.

“It was nice to be in front,” said Hill in a brutal examination of his team’s previous displays. “We’re not used to that and we were a bit shell shocked.

KNOTT'S BAD LANDING - Billy Knott was forced off on Tuesday

KNOTT’S BAD LANDING – Billy Knott was forced off on Tuesday

“I knew there would be chances for both teams and it certainly was never going to be 0-0.

“We got the important first goal and that seemed to settle us down a bit and at 2-0 we fancied ourselves to go on and win the game.

“But all credit to Cambridge. They worked very hard and got a goal back from a set-play and in the last 20 ­minutes they have put us under ­immense pressure.

“It was a big three points and a big response and I’m very pleased.”

The Cards dominated the opening quarter of an hour with Betsy and Lee Sawyer working feverishly in the middle of the park to keep Cambridge on the back foot.

And it was no surprise that Cambridge’sJonathan Hedge was the busier of the two keepers in the opneing stages.

Jack Parkinson was first to test Hedge with a ­swerving drive which the keeper pushed away for a corner.

Michael Gash flashed a low shot just wide of the post in reply.

But it proved nothing more than a  light reposte as Hill’s men took the lead in the 19th minute.

Betsy weaved his magic in the penalty area to reach the byline and clip a cross to the back post to Bubb, who clinically pounced to head home the opener.

And Cards’ leading scorer had a glorious chance to bag his second of the night in the 27th minute.

But he completely mis-judged ­Gavin McCallum’s cross and somehow managed to get the ball stuck under his feet with the goal gaping. Goalkeeper Sam Beasant, son of former Wimbledon and Chelsea No.1 Dave, was handed his full Woking debut in place of the suspended Aaron Howe.

And the 24-year-old showed no lack of confidence when, after a couple of early catches, he coolly Cruyff-turned Robbie Wilmott as the Cambridge man closed down a clearance.

Cambridge almost caught Beasant out when Tom Elliott capitalised on the keeper’s rash decision to leave his area.

But Woking were indebted to the youngster  when he got his outstretched fingertips to Rossi Jarvis’ deflected strike from the edge of the area.

Cards looked electric on the counter and always looked the most likely to grab the game’s second goal.

But as half-time loomed and the first shreds of anxiety began to surface the visitors had the chance to even things up, only for Rory McAuley to head Daniel Andrew’s in-swinging corner wide.

Cards thought they had steadied the ship when Betsy slid a shot under Hedge on the hour.

New loan star Billy Knott, who only signed from Premier League ­giants Sunderland hours before kick off, slipped past Cambridge full-back Josh Coulson and pulled the ball back for Betsy to apply the finishing touch.

But five minutes after giving themselves a two-goal cushion Woking threatened to implode.

The lead was cut in the 65th minute when Wilmott was allowed to escape at the near post to thunder in Andrew’s corner.

And Woking were dealt a major blow when lively debutant Knott ­hobbled off with what initially looked to be quite a serious injury.

“Hopefully it’s not too bad with Billy,” said Hill. “He’s a good young player but we’ll have to take it easy and see where we can go from here.”

Deflated by the loss of midfielder Knott, Woking retreated on to the back foot as Cambridge sought an equaliser.

Sub Ricky Wellard thought he had earend the visitors a point when his deflected effort hit the post and ricocheted off the back of the Woking keeper ­before dribbling out for a corner.

Beasant added to his side’s apprehension when he spilled two teasing crosses in quick succession.

But Cards survived the onslaught to secure their first win in four and climb up to 10th ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Southport.

Hereford 2
Woking 1

GARRY HILL is suffering from an awful case of déjà vu as his trouble on the road shows no sign of slowing.

Cards fell to a fourth successive league defeat for the first time since February 2009 and are yet to collect a single point on their travels this season.

An early strike from Ashley Sammons and Sam Clucas’ curling effort just before half-time gave Hereford an unassailable lead at Edgar Street.

Kevin Betsy bundled home an 81st-minute consolation but it was the recurring manner in which Woking are shipping goals that is of most concern to their manager.

Woking have now conceded six goals in the final five minutes of either half in their first seven games.

CONSOLATION - Kevin Betsy scores Woking's goal

CONSOLATION – Kevin Betsy scores Woking’s goal

A frustrated Hill said: “We are giving a good account of ourselves but things aren’t quite going our way at the moment.

“We found ourselves 1-0 down early on – same old story. We gave a present away on the stroke of half-time – same old story.

“But we showed a lot of character for a side that is thin on numbers, we dug in deep and I’m disappointed with the end result.

“I thought we were worth half a loaf and deserved a point from the game.”

Cards were punished for a sloppy start when Sammons blasted Hereford into a 5th-minute lead.

Sean Canham showed great desire to hunt down Joe McNerney as he was about to clear.

The striker stole possession in Woking’s box, shifted on to his right and launched an effort at goal.

I couldn’t have had any player available tonight who could have given more commitment and more effort than what the lads showed in these second-half

The danger was only half cleared and Sammons, who pulled all the strings in a busy first 45, rifled a 25-yard effort into the bottom left corner.

Woking’s first real chance of the half arrived in the form of Jack Parkinson in the 30th minute.

Gavin McCallum’s whipped corner fell to the former Welling man inside the six-yard box and only a combination of keeper Dan Hanford, Stefan Stam and Harry Pell was able to stop the ball going over the line.

Two minutes later Loick Pires took a great opportunity off the toes of Lee Sawyer who was storming in to smash home Gavin McCallum’s low cross.

But as Woking’s presence in the game grew so did the influence of Sammons.

The midfielder’s disguised pass sent Ryan Bowman clean through but the striker failed to apply the finish to a wonderful move and clipped wide from just inside the area.

But, just as in previous away fixtures with Wrexham and Mansfield, Woking surrendered the vital second goal right on the verge of half-time.

Mike Cestor was the guilty party this week, dwelling on the ball in his own 18-yard box and inviting Clucas to steal possession.

The winger’s curling finish into the top corner was sublime, but Cestor’s criminal defending leaves Woking with it all to do in Saturday’s now must-win meeting with Nuneaton.

But despite being shorn of key personnel and with injuries taking their toll, Hill hinted that he will not be dipping into the loan market just yet.

The manager added:  “Where we are sitting at the moment is a little frustrating but I still believe that we’ll get to the 50 points we need and that we’ll be a conference club next year.

“We’re thin on bodies which is no secret but I couldn’t have had any player available tonight who could have given more commitment and more effort than what the lads showed in these second-half.”

On the hour Hill threw McNerney up front in an attempt to give Woking a presence in the final third.

Sawyer’s one-two with Betsy resulted in an effort that was tipped just wide by Hanford.

But the Bulls always looked a rampaging threat on the break and Pell could have extended their lead, only to steer a low cross into the side netting with Aaron Howe rooted.

McCallum stung the hands of Hanford and with nine minutes to play Woking dragged themselves back into contention from a corner.

McNerney’s header was well saved by Hanford, but the keeper could only parry the ball into the path of Betsy who bundled home from a yard out.

McCallum’s deflected effort forced a smart stop from the keeper as the game moved into the final minutes.

But it was Hereford who came closest to netting the fourth goal of game when substitute Tom Nichols struck the outside of the post.

FEELING GREEN - Mark Ricketts and Woking slide to a 3-1 defeat

FEELING GREEN – Mark Ricketts and Woking slide to a 3-1 defeat

Forest Green 3
Woking 1

GARRY HILL was left reeling after a stoppage time poacher’s double from Forest Green’s Matt Taylor denied the Cards a first point on their travels.

Forest Green gave a beleaguered Woking a second-half battering after Kevin Betsy had given the visitors the lead with a first-half penalty.

And the Cards looked to be escaping The New Lawn with a positive result despite Magno Vieira squaring things up with a close-range finish in the 62nd-minute.

But the resistance was shattered in the cruellest of fashions and with just seconds remaining super-sub Taylor netted twice in time added on to give the hosts all three points.

A disappointed Hill described Taylor’s double strike as a moment of madness.

He said: “We haven’t had a bad start with six points out of twelve but it’s disappointing when you think you have a point in the bag.

“Injury time is a time to slow the game down and make sure everyone clears their head and takes responsibility.

“But we haven’t done that and that is what hurts me – we’ve worked hard but that gap in part-time and full-time started to tell on us at the end.

“I think that a neutral watching the game today would say that apart from the last five or 10 minutes that was nothing between the two teams.

“We said it would be important in the second half not to conceded – I thought we gave the ball away cheaply at times and we got punished.

“It’s disappointing to lose a game in injury time – it was a mad minute.”

Woking made all the early running and promised much with early attempts from Bradley Bubb and Betsy.

But despite moving the ball around wonderfully well on the deck it was the route one option that first seriously opened up the Forest Green defence.

Aaron Howe punted a huge kick forward but Bubb was hesitant in the area as the ball sailed over everyone else’s head and Sam Russell was allowed to punch clear.

Lee Sawyer then took the wrong option on the edge of the area and fired well wide when Loick Pires was better placed to his right.

Rovers were content to look after the ball deep in their own half but failed to carve out any chances of their own even with the persistent efforts of lightning-quick James Norwood down the flanks.

Kevin Betsy should have tested Russell after a 50-50 between Jack Parkinson and Jamie Collins released the forward and at the other end James Rowe tried his luck from long range.

A drab game finally burst into life in the 34th-minute.

Reece Styche combined with Rowe and Norwood to spring Woking’s offside trap only to see Mike Cestor steer a dangerous cross out for a corner at the back post.

Mark Ricketts almost found the back of the net a minute later with a driven 35-yard strike but the effort lacked the required dip and whistled just over the bar.

Only the fingertips of Howe kept the scores level as he turned Jamie Turley’s bullet header over the bar.

But the best chance of the half fell to the Cards and in-form striker Pires.

Betsy threaded the striker through down the right channel but the forward fluffed his lines, skewing a right-foot shot wide of the mark.

But Betsy spared his team-mates blushes, showing great composure to slot home a 42nd-minute penalty after Pires was bundled to the ground by Jamie Turley as he attacked Sawyer’s hanging cross.

Forest Green started the second-half brightly and fired off an early warning when Styche turned Ed Asafu-Adjaye’s cross round the post.

Substitute Kieron Forbes drew a save from Howe but Cards were not without chances of their own, Joe McNerney coming so close to producing a carbon copy of his stunning free-kick against Barrow last week in the 50th-minute.

But with Rovers shifting through the gears, Woking failed to exploit a handful of counter-attack opportunities as the game became more and more stretched.

Howe made an excellent one-handed save from Magno Vieira after Styche’s high cross fell to him in the area.

Vieira had the last laugh, however, as he helped Collins’ header over the line from a 61st-minute Forest Green corner.

With the rain hammering down Woking defenders stood like statues as another Collins’ header caused problems in the area, this knock-down ricocheting around the six-yard box before Adam Newton eventually cleared.

Newton was then forced to head Turley’s cross wide for a corner but not before Norwood drilled across the goal and wide from just inside the area.

Woking never got to grips with the second-half tempo and their frustration was summed up when Sawyer was cautioned for a cynical swipe at the legs of Norwood as the striker bore down on Woking’s defence.

Brett Johnson joined him in the book when he was adjudged to have illegally stopped substitute Phil Marsh, but Rowe failed to test Howe from the free-kick.

Despite the onslaught it looked as though Woking had done enough to earn a point.

But Taylor broke Woking hearts in stoppage time, two goals in as many minutes turning a hard-fought first away point into a painful defeat.

First the striker was well positioned to prod home Marsh’s cross and immediately after the restart he arrived at the back-post to slide home Norwood’ s measured square-ball.

 

SIGNED - Loick Pires is Cards' first summer signing

SIGNED - Loick Pires is Cards' first summer signing

WOKING have made Welling striker Loick Pires their first summer signing.

Pires, 22, joined United from Leyton Orient at the start of the 2010-11 campaign and went on to score 20  goals in 60 appearances for the Wings.

He becomes Garry Hill’s first signing since Cards were crowned Blue Square South champions in April.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Mail, Pires said: “My first goal for Welling was against Woking with a free-kick a couple of years ago so I’ve had a bit of joy against them.

“But in recent times I’ve seen the quality that was there and I’ve been to the stadium a couple of times so it was a club I rated highly regardless of whether it was a club I joining or not.

“Obviously I knew a lot about Garry Hill and his pedigree so that came into it once he asked me to join. I’m looking forward to testing myself at a higher level.

Once I’m on the pitch I’m more than confident I can get the better of my opponent and one thing I can guarantee is that no one will work harder than me. That’s an attitude Garry Hill shares and that is where we met eye-to-eye

“I’m not fazed by the teams in the division. Compared to the Lutons and the Wrexhams Woking are a smaller club but to me, if you are on the pitch, it is 11 versus 11 and me against a centre-half.

“You’ve got to believe you can get the best of him. Whether they are playing two or three leagues above you or just above you in the league, it’s irrelevant to me.

“Once I’m on the pitch I’m more than confident I can get the better of my opponent and one thing I can guarantee is that no one will work harder than me. That’s an attitude Garry Hill shares and that is where we met eye-to-eye.

“When I was at Leyton Orient I was fed bread crumbs so I can’t really count that as a League One experience.

“All my experience has come in the Blue Square South and although there were five or six clubs interested from the conference, my heart was set on joining Woking from the off-set because I liked what he had to say and I like his philosophy.

“I really bought into that, amongst other things, and I thought it was the right time to test myself.

“There was an option for me to go into the conference last year but I was in a position where I thought it would be best to do another year in the Blue Square South and gain promotion – which I came very close to.  Right now, at my age, I think it’s the right time to test myself.

“In my first year at Welling I came in as a winger but I think myself now as more of a central striker. I can drift out wide, I’m quite pacy, I’m a lot stronger than I used to be and I’ve got a goal in me, too.

“I am primarily a target man but I like to think I can play on the deck too and I feel I’ve got a lot to offer the team in many areas.

“Defensively I do my job in terms of marking and I feel a threat going forward as well. The minimum you’ll get from me is hard work. Things might not go my way but I will run channels and work hard, that’s the minimum I will do.”

The announcement was accompanied by news that Kevin Betsy, Mark Ricketts, Adam Newton and Adam Doyle have all signed new deals at Kingfield.

A delighted Betsy said: “I enjoyed my three months towards the end of the season coming back so it was pretty much a no-brainer to sign a new deal.

“With the manager and Thommo committing their future to the club and after hearing their plans for the new season, it was easy to sign.

“The fans have always been fantastic with me and it’s like coming home again really.

“It’s an enjoyable place to play football and that is what I want to do at this stage in my career.

“I think the manager will draw on the experience of all the players at the club. He’s experienced in this division as am I and so is Steve Thompson.

“Thommo played in the conference for many years and when he was an assistant manager in a higher division he would always scout players in the non-league.

“They know the scene extremely well, they know the level, they know what’s required to do well in the league and keep us out of the relegation places.

“We are optimistic because we have the ability to perform well. We’ve got the nucleus of a good squad from last season and hopefully we can continue in the same vein.”

Academy graduates George Frith and Jack Mazzone have also signed first team contracts.

One player on his way out of Kingfield is Alan Inns who confirmed today via Twitter that he will not be extending his stay at Woking.

Inns made 33 appearances for the champions last season and scooped both the Cards Trust and Woking FC player of the year awards at the end of season trophy presentation.

He said: “Gutted to leave, but work and family to think about! Can’t fully commit 100 per cent. Been a great year personally. Great club/fans/lads #champions.”