LOAN signing David Tarpey scored for the third time in four matches as Woking moved to the top of the Vanarama National League South table on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who joined The Cards this month on loan from Barnet, bagged a penalty to help Alan Dowson’s side leapfrog Torquay United in the race for the championship.

Tarpey, right, celebrates scoring the first goal of the match, and scoring three times in four matches

Woking now hold a two-point lead over the Devonians, with both sides having played 29 matches. The teams lock horns at Kingfield on Saturday 6 April in what is shaping up to be a winner-takes-all encounter.

As in Saturday’s home clash with Weston-super-Mare, The Cards took an early lead against Hemel Hempstead Town at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on Tuesday, and went in at half time 2-0 up.

But things were different in the second half. Only three minutes in, Woking keeper Craig Ross was beaten by a low shot from Town substitute Arel Amu to slash The Cards’ lead.

Woking’s nerves were calmed though, when Harvey Bradbury, arriving from the bench, made it 3-1 with time running out.

Home fans showed their delight by chanting “We are top of the league”.  The pressure is now very much on Torquay.

For the full match report, get the 21 February edition of the New & Mail

TEN-man Westfield conjured a late equaliser at Wodson Park as they earned a point away to promotion rivals Ware.

“We weren’t at the races”: Westfield Manager Tony Reid

The Yellows manager Tony Reid had recently confirmed his sights of promotion, and while looking to surpass Marlow into third made just the one change, drafting in Louie Downey for Harry Carter.

With two strong penalty claims for Westfield rejected, as well as their woodwork being tested twice by thumping drives from Ware, it was a surprise there was only one goal separating the two sides as the match headed for full time.

Yet in the final five minutes The Yellows were awarded a penalty, captain Matt Steer striking from the spot to level the scores, before Graham Purdy was dismissed for two challenges on the home side’s keeper.

“We weren’t at the races and it’s two points dropped unfortunately,” said Reid.

For the full story get the 21 February edition of the News & Mail

KEEPER Kevin Wheller saved a late penalty to hand Knaphill a fine 2-1 victory away to Colliers Wood United on Saturday.

Wheller’s last-gasp heroics meant The Knappers survived a wobble at the Wibbandune Sports Ground in Wimbledon to deservedly scrape past The Wood. 

After Knaphill’s triumph over Sandhurst Town in the Aldershot Senior Cup, manager Richard Keown looked to transfer his side’s jubilation into the league.

Knaphill manager Richard Keown gets his point across

Keown made three changes to his side, including finding a place for new signing Sam De St Croix, the ex-Godalming Town player who found fame with Hawke’s Bay United and North Shore United in New Zealand.

Felix Ahorlu and Martin Smith hit the goals for the visitors, but it needed the penalty save to ensure The Knappers came away with the win.

Reflecting on the game, Keown said: “We should’ve been four up in the first half so we deserved to come away with three points.

“We need the end product. I’m still looking to bring players in as the team can always improve.”

Next up is Knaphill v Southall (3pm) in a league match on Saturday 16 February, before the Combined Counties League Premier Challenge Cup Quarter-Final away to CB Hounslow United (7.45pm) on Tuesday 19 February. 

See the full match report in the 14 February edition of the News & Mail

WOKING won for the first time in four Vanarama National League South matches as they saw off East Thurrock United 3-0 at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday.

CELEBRATION: Collier, left, and Little, right, congratulate Tarpey

The Cards’ victory was their first in the league since they overcame Welling United at Kingfield on 9 January – exactly a month earlier.

So it was no exaggeration to say that the clash with The Rocks was one of Woking’s most important matches of the campaign.

Failure by Alan Dowson’s men to pick up three points would have given table-toppers Torquay United – whose home game with Chelmsford City was rained off – a crucial four-point advantage over the Surrey outfit, with both championship-chasers having played 27 times. As it was, The Cards closed the gap to one point.

New signing David Tarpey opened his account for Woking, before Greg Luer and Jake Hyde struck to kill off the Essex-based visitors.

For the full match report, see the 14 February edition of the News & Mail

THE Yellows turned on the style at Woking Park on Saturday as they swept aside Uxbridge to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches, winning 4-0.

Arsen Ujkaj lets fly to score the third of four goals against Uxbridge

Victory over their Hillingdon-based opponents saw Westfield climb to fourth place in the table.

Matt Steer, Harry Carter and George Frith returned to Westfield’s starting line-up.

After their midweek draw at Chalfont St Peter stopped The Yellows’ five-match winning streak in its tracks, the hosts looked to get back to winning ways.

After the match, Westfield boss Tony Reid said: “From the off we controlled everything. It was an all-round great  performance.” 

For the full match report, get the Thursday 14 February edition of the News & Mail

KNAPHILL boss Richard Keown says he wants to remain in the hot-seat next season.

Knaphill manager Richard Keown

The former Knappers under-23s manager, who was handed the first team managerial reins last October following the departure of Liam Parrington, wants a proper crack of the whip.

Since taking charge at Redding Way, Keown has virtually transformed the club’s fortunes from a side of also-rans to a side capable of achieving a top 10 finish in the Combined Counties League Premier Division on, reportedly, a shoe-string budget.

Speaking candidly to the News & Mail this week, the 31-year-old rookie boss pulled no punches about what he expects from his players and what the club requires to be able to properly compete at level 9 of the football pyramid.

“I had to change the emphasis from being a side that wanted to play attractive football, to a side that was difficult to beat.”

“I always knew that, if we could keep a clean sheet or concede just one goal, we had the potential to win more games.”

For the full interview get the 7th February edition of the News and Mail

A HAT-TRICK from Timmy Taylor helped Sheerwater on their way to a 7-0 thumping at home to British Airways on Tuesday night.

The former Knaphill winger topped the scoring, with Shane Rideout (2), Danny Taylor and Shane Cheeseman completing the rout.

Hands up if you scored a hat-trick: Timmy Taylor netted three against British Airways

The win moves The Sheers up to second in the Combined Counties League Division One table – one-point behind leaders Frimley Green.

It followed a battling display on Saturday, when they came back from conceding two own goals away to struggling Cove to eventually run out 4-3 winners.

George Dore converted from the spot, Timmy Taylor curled one home and Shane Rideout hit a brace. Although Cove fought back and reduced the arrears, Sheerwater held on for the victory.

And there was further good news for The Sheers after the final whistle on Saturday – fellow Division One high-fliers Farnham Town and Bedfont & Feltham had both lost.

“I’m quite happy. We got lucky but we took three points,” said manager Pete Ruggles at the weekend. “It was great to see other results going our way, but we’ve got to focus on ourselves.”

For the full match report, get the 31 January edition of the News & Mail

A SECOND-HALF hat-trick from Nicky Wheeler fired Woking into the Third Round of the Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup.

Wheeler stole the show as the much-changed Cards thrashed Egham Town 5-0 at The Runnymede Stadium on Tuesday night in the Second Round.

Woking boss Alan Dowson made nine changes from the side defeated by Wealdstone last Saturday. Only Nathan Collier (captain) and Paul Hodges kept their places in the starting line-up.

For the full match report and pictures, pick up the 31 January edition of the News & Mail

WOKING manager Alan Dowson is hoping new Ghanaian striker Bradley Hudson-Odoi will be the answer to his prayers.

Now 30, Hudson-Odoi, who is the elder brother of Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, is expected to go straight into the side against Oxford City on Saturday.

Woking manager Alan Dowson hopes to boost The Cards’ goalscoring form

It is hoped the former Wealdstone, Sutton United and Hampton & Richmond Borough striker, who has represented 12 different clubs since leaving Fulham in 2008, can reignite The Cards’ goalscoring form to bolster their Vanarama National League South title chances.

Speaking to the News & Mail this week, Dowson acknowledges that his side are going through a “blip”, following Woking’s 2-0 home defeat to Wealdstone on Saturday.

However, he believes it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a “few tweaks to here and there”.

He said: “We seemed to have hit a bit of a lull after the Watford (FA Cup) game.  We don’t have the same potency in front of goal and we look likely to conceded soft goals.

“The National League (South) is a tough league, which is evidenced when the likes of Wealdstone, who we played last Saturday, reportedly played £15,000 for a striker, while two other clubs in the league are full-time.

“If we’re going to challenge for the title, we need someone who can score us 15 goals, and it doesn’t help that Jake (Hyde) is injured and Max (Kretzschmar) who is our top goalscorer, pulled up again (hamstring) last Saturday.

“Bradley was unable to play against Wealdstone; however, all being well, he will play against Oxford City this weekend,” he added.

For the full interview get the 31 January edition of the News and Mail.

WESTFIELD extended their winning run in the Bostik League to five matches, and maintained their push for promotion, when they got the better of Northwood on Saturday.

Yellows’ boss Tony Reid vowed to “keep doing what I’ve been doing” – and it certainly worked, as he inspired his men to a 3-1 victory away at Northwood Park.

Westfield boss Tony Reid has been pleased to see more consistency on the pitch

Gregory Hayden put Westfield in front on the stroke of half-time, putting a powerful header past keeper Luke Sheldrick. After Northwood equalised early in the second half, goals from Aaron Watson and Tinashe Nkoma sealed the game for The Yellows.

“We are more organised and regimented after an inconsistent start to the season, and we have a strong bond among the team,” declared boss Reid.

For the full match report, get the 31 January edition of the News & Mail