cards

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.

Ebbsfleet 2
Woking 2

WOKING were held to their first draw of the season after failing to capitalise on a dominant 45 minutes of football at Stonebridge Road.

It was a major disappointment for the Cards who had recovered from the early setback of falling behind to Joe Howe’s piledriver to lead at the break through Jack ­Parkinson and Brett ­Johnson strikes.

But that hard work was undone 15 minutes from time when Fleet snatched a share of the spoils through Phil Walsh’s headed effort from Ben ­Greenhalgh’s corner.

EQUALISER - Jack Parkinson smashes home to make it 1-1

EQUALISER – Jack Parkinson smashes home to make it 1-1

Boss Garry Hill admitted his players were guilty of switching off in a sub-par second-half.

He said: “We didn’t play at all after the break – it feels like a defeat and I’m very disappointed.

“We were cruising at half-time and against a very average side we were cruising.

“We could have wrapped the game up and if we had found a third goal the game would have been over.

“We gave the ball away far too cheaply, lacked discipline, invited pressure and as a result they grew in confidence as the game went on.

“Ten points from the last 12 is a good run and we haven’t been beaten but this feels like a loss.

“We should be beating teams like Ebbsfleet comfortably – this is two points dropped.”

And there was further woe for Hill who will be without Lee Sawyer after the midfield ace picked up his fifth booking of the season.

The manager raged: “It doesn’t help when you are working with such a small squad to see your players needlessly suspended.

“I’m a bit disappointed with Lee and I’ve told him how I feel about the booking. It gives the opposition a lift, gets their tails up and limits the influence Lee can have on the game.”

For full match report and reaction pick up your Woking News & Mail today.

Stockport 1
Woking 2

GARRY HILL reckons Woking have shown their mettle after surviving their Blue Square Premier baptism.

Cards were dealt a daunting run of away fixtures to kick-off the campaign and failed to take a single point from any of their first four games on the road.

But defeats to Wrexham, Forest Green, Mansfield and Hereford were finally banished with a commanding victory over 10-man Stockport.

CLINCHER - Loick Pires fires in Woking's winner

CLINCHER – Loick Pires fires in Woking’s winner

“We were deserved winners,” said Hill. “No game is easy in this division so to come to Edgeley Park and beat Stockport is a great lift for the players.

“We’ve had a tough baptism to this league but I feel we’ve done better than results suggest. Even though we found ourselves behind we showed great desire to get back into it.”

Alex Kenyon gave County the perfect start with a headed goal inside 15 minutes.

But Gavin McCallum levelled things up with a mazy run and finish just nine minutes later.

Hill rolled the dice in the second-half and having already sacrificed Mark Ricketts for the more attack-minded Dean Sinclair, brought off McCallum and threw on Loick Pires.

And the change worked a treat as just two minutes after coming on, Pires cut in from the right and fired a low shot past Ian Ormson to give Cards the lead.

Honestly, I was relieved at the final whistle because I wanted it for the players

On the switch that acted as a catalyst for Woking’s first away win of the season, Hill said: “As a manager you’ve got to take responsibility and make the big decisions.

“I felt today that we could build on our first-half display and go on and win the game.

“Loick is a little bit low on confidence at the moment and is still raw at this level but he’ll be alright.

“He knows which part of his game he wants to improve and I have no doubt he’ll do just that.”

In contrast, Stockport’s second-half substitutions proved disastrous.

With his side chasing the game, Jim Gannon made a 77th-minute double switch, hauling off Sam Sheridan and Danny Rowe for Jon Nolan and Alex Meaney.

But just three minutes after coming on, 20-year-old Nolan was trudging back to the dressing room.

The midfielder was immediately cautioned for a tug on Kevin Betsy as the Cards threatened to break forward.

And he was given his marching orders moments later after flying in on Adam Doyle as he made a clearance down the line.

Woking had  two great chances to make the points safe through Betsy and Lee Sawyer.

But poor finishing meant Hill had to endure five tense minutes of time added on before breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Hill added: “Honestly, I was relieved at the final whistle because I wanted it for the players – they’ve worked very hard in our away games and not quite got their reward.

“Not winning can soon add up but we got the break and the points here which we totally deserved. It’s a very, very big three points for us.”

 

Woking 6
Nuneaton 1

CARDS went on a goal-scoring frenzy but were indebted to the magnificence of Bradley Bubb and Aaron Howe as Garry Hill’s men stopped the rot to claim their third win of the season in unbelievable style.

Defiant Howe laid the foundations for Woking’s first win in five with a string of wonderful saves, including a second-half penalty stop from Kyle Perry.

At the other end four-goal hero Bubb added to first-half strikes from Gavin McCallum and Lee Sawyer to set up the Cards’ most emphatic league win since a 7-1 hiding of Altrincham in November 1996.

After watching his side run riot at Kingfield, Hill was undoubtedly in awe of loan star Bubb’s astonishing display.

LOVELY BUBBLY - Bradley Bubb scored four

LOVELY BUBBLY – Bradley Bubb scored four

He said: “The dividing line at this level is in the final third and it is a tremendous achievement for Bradley Bubb to score four goals in one game.

“All his finishes were of the highest standard and he deserves all the accolades.

“We’ve not been getting the rewards we deserve recently and we’ve been a little unlucky. But we found ourselves scoring at important times when we’d usually be punished. The goal on half-time killed them and you get those days when everything you hit goes in.”

Andy Brown tapped in a late consolation for the visitors.

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

 

GARRY HILL has described Giuseppe Sole’s lengthy injury lay-off as “the worst thing in the world”.

Record-breaking Sole, who scored 15 goals in 11 consecutive games at the end of last season, is out for 12 months after seriously damaging ligaments in his knee against Dartford last month.

And with Hill’s wafer thin squad struggling for goals, losing his star striker for the entirety of the campaign comes as a real kick in the teeth.

LOSS - Giuseppe Sole will be out for 12 months

LOSS – Giuseppe Sole will be out for 12 months

Hill said: “Giuseppe Sole is a big loss and we were very disappointed for him when we heard the news.

“When you talk about losing a player with Gez’s scoring ratio in the second game of the season it’s always going to be a big blow -but that’s football.

“It’s the worst thing in the world when you are working with 17-18 lads to get a major injury to one of your players.

“To lose Gez the way we have is a blow but at the end of the day all clubs get their injuries.

“We knew it was going to be tough for us this year but I’ve got to be upbeat as a manager and we’ve got to try and be upbeat as a club.”

Lady luck has not been kind to Woking on the injury front under Hill’s reign at Kingfield.

Captain Mark Ricketts was side-lined with a broken leg for more than six months last season, while now departed Paris Cowan-Hall was also a frequent visitor to the treatment room.

But the manager is convinced the tide will turn and bring with it an upturn in fortune both on and off the pitch.

He said: “What goes around comes around and hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

“It’s been a little bit awkward at the moment but there won’t be any additional pressure on the players.

“We’ve played some lovely football on the road but things haven’t quite gone our way and we are getting punished.

“People can’t forget that we’ve had a real hard start away from home.

“We’ve played three really fancied teams in Wrexham, Hereford and Mansfield and given a good account of ourselves.

“Our other away game was against Forest Green and they are top of the league so we are taking the positives out of those fixtures. “

Though he likes to keep his dealings in the transfer market hushed, Hill suggested his hands could be tied when it comes to finding a replacement.

The manager added: “Unfortunately we are not over blessed financially and we’ll have to have a think about what we now can and can’t do.

“Sometimes setbacks can make you a stronger person and we’ve got to be strong now.

“I’m upbeat about the situation, I’m trying to be positive and we are going to push on.”

 

WOKING were dealt a major blow late last night as it emerged that Giuseppe Sole will spend at least 12 months on the sidelines.

The Cards’ prolific striker seriously damaged his right knee in a challenge with Dartford’s Nathan Collier in the 1-0 win at Kingfield last month.

He will play no further start this season and will not feature again until the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

Devastated Sole told the Woking News & Mail: “It is a bit of shock as I was expecting to be out no longer than a month.

HAPPIER TIMES - Giuseppe Sole celebrates after Woking wrapped up the league title last season

HAPPIER TIMES – Giuseppe Sole celebrates after Woking wrapped up the league title last season

“But Stuart Douglas picked up on the injury and realised that it wasn’t healing as quickly it should have been. I went for a scan and obviously we got the bad news.

“I can’t really do anything now except stay positive and look forward to next season.”

Sole had been in light training just two weeks after hobbling off against Dartford, but experienced significant discomfort when trying to change direction.

A scan revealed the awkward collision had separated the lateral collateral ligament from the bone.

Specialists confirmed a simple procedure could repair the damage and surgery was booked in for Monday (September 10).

But Sole will require an additional operation after it was discovered that his anterior cruciate ligament had also suffered trauma.

The second operation will push back Sole’s return to action by three months.

Kingfield’s record-breaking cult-hero is doing all he can to stay positive.

He added: “Either way I was going to miss the rest of the season – nine months or 12 months, there’s not much difference when you’re out for that long.

“I’m trying to keep positive and I’ll find myself something to do – I’ll be watching a lot TV.

“But I’ll still be around the club on Saturdays supporting the team, 100 per cent.

“The reaction on Twitter has been fantastic and my phone has been going mad, I’ve had a lot of support from the fans”

He also paid great respect to the club who moved immediately to authorise the funding of treatment.

Sole said: “I just wanted to say a big thanks to the board, the chairman, Garry Hill, Steve Thompson and of course Stuart who haven’t cut any corners.

“I’m in for the operation on Monday and I only had the scan last Wednesday, they’ve really been on top of everything – I appreciate everything they’ve done for me.

“I’ve spoken to the gaffer but there’s not much to be said, that’s just football and that’s life sometimes.”

 

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.

CLOSE - Gavin McCallum hit the bar

CLOSE – Gavin McCallum hit the post

Mansfield 3
Woking 1

WOKING had no answer to non-league’s Rory Delap as the Stags left the Cards high and dry at Field Mill.

Deadline-day signing Exodus Geohaghon and his prolific long throws caused the damage as goals from Louis Briscoe and Matt Rhead gave Mansfield a two-goal cushion at the break.

Woking hit back six minutes from time through Joe McNerney to set up a grandstand finish.

But substitutes Nick Wright and Jake Speight combined in time added on to seal the points and consign Garry Hill to a third straight defeat.

And the manager admits Mansfield’s timely acquisition of Geohaghon had a huge bearing on the course of this goalfest.

Hill said: “We were very unlucky not to get a share of the spoils – the scoreline has flattered them.

“I think apart from the long throw, which acted as a great weapon for them, we bossed the game.

“It’s a throw which everyone has to deal with so I won’t make excuses but if he had signed a day later it might have been handy.

“We go away disappointed with the result but not with the performance, we were upbeat and very creative.

“What’s important now is to get out of this rut, if we get in a bit of a rut confidence can get low but that wasn’t the case against Mansfield.

“It doesn’t help us but anybody who watched the game will say we were unlucky, with the chances we created, not to get a point.

“We aren’t getting that little bit of luck at the minute and everything seems to be going against us but I’m sure in time it will start to go our way.”

Cards were by no means outplayed by their hotly-favoured hosts but what Woking lacked in the final third Mansfield possessed in abundance.

A self-assured conviction in front of goal served the Stags well and they took the lead in the 10th minute.

Woking failed to deal with Geohaghon’s laser-guided missile of a throw and Briscoe was allowed to drill a low shot past Aaron Howe from inside the area.

Cards were neat and tidy in position and, after being handed a place in the starting line-up, Gavin McCallum rewarded his manager’s faith with a series of penetrating runs.

But Woking were blunt in the final third and rarely threatened Alan Marriott in the Mansfield goal.

Luke Jones blazed over from inside the six-yard box as Geohaghon’s bullet throws continued to cause the visitors problems.

After setting up the opener Geohaghon almost got himself on the score sheet with a powerful left-foot volley that was cleared off the line by Kevin Betsy.

McNerney’s curling free-kick and McCallum’s 35-yard effort drew saves from Marriott, but it was Mansfield who made the most of their chances, doubling their lead with the final kick of the half.

Cards looked to be springing a counter attack when McCallum lost possession to Colin Daniel deep inside his own half.

The defender found Matt Green whose slide rule pass tripped the Woking offside trap releasing Rhead to coolly prod home a second.

Reflecting on what proved to be a huge moment in an otherwise even contest, Hill admitted his players need to cut out the mistakes in an unforgiving division.

He said: “We got punished when it looked like we were on the breakaway.

“We had players breaking out of the box but we gave the ball away cheaply, they slipped the ball in behind us and we got punished.

“That’s the difference at this level, a bad pass can be very costly whereas in the Conference South, we might have been able to get away with it.

“I thought in the second-half we bossed it but it wasn’t meant to be.”

McCallum came close to making amends for his earlier error when he hit the inside of the post – only the faintest of touches from Marriott denied the winger.

Howe spread himself brilliantly to keep out Briscoe after the forward had bundled through a cluster of Woking players.

Marriott got a strong hand to Jack Parkinson’s swerving free-kick but watched thankfully as Brett Williams sent the rebound into the side netting.

Cards dragged themselves to within one goal of a dramatic turnaround when Lee Sawyer’s scooped pass was converted from a narrow angle by McNerney.

But with Woking pressing for an equaliser Mansfield were able to break and secure the points through Speight’s powerful shot.

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.

 

FOCUS - Loick Pires is determined to build on his latest performance

FOCUS – Loick Pires is determined to build on his latest performance

LOICK PIRES is keeping his feet firmly on the ground after running Barrow ragged on Saturday.

Cards’ level-headed hit-man turned in the performance of the season as Woking crushed the Cumbrian’s 3-1 at Kingfield.

Pires drilled home a decisive third in 79th-minute as Garry Hill’s men battled back from a goal down to make it six points from a possible nine this season.

And despite rave reviews from his manager and fans alike, Pires refused to get caught up in the hype, instead focusing only on Saturday’s game with Forest Green Rovers and the chance of another three points.

If the manager believes in a player then they are already halfway there

After netting his first competitive goal for the Cards, the forward said: “It’s always good to get off the mark as I striker – scoring goals is what we are bought to do and I felt good against Barrow.

“It was a massive relief on my part but now I can look forward to the next game and try to build on that.

“It was always going to be a battle with the heat but I finally showed what I can really do.

“In the first two games I was a bit quiet by my own standards but things started happening for me on Saturday and I was pleased to get the three points.

“As a young player I’m looking for consistency and to try and improve in every game.

“I know what football is like – there are games when we all look good, but then there are some days when that might not happen.

“The minimum you’ll get is hard work and determination from me and my team-mates.”

His bullish performance, coupled with a result that lifts Woking up to seventh in the table, had Hill swooning come full-time.

In his post-match interview the Kingfield boss backed Pires to bag a minimum of 15 league goals this term, a prediction that did not faze the striker.

Pires said: “If the manager believes in a player then they are already halfway there.

“I know what I can do, the manager knows what I can do and it’s up to me to play my part in the team.

“If I get 10, 15, 20 goals then great but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself.

“My main focus is to contribute to the team in order for us to get where we want to be.”

Pires revealed the Woking dressing room was oozing with confidence after a superb start to the season and that there was no chance the Cards would settle for just a point in their next fixture.

He added: “We go into every game wanting to win, we are an ambitious team and an ambitious football club.

“There isn’t a team in this league that we’ll sit back against and try to consolidate for a draw.

“Once it’s eleven vs. eleven we know we can beat anyone on our day.

“I think you can see with the signings the gaffer has made that although we want to be solid defensively, we want to show what we can do in attack.

“I think that was reflected particularly in the second-half against Barrow.”