jack parkinson

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.

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.

ON THE GOAL TRAIL - Loick Pires now has two goals in two games for the Cards

ON THE GOAL TRAIL – Loick Pires now has two goals in two games for the Cards

GARRY HILL has stoked the fire ahead of the season curtain raiser and warned Wrexham: “We’ll be ready.”

Speaking after his side outgunned Aldershot 2-1 in their final pre-season friendly, Hill declared himself happy with the way preparations had concluded.

He said: “I expect every team in the Blue Square Premier to be competitive but we’ll be ready – I’m sure of that.”

I’m sure there will be a certain degree of excitement next Saturday at 3pm for sure

Defeat to minnows Windsor in July was quickly rectified with subsequent wins over Crawley and AFC Wimbledon, while a spirited display against a QPR select XI will have given the manager huge encouragement.

Cards were held to back-to-back 1-1 draws at Carshalton and Hornchurch, but goals from Loick Pires and Jack Parkinson ensured Woking’s pre-season ended on a high against the Shots.

Attention now turns to the opening day trip to the Racecourse Ground and Hill believes the Cards – who are still looking to bring in three more players before the start of the campaign – must adapt quickly or risk a harsh culture shock.

Hill added: “We know it’s going to be tough going up to Wrexham but we’ll look forward to it – it’s something we’ve been waiting for since we won promotion. I’m sure there will be a certain degree of excitement next Saturday at 3pm for sure.

“We’re level-headed at the club and I’ve always been quite reserved on things so the number one aim is to get 50 points – I think that gives you the first cushion to build with going forward.

“I think we are going to go to some places and get a rude awakening and we’re going to learn a certain amount as we go along in the league.

“The boys have worked hard and we’ll be at the level we need to be next week – we’ve just got to go through a few things to make sure we are ready for Saturday.”

Pires bagged his second goal in as many games to give Woking a third minute lead against old foes Aldershot.

Kevin Betsy’s deep corner was kept alive at the back post by Parkinson and in the resulting melee Pires was able to hammer home a loose clearance from close-range.

And it was Woking’s Welling-connection that helped double their lead midway through the second half.

Lee Sawyer’s deflected cross sparked confusion in the Aldershot area and Parkinson was alert to smash in from inside the six-yard box.

Shots pulled one back minutes later when Michael Rankine got on the end of Jordan Roberts’ in-swinging corner, but that was to conclude the afternoon’s scoring.

The goals may have stopped but the drama was far from over and after the break Sawyer was amazingly denied by the woodwork at both ends.

A long back pass eluded Aaron Howe and hit the upright before a controlled effort at the other end grazed the outside of Jordan Clement’s post.

Doug Bergqvist should have seen a late red for a tug on trialist Kurtis Guthrie with the striker clean through on goal but he escaped with a caution.

Tackles flew in from both teams but Woking came through the tussle unscathed, victory over the old enemy teeing them up perfectly for the clash with Wrexham.

PATIENT - Garry Hill is willing to bide his time in the transfer market

PATIENT – Garry Hill is willing to bide his time in the transfer market

GARRY HILL does not predict any new signings to be unveiled at Kingfield until after the squad reports back for pre-season training.

Hill’s champions are still some way short of a full pack with only 13 players registered with Woking ahead of the club’s return to the Blue Square Premier.

And after completing an incredible hat trick of Blue Square South manager of the season awards, Hill confessed he didn’t expect much transfer activity before the players report for duty on July 2.

He said: “One or two could happen before then but I’m more interested in having my squad ready for the first league game in August.

We’ll pick and choose what is right for our football club, affordable for our football club but the players have got to want to come to Woking for the right reasons – that is very important to me

“What I’ve found out at the present time is that a lot of the players we are trying to fetch in and get on board want full-time football – and if they want full-time football they ask for full-time wages.

“There are only so many players who can get full-time football and I think the middle of July is when players go back to their clubs or go on trial looking for it somewhere else.

“When that doesn’t happen it becomes more of a level playing field where part-time clubs in the conference get a better opportunity.

“I’ve had some figures come back and I don’t think some football players really understand how hard it is out there. Some think the rules apply to everybody else but not them.

“We’ll pick and choose what is right for our football club, affordable for our football club, but the players have got to want to come to Woking for the right reasons – that is very important to me.”

Hill completed his amazing hat trick of manager of the season awards after leading Cards back to the top flight of non-league football following a three-year absence.

He was previously awarded the top honour with Dagenham & Redbridge in 2000 and with Weymouth six years later.

“I feel very proud,” said Hill. “I think someone said I was the first person to win it three times which makes it even more satisfying from that point of view but it’s a team award after the hard work from my staff and everybody at the club.

“Certainly the players and the fans who supported the club and played their part – I’m very pleased to pick up the award again.”

And there was more joy for the Woking boss as Alan Inns, Jack King, Giuseppe Sole, and new boys Loick Pires and Jack Parkinson all made the Blue Square South team of the year.

“There are five Woking players – past and present – in the team and they’ve got noticed for the right reasons.

“Of course I’m very pleased about it and even more so with our two new signings who were in the team with Welling.”

SIGNED - Jack Parkinson has joined the Cards

SIGNED - Jack Parkinson has joined the Cards

CARDS have completed the signing of defender Jack Parkinson from Welling.

The 22-year-old played 41 games for United last season and scored eight goals, three of which came against Woking.

The ex-Welling skipper said: “I met Garry yesterday, we had a chat and after coming away and sorting a few things out on my work side of things, I was really impressed with the club and the way it was presented.

“The fan base they have is fantastic, it’s a club that wants to do well and wants to push on and it’s a club that matches the ambition that I’ve got as well.

“I don’t like talking about myself too much I’d say I’m predominantly a defender. I played in midfield quite a few times last season, I got about 11-goals last season in all competitions which isn’t a bad return.

There’s no one in particular that I’m looking forward to playing, but it’s a new challenge of heading to new grounds and new teams – it’s something I can’t wait to get stuck into

“But more than anything I’m a lad that’s enthusiastic, loves what he does and is looking to push on and I feel I’ve made the right move. It’s a great club, with a good fanbase and it’s a club that wants to do well – it fits the bill really.”

The news comes on the same day that Woking announced they had signed Welling striker Loick Pires.

Parkinson added: “Loick is a good lad. He’s young like myself, he’s another one who is ambitious, he wants to do well and he is in the same boat as me.

“I suppose it helps him joining at the same time but I know the lads at Woking will be as good as gold. The gaffer has already said they are a good group and both of us really just can’t wait to get going.

“I was very impressed with the manager, him and Steve Thompson came across very well. He asked my views and at the same time he sold the club very well and that’s what has done it really.

“I want to play for a club that is ambitious and the manager is ambitious as well. Without going over the top, we know it will be hard but we feel we’re going to be quite well equipped by the time we kick-off to have a good go.

“My season ran on a little bit at Welling because of the play-offs so I wanted to get myself sorted. I had eight or nine offers from different clubs in non-league and in the league for next season.

“I wanted to get something sorted quick because I don’t like messing people about – there is nothing worse than people waiting on you and I was a bit paranoid that might happen so I wanted to make the decision sooner rather than later.

“Once I spoke to Garry my mind was made up.

“Every player will tell you it’s nice to play in front of big crowds each week and there will be no better than heading to Luton and the teams that attract big gates. It’s nice to test yourself against big clubs.

“There’s no one in particular that I’m looking forward to playing, but it’s a new challenge of heading to new grounds and new teams – it’s something I can’t wait to get stuck into.”