Written By Declan McCarthy
A tale of two halves would be the best way to describe this entertaining encounter between the two Vanarama Conference teams as Woking edged out former League Two outfit Torquay United in a thrilling 3-2 victory for Gary Hill’s men.
Woking fans celebrated their third consecutive league win, something the club haven’t been able to achieve since early October, but more importantly it was the 3 points at the end of the game that really mattered. The hard thought victory sees the Surrey based side move into 6th position only one point behind rivals Forest Green who currently sit in 5th position.
“We were (not) at it at the start, we didn’t match them we allowed the game to get quite open, but in the end we came through and we done well but more importantly we got the result in the end.
“We had to throw everything at it when we were two-nil down, we knew we had to go and win the game (and) I think we just really went for it and it paid off.” Said Woking Captain Mark Ricketts
The Cards found themselves 2-0 down at the break after some lacklustre defending from a set-piece left Aaron Downs to head home the opening goal of the game. Moments later after getting caught at the back, simple marking from the Woking defence became an issue, which gave the powerful Louis Briscoe time with the ball to pick his spot and drill home a fine shot which ultimately put a spanner in the works for Woking and their play-off chances.
Torquay didn’t stop there. Ryan Bowman must have thought he had hit the jackpot during the game! He was clean through on goal but was met by a great save from the impressive Ipswich loanee Michael Corwe who made his full debut for Woking on the night.
A close chance came and went for Woking when Odubade hit the post from a flicked header, but Torquay were quicker and got rid of the danger from the rebound. Woking were then denied again by the wood work as Rendell hit the post from an acute angle.
There was no doubt Gary Hill gave his players the hair-dryer treatment during the interval and it certainly showed as Woking, in the second half were quicker, more direct and going forward they had a real intention to score.
This intention turned into a reality in the 52nd minute, after some creative play from the midfield the ball fell to Odubade, who neatly slotted the ball in and gave Woking a life line in the match.
The visitors were left stunned from the goal. Woking piled on huge amounts of pressure, Murtagh and Betsy coming close with respectable attempts. But it was Josh Payne who found some space from an acute angle and drilled home his first goal since returning from suspension.
The Woking fans were jubilant and in fine voice spurring on the Surrey side. Torquay were certainly on the back foot after Aaron Dawsons headed mistake fell perfectly for Odubade who hit the ball with venom and real precision only to be kept out by Martin Rice in between the Torquay posts
As the game went on the intensity grew. It was end to end football and even Woking manager Gary Hill had a brief chat with referee Justin Amey, but none of that mattered as Scott Rendell scored Woking’s 3rd goal on the night and his 20th goal of the season. The ball was crossed in from the left and it fell for Rendell at the back post and he neatly tucked the ball inside the post which proved the penultimate goal that secured victory for Woking.
Woking Captain Mark Ricketts was in full praise of his team mate Scott Rendell, he said after the game “We take for granted how hard he works, he defends at corners, he is filling in for (Kevin) Betsy at the end. Overall he just works hard for the team and he also has the quality up top to score the goals and is just a natural finisher.”
Woking are back in action this Saturday. They take on a Steve Burr team in Chester away from home and if it is anything to go by in this game, it is set to be a thrilling encounter.
MOTM: Yemi Odubade.
(Pictures from David Holmes)