A second half hat-trick from Jimmy Knowles capped off a comeback victory for the Magpies as they made it two wins out of two over the Easter weekend and condemn Woking to their second loss over the Easter period.
Despite taking the lead through Mark Ellis, Woking hit back to go into the break with a 2-1 lead, compliments of a Max Kretzschmar penalty and a Sam Ashford strike. But the Magpies turned the game around with a dominant second half performance to keep up their play-off aspirations for the season.
After a slow start from both sides, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when a slip from Josh Casey let in Ellis to finish in emphatic fashion with a volley that gave Mark Smith no chance.
Against the run of play the Cards equalised in the 28th minute when Moussa Diarra- who was a handful all afternoon in the visitors area- was wrestled to the ground. Kretzschmar stepped up to send the spot kick into the bottom corner.
Five minutes later the hosts had turned the game around when a free kick was headed on by Jack Cook with Ashford’s flick beating Sam Slocombe in the Magpies goal to give the Cards a 2-1 lead at the break.
Woking felt they had a good shout for a penalty when it looked like Jamar Loza was clipped inside the area, only for the officials to wave play on.
County responded with Jake Reeves sending a header straight at Smith when he should have done better. Lewis Knight dragged a shot wide before the Magpies drew level. Once again it was a Woking error gifted to the visitors when a ball over the top deceived Jack Cook to let in Knowles to calmly finish past Smith.
County restored their lead shortly afterwards when Knowles buried the ball into the back of the net after Smith came out of his goal from another long ball over the top. The Woking stopper failed to clear the danger and Knowles did the rest.
With time running out Diarra had a glorious chance to level the contest, but his stooping header was a weak one which fell into the hands of Slocombe.
The visitors made the game safe as they went straight up the other end to grab their fourth of the afternoon. Once again, another long ball caught Woking’s back line off their guard. Defenders stopped and appealed for offside. The flag stayed down as Knowles slipped the ball into the net for his hat-trick.
With three minutes remaining Woking almost set up a grandstand finish when Kayne Ferdinand stooped low with a header from a free kick, but Slocomb produced a marvellous save to deny the midfielder.
With that went the Cards last chance of salvaging something from a game in which they contributed to their defeat by gifting away all four goals to the opposition.
On a plus point for the hosts, they never gave up and not one players head went down. An encouraging note to finish on for the remainder of the season.
Woking 2 Notts County 4
Vanarama National League Monday 5th April 2021
By Peter Moore