Gravesend & Northfleet 1 Woking 0

Conference top-scorer Charlie MacDonald claimed his 13th goal of the season as Gravesend & Northfleet extended their advantage over fellow promotion hopefuls Woking to go fourth in the table.

Woking arrived at Stonebridge Road knowing that a win would see them leapfrog their hosts and claim a place in the top six, but, despite putting an unpromising start behind them to produce some fine attacking football, Glenn Cockerill's men were unable to make the breakthrough against a determined Gravesend side.

That the visitors will return home disappointed says much about their durability, because the early signs were less than auspicious.

After turning up to play Aldershot in the wrong kit a few weeks ago, Woking failed to show up at all here for the first 20 minutes.

A driving early run by Luke Moore forced visiting goalkeeper Shwan Jalal off his line and, shortly after Sasha Opinel had blasted high over the bar, Liam Coleman's looping, deflected shot had Jalal scrambling again.

The visitors survived their slow start, but Gravesend - although occasionally troubled by the intelligent movement of Craig McAllister and the imposing presence of Saheed Sankoh, the lively young striker who was making his full debut, continued to have the better of the opening quarter.

Woking could only get better, and with 24 minutes gone they carved out a half-chance when Fleet skipper Paul McCarthy prevented Danny Bunce's far-post cross from reaching McAllister.

Clearly encouraged, the Cards continued to rally and five minutes from the interval they created the most clear-cut chance of the half, Guiseppe Sole releasing Sankoh, whose fiercely-struck shot was athletically beaten away by the hitherto untroubled Lance Cronin.

MacDonald orchestrated Gravesend's response, cleverly releasing Moore down the right channel with an overhead pass, but the teenager's shot cannoned off the advancing Jalal for a goal kick.

It was a familiar story for Liam Daish's men. Despite boasting the division's top scorer in MacDonald, the Fleet have recently developed a habit of failing to make superior possession count, and as Woking finished the half firmly on the front foot the home side were left to rue missed chances.

Sankoh, who had been Woking's principal attacking threat, was withdrawn at the interval as Woking switched to 4-3-3, but with his replacement, Goma Lambu, posing less of a threat, the Fleet were quickly into their attacking stride, MacDonald and Moore probing the visiting defence before Opinel fired just wide.

McAllister forced a fine save from Cronin shortly afterwards, but Woking had more to worry about when the substitute, Lambu, was forced by injury to give way to Steve Ferguson.

However, the forward almost made an immediate impact, narrowly failing to pick out a team-mate after finding himself in space in the box.

In the event, though, it was a Gravesend substitute, Jon Keeling, who was to make the more telling contribution. With 74 minutes gone the midfielder charged down the outside left channel, delivering a teasing ball to Moore on the far post. The teenager calmly squared for MacDonald and the Fleet's prolific hitman nudged home.

MacDonald threatened to add another shortly afterwards, but as Woking poured forward in search of an equaliser the game became increasingly stretched.

Moore was withdrawn in favour of Onome Sodje, an astute move by Daish as the big front man posed all manner of problems for the visitors' defence.

At the final whistle the delight around Stonebridge Road was palpable, but in truth both teams will need to produce better than this if they are to reach the promised land of League football.