Northwich Victoria 0 Woking 2

Woking proved themselves far too powerful for a Northwich side that once again struggled at home as they crashed to a 2-0 defeat.

The game got off to a dramatic start with play held up for several minutes as both Northwich's Gareth Griffiths and Woking's Tom Hutchinson received lengthy treatment for head wounds that caused their eventual substitution within the first five minutes.

Northwich started in lively fashion with Mike Byrne prominent down the left but the visitors soon got into their stride with Goma Lambu getting in a low shot that produced a comfortable save for Phil Senior.

Lambu was then involved in a good move down the right finding Ollie Berquez with his cross but his headed effort was diverted wide.

With the Cards pushing forward Vics tried to take advantage with quick through balls and they nearly gained success on two occasions. It took a decisive tackle from Gary McDonald to halt Paul Brayson and then keeper Shawn Jalal had to be alert with Michael Carr closing in.

Good interplay by Woking players Berquez and Craig McCallister almost created an opening but Richard Battersby intercepted before Guiseppe Sole had a shot saved at the far post.

Northwich then had to survive a strong penalty appeal as Berquez went down under a challenge when chasing a long ball from Karl Murray before Danny Mayman earned Northwich's first corner when his shot from distance was deflected away.

Stuart Elliott was well off-target with a drive from 30 yards before Byrne miss-hit an attempted cross to the far post as the Vics struggled to make an impact against Woking's well organised defence.

Burns' low drive was then deflected but a quick break from the resulting corner saw the Cards almost break the deadlock. Sole completed a strong run by finding Berquez, whose powerful shot was turned away by Senior.

As the game approached the break Elliott was narrowly wide but the Cards were awarded a penalty when Senior brought down Berquez and McCallister sent the keeper the wrong way to open the scoring from the spot.

Northwich had an early chance to get level when Johnny Allan was brought down just outside the visitors' area but Grayson blasted the free-kick well over the bar.

Northwich continued their good early work but wasted an excellent opportunity when Byrne had the time and space to hit on target, but shot tamely wide after good work by Mayman and Carr had created the opening.

But Woking still looked the stronger going forward with Berquez always in the thick of the action. He drew a foul in a dangerous position but Murray hit over from an intricate free-kick.
Berquez then played in Sole, whose attempted cross was cut out before laying the ball into the path of Murray, but his low drive was comfortably stopped. The Woking number 14 then beat the offside trap but was foiled at the near post by Senior.

A double substitution by Northwich manager Steve Burr added some life to the home attack and almost paid dividends when Mark Sale headed into the path of fellow sub Kevin Townson, only for the attack to be halted by an offside flag.

Woking almost put the game beyond Northwich when Neil Smith broke into the area and pulled the ball back for Berquez, whose shot was saved by Senior flying to his right.

A flowing move was then created for the home side when they swept the ball up field but Townson's goal bound shot was blocked at the expense of a corner.

The game was finally settled when Danny Bunce's low free-kick was deflected past Senior.