Woking 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
Vanarama National League
16 August 2016
With Woking being unable to find their first win of the season, many Woking fans came into this match knowing how tough it would be for the WFC players. Forest Green, who finished second last season, kicked off in their bright green kits. The evening was looking perfect for a football match, with a light warm breeze and the sound of the cheering fans.
The first 10 minutes were controlled by Forest Green possession-wise, although they failed to test Michael Poke once. However, 11 minutes in, Forest Green midfielder Rob Sinclair flashed a striking shot just wide of the post from outside the 18-yard box; unfortunately for the visitors, it was centimetres away from them being 1-0 up. Forest Green continued to dominate the game and tire the Woking players, but the FGR defence were taken by surprise on the 14th minute, as pacy Jake Caprice rushed down the right wing and crossed a dangerous low ball in. Sam Russell, who didn’t expect the resulting shot, dived out low from his goal to parry the ball away to safety.
Forest Green striker Rhys Murphy then had a not very convincing shot outside the box on the 16th minute, which was saved comfortably by poke after the shot is too central. The goal came for Forest green on the 19th minute and it was a very well taken goal, Forest Green’s danger man Noble chipped a ball into the box where it met Keanu Marsh-Brown who powerfully volleyed it past the Woking keeper.
The next 15 minutes of the match were all Forest Green. The men in light green passed the ball around the pitch very well, but on the 35th minute Zac Ansah got into a 1-on-1 situation with FGR keeper Russell; Ansah tried to slide the ball between the keeper’s legs but Russell did brilliantly to use his feet and deflected the shot out for a corner. On the 39th minute, FGR’s Rob Sinclair came off injured to be replaced by Darren Carter. In Injury time, they had the ball in the net when Carter whipped a ball in from a free .kick; it was pushed over the line only for the goal to be not given for offside.
Half Time: Woking 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
The early part of the second half was much similar to the early part of the 1st half. Forest Green were spreading themselves out across the pitch well, causing the Woking players to get out of breath with all the passes. On the 58th minute, the ever present Rhys Murphy got into another 1-on-1 situation with Poke, only for the assistant referee to raise his offside flag. Nathan Ralph was brought down 30 yards outside the box in a very central position, Fabio Saraiva took the shot low but a defender blocked it to deflect the shot just wide of the goal.
Forest Green brought on Matt Tubbs for Rhys Murphy. Woking made two substitutions; Charlie Penny came on for Dennon Lewis in the 70th Minute and Anthony Edgar for Ugwu in the 76th. Keiran Murtagh gave away a free kick 22 yards out in a dangerous position on the 80th minute. Noble shot towards the top left hand corner, but Poke did well to tip over the bar for a corner. Marsh-Brown then decided to shoot from range but again the shot was too central and Poke saved the ball comfortably.
Woking’s Kretzschmar came on for Saraiva in the 82nd minute, when Forest Green also replaced Christian Doidge with Kieffer Moore. In Injury time, Tubbs got into a great position and he half volleyed into Michael Poke, who did well to push the ball away athletically.
Woking: Michael Poke, Ben Gordon, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh, Gozie Ugwu (Anthony Edgar 76), Zac Ansah, Nathan Ralph, Dennon Lewis (Charlie Penny 70), Fabio Saraiva (Max Kretzschmar 82)
Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter.
Woking formation: 4-3-3 (2 Wingers)
Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell, Ben Jefford, Drissa Traore, Dale Bennett, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Christian Doidge (Kieffer Moore 82), Ethan Pinnock, Liam Noble, Rob Sinclair (Darren Carter 39), Aarran Racine, Rhys Murphy (Matt Tubbs 68)
Unused subs: Jonny Maxted, Mohamed Chemlal.
Forest Green formation: 4-3-2-1
MOTM as selected by match sponsors Rigby Taylor: Jake Caprice (pictured) – Gave 100% effort, didn’t stop running and wasn’t afraid to shoot, cross or even try out his skills; he also was winning headers and using his strength effectively
Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis