The problems with the electricity supply at the start of this match and the resulting delayed kick off (8.15pm) cannot have helped either team?s nerves. Cambridge, of course, have slightly more confidence, points and momentum to help them through these tricky moments and the superstitious amongst the Woking fans are unlikely to have seen events off the pitch as a lucky omen for what was to come on it!
Woking kicked off in a confident manner with Phil Gilchrist?s comments in the dressing room ?Start on the front foot? ringing in their ears. Woking were playing towards the LGS, under the ghostly luminosity of the safety lights that the referee had deemed to be acceptable conditions for football to be played in. Early on, Lambu crossed a lovely ball over from the right wing which Pattison nearly connected with on the left side of the Cambridge penalty area. Marum came close shortly afterwards with a mazy run which delivered a decent shot which Potter was unable to hold.
As the 10 minute mark passed, Cambridge began to pick up a bit of the initiative and play some increasingly confident football, especially through the midfield area. Both teams competed for every ball and showed little fear in the air. Hatswell successfully stopped a decent Marum run on goal and on the 15 minute mark, Lambu was unlucky not to score the goal of the season for Woking with a smart little back kick which went just wide of the left post. Shortly after this there was an unsightly outbreak of handbags between Lambu and Reason, which was uncalled for as Lambu had gone for the ball rather than the man.
On 20 minutes Lorraine blocked off a Cambridge run to the centre left of the Woking penalty area, though the resulting free kick went wide and high of the goal. There then followed another incident between Pitt and Bozanic which resulted in a half hearted skirmish between a few players. Pattison took the initiative after this, when Cambridge failed to clear their lines, to have a cracking shot which skimmed just right of the goal post. Woking?s defence went walkies thereafter for a while when Kamara got hugely out of position, allowing Pitt all the time in the world to have a shot, which Knowles did well to block. Holroyd then had another decent chance, with Woking?s defence dropping too deep but luckily his shot floated wide of the upright.
Pattison played some excellent football throughout the half and had another shot tipped just wide of the post by Potter, on the 35th minute, following some nice approach play. The Woking forwards continued to make the running for the remainder of the first half, increasingly making life difficult for the Cambridge backs. For the first time for a while I can safely say the first half belonged to Woking!
Half-time: Woking 0 Cambridge United 0
Phil saw the Woking lads out for the second half with the comment ?Don?t let them cross the ball, get in their faces? as the questions over whether Woking could sustain their positive start remained to be answered. Cambridge kicked off and immediately went on the offensive as the away supporters stepped up the noise from the Chris Lane Terrace.
Rendell went down with a knock to the head after a clash with two Woking players but responded to treatment. After a bit of a slow start, Woking then managed to get a corner in their favour following a good run from Marum, though the resulting cross was fairly poor. As the match headed towards the 60th minute, Cambridge continued to have an increasing amount of possession, with Marum getting isolated upfront, the Woking midfield dropping deeper and Pattison seemingly a shadow of his first half presence.
Pattison conceded a free kick just outside of the Woking penalty area, even though he got a good contact with the ball. Quamina produced a nice clearance that led to Cambridge?s first (and then second) corners of the match. Cambridge seemed to be stricken with a similar problem Woking had suffered with in the first half; in that they were getting a lot of possession but not looking like they were going to convert any of their chances.
Lambu produced some more decent runs into the midfield but failed to produce the quality final ball which was required. Lorraine produced a decent header from a Woking corner but there was no getting away from the fact that Cambridge were starting to look increasingly dangerous. In the 73rd minute Hatswell seemingly blocked a Marum run on goal but the referee was not in the mood to give anything in Woking?s favour.
On the 78th minute Pattison was flattened on the way into the Cambridge penalty area but no booking resulted and the resulting free kick was cleared away by the Cambridge defence. On the 82nd minute Reason produced a goal for Cambridge from a seemingly nothing chance from the edge of the penalty area, as he was given too much time and space by the Woking defence. Knowles dived left but the ball scraped into the bottom corner.
Both Cambridge and Woking made substitutions in the final minutes in an attempt to secure the match. Pattison had a decent opportunity to go for goal but decided to cross it in the hope someone would poke it home but to no avail. Woking deserved at least a draw from this match but the lack of a consistent striker carries on haunting the Club?s chances of beating the drop.
Woking: Knowles, Anderson (Ledgister 88 min), Kamara, Lorraine, Sintim, Lambu (Elvins 84th min), Quamina, Bozanic, Pattison, Marum, Domoraud.
Unused subs: Worner, Miles, Vernazza. Booked: Lambu (19th min), Quamina (90+2 min)
Attendance: 1775 (450 away)
My MOTM: Matt Pattison
Goldrush Winning Ticket: 07198