Brian Caffarey - 6th October 2009
FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
5 October 2009
The Youth Team advanced to the 3rd Qualifying Round – where they will meet the winners of Wednesday’s Croydon Athletic v Ashford Town (Middx) tie – with a well-deserved win over an obdurate (but ultimately ill-disciplined) Molesey side.
On a bumpy pitch, which made ball control and accurate passing difficult, the youthful Cards nevertheless played some decent football, always looking a class above their hosts but perhaps taking longer than they ought to have done to put clear water between the two sides.
The side was quickly into its stride, putting pressure on the Molesey defence with some enterprising play down the flanks. The reward came swiftly in the shape of a towering header from defender Callum Eagle in the 4th minute to give them a 1-0 lead.
As the Cards pressed forward it seemed only a matter of time before that lead would be extended. Commanding at the back, with the impressive Aaron Gough (pictured) marshalling the defence, combative in midfield and with firepower up front in the shape of the highly promising Ola Sogbanmu and Ollie Palmer, the side enjoyed much more possession than the home side. But some over-elaboration usually allowed defenders to frustrate attacks in the final third, with a block or a well-timed intervention and the Molesey keeper proved to be an effective final line of resistance. Shots rained in from the two central strikers and the lively Rob Carr got just too light a touch after a strong run by Ollie Palmer down the left. The latter then drew a fine save from the home keeper after piercing the centre of the Molesey defence.
On the half hour the home side almost snatched an equaliser against the run of play as appeals for offside were ignored and the imposing Molesey number 9 lifted the ball over Matt Pegler’s bar.
However, this was an isolated interlude and the Cards were soon peppering the home side’s goal with further attempts, with Anson Cousins’s free-kick and a weak shot from Ola Sogbanmu the prelude to half-time.
Half-time: Molesey 0 Woking 1
It looked as though Matt Howard had sent his charges out with firm instructions to kill Molesey off as the Cards attacked relentlessly from the start of the second half, with the Molesey keeper even busier than before. In the 53rd minute Rob Carr slipped the ball into Ola Sogbanmu’s path. His speed took him to the ball before the advancing keeper and he then finished clinically to put the Cards 2-0 up.
The home side’s discipline began to falter at this point, with much dissent and a number of bookings but they got back into the game in the 62nd minute with an unexpected – and dubious – penalty, as a defender was adjudged to have handled.
The Cards, though, quickly restored the two-goal advantage as Ola Sogbanmu took advantage as the Molesey keeper misjudged a high ball. Ola’s strength enabled him to shake off the keeper’s attentions and then plant it into an empty net.
The game was made safe shortly afterwards as substitute Will Hammond made a fine run up the bye line, pulling back for Rob Carr to strike home to make it 4-1.
The Cards continued to make virtually all the running, moving the ball well, and Ola Sogbanmu ought really to have added to his goal tally as several chances were spurned. The main action, though, came in the form of a dreadful tackle on Anson Cousins as the home defence sought to halt one of several mazy runs. Fortunately, Anson wasn’t hurt but got a booking for his own part in the resulting mini-foray.
Once again, this display gave grounds for much optimism about the potential talent to come through from the Academy ranks. Matt Pegler, Anson Cousins and Ola Sogbanmu have already made their first team debuts. You can see quite a few of their team mates emulating them.
Woking: Matt Pegler, Josh Watkins, Anson Cousins, Callum Eagle, Aaron Gough, Tom Topham (George Frith), Sean Bradley (Will Hammond), Jack Blatchford, Ola Sogbanmu, Ollie Palmer (Chris Aldridge), Rob Carr
Unused subs: Ali Turpie, Conor Close
My MOTM: Rob Carr
Don't forget that the Cards' other youth cup team - in the shape of Westfield FC - is in action on Wednesday night, at home to Kingstonian. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.