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Dover Sole is top class!

Alan Worth - 28th October 2009

Dover Sole is top class! DOVER ATHLETIC 0 v WOKING 2
27th October 2009

A second brace from Gez Sole in consecutive games was sufficient to see Woking take all three points in a very committed and, in the end, comfortable victory at the Crabble.

Graham Baker fielded an unchanged side after Saturday’s goal fest at Hendon, with Tony Sinclair making a welcome return to the bench after recovering from swine flu. Jon Boardman played for the full ninety minutes alongside skipper Hutchinson and both were both immense, literally, at the back. The two central defenders towered over the more diminutive Dover front men and, with Anane and Thomas also having fine games, defensively the Cards never looked in trouble. In fact Dover did not manage a single shot on target throughout the match and it was not until the 84th minute that the hosts finally had a sniff of an opportunity when Olly Schulz rose unchallenged from a free-kick to power a header wide past Ross Worner’s right-hand post. For the remainder of the game high-flying Dover never really looked like scoring.

If the Woking defence provided the bedrock for this excellent victory then it was the power and organisation of the midfield that was the engine room. Both Mark Ricketts and, in particular, ‘man of the match’ Harry Arter had fine games. Their work rate, ability to hustle and close down opposition players, win the ball and then burst forward into the opposing box is a joy to watch. For the full ninety minutes Harry never stopped working and Dover had no real answer to his power play.

Up front Delano Sam-Yorke had another effective game, quieter than on Saturday but nonetheless effective. He was able to hold up the ball and bring others into the game and his pace and power helped create Harry’s opportunity that brought about the first goal. Gez is currently in a rich vein of form. He’s clearly re-discovered his goal touch, has found an extra yard of pace and, most importantly, no longer lets the game pass him by for long periods. Alongside the rest of his team mates, he never stopped working throughout this encouraging performance.

The first quarter saw no real chances for either side, with the Cards providing most of the pressure. After 8 minutes Sole latched on to a ball that Leberl had attempted to chest down but his cross from the left towards Delano was deflected away. Four minutes later Gez again, from left, put over a deep cross that Arter, arriving late into the box, blasted over the bar. Both Arter and Sole had further opportunities, including an attempted long-range lob over the keeper from Gez, but these efforts were not finding the target.

On 31 minutes Woking had, what looked like, a lucky break. Initially Delano Sam-Yorke used his pace to beat a Dover defender on the right-hand side and he powered into the box. His lay-off to the on-rushing Arter was excellent but, as Harry pulled the trigger, Schulz slid in to get the ball away. Most Cards fans will probably agree that the challenge looked fair even if it resulted in Arter sprawling headlong in the penalty area. No matter, as Mr Foley pointed to the spot amidst much protestation from the home team and their supporters. After Saturday’s miss there may have been a little anxiety for Woking fans as Gez stepped up to take the kick after the luckless Schultz had been booked. No problem! The Woking striker thundered his penalty past Wilkinson and into the net.

After 38 minutes Delano was able to knock down the ball to Arter, whose wonderful ball found Sole yet again but this time Gez couldn’t make his shot count.

HALF-TIME – Dover Athletic 0 Woking 1

Dover began the second half in more determined mood and, on 59 minutes, Graham Baker brought on Maledon to replace Jamie Hand and so provide further defensive strength, with Jerome operating just in front of the back four. But Woking were quickly back into their stride and, as Dover tired, dominated the latter stages of the game.

On 65 minutes Woking effectively made the game safe. Unsurprisingly, it was Ricketts and Arter who, working effectively together, nicked the ball away from the Dover player-manager Hessenthaler in midfield. Ricketts then played a delightful ball inside the Dover left back for Sole to run onto. His first touch may have been a little heavy but Gez’s pace was sufficient to get to the ball before the on-rushing Wilkinson and comfortably steer the ball into the net.

It could have been three, minutes later, as a delightful reverse pass from Sam-Yorke released Arter on the left side of the penalty area. His fierce shot was deflected away for a corner. Woking now mounted sustained pressure on the Dover defence, with four corners coming in quick succession. On 77 minutes another fine ball from Ricky Anane over the top of a tiring Dover defence provided another opportunity for Delano but as he advanced on goal the ball was deflected away yet again for a corner.

The Cards controlled the final ten minutes very professionally without any alarms to secure this important and well-deserved victory. As Woking fans made their way down the hill and away from the Crabble they will have felt very pleased that they had made the trip down to the Kent coast on a weekday evening and witnessed such an encouraging team performance.


MATCH DETAILS
SCORERS: Woking – Sole (pen) 32, 65
BOOKED: Dover Athletic – Schulz 31, Hessenthaler 36
Woking – Ricketts 53
ATTENDANCE: 1218
HALF-TIME: Dover Athletic 0 Woking 1
MOTM: Harry Arter
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Jon Boardman, Jamie Hand (Jerome Maledon 59), Harry Arter, Delano Sam-Yorke, Giuseppe Sole (Luke Medley 78), Nicky Nicolau (Sam Sloma 64)
UNUSED SUBS: Tony Sinclair, Joe McNerney
DOVER ATHLETIC LINE-UP: Wilkinson, Fish, Hill, Leberl, Schulz, Southall, Walis (Browning 48), Hessenthaler (Moore 71), Birchall, Collin, Rogers (Hughes 63)
UNUSED SUBS: Walder, Hook
REFEREE: M. Foley
ASSISTANT REFEREES: T. Hatt. R. Joss


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