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Cards grab fine league win

Brian Caffarey - 28th November 2009

Cards grab fine league win Woking 3 Dorchester Town 1
28 November 2009

The Cards were well worth their margin of victory this afternoon but it took them until well into the second half to get their noses in front after conceding a sloppy opening goal to an obdurate Dorchester side midway through the first half. Along the way Cards fans delighted in some skilful and entertaining play, in particular from Moses Ademola, Harry Arter, Ricky Anane and new loan signing Nathaniel Pinney after the break. With this array of talent at Graham Baker’s disposal for the next month or so, Woking really ought to be able to push on and cement a play-off place.

As predicted, Graham started with the same side that began against St Albans in last week’s 6-0 win, with the two new loan signings from Crystal Palace, Pinney and Matthew Wright, both on the bench. So there was no place, even there, for the likes of Jon Boardman and Luke Medley.

Moses Ademola began where he left off seven days ago, starting another ‘Man of the Match’ performance with a mesmerising run into the box, beating a defender on the bye line before putting over a fine chip to Giuseppe Sole beyond the far post, who twisted and volleyed over the bar.

Trevor Benjamin too carried on where he had left off last week, occupying the Magpies’ central defenders and winning more than his fair share of headers as he attempted to play in his team mates. But it was Ademola who caught the eye again in the 10th minute as he once more beat his man in the box, with Mark Ricketts then firing over the bar.

Dorchester, who had won two early corners, threatened in the 14th minute as Devlin got the better of Ricky Anane and fired in a low cross, which Ross Worner dived low to take smartly. Ross was busy again shortly afterwards as a somewhat hesitant Tony Sinclair misjudged a through ball, but the Cards keeper was very quick off his line to hoof clear. Other Dorchester attacks tended to break down as Ryan Moss was caught offside several times as he tried to spring the offside trap.

In the 23rd minute the Cards fell behind. From a corner the Magpies’ big central defender Phil Walsh nodded back into the ‘mix’. Tony Sinclair (I think it was) seemed to miss his kick and Jermyn rammed the ball into the net from close quarters.

Some more hesitant defending followed as Sinclair was beaten but recovered well to block Nodwell’s shot. A slightly frustrating period followed as the Cards seemed to find it hard to create openings, with the home crowd becoming restless. But momentum was regained as the combative Harry Arter drove through the middle and saw his shot blocked and Ricky Anane’s clever footwork won the first of two corners. The Woking pressure continued as Ademola supplied another fine cross, only for play to be halted as Gez Sole and Ryan Hill clashed heads in the area. Trevor Benjamin then got in the act with a blocked shot and an off-target header. In the 38th minute the Cards went even closer as Arter made a superb run into box and flashed the ball across the goalmouth: only a touch was needed but it evaded his team mates. Tom Hutchinson ventured forward, next, as he followed up a header with a mis-kick which sailed nicely into the keeper’s arms.

Finally, with half-time approaching, the pressure paid off. Arter, out left, produced a wonderful cross for Ademola, which just evaded the final defender. The in-form striker, coming in from the right, drove it swiftly, hard and low, past the Magpies’ keeper for the equaliser.

The Cards went close to grabbing the lead. Tom Hutchinson’s header back, deep at the far post, was just intercepted by the Dorchester keeper and then Jamie Hand, looking odds on to score, saw his shot deflected over the bar. Finally, Nicky Nicolau, looking increasingly comfortable in the left back role, sent a spinning volley not far wide.

Half-time: Woking 1 Dorchester Town 1

Now kicking towards the Leslie Gosden Stand, Woking put the visitors under immediate pressure after the break and it seemed only a matter of time before they assumed the lead. Gez Sole made a fine run into the box from the left flank but had the ball taken off his toes. Woking then pressed down the opposite side as Arter and Ademola combined well again to force a corner. Ademola’s intricate footwork, surrounded by defenders, looked to have set Arter up for a crack at goal but he was flagged offside.

With the early momentum not quite producing a breakthrough, Graham Baker threw on Matthew Wright for Trevor Benjamin in the 56th minute. He showed up promisingly with some nice touches and some determined challenges. The Arter/Ademola combination produced another classy move but the latter’s pull-back to Jamie Hand misfired. As the pressure increased again the Dorchester defence had to resort to a couple of trips on Ademola, being somewhat fortunate to encounter a lenient referee. Another brilliant turn by Ademola was followed by a deep cross, and then Tom Hutchinson suddenly popped up in the box again as he challenged a defender for a Nicolau pass, with the ball spinning off harmlessly to the keeper.

Harry Arter, seemingly determined to get his name on the score sheet, flashed a right-foot shot wide, just before Graham Baker threw on Nathaniel Pinney for Gez Sole in the 71st minute. Five minutes later the Cards took the lead they more than deserved. Matthew Wright did well to pick up Ricky Anane’s pass and fire in a shot on the turn, which the keeper did even better to tip over the bar. From the corner Tony Sinclair headed back into space and Harry Arter, arriving at speed, crashed the ball, left-footed, into the net.

Nathaniel Pinney soon whetted the appetite for further appearances as his pace took him on a run into the box – only spoiled by a snatched shot as he blazed wide. A few minutes later an even better run was foiled only by a defender’s block. But he wasn’t to be denied. In the 81st minute, he seized on a rebound just inside the area, skipped past the last defender and then nicked the ball expertly wide of the spread-eagled keeper to round off an impressive debut.

Just before the three minutes of injury time ended, the Cards defence’s concentration lapsed at a Dorchester free-kick, resulting in Ross Worner having to rush out, picking up an injury as he clashed with a Dorchester attacker.

It took the Cards longer than it ought to have done to make this game safe but it was nevertheless a very encouraging display overall. The likes of Harry Arter, Ricky Anane, Moses Ademola and Nathaniel Pinney are all capable of setting the pulses racing in a way which was unthinkable last season. And the side at last looks capable, at home, of turning dominance into goals and decisive wins. I’m sure Graham Baker will have appreciated too the superb contribution from Mark Ricketts in his defensive midfield role, always busy and so often providing the decisive defensive cover to snuff out any counter-attack.


Woking: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Nicky Nicolau, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Jamie Hand, Harry Arter, Trevor Benjamin (Matthew Wright, 56), Moses Ademola (Mitchell Bryant, 85), Giuseppe Sole (Nathaniel Pinney, 71)

Unused subs: Aswad Thomas, Sam Sloma

Attendance: 1268

Sponsors’ (The Molesmith) MOTM: Moses Ademola (pictured)

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