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Gilroy's goals bring second win

Brian Caffarey - 25th August 2010

Gilroy's goals bring second win Woking 2 Lewes 1
24 August 2010

The Cards notched up their second successive win with this victory over Lewes, thanks once again to a brace from in-form Dave Gilroy (pictured), whose intelligent movement across the line was a feature of an exhilarating Woking first half display. A 2-0 lead at the break didn’t do full justice to the Cards’ dominance and they were nearly made to pay for a degree of profligacy as a much more hesitant second-half performance allowed the visitors back into the game, producing some nervous final minutes for the home fans.

Joe McNerney lined up at right back in place of the injured Ricky Anane and was one of the Cards’ best players on the night, impressing both in defence and in some marauding runs forward. Dave Gilroy and Andy Forbes were favoured up front, with former triallist, Gomez Dali, making a surprise re-appearance on the substitutes’ bench.

The Cards tore into Lewes from the kick-off. Toby Little’s opening testing cross was followed immediately by a well-struck right-footed effort from the same player, which was turned away by the Lewes keeper for a corner. Some poor defending on the other flank then enabled Moses Ademola to get in a near-post cross, which Gilroy deflected delicately between keeper and post to put the Cards 1-0 up with only two minutes on the clock.

Lewes responded with a couple of attacks, which drew clearing punches from Lenny Pidgeley and a long-range effort from Breach. But the home side continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, with Andy Forbes winning useful headers and Gilroy always looking to spring the offside trap. But it wasn’t until the 15-minute mark that the next real opening materialised, as Little lobbed the ball into the centre following a throw-in. Hesitancy in the visitors’ defence allowed Gilroy to get his head to the ball but he couldn’t get enough purchase to trouble the Lewes keeper. A lovely flowing move a minute later, involving the lively Little and Aswad Thomas, ended with a bullet header over the bar from Gilroy.

More Woking attacks followed but their effectiveness was marred by some poor crosses before Forbes cleverly beat his man on the right flank, nearly putting Gilroy in again – a move which was then followed by a Little volley over the bar. Gilroy then had a great chance to act as provider but, through on goal and with Little inside him, delayed his pass too long.

The one-way traffic continued, with McNerney heading over the bar, Forbes mis-kicking a McNerney cross and Ademola’s swerving cross-cum-shot narrowly missing the far post.

A terrific long-range shot from the visitors’ number 9, Rob Gradwell, acrobatically turned aside by Pidgeley, merely presaged the long-awaited Woking second goal on the half-hour mark. A marvellous surging run by Jerome Maledon down the Woking left into the penalty area was followed by a perfect pass with the outside of his right foot into the path of Gilroy, who slammed the ball into the net. A superb goal at any level of football.

You felt that if Woking could grab a third goal before half-time it would be ‘game over’. They pressed forward but couldn’t extend their advantage, although they came close on several occasions. Little almost put in Gilroy again; Thomas headed over the bar; Forbes was just foiled by a defender as he threatened to skip clear and, in another superb move in the 43rd minute, Gilroy just turned the ball wide from an Ademola cross. Heading into injury time, Forbes connected well from just outside the area but the Cards had to be satisfied with a two-goal advantage from one of the most one-sided halves seen at Kingfield for a long time.

Half-time: Woking 2 Lewes 0

The Cards seemed to find it hard to regain momentum after the half-time break, failing to build on their first half dominance. However, a determined tackle from McNerney five minutes in seemed to produce a bit more aggression, with the resulting corner producing a half-chance for Inns and McNerney. An Ademola left-footed shot over the bar followed a few minutes later, but then Lewes struck back in the 55th minute. A snap shot hit the Woking post, with the ball rebounding to Jordan Lang, who converted comfortably.

With their tails now up, Lewes attacked again, with Lang almost slipping through the Woking defence a minute later. Graham Baker then switched his front two, bringing on Dali and Craig Faulconbridge for Gilroy and Forbes. The change didn’t seem to help the Cards much, with Dali never quite able to escape the attentions of the Lewes defenders and Faulconbridge, less mobile than Gilroy, offering less variety in attack. But, arguably, the biggest problem lay in the substantial gap between midfield and the front two, with Maledon apparently playing in a more defensive role than in the first half.

But it was Maledon who had the next effort on goal, with a fierce shot blocked. Woking continued to have the better of the play but few real scoring chances were created, with most comprising headers which were either off target or easy meat for the Lewes keeper.

In the 75th minute Sam Hurrell came on for Little, but the pacy wide man saw very little of the ball, although an early free-kick produced a good chance for Inns and others as the ball went loose in the box.

Lewes went alarmingly close to drawing level in the 79th minute, with a cross from the bye-line fortunately being cleared: the first of several nervous moments in the closing phase. At the other end, Dali nearly lowered stress levels when, played in by Hurrell, he drew a fine save from the Lewes keeper. But that was really the last clear-cut chance for the home side, with most of the decisive action taking place in the Woking half. Adam Doyle got in a vital saving tackle in the 87th minute and then Woking fans’ hearts were in their mouths as Inns hacked wildly at a cross in injury time – fortunately cleared again. The referee’s whistle was welcome to Woking ears, ending a game which the Cards deserved to win but whose result should not have been in doubt right up until the finish.

Woking: Lenny Pidgeley, Joe McNerney, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Moses Ademola, Jerome Maledon, Andy Forbes (Craig Faulconbridge, 61), Dave Gilroy (Gomez Dali, 61), Toby Little (Sam Hurrell, 75)

Unused subs: Francis Quarm, Daryn Hennessy

Booked: Craig Faulconbridge

Sponsor’s MOTM: Aswad Thomas

Attendance: 994


P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards are at home again this Saturday, when they take on Maidenhead United.
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