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Superb Cards sweep aside Dover

Brian Caffarey - 19th November 2011

Superb Cards sweep aside Dover Dover Athletic 0 Woking 3
19 November 2011

Any concerns that Garry Hill’s side might be a bit rusty after a two-week break from league action were soon dispelled by a scintillating first-half display from the Cards which made a mockery of Dover’s unbeaten home league record this season. Dale Binns put Woking one up after only nine minutes and Jack King’s typically assured penalty gave the Cards a more-than-deserved 2-0 lead just before the break. The second half was a more even affair but the Whites spurned the few openings that came their way and substitute Elvis Hammond rounded things off with a fine finish in injury time.

On a clear but cold afternoon, away from the warm autumn sunshine, the Cards lined up as expected, fielding the same side that had vanquished Havant and Waterlooville 3-0 in their last league game. Dover briefly flickered as ex-Card James Walker swept a decent chance over the bar in the seventh minute. Woking responded decisively two minutes later. A poor clearance to the imperious Jack King enabled him to feed Dale Binns out left. Dale did well to get past his marker and then shot low under the keeper to make it 1-0 to the Cards.

Thereafter Woking proceeded to dominate the half, with Aaron Howe a virtual spectator. Alan Inns won everything in the air at the back. Jack King powerfully bestrode the midfield. Jay Davies cleverly switched play. Moses Ademola, with his clever footwork, had the beating of his marker every time. Paris Cowan-Hall, though not at his very best, threatened to outpace the defence on each occasion the ball went forward, and Wayne Gray was always lurking in the box.

Chances came and went with some excellent, quick interplay exposing a rather lumbering Dover defence. Cowan-Hall nearly slipped in Gray in the 13th minute but the ball bounced off him. Two minutes later Cowan-Hall, against the odds, beat the keeper to the ball but the ball cannoned away off Jaimez-Ruiz. On the quarter hour mark an Ademola cross enabled Gray to get in a shot, which was blocked – with the same fate befalling Cowan-Hall’s follow-up.

More sustained pressure came midway through the half. Ademola’s cross was headed away for a corner. Adam Doyle headed over the bar and Ademola hit the side-netting. Doyle’s clever pass then set up Inns to thrash the ball right across the box. Gray burst through, holding off several defenders, but Jaimez-Ruiz saved his effort. A few minutes later Ademola’s deft chipped cross enabled King to nod down to Gray but his shot was too weak to trouble the keeper.

As we moved into the last five minutes before the break some lovely interplay set up King for a header tipped over the bar by the Dover keeper. Just as it seemed that Woking would head to the dressing rooms with only a one-goal lead to show for their excellent work, Cowan-Hall was just too quick for the Dover defence in latching onto a ball nodded forward and was tripped in the box. Jack King despatched the penalty with aplomb.

Half-time: Dover Athletic 0 Woking 2

Not surprisingly, the home side came out in more determined fashion in the second half but overhauling a two-goal deficit against a very mean Woking defence was a tall order.

In the opening minutes it looked as though the Cards might put the game beyond Dover’s reach as several useful openings were created, especially from Binns’s trickery on the left. But Dover began to ramp up the pressure and push Woking back. The substitution of Wayne Gray by Elvis Hammond – no doubt with Tuesday’s match in mind – made it more difficult for the Cards to keep the ball in attack.

Woking continued to create the odd good opening as the ball was swept wide to Ademola but the emphasis by the middle of the half was on closing down and tackling. For a brief period midway through the half the Woking defending even looked a bit ragged. Walker, possibly fouled as he jinked in the box, shot wide in the 71st minute, followed by a goalmouth scramble. Had Dover pulled a goal back at that stage, the match might still have been in the balance, but Howe made a very fine save, tipping Cogan’s curling effort away for a corner.

The arrival of Ola Sogbanmu for Cowan-Hall gave Woking a bit more physical presence up front and Ola came close to grabbing the third goal in the 82nd minute as he met Binns’s excellent cross at the near post, but headed just wide.

Aaron Howe was called into action again as he punched clear from a corner and, virtually on the stroke of full-time, Dover had a shot blocked at the near post but by this stage the Woking fans were confident that three more valuable points had been secured.

While the four minutes of injury time was being played Elvis Hammond latched onto a poor back pass. He managed to come away with the ball from a confrontation with Jaimez-Ruiz but had a lot to do as he wheeled away and then turned to face the goal once more. There was only one place where the keeper and his defence could be beaten – just under the bar – and that’s precisely where Elvis chipped the ball to end a very satisfying afternoon.

Now to put an end to Chelmsford’s unbeaten away record on Tuesday!

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Jay Davies, Mark Ricketts, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Paris Cowan-Hall (Ola Sogbanmu 74), Jack King, Moses Ademola, Wayne Gray (Elvis Hammond 60), Dale Binns.

Unused subs: Giuseppe Sole, Derek Duncan, Andy Little

Booked: Paris Cowan-Hall 62, Adam Doyle 81, Dale Binns 89

My MOTM: Jack King (pictured), but closely challenged by Dale Binns amongst several others

Dover Athletic: Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, Phil Starkey, Tom Wynter, Agustin Battipiedi, Olly Shulz, Ed Harris, Barry Cogan, Glen Southam (Luke l’Anson 70), James Walker, Donovan Simmonds (George Purcell 81), Harry Baker (Leon Redwood 58)

Unused subs: Sam Cutler, Lee Hook

Booked: Phil Starkey 32

Attendance: 1061

Don’t forget that the Cards are at home on Tuesday evening to another promotion-chasing side, Chelmsford City, who are unbeaten on their travels in the league this season and who beat Bromley 6-1 today. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the team on to another victory!
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