Thomas Pool - 21st January 2007
3.00pm on Saturday 20 January 2007
After 3 weeks without a home game, the cards returned to action against Altrincham on Saturday afternoon, in a must win game. Since that wonderful night in October that saw us beat our rivals Aldershot, Woking had managed 2 wins in 12 attempts, and seen as drop to 12th in the league having been in a play off spot. For some reason I had a gut feeling before the game that we'd get 9 points in the next 3 games, and what better way to start off this run we will embark on with a home victory.
Woking gave debuts to three players. Goalkeeper James Bittner, left sided Adam Green and central midfielder Neil Barrett. The latter been upon recommendation of Tom Hutchinson. Woking did welcome back Gary Macdonald, Neil Smith, and top scorer Craig McAllister. Jamie Taylor lined up with Craig in attack, and Karl moved to right back.
Minutes in and the first chance fell to the home side. After a poor decision by the Alty keeper, his defender failed to clear his lines, but Craig's one-on-one shot was hit straight at Coburn in goal and out for a corner. Jamie Taylor, who looks a very clever footballer, linked up well with Craig to win a free-kick on the left. An excellent delivery from Green was just too far for everyone and the danger was cleared.
Neil Barrett showed glimpses of why Hutch may have been quick to recommend him, by putting in several strong challenges before being booked. However, he had several good attributes. He looked comfortable on the ball, he was determined and his vision was excellent.
Another excellent delivery by Green, with 25 minutes gone, was again just too long for everyone, but out wide on the right, Gez Sole looked out of place all afternoon. Alty's attacks were few and far between, but when a Lewis Chalmers long throw was met with the right foot of Colin Little, there was an air of silence before the ball was sent to the top of the Main Stand.
With 30 minutes gone, Woking had 3 excellent chances to score. Gez Sole had the first when he was set free on the right. His shot to the far corner beat the keeper and, as the KRE began to celebrate, the ball was cleared off the line for a corner. Jamie Taylor had the next 2 chances. The first was more of a half-chance as he was set free down the right. Coburn did not know whether to come or go, so he sort of hovered until Taylor?s chip-shot forced him into retreating to save. A long Smith throw shortly followed and Macca flicked onto the head of Taylor, but it was straight at Coburn and Alty had survived.
Half-time: Woking 0 Altrincham 0
There was a shake up at half time as Goma Lambu was introduced for Gary MacDonald. Karl moved into central defence with Adam Green moving into the left back position, whilst Danny Bunce swapped sides to the right flank. This immediately took effect as Goma caused problems for Warren Peyton all afternoon.
With 65 minutes played, the debutant keeper almost gave away a comical goal. His clearance was hit straight at Colin Little, but fortunately it rebounded off him and went wide. It looked as if it may end up being one of those days, until Goma, who caused Alty all kinds of problems at the away fixture, won a corner. Adam Green swung the ball onto Craig's head, leaving the keeper with no chance. Relief and jubilation was felt around Kingfield.
With 15 minutes remaining, the cards attacked again, ending up with Craig grabbing a second. A wonderful through ball by Barrett sent Craig to another one-on-one and this time he made no mistake. The best move of the match swiftly followed. Goma received the ball out wide and hit a first time pass to Craig, he followed by example and fed a first touch pass to Neil Barrett, who did not need to take a touch and slammed the ball home past a helpless Coburn. The linesman however, ruined the party and gave offside.
With the game wrapped up, Glenn gave Liam Marum a chance, along with his youngest son Sam. Both were not really given long enough and the whistle signalled a win for the cards. At times, Woking played some excellent football. All 3 new players looked at home and credit must go to Glenn for these. Oxford will pose a much tougher test on Tuesday, but let?s all get behind the team and be the 12th man.
Woking: Bittner, Bunce, MacDonald (Lambu 46), Smith, Murray, Pearce, Sole, Barrett (S. Cockerill 88), Green; McAllister (Marum 88), Taylor.
Subs Not Used: Sankoh, Howe.
Sponsor's MoTM: Craig McAllister