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A Night To Savour for Saraiva

Sam Buckell - 15th November 2016

A Night To Savour for Saraiva Woking 4 Walton Casuals 0
Surrey Senior Cup 2nd Round
15th November 2016

A strong Woking outfit put on a dominant display to defeat hardy Walton Casuals, on a mild and drizzly November evening. The visitors would have been hoping that their leading goal scorer over the past three seasons, Gabriel Odunaike, could help lead an upset. That was not to be, however, as the Cards showed their clinical edge over the Stags with two goals in either half, Fabio Saraiva the star with a wonderful hat-trick. Casuals made Woking work for their victory and certainly were not in awe of their hosts or the three division gulf between the clubs.

Woking fielded a strong team constituted of mainly first team players, with the remainder of the jerseys taken by perhaps some unfamiliar faces. Andy Little took the gloves for the Cards, with Brandon Hall away – with Jake Caprice – on England ‘C’ team duty and Michael Poke injured. Max Kretzschmar is recovering from a dislocated collar bone. Both teams named four substitutes on their benches.

It was the visitors who started the more energetic of the two sides, perhaps trying to catch their hosts napping early on. The first two minutes saw Casuals fire a shot wide, followed by Frankie Sutherland’s long-range effort rattling the post for the Cardinals.

After a frantic first fifteen minutes from both teams – with neither taking full control of the match and many exchanges of possession - it was Woking who finally got their foot on the ball and started to forge some meaningful chances. A crisp Edgar corner fell in the 6-yard box but no Woking player was on-hand to finish the opportunity, followed two minutes later by Luke Kandi’s incisive run deep into the Casuals’ box, but Sam-Yorke couldn’t turn the ensuing cross into the net.

This early action preceded Woking’s opener in the 23rd minute; a fabulous Fabio Saraiva left-footed strike powered into the Visitors’ net. Frankie Sutherland’s assist found Saraiva 25 yards from goal, who had the time to pick his spot and hit the ball across the goal and leave Denzel Gerrar no chance of stopping it.

The goal did little to dampen the Stags ambition, who were playing an attractive short passing game, trying to release their wingers and forwards in behind the Woking defence. That said, around the half hour mark a Dominic Dean diagonal ball found Luke Holness in acres of space on the edge of Woking’s box, but the striker couldn’t capitalise on the chance.

The match ebbed and flowed somewhat and it seemed the greasy pitch wanted to play its part too; players from both midfields regularly found themselves losing grip and offering counter attacks to their opposition. Both sides were finding that their final deliveries weren’t quite sticking, although it was Woking who looked the more likely to score, as Walton Casuals allowed their opposition time to develop their attacks.

After 39 minutes and out of nowhere, the unfortunate Rhys Paul lost his footing on the edge of Casuals’ box and Delano Sam-Yorke was on hand to rob him of the ball and finish the chance off the underside of the crossbar.

Half-time: Woking 2 Walton Casuals 0

Walton Casuals made a change at the start of the second half, Bokula replaced by Bello-Balogun. It was the Visitors who started the most ambitious of the teams, attempting to put pressure on the Woking defence with some balls played in behind the Woking back four. The Cardinals held firm however, with George Brown looking particularly impressive at the heart of the defence. The Stags had the better of the first twenty minutes after the break and took Woking by surprise with their slick passing and quicker pressing in the midfield.

A break in play for an injury in the 65th minute allowed the Cardinals to regroup and, against the run of play, the free kick which followed the injury was neatly netted by Saraiva to make it 3-0 on the night. The midfielder picked his spot and drilled the ball home, under the wall, into the bottom corner of the target.

The third goal appeared to subdue Walton Casuals, which allowed Woking an opportunity to wrest control of the match from their opponents.

A counter attack in the 74th minute gave the Cards an opportunity to hammer home their advantage. The break along the left flank resulted in Saraiva scoring the goal of the evening and securing a well-earned hat-trick. The cross came in to the edge of the box where it found Saraiva, who chested the ball and volleyed it first-time into the bottom right-hand corner of Casuals’ goal.

The scoreline did nothing to dampen the Walton Casuals’ spirits, however, and they continued to pressure Woking all the way to the end. Manager Anthony Gale could be heard urging his team to “finish on a high” and that they nearly did in the dying embers of the fixture. Were it not for a wall of Woking players, a goalmouth scramble surely would have resulted in a consolation goal.

It wasn’t to be and Woking ran out 4-0 winners in the end. Both sides will be pleased with the way in which they approached their play and they put on a clean, entertaining fixture. From a Woking perspective, the Cards will be pleased to have kept only their second clean sheet in 2016. That, the finishing and the style of play will give the players confidence going into the league match at Maidstone on Saturday.

Woking: Andy Little, Charlie Carter, Frazer Shaw, Brian Saah ©, George Brown, Frankie Sutherland, Fabio Saraiva (Charlie Hester-Cook 77), Luke Kandi, Anthony Edgar, Gozi Ugwu (Aaron Smith-Joseph 68), Delano Sam-Yorke

Unused subs: Sam Mason, Joey Jones

Goals: Saraiva (23, 65, 74), Sam-Yorke (39)

Bookings: Frazer Shaw 44, Frankie Sutherland 45

Walton Casuals: Denzel Gerrar, Tom Jelley, Dominic Dean, Rhys Paul (Dan Choules 77), Jordan Cheadle, Jake Nicholson, Jack Sammoutis, Tumba Bokula (Sam Bello-Balogun HT), Sol Pinnock, Luke Holness, Gabriel Odunaike

Unused subs: Anthony Gale, Harvey Cheadle

Bookings: None

Referee: Nigel Lugg

Attendance: 108

Man of the Match: Fabio Saraiva – a wonderfully crafted hat-trick
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