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Sense of déjà vu as Woking and Watford draw 1-1 in PSF

Nicholas Jones - 8th July 2017

Sense of déjà vu as Woking and Watford draw 1-1 in PSF Woking 1 Watford 1
Pre-season friendly
8th July 2017

On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon with light cloud patches, a decent crowd turned out at the Laithwaite Community Stadium for Woking’s first Pre-season friendly – and new manager Anthony Limbrick’s first game. The pitch was in good condition after the recent excellent work by the groundsman, Colin Galliford, to re-lay the surface.

This first match saw debuts for eight of the new signings announced to date by Woking, including on-loan Chelsea Under-23 goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, centre half and captain Richard Orlu (from Dover Athletic) and Jordan Wynter, a midfielder at Bromley last season. Tall striker Inih Effiong – previously at Barrow - started up front for Woking, supported by wingers Bobson Bawling (ex Crawley Town) and Joe Ward, on loan at Lincoln City at the end of last season. There were two trialists – ex AFCW and Aldershot defender Sam Hatton, and Jamie Philpots, currently with Millwall – plus four Woking academy players on the bench.

Woking resisted attempts on goal by Watford in the first half, but found the Hornets to be very tough opponents, despite their last minute decision to field a Development squad instead of the anticipated first-team. Alex Jakubiak scored the opposition’s only goal of the game, but Bawling responded with a delicious right foot equaliser from just outside the centre line. After this, the game remained a stalemate.

Watford started as the stronger side with good early attempts on goal by Mike Folivi and Alex Jakubiak but they were easily stopped by Nathan Baxter on his Woking debut.

The early fast pace of Watford petered out and Woking managed to hold their ground against them. Joey Jones came close to opening the score in the 14th minute but his effort was prevented by Watford goalkeeper Sam Howe. A slight injury to Kane Ferdinand after 20 minutes slowed Woking’s progress and Watford took advantage of this when Alex Jakubiak opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Not to be denied, Woking levelled the game 90 seconds later when Bobson Bawling slammed the ball into the bottom corner of the net with a tremendous kick of the right foot.

Half-time: Woking 1 Watford 1

Woking made four changes at the start of the second half and nearly edged ahead early on, but the Watford defence held firm. Even after all of the Hornets’ substitutes were made, Woking just could not get past Watford’s substitute goalkeeper Nathan Gartside. An injury to former Hatton did not help matters either and Watford had more opportunities at goal, thanks to the brave efforts of Dion Perriera and Mike Folivi.

Anthony Limbrick’s first game as Woking manager was seen as satisfactory, even if the Cards did not provide many goal-scoring opportunities as they would have liked. Anthony is targeting at least a chance for promotion in the coming National League season.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Sam Hatton (Joe Thompson 88), Nathan Ralph, Jordan Wynter (Chez Isaac 45) , Joey Jones (Declan Appau 79), Richard Orlu ©, Bobson Bawling (Jamie Philpot 45), Kane Ferdinand (Josh Staunton 45), Inih Effiong (Ivan Nsimbi 66), Charlie Carter (Fabio Saraiva 45), Joe Ward

Unused subs: Sam Mason

Goals: Bawling 37

Bookings: None

Watford: Sam Howe (Nathan Gartside, 45), Andrew Eleftheriou © (Louis Rogers 64), Brandon Mason, Carl Stewart (Ash Charles 45), Charlie Rowan (Marian Huja 55), Joy Mukena, Dion Perriera, Max Ryan (Reece Stray 68), Alex Jakubiak (Jesus Cruz Cabera 68), Mike Folivi (Jibril Adejedi 64), Trialist (David Sesay 45)

Unused subs: None

Goals: Jakubiak 36

Bookings: None

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 1,227

My Man of the Match: Bobson Bawling gets my vote, because his long right foot shot on goal towards the end of the first half was spellbinding and to score with such an effort on his debut was amazing.
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