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Bognor Regis Town 1 Woking 0

Brian Caffarey - 28th July 2007

Bognor Regis Town 1 Woking 0
Pre-season friendly
28 July 2007

This was the second 1-0 defeat down at the South Coast this weekend but it was, by all accounts, a more encouraging performance than the previous night?s display at Havant and Waterlooville. Only an uncharacteristic blunder by skipper Tom Hutchinson prevented the Cards from achieving at least a draw, and had their finishing been more incisive they would have won comfortably.

The sunshine which had been promised proved rather elusive but the pitch at Nyewood Lane looked inviting as the Cards lined up in a 3-4-1-2 formation. The line-up was pretty close, one suspects, to that which we will see on the opening day against Rushden and Diamonds. Nick Gindre was in goal. The back three comprised Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson and Jay Gasson. Matt Gray, Jerome Maledon, Bradley Quamina and Danny Bunce patrolled the midfield. Matt Pattison worked behind Marvin Morgan and Giuseppe Sole up front.

The early signs were promising as Danny Bunce, in a more attacking role, made headway down the left flank and sent in a decent shot from distance. A fine move in the 10th minute saw Jerome Maledon slip the ball into the path of Giuseppe Sole, who, seeing the keeper off his line, shot early, but the ball drifted wide. Giuseppe, though, seemed determined to counter the criticisms about his work rate: he continued to range widely up front, moving well with and without the ball.

Woking were looking pretty solid at the back: both Jay Gasson and Paul Lorraine look comfortable on the ball and are quick to get their foot in to break up play. In midfield Bradley Quamina was less consistent, giving the ball away cheaply on occasions, but Matt Pattison impressed in ?the hole?, moving sweetly and always looking creative. And it was he who threaded a lovely ball through to Marvin Morgan in the 17th minute. As Marvin rounded the keeper he was brought down for an obvious penalty. Unfortunately, Shane Gore guessed right and parried Marvin?s shot. It looked as though Marvin might force home the rebound but he ended up handling the ball.

It appeared as though Marvin might quickly get his revenge as he chased down Gore and blocked his clearance on the edge of the box. The ball ran free to Giuseppe Sole but his shot did not have sufficient curl on it to head inside the far post. Marvin Morgan continued to unsettle the Rocks? defence and, after much juggling of feet, he managed to get a decent shot in, which he repeated a few minutes later.

On the half hour Giuseppe Sole had a great opportunity to give the Cards the lead their display had deserved. Working hard, he stole the ball from a defender just inside the area but his shot, on his weaker left foot, went wide.

As so often happens when a side spurns a succession of chances, Woking were punished. Tom Hutchinson had a nightmare moment, unaccountably failing to intercept an innocuous-looking through ball. Luke Nightingale finished cleanly past Nick Gindre.

Marvin Morgan had a great chance to put the Cards level almost immediately. The ball was deflected high to him a yard or so from the goal line. With only the keeper to beat he simply had to head it in but instead he headed it down and the chance was gone.

Bognor continued to play some neat football but rarely troubled Nick Gindre. Matt Gray, after a quiet opening period, began to get forward and put in a couple of decent crosses from the right but the half ended disappointingly as Giuseppe Sole picked up an unnecessary booking for kicking the ball away.

Half-time: Bognor Regis Town 1 Woking 0

The second half saw the introduction of Goma Lambu, Matt Ruby and David Shin for Matt Gray, Paul Lorraine and Jerome Maledon. Woking looked as though they had been asked to step up a gear by Frank Gray and proceeded to dominate the next quarter of an hour. A fine move saw Giuseppe Sole bring the ball down cleanly, feed David Shin, who, in turn, slipped in Marvin Morgan, but Marvin was foiled just as he seemed about to turn the defender. Giuseppe then chipped a ball through to Marvin Morgan, who half-robbed the keeper but, once more, the ball ran clear. Tom Hutchinson spent some time up front too, with Bradley Quamina dropping back to cover him. Marvin Morgan threatened again but seemed to want one touch too many. After a couple of through balls up the other end, which were just cut out by Nick Gindre and Danny Bunce, Marvin Morgan got in a rasping left-foot effort which had the keeper at full stretch. More efforts on goal followed from Giuseppe Sole ? skewed wide ? and Matt Pattison but the substitution of Michael Charles for Giuseppe Sole in the 63rd minute seemed, in retrospect, to have signalled the high water mark for Woking. From then on, Bognor steadied the ship and came back strongly. Jay Gasson had to make two important interceptions to prevent the Rocks from doubling their lead.

David Shin, who impressed once more, delivered several good crosses from the left, from one of which Michael Charles glanced a header wide. Matt Pattison had a snap shot blocked and Goma Lambu fired over the bar. But the best move of the match belonged to the Rocks as they passed their way through the Cards? back line, only to find Nick Gindre blocking the ball with his body. A few minutes later Nick was replaced by Ross Warner, while Sam Cockerill came on for the Rocks.

Bognor had a strong claim for a penalty denied as Tom Hutchinson appeared to handle in the box, with Sam nearly latching onto the rebound. (How he would love to have scored against his old club!) The last ten minutes saw Academy graduates Billy Hussey and Kevin McLaren take the field, replacing Matt Pattison and Bradley Quamina. Both got stuck in and did their prospects no harm. Woking continued to seek an equaliser but only succeeded in picking up another booking, as Marvin Morgan complained too sharply about the referee?s reluctance to allow Goma Lambu to be treated on the pitch.

So, another defeat but it was not without its positive aspects. Gez Sole gave a more complete performance than I recall; the back three and Matt Ruby looked composed apart from Tom Hutchinson?s lapse; Matt Pattison showed some real class; David Shin used the ball very intelligently; and Marvin Morgan showed attacking intent. But we looked a bit lightweight in midfield at times and we really must test the keeper more often when the chances are there to be taken.

Woking: Nick Gindre (Ross Warner, 76); Paul Lorraine (Matt Ruby, 45), Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson; Matt Gray (Goma Lambu, 45), Jerome Maledon (David Shin, 45), Bradley Quamina (Billy Hussey, 79), Danny Bunce; Matt Pattison (Kevin McLaren, 79), Marvin Morgan, Giuseppe Sole (Michael Charles, 63).
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