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Woking 0 Cambridge United 0

Brian Caffarey - 24th August 2007

Woking 0 Cambridge United 0
25 August 2007

The familiar phrase ?a hard-earned point? summed up Woking?s display this afternoon. Toiling in the hot sunshine, and giving superb protection to a rookie keeper for seventy minutes of the game, the Cards? defence stood firm against much Cambridge pressure to preserve Woking?s unbeaten start to the season and to end United?s winning streak. Frank Gray will have been pleased with a point, all things considered, but will be waiting anxiously for news of Nick Gindre?s injury.

With Matt Pattison suspended and Matt Gray fit enough only to sit on the bench, Academy graduate Jerome Maledon made his Kingfield debut after coming on as a substitute at Stafford last Saturday. The Cards lined up with the now familiar back five of Matt Ruby, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson and Danny Bunce; Jerome was joined in midfield by Goma Lambu and Bradley Quamina, while Marvin Morgan and Giuseppe Sole were up front again.

The early play set the pattern for the rest of the match, with Cambridge having most of the territorial advantage but rarely seriously troubling the resolute Woking defence. In the third minute, however, Nick Gindre had to be very quick off his line to foil an attack and then did well to tip the resulting corner away to safety. Danger loomed again in the ninth minute when Jay Gasson was harshly penalised on the edge of the area. The ball evaded Woking?s wall but, fortunately for the Cards, arrowed wide of the goal.

Leo Fortune-West, who found Paul Lorraine an obdurate opponent, had a shot blocked and then headed wide from a corner before, with a quarter of an hour gone, Woking launched what turned out to be their best attacking move of the game. Gez Sole battled well for control of the ball just inside the Cambridge half and, advancing, slid the ball into Marvin Morgan?s path. Marvin?s long legs took him past the last defender to the right of the area but this gave Danny Potter in the U?s goal time to come out to block Marvin?s left-foot ?push? for goal.

In the 21st minute came an incident which threatened to change the shape of the game. Nick Gindre tangled with Fortune-West, and possibly Tom Hutchinson, as he came for a high ball and had to be stretchered off. On came Academy player Ross Worner (pictured), making his first team debut. To his great credit, he proceeded to look completely unflustered for the remaining 70 minutes, although it was surprising that Cambridge did not put him under greater pressure.

The game became a little feisty, with bookings for Danny Bunce, followed by Goma Lambu a little later, and the U?s Lee Boylan. On the half hour mark Bradley Quamina made a great tackle in defence and brought the ball out to set Marvin Morgan on a fine run, which was only ended by a trip just outside the area. Giuseppe lined up his free-kick but it cannoned off the top of the wall and into the keeper?s arms.

Ross Worner then did his confidence no harm with a fine ?take? under pressure from a high lobbed cross. He had less to worry about as Dan Gleeson fired way over the bar a few minutes later but Mark Albrighton?s shot looked more troublesome until Tom Hutchinson stuck out a foot and deflected it for a corner. Rob Wolleaston produced one of the best efforts of the half as his shot went narrowly over the Woking bar. But the Cards finished the half by exerting a bit of pressure of their own as Tom Hutchinson?s presence in the area from Matt Ruby?s long throw caused some confusion and Marvin Morgan forced a corner.

Half-time: Woking 0 Cambridge United 0

The second half began in familiar fashion with Cambridge having nearly all of the play for the first quarter of an hour but not putting Ross Worner under pressure. The Cards did not help themselves with some loose clearances and, as they were forced back, it became harder for the defenders and midfield players to find an outlet when they did gain possession.

Some relief was provided from defending as the hard-working Goma Lambu ? who seemed to pop up everywhere on the pitch ? and Giuseppe Sole made a bit of headway down the Woking left and Tom Hutchinson appeared in the box again as he attempted a swivelled shot. But the relief was short-lived and even Marvin Morgan was to be found tackling back and helping the defence out. Michael Charles came on for Giuseppe Sole in the 70th minute but he too found it difficult to make any impression.

Ross Worner then had to make his first real save of the game, tipping over an overhead kick. Leo Fortune-West proceeded to waste two presentable chances. Working himself into a good position in the area, he shot wide. A poor Bradley Quamina pass then allowed Fortune-West to run on goal, with Tom Hutchinson appealing in vain for offside, but, again, his finishing was poor.

In the 80th minute Marvin Morgan fashioned Woking?s first real attempt on goal in the half. He did well to make space for himself, got the ball onto his left foot and forced Danny Potter to make a clean save. By now Cambridge seemed to have tired and perhaps had contented themselves with a point, for the last ten minutes saw both teams hold out fairly comfortably for a result which probably satisfied both managers.

This game confirmed what we had already learned about this Woking side. The team works incredibly hard and we have a first-rate defence, who were supported well today by the midfield. But, certainly without the invention of Matt Pattison in midfield, we look short on creativity and, up front, only Marvin Morgan looks capable at present of unlocking defences. Of course, it is early days yet but Tom Hutchinson and co are going to earn their wages unless we can take the pressure off the defence more effectively.

To end on a positive note, though, let?s congratulate two graduates from the Woking Academy ? Jerome Maledon and Ross Worner ? who made their Kingfield debuts and performed with great credit.

Now on to Salisbury on Monday!

Woking: Nick Gindre (Ross Worner, 21), Matt Ruby, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Danny Bunce; Bradley Quamina, Goma Lambu, Jerome Maledon; Giuseppe Sole (Michael Charles, 71), Marvin Morgan

Subs not used: Adam Green, David Shin, Matt Gray

Bookings: Danny Bunce, Goma Lambu

Attendance: 1805

Sponsor?s MOTM: Tom Hutchinson

My MOTM: Goma Lambu
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