Brian Caffarey - 24th March 2008
24 March 2008
Frank Gray has recently bemoaned the Cards? lack of good fortune. Well, the wheel turned full circle this afternoon as his side came away with a win they certainly didn?t deserve on the balance of play. They were even helped by a re-taken penalty, which levelled the scores, and then a stoppage-time winner.
Frank rested Matt Pattison and Gez Sole, bringing in Goma Lambu and Adam Green in the wide midfield positions. The changes diminished the Cards? creativity and it was noticeable that when the duo eventually appeared in the second half it marked the start of Woking?s best period in the match. There was not much to shout about it in the first half, though, as the Cards failed to rouse the many young fans who?d taken advantage of the ?free entry for U16s offer? to pack the Leslie Gosden Stand. It was Salisbury who presented the greater attacking threat from the kick-off, with the front pair of Matt Tubbs and Liam Feeney looking lively on and off the ball. A Feeney header in the second minute almost slipped under Ross Worner?s body and then Tubbs sent a dangerous effort bouncing across the goalmouth.
The Cards sprang to life in the 10th minute when a nice passing move saw Liam Marum whip in an inviting cross and then win a corner. The ball grazed Marvin Morgan?s head but drifted narrowly wide. The Whites resumed their offensive, with Sinclair?s fierce effort being blocked by Bradley Quamina before his left-footed volley was grasped by Ross at the second attempt. Liam Marum delivered another teasing cross in the 20th minute, which was just snaffled by the Salisbury keeper, but most of the action was at the other end, with Jay Gasson frequently having to sweep up behind his fellow defenders.
Marvin Morgan threatened in the 25th minute as he turned a defender just outside the box and then struck, three minutes later, to give the Cards an unexpected lead. A free-kick from the Woking right appeared to be heading out beyond the far post when Marvin stuck out one of those long legs of his and somehow managed to hook it back under the bar. 1-0 to the Cards!
Predictably, the joy was short-lived as Salisbury found themselves level two minutes later. The ball was played inside Damian Batt at right back. Tubbs?s cross found Sinclair, who swept the ball home.
Salisbury twice came close to taking the lead before half-time. Feeney unleashed a fierce shot, which Ross seemed to tip onto the angle of bar and post. Cook then planted a free header wide from a corner.
Half-time: Woking 1 Salisbury City 1
Salisbury gave the Cards the run-around immediately after the break, with the only relief coming from a characteristic Marvin Morgan charge up field, which was halted in the opposition penalty area. To make matters worse, the Cards gifted Salisbury their second goal. A Feeney free-kick out wide on the Woking right, in the 51st minute, ended up in the far corner of the Woking goal, with Ross Worner and the defenders all looking at each other accusingly.
The lively Tubbs nearly extended the Whites? lead as he blasted over the bar in a good position before Frank Gray brought on Matt Pattison and Gez Sole. Matt celebrated his birthday by being booked for his first tackle! There was another scare as Tom Hutchinson missed a header, letting in Feeney. Ross, out of his goal quickly, did just enough to force him to shoot high. Ross then had to hold tight to a header from a corner.
Woking at last began to come to life as Marvin Morgan, in the 69th minute, got a lucky ricochet on the edge of the box. He tempted Cook into an injudicious tackle in the box and was just clipped for a clear penalty. Gez?s effort was at a nice height for the keeper, who palmed it away. As play resumed, the assistant referee flagged that the keeper had moved forward too soon and the referee ordered the penalty to be re-taken. After much Salisbury protesting, Gez made no mistake the second time round. 2-2.
Frank Gray then threw on Jason Norville for Liam Marum. Matt Pattison had a shot blocked and Danny Bunce?s ?up and under? cross caused the Salisbury keeper a lot of discomfort. But it was far from one-way traffic as the Whites continued to threaten and Gez distinguished himself with two fine clearances from defence.
With only a few minutes remaining, Matt Pattison made an enterprising run into the box, but Feeney almost capitalised on the break, putting narrowly wide a few seconds later. A lovely move then saw Gez and Goma create an opening for Matt Pattison. He turned the defender nicely but saw his shot blocked. A similar fate befell an effort from Marvin Morgan, but it won what proved to be the decisive corner, with two of the four minutes of extra time already played. Inexplicably, the Salisbury defence left Tom Hutchinson free beyond the far post. He headed, very deliberately, back into the goalmouth, where Jason Norville, almost on the line, headed again up into the roof of the net, just inside the cross bar, to make it 3-2 to the Cards.
There was still time for a further scare at the other end as Ross missed his punch. Fortunately, the ball fell nicely to Danny Bunce just in front of his line and he was able to clear comfortably.
The Cards could not have complained if they had come away from this encounter without a point, for Salisbury were the better side for much of the afternoon. But the Cards haven?t had much fortune in recent games; this certainly made up for it!
Woking: Ross Worner; Damian Batt, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Danny Bunce; Goma Lambu, Bradley Quamina, Matt Gray (Matt Pattison), Adam Green (Giuseppe Sole); Liam Marum (Jason Norville), Marvin Morgan
Unused subs: Nick Gindre, Matt Ruby
Booked: Goma Lambu, Matt Pattison
Sponsor?s (Shere Ltd) MOTM: Jay Gasson (pictured), a deserved award for some excellent defensive covering.