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WOKING 0 STEVENAGE BOROUGH 2

Brian Caffarey - 8th April 2008

Woking 0 Stevenage Borough 2
8 April 2008

Tonight?s defeat was followed by the shock news that the Club had parted company with Frank Gray and Gerry Murphy by mutual consent.

Andy Turner?s roll call of some of the great former Woking players ? Lloyd Wye, Dereck Brown, Kevan Brown, Scott Steele, Darran Hay et al ? who would be gracing Kingfield next Sunday evoked memories of some wonderful, passionate Woking/Boro encounters in years gone by. Tonight?s game, however, was a curiously anaemic affair in which an ordinary-looking Boro side did not have to exert themselves unduly to leave with three valuable points to boost their play-off chances.

Missing Matt Pattison, Bradley Quamina and Danny Bunce, Frank Gray brought in Adam Green in a left wing-back role, started with Gez Sole in left midfield and continued with the central midfield partnership of Matt Gray and Jerome Maledon.

Boro pressed for an early goal and secured it all too easily in the third minute. Before that, Ross Worner had been forced to parry a Steve Morison effort after a Jay Gasson error had opened the way. Morison made no mistake two minutes later, glancing a header into the far corner from a cross from the Woking left.

Boro seemed in no hurry to add to their lead, perhaps sensing that if they played sensibly Woking probably wouldn?t have the firepower to get back into the game and that they, in turn, would have other chances to wrap the game up. And so it proved. For a while, though, Marvin Morgan looked at times as though he might make Boro regret their cautious approach but he was only able to provide glimmers of hope for the Woking fans. A clever turn and shot from 25 yards signalled his intent but did not trouble Boro keeper, Alan Julian. Ten minutes later he broke from midfield but finished weakly. In the meantime his strike partner, Jason Norville, had forced a corner but, in truth, the Cards did not look like scoring. At the other end, Ross Worner dropped a cross under a heavy challenge from Morison, with Tom Hutchinson sweeping up.

The game went very ?flat? midway through the first half, with neither side making much headway. Scott Mitchell put a long-range effort wide of the post, whilst Julian had to punch clear an Adam Green free-kick. Woking had their best spell around the 35 minute mark, putting together several good passing moves, with Adam Green hitting a well-struck shot not far off target. Jason Norville?s dummy looked to have opened up a shooting chance in the box but he was forced out of the danger area.

Half-time: Woking 0 Stevenage Borough 1

Woking started the second half quite brightly. Jason Norville did well to squirm his way to the edge of the box before shooting narrowly wide. Marvin Morgan?s tricky footwork in the corner then opened the way for a fine cross. Unfortunately, Jerome Maledon and Jason Norville only succeeded in getting in each other?s way. Boro responded with an instinctive hooked effort from Morison, which flew comfortably wide before Ross Worner lost the ball under challenge, recovering well to block a shot, with Tom Hutchinson helping to clear.

Stevenage continued to seem comfortable with a 1-0 lead but should have been made to rue their caution in the 59th minute when Tom Hutchinson missed an excellent chance. Adam Green?s free-kick saw Tom and Marvin Morgan get behind the Boro defence but Tom planted his header wide. Six minutes later, Tom was in the action again as his volley was acrobatically tipped over by Julian.

Woking had barely made their double substitution of Goma Lambu for Damian Batt and Liam Marum for Jason Norville when Boro got the second goal which, one always felt, was theirs if they pushed for it. A free-kick on the Woking right sailed toward the back post, where Luke Oliver side-footed it in.

And that was about it, really, apart from a brief flourish from Woking in the four minutes of injury time. Tom Hutchinson, now playing up front, nodded on for Marvin Morgan, who had just been dubbed Woking?s ?man of the match?, but his shot was little more than a back pass to the Boro keeper. And there was a bit of a flurry as Woking threw in a corner and a cross, causing a hurried clearance over the bar.

This was at least a bit more encouraging than the Cards? performance at Ebbsfleet on Saturday, with a few decent moves and with Marvin more involved up front, but the midfield again seemed to exert little influence. It was all too easy for Boro in the end.

Woking: Ross Worner; Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Adam Green (Matt Green, 84); Damian Batt (Goma Lambu, 69), Matt Gray, Jerome Maledon; Giuseppe Sole; Jason Norville (Liam Marum, 69), Marvin Morgan

Unused subs: Nick Gindre, Jide Ugunbote

Attendance: 1216

Sponsor?s (Fuller, Smith and Turner plc) MOTM: Marvin Morgan (pictured)
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