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Andy Avery - 22nd April 2008

Droylsden 1 Woking 1
22 April 2008

As another largely disappointing season drew near to its close, Woking visited Droylsden for their final away game of the campaign. No biting wind, rain or freezing temperatures that have been in evidence at so many away trips this year ? instead, a pleasant spring evening greeted fans with the sun still shining as the game began.

Droylsden started the game already relegated, and with Woking knowing they were going to finish 17th or 18th you would be forgiven for expecting a dull ?end of season? affair. Yet, whilst the game may not have been full of flying tackles and passion, it was still an entertaining game to watch.

Injuries, illness and a youth team game being played on the same night meant that Woking could only provide a squad of 15 players. The starting line-up saw four changes from the Oxford game, most notably with Nick Gindre back in goal ahead of Ross Worner.

The first chance of the match fell to Droylsden, who won a free-kick in a dangerous area. However, the Woking defensive wall did its job and the chance was gone. Woking then began to get their passing game together and had more possession, although Droylsden looked dangerous when they attacked at pace.

Neither side created any clear-cut opportunities in the first half hour ? Giuseppe Sole had a few half chances with shots from outside the box but none troubled Phillips in the Droylsden goal.

The game sparked into life in the 35th minute. A Woking attack broke down and the ball fell to Lee Roche, the Droylsden right back. He played a delightful ball forward to Terry Fearns, who started running at the heart of the Woking defence and into the penalty area. As defenders stood off him, he got himself into a shooting position and his powerful shot beat Gindre to give Droylsden the lead somewhat against the run of play.

Buoyed by the goal, Droylsden stepped up the pace and looked more dangerous then they had done for the rest of the half. Then, just as Droylsden looked the better team, Woking created their best chance of the half. A good move saw the ball find its way to Liam Marum on the right-hand side of the penalty area. His cross found Pattison in space but his finish was weak and was easily saved.

As the half moved into stoppage time Woking were lucky not be two goals down. Once again Woking lost the ball up front and Droylsden attacked at pace. The ball was played in from the right and was headed powerfully into the net. However, the referee?s assistant flagged for offside despite the fact that it seemed clearly on-side. A source in the Woking camp later confirmed that the goal should have stood.

Half-time Droylsden 1 Woking 0

The Bloods started the second half the stronger and looked more likely to score, with Ellis and Fearns in particular proving a handful. After 63 minutes Robbie Talbot was brought on to boost Droylsden?s forward line. However, it was a Woking substitution, a minute later, that turned the game.

Goma Lambu came on for Liam Marum and the formation was changed to a 4-3-3, with Goma on the left of the forward line and Sole on the right, with Morgan in the middle. There was an immediate impact. The ball was played out to the left where Goma beat his man. He then produced a perfect cross for the incoming Pattison, who hit the ball first time past Phillips and into the back of the net for the equaliser.

As the game drew to a close neither team gave up and both had chances to win it. A neat Droylsden move ended with a ball into Talbot in the area. He beat the defender but with only Gindre to overcome, shot straight at the keeper, much to the relief of the travelling Woking fans.

Marvin Morgan almost won it in injury time when he was played in. He cut back onto his favoured left foot and his shot was heading for the bottom left corner but Phillips got across superbly to palm the ball away.

Overall, a draw was a fair result and it was pleasing that both teams tried to play a passing game rather than resort to long ball tactics.

Droylsden: Phillips, Roche, Strong, Cryan, Halford, Ellis (Talbot 63), McGuire, Newton, Lynch (Munroe 90), Denham (Dugdale 82), Fearns.
Subs Not Used: Williams, Murphy.

Woking: Gindre, Batt (Gray 71), Ruby, Gasson, Bunce, Maledon, Pattison, Quamina, Sole, Marum (Lambu 64), Morgan.

Subs Not Used: Lorraine, Worner.
Attendance: 301

Moment of the Match : The introduction of Lambu and his first contribution ? straight out of a children?s football story book!

Man of the Match : A difficult choice as no one player stood out but I?m going to give it to Gez Sole (pictured) as he never stopped running and working and looked a danger when he ran with the ball
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