12:00am, Sat 6th Dec 2008
HISTON 1 WOKING 0
6 December 2008
This fixture always looked as though it would be settled by a single goal or end up a nil-nil draw. Unfortunately for the Cards, having defended very effectively, they conceded a disputed goal in the 90th minute to leave the Glassworld empty-handed.
Woking lined up with Gindre in goal, a back four of Magunda, Lorraine, Miles and Bunce, a midfield of Pattison, Spence, Quamina and El Kholti and a front two of Denton and Domoraud.
On a heavy pitch, Tom Denton got in an early header but his height was mainly used in the rest of the game as an (effective) auxiliary defence at the frequent set pieces. For, as expected, the Stutes? game plan was to throw plenty of crosses into the Woking area. With Paul Lorraine in excellent form, the back four and Denton coped comfortably for the most part, with Gindre only having a couple of weak headers to field.
In the 8th minute Danny Bunce had a good run down the left and shot wide. Referee Amy Rayner then took centre stage, handing out yellow cards in quick succession to two Histon players for what looked like relatively innocuous fouls.
The pattern was then set for the rest of the game, with Histon enjoying most of the territorial advantage and gaining a steady stream of throw-ins, corners and free-kicks, but without really discomforting the Woking defence or looking likely to score. Their best half-chances fell to Knight-Percival, hurriedly scooping the ball over the bar after it ran loose in the box, and then directing a far post header wide from a corner.
At the other end, the only other Woking effort on goal was another Denton header straight at the keeper.
Half-time: Histon 0 Woking 0
Woking started the second half as though they might take the game to Histon but an early flurry ended ignominiously as Domoraud hit a wild effort after receiving a knock-down from Denton.
The tide quickly reversed as Histon pressed strongly. Gindre had to be quick off his line to grab the ball at the feet of an attacker, and the defence had to cope with a series of balls pumped into the box.
Having survived this difficult ten to fifteen minutes, Woking replaced Domoraud by Liam Marum and, in the 69th minute, he came closest for the Cards as he lashed the ball into the side netting after Pattison?s and Spence?s persistence had produced the shooting opportunity.
Histon resumed their offensive as Gindre was forced to punch clear twice in one attack and a cross was glanced wide of the post.
In the 81st minute Woking fashioned another promising attack as Marum nearly got on the end of a lobbed ball forward from Spence, but the Stutes? keeper got there marginally first. After a wasted Quamina free-kick Marum chased back impressively to win the ball and gain another free-kick and a corner but Denton was penalised as the ball came over.
In the 89th minute Bunce conceded an unnecessary (but harsh) free-kick down near the corner flag as he attempted to shield the ball and let it run out. The free-kick led to several headers, with the ball eventually being half-cleared to Lanre Oyebanjo on the edge of the area. His low shot found its way through a scrum of players and into the Woking net.
The announcer went into over-drive but, on the pitch, there was confusion as Woking players protested that Gindre had been fouled, the referee consulted the assistant referee and spent much time talking to several Woking players (and apparently booking Pattison in the process). After some three minutes it became clear that the goal was going to stand as she signalled that play should resume from the centre circle.
Marum came close to grabbing an equaliser in injury time as his ?over the shoulder? effort went just wide.
Woking will no doubt consider themselves extremely unfortunate not to have gained the point their resilient defensive display merited, but it also has to be said that this was a game which cried out for effective counter-attack ? and it wasn?t really there this afternoon. Otherwise, the Cards might well have gained three points rather than nil.
Woking: Nick Gindre, Joe Magunda (Michael Kamara, 90), Paul Lorraine, Colin Miles, Danny Bunce, Matt Pattison, Daniel Spence, Bradley Quamina, Abdou El Kholti, Tom Denton, Wilfried Domoraud (Liam Marum, 69)
Subs not used: Simon Eastwood, Paolo Vernazza, Joel Ledgister
Booked: Quamina, Miles, Denton, Lorraine, Pattison
My MOTM: Paul Lorraine (pictured) ? another sterling defensive display