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Brian Caffarey - 17th December 2008



16 DECEMBER 2008

This defeat marked a new low for Cards fans this season. Having beaten the financially-stricken Whites twice already, including a 3-0 away win a fortnight ago in the Setanta Shield, the Cards were expected to win this game comfortably, pocket the ?5,000 prize money and progress to the next round. Perhaps the players thought so too because they failed to rise to the occasion ? not helped no doubt by the lack of cup-tie atmosphere at a game hastily re-arranged in the pre-Christmas period.

To make matters worse, Woking, showing a lack of discipline again on the disciplinary front, had key defender Paul Lorraine sent off five minutes from time, apparently having kicked out at a Whites forward. Paul will now miss three crucial league games, starting at fellow strugglers, Lewes, this Saturday.

Phil Gilchrist showed attacking intent by starting with three up front: Domoraud, Marum and Denton. It was clear that Domoraud?s pace down the left flank was capable of discomforting the Whites? defence and, in the fourth minute, he intercepted a pass and sprinted down the wing, with his weak cross being cleared for a corner. A well-practised corner routine was then spoiled by Denton creeping offside at the far post.

In the 12th minute Marum went very close to opening the scoring. He did well to bring down on the run a lobbed pass from Quamina and his chip over ex-Card James Bittner in the Salisbury goal was perfectly executed except that it crept narrowly wide of the post.

The Cards then seemed to lose their way, with some poor passing, too many offsides and some slack defending. The rhythm of the game wasn?t helped by pernickety officiating, with free-kicks awarded liberally.

The next chance fell to Denton midway through the half. Another run down the left by Domoraud resulted in a poor cross, which a Salisbury defender missed. This took Denton by surprise and he could only poke the ball wide. The Cards continued to stutter ? about the only entertainment for fans on Moaners? Corner being some ribbing of Bittner?s kicking (?what shape are your feet??) ? and the young Whites side, growing in confidence, launched a pre-break offensive. Eastwood did well to throw himself at shot by Ademeno to block his effort. This was followed by several corners and long throws. From one of the corners ex-Card Mike Fowler headed home decisively at the near post. There was still time for Robbie Sinclair to break free before firing wide.

Half-time: Woking 0 Salisbury City 1

Only six minutes into the second half the Cards responded with an equaliser, the quality of which was out of keeping with the tawdriness of most of the rest of the match. From a quick throw-in Marum deftly flicked the ball on to Domoraud. The latter then whipped in fine cross, and there was Marum in the box, looping an excellent header over Bittner to level the scores.

Hopes that the Cards would now push on and win the game gradually faded. Another good interchange between Marum and Domoraud saw the latter fire in a powerful cross from the byline. Matt Pattison, arriving at the near post, could only head over, and a few minutes later Vernazza shot wide after Denton had laid the ball off to him on the edge of the area.

Phil Gilchrist brought El Kholti on for Denton, with Domoraud moving to the middle of the attack, but it was Salisbury who increasingly looked more dangerous, inspired by the busy Sinclair in midfield. Sangare glanced a header wide and Eastwood had to punch to clear a couple of corners and crosses. In the 80th minute he clutched to his midriff a fierce shot from Sinclair.

In the 85th minute Lorraine was given his marching orders, apparently for kicking out at Ademeno, with whom he?d been tussling from early on. Eastwood fielded the resulting free-kick at the second attempt and then came well to take a long throw. Salisbury threatened again but were denied by an offside flag.

Just as one had become accustomed to ? and even grateful for ? the prospect of a replay, and well into the four minutes of added time, the Whites made all thoughts of a re-match entirely academic. A foul by Miles on Sinclair produced another free-kick. The ball was fired low into the penalty area. No Woking player seemed to take responsibility for clearing it and another ex-Card, Charlie Griffin, came in from the Salisbury left to bury it past Eastwood. There was barely time for the game to re-start before the referee blew his whistle to bring an end to a thoroughly depressing evening for Cards fans. The only hope is that the reaction to it will be a markedly better performance at Lewes on Saturday.

Woking: Simon Eastwood, Joe Magunda, Paul Lorraine, Colin Miles, Danny Bunce, Matt Pattison, Paolo Vernazza, Bradley Quamina (Daniel Spence, 72), Liam Marum, Tom Denton (Abdou El Kholti, 67) , Wilfried Domoraud

Unused subs: Nick Gindre, Joel Ledgister, Giuseppe Sole

Sent off: Paul Lorraine

Booked: Danny Bunce, Tom Denton, Bradley Quamina

Attendance: 506

My MOTM: debatable if the award should be given at all but Wilfried Domoraud (pictured) gets the nod

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