12:00am, Tue 20th Jan 2009
Woking 4 Leatherhead 0
Surrey Senior Cup, Third Round
20 January 2009
Given the Cards? cup record in recent seasons, it would not have been unreasonable to have feared that Phil Gilchrist?s side would struggle to assert their superiority in this tie. But this proved a pessimistic view as a strong Woking side achieved a very comfortable victory over a Tanners team who managed only a couple of testing shots over the ninety minutes.
Woking lined up in a 4-5-1 formation, with Gindre in goal, a back four of Kamara, Konan, Lorraine and Miles; a midfield of Ledgister, Vernazza, Marum, Quamina and El Kholti; and with Domoraud up front.
The Cards quickly went on the offensive, with Domoraud registering a couple of early efforts on goal, one of which, powerfully struck, tested the Leatherhead keeper, Lewington. Both El Kholti and Ledgister were seeing quite a lot of the ball on the flanks and it was an El Kholti cross which brought a fine double save, first from Domoraud?s header, as the keeper clawed the ball away, and then from Miles as the latter dived in at the far post.
With Vernazza prompting intelligently in midfield, it seemed only a matter of time before Woking opened their account ? even allowing for their poor strike record. In the 22nd minute Ledgister hit a deep cross to El Kholti, who played it back across the face of the goal. Marum, following up, had the relatively simple task of driving the ball into an empty goal.
The Cards continued to press but several more attacks foundered with poor crosses. Leatherhead got the ball forward on occasions but attacks were comfortably snuffed out by Lorraine and his colleagues, with Gindre only having to collect or clear through balls.
In the 35th minute Ledgister did well to rob a Leatherhead player midway into the opposing half. Striding on into the right of the area, he hit an excellent shot, which brushed the keeper?s finger tips before lodging in the top far corner to make it 2-0 to the Cards.
It wasn?t until the 40th minute that the visitors managed their first serious effort on goal, with Henry firing wide. Almost immediately the score became 3-0 to Woking. Vernazza (I think) chipped the ball over his head into Domoraud?s path, with a deft, gentle lob over the keeper completing the move.
There was almost a fourth in added time as a poor kick from the keeper fell to Ledgister. From virtually the same spot that he?d scored from ten minutes earlier, he shot just wide of the far post.
Half-time: Woking 3 Leatherhead 0
Hopes that the Cards would rack up a big score in the second half proved unfounded, with quite a lot of the play taking place in the Woking half initially. After Lorraine had headed wide from a fine Ledgister cross, the Tanners put the Cards? defence under a bit of pressure with three corners in succession.
It took Woking till the 60th minute to threaten the Tanners? goal again as Miles played a decent ball along the touchline for Domoraud to chase. From an acute angle he tried an ambitious shot with the outside of his foot but it didn?t swerve nearly enough to cause a problem.
With Sole?s replacement of Marum a few minutes later, Phil Gilchrist introduced the first of three substitutes. A Miles free-kick was on target but did not have the power to trouble Lewington. Domoraud nodded on for Ledgister, who nearly broke through the Tanners? back line. Charlie Moone appeared next and he seems to have the happy knack of making an impact in even a cameo appearance.
In the 82nd minute Sole chipped the ball nicely over the Tanners? back line. Moone got there just ahead of the keeper and cleverly dinked the ball over Lewington and into the net: a fine, instinctive finish.
The Tanners nearly rounded off the tie with a flourish as Henry struck a superb effort, which was equally superbly saved by Gindre, diving to his left.
Just before the end Domoraud ought really to have added to the scoreline as he planted a free header wide from a Vernazza free-kick to the near post.
This was a pleasing work-out for the Cards, and it was good to see the strikers hitting the target more frequently than usual. Ledgister in particular had one of his best games. The pace of the match was fairly gentle, though, compared with Saturday?s game at Cambridge ? and no doubt compared with what Ebbsfleet and Eastbourne have in store for us in the two crucial league games in the next seven days.
Woking: Nick Gindre, Michael Kamara, Patrice Konan, Paul Lorraine, Colin Miles (Charlie Moone, 75), Joel Ledgister (Goma Lambu, 70) , Paolo Vernazza, Liam Marum (Giuseppe Sole, 60), Bradley Quamina, Abdou El Kholti, Wilfried Domoraud
Unused subs: Ross Worner, Dan Sintin
My MOTM: Paolo Vernazza (pictured)