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Brian Caffarey - 31st January 2009


31 January 2009

(NB. Tuesday?s game at home to Kidderminster Harriers has been postponed because the Harriers have an FA Trophy replay.)

Phew! How we needed the three points today ? not just to move us a bit farther away from the relegation zone but also to restore morale after Tuesday?s awful 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Eastbourne. Wilfried Domoraud, with a hat-trick, was the toast of Kingfield but, being Woking, the victory wasn?t as straightforward as the scoreline might suggest, with the Cards nearly letting the Vics back into the game in the second half.

It was no great surprise to see Charlie Moone given his first league start in place of Liam Marum and he proved a more than useful foil for Domoraud up front. The other changes were in central defence, with Patrice Konan making way for a central defensive duo of Paul Lorraine and Michael Kamara, with Joe Magunda restored to right back and Colin Miles on the left.

The Cards started brightly, although it was worrying ? remembering our frailties at set-pieces on Tuesday night ? to see the Vics winning headers from two early corners, the first of which required Simon Eastwood to tip the ball over the bar. (It then appeared that the Cards? financial plight was even worse than we thought as the game was held up while a search was made for a new ball.)

It soon became apparent that the Northwich defence was pretty shaky. A horrible mis-kick from the Vics keeper, Ryan Clarke, produced the first of a host of corners curled in by Oliver Bozanic, and then a defender mis-directed a back header to give away another. This time the young Aussie almost scored direct as the ball landed just on top of the net, with Clarke struggling to make ground.

The Cards almost proved their own worst enemy as Joel Ledgister flew into a dreadful tackle, which might have earned him a red card on another day.

After a nice flick-on by Moone to Domoraud had almost opened up the Vics? defence, Domoraud scored a superb goal in the 17th minute to give Woking the lead. A long throw-in from Matt Pattison was half-cleared to Domoraud, still well inside the box. He swung his left foot and crashed a terrific volley into the far corner.

With Bozanic buzzing around nicely in midfield, Moone getting in good positions and Ledgister looking threatening down the right flank, the Cards looked to build on their lead. Domoraud almost broke through from a fine clearance by Miles but was just foiled by a defender as he tried to turn inside.

At the other end the main danger lay from balls pumped into the box but Lorraine was in fine form once more and was usually to be seen making the vital headed clearance.

Bozanic threatened to break clear from a Pattison chip but in the 30th minute another fine move extended the Cards? lead. Good interplay between Ledgister and Moone released the former down the right wing. Domoraud and the keeper seemed to meet Ledgister?s cross simultaneously, with the ball going in off some part of the striker?s anatomy.

Woking continued to dominate, with further decent attacks down both flanks. A snap shot from Moone resulted in yet another corner, which Domoraud headed over, with Lorraine probably better positioned behind him. A long punt from Miles almost put Moone through and more Bozanic corners threatened to produce the vital third goal. Three minutes before half-time Moone attempted to chip the keeper but Clarke just managed to get his finger tips to the ball to foil his fine effort. A couple of Northwich free-kicks produced some anxiety but the Cards went in at half-time to an unaccustomed 2-0 lead and warm applause.

Half-time: Woking 2 Northwich Victoria 0

Phil Gilchrist, conscious no doubt of our recent habit of starting slowly after the break, was out on the pitch just before the second half getting his players to do quick sprints. But it has to be said that it didn?t seem to do the trick. There was a brief attacking flurry as Domoraud won the ball back and put in a searching cross but the Vics started to get back into the game. The Cards once again tested the referee?s patience as Ledgister was hauled up for another foul and immediately saw himself replaced by Goma Lambu.

The Vics? nippy left winger, Dean Lodge, began to taunt Magunda too and he was soon added to the referee?s book. But by then Lambu had missed a glorious chance ? one which, you felt, Ledgister would have taken, ironically ? to seal the game for the Cards. Moone played the ball on to Bozanic on edge of the area, who slipped it to his right to Lambu. Somehow, he managed to miss the target completely.

As so often happens in these situations, the Vics went straight up the other end and scored, with the giant defender Matt Bailey looping a header home just under the bar.

At 2-1 one feared that the Cards were going to let the game slip away from them. Pattison, not to be outdone by Ledgister, risked a red card with an awful tackle but stayed on the pitch.

The Vics came very close to equalising in the 69th minute when ex-Card Karl Murray did well to screw the ball back across goal to Lee Steele but somehow or other Eastwood managed to grab it just in time.

Woking roused themselves again. Domoraud?s close-range shot was deflected for a corner. From the clearance, Lorraine fought to push it to Moone, whose delightful instinctive chip was just over the bar. That proved to be his last contribution, as Liam Marum came on to replace him for the final quarter of an hour.

An inauspicious start by Liam ? with two fouls given against him for his first two challenges ? was quickly forgotten in the 79th minute as he set up Domoraud for his hat-trick and a 3-1 lead to the Cards. He did well to take a Quamina pass in his stride, advancing through the inside-right position, and crossed to the on-rushing Domoraud, who had the simple task of blasting the ball into the net from a couple of yards out.

Eastwood was forced into action, parrying a shot from Bailey, now acting as a striker, and had to grab another effort in the 83rd minute before the Cards finally made the game safe, in the 88th minute, with their fourth goal. A corner was half-cleared to Lambu, who shot low through a crowd of players and into the net.

In the five minutes of added time the Cards had a great chance to improve their goal difference as a quick clearance found Pattison, Marum and Domoraud advancing on the Vics? goal. The move faltered with a pass behind Marum but he switched it to Domoraud, who crashed it against the post.

This was a very welcome win against, it must be admitted, the weakest BSP side we?ve seen this season but there were a number of positives - not least a well-deserved hat-trick for Wilfried Domoraud, who has worked so hard this season, and an auspicious full league debut by Charlie Moone.

Woking: Simon Eastwood, Joe Magunda, Paul Lorraine, Michael Kamara (Patrice Konan, 90), Colin Miles, Joel Ledgister (Goma Lambu, 51), Bradley Quamina, Oliver Bozanic, Matt Pattison, Wilfried Domoraud, Charlie Moone (Liam Marum, 75)

Subs not used: Ross Worner, Tom Denton

Booked: Joel Ledgister, Michael Kamara, Joe Magunda, Matt Pattison

Attendance: 1092

Sponsor?s (?Flakey?) MOTM: Wilfried Domoraud

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