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Brian Caffarey - 20th April 2009


Surrey Senior Cup Semi-Final

21 April 2009

On a night when results elsewhere ended the Cards? 17-year sojourn in the Conference Premier, a Woking side of mainly fringe first team players ensured that the season will finish with a cup final, as they overcame Merstham by means of a Danny Bunce penalty and a late strike from Joel Ledgister.

On a balmy evening which turned chilly by the end, the Cards lined up with Worner in goal, a back four of Magunda, Kamara, Sintim and Bunce, with Konan and McNerney in central midfield. The two wide men, Ledgister and El Kholti, operated virtually as a four-man attack for most of the evening, flanking Moone and Williams.

Joel Ledgister, who looked by far Woking?s most dangerous player on the night, was soon in action down the right wing, getting in several early crosses as the Cards had most of the attacking play. But it was far from one-way traffic as the home side won several corners and came close to opening the scoring in the 19th minute as a shot flashed narrowly wide of Worner?s post. A couple of minutes later Merstham went close again as Worner did well to parry a free-kick which came through the defensive wall, with the ball being scrambled away.

The Cards took the lead in the 29th minute. Manny Williams sought to flick a pass through to Charlie Moone but a defender stuck out a hand. Danny Bunce converted the penalty with an emphatic shot to the keeper?s left.

Woking nearly doubled their lead straightaway as a quick break out of defence, started by a fine pass from Joe McNerney out to Joel Ledgister, saw Manny Williams just foiled by the keeper, with his shot deflected over the bar.

The game continued to be open, with the best subsequent effort coming from Ledgister as he hit a fierce shot from out left. For the home side, former Woking Academy player Ross White executed a fine volley, which Worner caught cleanly at his near post.

Half-time: Merstham 0 Woking 1

The second half continued in similar vein, with Woking having more of the attacking play but with the home side always carrying the threat of an equaliser. El Kholti and Williams combined well down the left on several occasions but crosses from the byeline were hacked away. Ledgister continued to find plenty of space down the right and Charlie Moone came more into the game after a quiet first half.

Ledgister fired another effort across the face of the goal and then saw a defender nearly put his cross into his own net, a desperate clearance rebounding off the post.

Woking nearly grabbed the decisive second goal in the 77th minute when a fine move involving Ledgister and substitute Delano Sam-Yorke ended with a crisp shot from Charlie Moone, which the keeper did well to save.

After El Kholti had chipped the ball onto the roof of the net after being put through by Moone, the Cards finally got their second goal of the night in the 84th minute. A short free-kick was played quickly to Ledgister, who, from 20 yards or so, hit a well-struck low drive ?through? the keeper.

The home side nearly pulled a goal back with a header just over the bar and, in injury time, the Cards got the ball in the net again, but Sam-Yorke?s tap-in, after a Ledgister strike had been parried, was ruled out for offside.

Woking will now face Ashford Town (Middx) in the final, but thoughts of a cup final were far from Cards fans? minds as they digested the news coming in from Barrow, Grays and York.

Woking: Ross Worner, Joe Magunda, Michael Kamara, Dan Sintim, Danny Bunce, Joel Ledgister, Joe McNerney, Patrice Konan, Abdou El Kholti (Anson Cousins, 88), Charlie Moone, Manny Williams (Delano Sam-Yorke, 73)

Subs not used: Patrick Kinsella, Luke Baker, Justin Clayton

Attendance: Not known

My MOTM: Joel Ledgister (pictured)

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