MKJ Group

Fine Win For Cards

Brian Caffarey
8:54pm, Sat 25th Jul 2009

Pre-season friendly

Saturday 25 July 2009

This was more like it! This afternoon saw an encouraging performance from a Cards side which comprised the majority of those who, one suspects, will line up in the season’s opening game at Welling United on 8 August, the most notable absentees being Jon Boardman and Sam Sloma.

After a somewhat sluggish first half, which, nevertheless, the Cards increasingly dominated, they came out with all guns blazing after the break and over-ran the home side, with Tom Hutchinson bagging a hat-trick. (No, he wasn’t playing up front!)

Woking lined up, on a warm afternoon, with Ross Worner in goal and a back four of Ricky Anane, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair and Aswad Thomas. Craig Barrett, Harry Arter and Mark Ricketts patrolled the midfield, with Delano Sam-Yorke playing in central attack, with Luke Medley usually on the right flank and Gez Sole generally just behind Delano.

Graham Baker’s team started fairly slowly against a Totton side which, apparently, was about four players short of a first choice eleven. Honours were fairly even for the first quarter of an hour or so, with the home side’s Couch causing quite a few problems down Woking’s right flank with his pace. Luke Medley had a couple of early efforts, one mishit from a floated Gez Sole pass and another blocked over the bar for a corner.

Gradually, the balance of play swung in Woking’s favour, with Ross Worner having little to do for the rest of the half. But the Cards, though getting into the box fairly often, rarely posed a serious threat to the Totton goal, with the final ball generally being miscontrolled, misplaced or intercepted.

Harry Arter began to exert more influence in a crowded and competitive midfield, backed up by Mark Ricketts, who, once again, performed the holding midfield role very ably. Luke Medley showed on several occasions that he has the ability to beat defenders but, again, there was a lack of a decisive pass or shot at the finish.

In the 38th minute Tony Sinclair got in a firm downward header from an Aswad Thomas cross, and then Ricky Anane, making a fine run from the right flank into the box, let loose a crisp left-footed effort which the Totton keeper did well to grab, low to his right.

In a foretaste of what was to come in the second half, the Cards applied more pressure, with Tom Hutchinson glancing a header against the bar, and Harry Arter volleying wide after Tom had set him up on the edge of the box. Finally, Gez Sole’s shot was blocked just as the half-time whistle sounded.

Half-time: AFC Totton 0 Woking 0

Graham Baker must have sent his side out with strict orders to up the pressure in the second half, for the Cards immediately put the Totton side under the cosh. Delano Sam-Yorke just missed as he nicked the ball past the keeper from a long ball through the middle. With only four minutes gone, Luke Medley waltzed past two defenders in the box. His shot was blocked by the keeper but Gez Sole was there to stab home from close range.

The Cards proceeded to pen the Stags in their half, with further efforts raining in from Gez Sole, Tom Hutchinson and Harry Arter. The second goal arrived in the 58th minute. A Totton defender stooped low to head away an Arter corner, missed it and Tom Hutchinson nodded past the keeper.

Woking continued to dominate as gaps opened up in the Totton defence, with the best efforts coming from Craig Barrett after a fine run, shortly before he was replaced by Anson Cousins, and a fierce snap shot from Delano Sam-Yorke, while a classic Gez Sole free-kick was saved at the near post by the keeper.

Anson Cousins nearly added the third as he got on the end of a long pass, only to see the keeper deflect his shot just wide of the far post. But Tom Hutchinson quickly compensated, bundling in a Harry Arter corner to make it 3-0.

Ricky Anane caught the eye with an enterprising run out of defence before Harry Arter’s clever free-kick nearly caught out the Totton keeper, who excelled in keeping out Gez Sole’s follow-up effort too.

At the other end, Mark Osman came very close to pulling a goal back for the home side after a strong run, holding off two defenders before seeing his shot go narrowly wide.

In the 81st minute Woking added a fourth goal. A disguised pass by Harry Arter freed Ricky Anane for a run into the box. He was tripped and Tom Hutchinson stepped up to convert the penalty for his hat-trick.

There was still time for two or three more attacking moves, including a fine combination between Harry Arter and late substitute Charlie Moone, before the whistle sounded on a satisfying afternoon for Graham Baker and his side.

Woking: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Harry Arter, Craig Barrett (Anson Cousins), Luke Medley (Charlie Moone), Delano Sam-Yorke, Giuseppe Sole

Unused subs: Rodney Chiweshe, Daniel Sintim

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