Young Cards well beaten

6:17am, Fri 31st Jul 2009
Alan Worth has kindly filed this report of last night’s game at Thatcham Town.

Thatcham Town 3 Woking 0
30 July 2009


Thatcham – Rea (33 min); Keen (40, 89 min)

Attendance (not announced)

The Cards were well beaten in the end by the Southern League Division One South and West side Thatcham Town at Waterside Park on Thursday. Woking fielded an Academy/Reserve side, with Delano Sam-Yorke and Anson Cousins (pictured) the only players who had featured significantly in the last pre-season friendly against Aldershot. This was a very different game, on a pitch with the grass left rather long and making close control that much more difficult.

However, the condition of the pitch didn’t stop this young Cards side from trying to play the sort of football we’ve already come to expect from a Graham Baker side. A reluctance to use the long ball and play more possession football was always going to be difficult against a well-organised and physically stronger Thatcham side. From the start Johnson, the Thatcham striker, looked quick and dangerous and in the 5th minute he brought a good save from trialist Rodney Chiweshe, who deflected the shot away with his legs.

Woking’s first shot came from McNerney but his fierce strike was deflected by a defender for a corner. In the 23rd minute Johnson again took a snap shot that Chisweshe saved well going to his right. Charlie Moone, returning to his old club, was replaced in the 29th minute by Michael Boateng after limping off with an injury.

But it was Thatcham who looked the more likely to score and in the 33rd minute Rea obliged. Hussey and Sintim had combined to foul the ever-troublesome Johnson outside the box, and the big Thatcham centre half blasted a left-foot shot past the Woking wall and into the net. It was an excellent strike and gave Chiweshe no chance.

In the 40th minute Thatcham doubled their lead. This time Keen and Johnson combined on the right, with Keen tapping the ball into an empty net from six yards.


The second half was a rather more disjointed affair with regular substitutions being made by both sides. In fact Anson Cousins, substituted in the 57th minute, was brought back on for a second time late on in the half.

The Cards were generally able to hold their own in this half, working hard in midfield and with two young trialists adding some extra pace up front. But Thatcham’s defence was rarely troubled. In fact it wasn’t until the 80th minute that the Cards had their first shot of the half – a speculative lob from Luke Baker that was just over the bar. Cousins had a good effort tipped round the right-hand post and on the 88th minute one of the trialists hit the post after a long range effort from Matt Ellis had been pushed away by the Thatcham keeper – he should have scored.

In the end it was Thatcham who scored the only goal of the half – another blistering volley, this time from Keen from around thirty yards after he had latched onto a ball that had flicked of McNerney’s head. Pegler, now in goal, had no chance as the shot flew into the net.

A disappointing result then against a good Thatcham side who took their three goals well. The young Cards were too often muscled out of possession and unable, on a difficult, pitch to retain possession, with passes going astray or missing out on that first touch which is so important in retaining the ball. Joe McNerney showed his versatility, though, starting the game in midfield, later moving up front to partner Delano Sam-Yorke and then reverting to centre back for the second half. Presumably this group will get another chance against Westfield next week with hopefully a better result.


Chiweshe;Powell; Ellis; McNerney; Sintim; Miller; Moone; Hussey; Sam-Yorke; Ferdinando; Cousins
Substitutes – Pegler; Baker; Boateng; Smith; Roose; Cousins

Thatcham Town

Strudley; Leacock; Bowler; Flockton; Rea; Oatley; Stow; Digby; Keen; Johnson; Brown
Substitutes – Tucker; McCready; Stevens; Nurse; Barlow; Self; Lee


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