Woking finish strongly for an opening win
Alan Worth has kindly filed this report of this afternoon's game.
WELLING UNITED 1 WOKING 2
Blue Square South
Saturday 8th August 2009
A warm Saturday afternoon, a good helping of noisy Cards fans and a â€œcome-backâ€� away win first game of the season. It almost felt like the old days!
Wokingâ€™s first-ever game in the Blue Square South started badly. Even before a ball had been kicked in anger Tom Hutchinson was ruled out suffering from flu. In came Dan Sintim, with Sam Sloma wearing the captainâ€™s armband, and the side looked even younger.
Almost immediately the Cards found themselves behind. Wellingâ€™s Minton flicked through a ball to Finn on the Woking right. The pacy forward seemed to have turned Thomas but the latter appeared to get the ball away before the Welling forward went down just inside the box. Mr Forrester appeared to let the game run on but changed his mind when he spotted a linesmanâ€™s flag and awarded a penalty. A soft penalty perhaps but Cracknell stepped up and put the ball away to give Welling the lead.
This early reverse clearly unsettled Woking, who continued to look nervous at the back, particularly down the left, with Finn a constant handful.
Despite a lack of flowing football the Cards were creating plenty of chances. A good run by Medley in the 6th minute ended in a fine cross but it was headed away. The resulting corner ended in a clear header for Sintim followed by a huge appeal for handball by the Woking players and their supporters behind the goal but to no avail.
In the 10th minute Moses Ademola broke clear down the left but Medley was unable to put away his excellent low cross into a gaping net. Two minutes later after good play from Anane down the other flank Medley had a snap shot but it was easily cleared. He appeared to have the beating of the Welling defenders but too often over complicated things or failed to find a dangerous final ball.
Twenty minutes in and the Cards looked rather more dangerous, with Welling relying on breakaways. Medley had possible chances in the 22nd and 23rd minutes but the shots were rushed.
On 26 minutes Arter was caught out in midfield but Ananeâ€™s pace was sufficient to snuff out what looked like a dangerous Welling attack. In the 33rd minute Gez Sole had an opportunity with a free-kick just outside the box. But the wall did its job and his shot ballooned off the defence. Sinclair headed wide from the resulting corner.
Just before half-time Aswad Thomas was again the centre of controversy as a Welling corner appeared to strike his hand. The hostsâ€™ appeals were waved away by the referee. At the other end, Medley, raiding down the left, whipped in a brilliant cross but there was no one on hand to tuck the ball into the empty net.
Woking had created plenty of chances in a fairly even first half and despite the midfield of Arter and Ricketts being unable to control the game, as they would have hoped. The lack of a natural goal-scorer was looking to be a major problem.
Half-time: Welling United 1 Woking 0
Welling replaced Clarke with Menga at the start of the second half and the burly centre forward immediately started to cause a few problems for the Woking defence. From the start Welling pressed, with Minton and Cracknell having opportunities.
In the 49th minute Woking should have equalized. Put through by Medley, Ademola appeared to go round the keeper and pushed the ball towards an empty net. As he turned to celebrate a Welling defender managed to clear the ball off the line to the amazement of all. Six minutes later and again Woking had a gilt-edged chance. This time it was Gez Sole who was unable to convert a Medley cross from close range.
The Cards were now becoming frustrated and Arter found himself in the book for arguing and on 58 minutes the big forward Menga could have sealed the game for the Wings as he flicked a corner inches wide. But Welling were beginning to tire in the heat and Wokingâ€™s superior fitness began to swing the game back in their favour, with Luke Medley, Gez Sole and Moses Ademola now operating up front.
In the 75th minute the Cards, to the delight of their fans, finally managed to get the ball into the net. Medley saw his free-kick lobbed forward by Sole for Thomas to make amends for that penalty. His emphatic header crashed into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
And five minutes later Woking had the lead. As Sole cut in from the right along the byeline he was tripped. Despite the protests Gez was not to be discouraged, and after some â€œdiscussionsâ€� with Medley about who should take the resulting penalty, calmly put the ball into the back of the net.
Woking rode out the last ten and three added minutes fairly comfortably to record their first win on this first day of the new campaign. On the final whistle the victory was greeted by fans and players alike as if promotion had just been secured. No point getting ahead of ourselves so early but the commitment, enthusiasm and desire of this new, young team might at least have marked the start of rather more winning football than has been seen over recent seasons.
SCORERS: Woking â€“ Thomas (75); Sole (80 pen) Welling â€“ Cracknell (3 pen)
BOOKED: Woking â€“ Sinclair (44); Arter (57); Thomas (75) Welling â€“ Neakham (72); Hobbs (79)
HALF-TIME: Welling 1 Woking 0
MOTM: Ricky Anane â€“ used his pace well to cope with quick Welling forwards and, particularly in the first half, looked excellent going forward. Was always reliable in a back four that at times looked nervous and a little vulnerable.
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Tony Sinclair, Daniel Sintim, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Harry Arter (Billy Hussey 68), Sam Sloma (Delano Sam-Yorke 56), Giuseppe Sole, Luke Medley (Charlie Moone 82), Moses Ademola
UNUSED SUBS: Matt Pegler, Joe McNerney
WELLING LINE-UP: Mitten, Sambrook, Deane, Parkinson, King (Hobbs 53), Andrews (Ngakam 17), Johnson, Minton, Clarke (Menga 46), Finn, Cracknell
UNUSED SUBS: Fazackerley, Hurrell
REFEREE: P. Forrester
ASSISTANT REFEREES: M. Cooke, J. Pope