Impressive away win

1:09am, Sun 4th Oct 2009

Saturday, 3rd October, 2009
Blue Square South

Chelmsford City (0) ……… 0 Woking (1) ……….. 2
Domoraud 37’, Sloma 77’

Attendance: 1282

Bob Cumming has kindly supplied this report of Saturday’s game.

In truth there isn’t much difference between the shades of red, cardinal and claret, and for much of this match there wasn’t much difference between the teams normally wearing these colours. In the first half the ‘clarets’ created plenty of openings but failed to take them, but it was the cardinals who wound up the pressure, created the better scoring opportunities, and finally went in front. The little difference between the sides there was summed up by Wilfried Domoraud in his post-match radio interview, simply that the “clarets� were slower in defence.

Graham Baker and Jimmy Dack have drilled a disciplined away side and today each one of the eleven worked hard and kept to the script. Ross Worner made some crucial last minute saves, Ricky Anane had his hands full but did a good job marking Ricky Holmes and on the other flank, returning from injury, Aswad Thomas was alert and strong. Central defenders Tom Hutchinson and Joe McNerney were towers of strength in the air, only occasionally threatened by Hockton, but a little more vulnerable to the through ball behind them that Holmes loved to deliver. Mark Ricketts, played a more forward role in place of suspended Harry Arter, with Jamie Hand taking the holding role against his old team-mates, and both gave impressive and key performances. Craig Watkins and Sam Soma worked hard, whilst Gez Sole’s close control and swift movement into space defied the windy conditions, and could have delivered him some goals. Up front, slightly stockier, but obviously still fit and eager, Wilfried Domoraud returned from the wilderness to chase and harry every ball.

In truth the conditions won the day. Perched on high ground the cool, gusting, swirling wind swept through this impressive athletics stadium to make close control difficult and the accurate long ball even more tenuous. However, both sides settled down to play attractive counterattacking football that warmed the crowd of 1282.

Within two minutes Ross Worner slipped and was forced to make a rushed clearance from the onrushing Ricky Modeste, and just two minutes later Craig Holloway was palming away an Aswad Thomas header from a Sole corner.

On ten minutes a long clearance from Worner found Gez Sole running beyond the static defence to gather and try a clever chip over the keeper. Unfortunately Holloway got a finger to it and when the ball dropped Sole was unable collect the loose ball and turn it into the net. Three minutes later Ricky Holmes deft through ball split the Cards central defence and Ricky Modeste ran on with only the keeper to beat. He hadn’t bargained for the speed of Ross Worner as he raced out to scoop the ball away from his legs.

On twenty two minutes rapid interchange between Sole, Domoraud and Watkins opened up the City defence but Watkins final shot was deflected high and wide.

On 29 minutes Anthony Cook, who had a mixed day, jinked past Anane to cross for Hockton to rise above Hutchinson and head over the bar from four yards.

Jamie Hand was clearly out to impress his old team mates, and on 31 minutes his long ball found Watkins free of the defensive line and he turned, took three paces and crossed low and hard for Sam Sloma to fire wide from a great position. Two minutes later Sole and Ricketts interplay resulted in a deflected shot. On 36 minutes a mistimed clearance by Anthony Cook was gratefully intercepted by Jamie Hand who scooped the ball forward for Wilf Domoraud to fire purposefully home. Score 1-0 to Woking.

Two minutes later City nearly redeemed themselves with Hockton breaking through the defence to send a low and teasing cross to the far post which Worner bravely gathered as the forward set himself to shoot. Immediately the play bounced back to the other end and this time it was City’s central defenders, Ben Martin and Michael Haswell, that got in each others way and Giuseppe Sole stole the ball, ran on goal, and his scooped shot was deflected wide. From the resulting corner Hand struck a fierce shot inches over the bar.

Half-time: Chelmsford City 0 Woking 1

The opening minutes of the second half were a little subdued, but on 53 minutes an innocuous free kick saw Ricky Holmes back-chatting the referee and his name quickly entered the book. From the free kick Joe McNerney made one of his few mistakes to let in Rainsford, but his drive from a narrow angle went wide.

On 55 minutes, Mark Ricketts was substituted by Jerome Maledon. The game picked up pace but continued to be end to end, Hockton heading well but calmly collected by Worner at one end, with moments later Aswad Thomas curling a left foot cross towards the penalty spot which was clipped onto the post by Sam Sloma, bounced back into play in front of the goal, and was hurriedly cleared.

On 61 minutes Gez Sole collected the ball, ran on into the danger zone, but was bundled over, partly by his own indecision, and partly by the defender and goalkeeper, when a goal beckoned.

Shortly after the rangy Edmonds had replaced Hockton on 65 minutes, Anthony Cook took advantage of a Jerome Maledon missed clearance but shot wide of the goal. As City replaced Modeste with Scarlett, Jamie Hand was forced to leave the field to have a cut tended to, and only re-appeared after two changes of shirt three minutes later.

The tough tackling Jamie Hand won the ball in the 77th minute and placed his pass for Sole wide on the left. His long cross was collected by Domoraud deep on the right of the box, his return ball into the danger area was met by Sam Sloma stooping low at the far post to make it 2-0 to the Cards.

However the Clarets were not out of this game yet, and the unmarked Scarlett nearly grabbed a quick reply as his rasping shot was palmed wide by a diving Ross Worner.

Ola Sogbanmu made his league debut, as expected, replacing Giuseppe Sole with five minutes to go, but did not have any opportunity to repeat his glorious midweek cup goals.

With the whistle only ninety seconds away, the referee booked Aswad Thomas for an innocuous challenge, feeling that this was the third such encounter and he had been warned. To close the match Fola Onibuje replaced Domoraud for the final minute.

This was an impressive performance from the Cards against a side that has the ability to break down even the best defences, as we saw at Kingfield. I enjoyed this game, and the facilities and hospitality at Melbourne Park, despite the athletics track.

Woking: [ all yellow ] Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts (Jerome Maledon 55’), Tom Hutchinson, Joe McNerney, Craig Watkins, Jamie Hand, Wilfried Domoraud (Fola Onibuje 91’), Giuseppe Sole (Ola Sogbanmu 86’), Sam Sloma.
Subs not used: Daniel Sintim, Matt Pegler (gk)
Booked: Thomas 90’

Chelmsford City: [ all white with two claret hoops ] Craig Holloway, Matthew Lock, Michael Haswell, Mark Haines, Ben Martin, Dave Rainsford, John Martin, Anthony Cook, Ricky Modeste (Tyrone Scarlett 70’), Danny Hockton (Rob Edmans 64’), Ricky Holmes
Subs not used: Antonio Murray, Ashley Harrison (gk)
Booked: Holmes 53’

Referee: Mr AS Parker

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