Cards' unbeaten away record goes

Brian Caffarey
7:11pm, Sat 17th Oct 2009
Bromley 3 Woking 1
17 October 2009

Ilness prevented Graham Baker from attending this game, and the news coming through from Hayes Lane wouldn’t have aided his recovery. For the Cards’ unbeaten away record ended this afternoon as an impressive Bromley side exposed the Cards’ defence on the break, whilst Woking themselves laboured to create openings in spite of having much more possession.

Tony Sinclair returned to the heart of the Woking defence to partner Tom Hutchinson. Jamie Hand and Mark Ricketts patrolled the central midfield with Craig Watkins to their right while Harry Arter – far and away Woking’s best player on the day – had a free-ranging role. Wilfried Domoraud led the attack but was well marshalled by a physically imposing and composed Bromley central defence. Gez Sole was relegated to the bench.

The signs were promising in the first few minutes as Woking virtually camped in the home side’s half, with Hand and Ricketts quickly controlling the midfield and Arter pouncing to dispossess opponents and set up attacks. At the other end a sharp Sinclair tackle stopped one raid down the Woking right but the next counter-attack, in the 8th minute, saw the ever-dangerous Warren McBean outfox both Woking central defenders and then finish superbly to Ross Worner’s right, the young keeper just getting his finger tips to the shot. I -0 to Bromley.

Arter came close to equalising seven minutes later with a great solo effort, which was only to be bettered by his wonderful goal after half-time. Picking up the ball just outside the box, he jinked to his left, advanced and hit a fine strike inches wide of the far post.

It became increasingly apparent, though, that for all Woking’s possession, it was the home side who were much more potent up front as they broke with pace and in numbers, giving each other the kind of support around the box which seemed to be lacking in Woking’s case. Two corners were cleared by the Woking defence before Carew hit a thunderous effort from distance over the bar.

Woking fans’ hopes were raised as a fine Sloma free-kick was met with a glancing header from Aswad Thomas but his goalbound effort was deflected for a corner. In the 25th minute only a superb save by Worner prevented the home side extending their lead. Some terrific play down their left saw McBean played clear, only for the young Woking keeper to block his shot. Two minutes later Bromley almost worked the same move again but the attack was rebuffed uncertainly. A header at the far post bounced down and up into Worner’s arms to end that attacking flurry.

In the 35th minute the home side gained a free-kick in a central position just inside the ‘D’. Hall curled the effort round the wall, with Worner nowhere near it. Video replays will no doubt illuminate whether it was just a very fine free-kick or whether the wall was wrongly positioned too.

Woking attempted to claw a goal back before half-time, more through perspiration than inspiration, and came closest when Domoraud crashed a shot, from a very tight angle, against the outside of the post.

Half-time: Bromley 2 Woking 0

Bromley started the second half in positive mode. Some loose play by Ricketts and Hand opened the door once more for McBean but Worner was sharply down to his right to prevent a goal. L’Anson’s looping header then just cleared the angle, with Worner beaten.

Jimmy Dack brought on Luke Medley for Watkins but it was Arter, looking as though he was going to show the forwards how to do it, who hauled Woking back into the game in the 55th minute. Picking up the ball on the Woking right, he advanced diagonally towards the Bromley area, with defenders in tow, and then slalomed into the area before finishing off the move with a great strike into the far corner. This time he was certainly right to ignore the cries of ‘pass it!’

A Sloma free-kick curled well over the bar before he was replaced by Nicky Nicolau. The extra pace down the left seemed to produce more attacking momentum and the Bromley defence briefly rocked as shots and crosses rained in, accompanied by a concerted appeal for a penalty as a defender handled. Ricketts then headed firmly over the bar from a Nicolau corner.

But Bromley had weathered the storm and once more began to look very threatening on the break, especially as the Cards pushed even more men forward. Woking gained another free-kick in a central position in the 80th minute, only to see Medley’s effort sail miles over the bar.

A minute later Worner was just able to grab the ball after Erskine had battled past Hutchinson close to the goal. The crucial fourth goal came two minutes later. Medley lost the ball on the edge of the box. The ball was switched rapidly out wide and then back in for L’Anson to curl the ball beautifully past Worner and into the far corner.

Medley had a couple of snap shots, including an athletic swivel shot from the edge of the area. But, once again, it was the home side who came closest. After Sinclair had been dispossessed Hall got the better of Hutchinson, only to see his shot roll past the far post. And then Erskine headed down and over the bar after another pacy break.

In injury time Ricketts put in a great cross from the Woking right but no one went for it. By then, though, the game was well and truly over, with the home side deservedly gaining all three points.

Graham Baker and Jimmy Dack will no doubt want to reflect on several aspects of today’s game. Domoraud looked lacking in support up front and a number of other players were below par and did not make their usual impact. The test will be whether they can now bounce back in a very important cup tie next weekend.

Woking: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane (Delano Sam-Yorke, 86), Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Craig Watkins (Luke Medley, 53), Harry Arter, Wilfried Domoraud, Jamie Hand, Sam Sloma (Nicky Nicolau, 62)
Unused subs: Joe McNerney, Giuseppe Sole
Booked: Wilfried Domoraud, Ricky Anane
Attendance: 710
My MOTM: Harry Arter (pictured)

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