Cards slip to third home defeat
11:37pm, Tue 10th Nov 2009
Alan Worth has kindly supplied this report of this eveningâ€™s game.
WOKING 0 v ST ALBANS CITY 1
10th November 2009
CARDS SLIP TO THIRD HOME DEFEAT
This was by some way Wokingâ€™s poorest performance of the season to date. Again, the Cardsâ€™ inability to find the net was at the core of this defeat but compounded by a midfield that lacked any creative spark on the night and a constantly changing formation that never clicked.
On this chilly evening Graham Baker made a number of changes, leaving Arter, Ricketts and Sole on the bench, initially pairing Bryant and Medley up front and bringing Maledon and Hand into the centre of midfield. Ricky Anane was left on the right side of midfield where he had proved to be one of Wokingâ€™s most effective players against Swindon. Sadly, he, alongside most of his team mates, was never able to approach the levels achieved on Saturday.
The first half was a rather aimless affair with both sides struggling to control the ball on a slippery surface. Hopeful long balls forward were dealt with without problems by St Albansâ€™ two giant central defenders (including former Academy player, Justin Clayton, on loan from Southend) and it was not long before the first of many tactical changes was made by the manager as Tom Hutchinson was pushed up front, with three at the back.
After twenty minutes a through ball from Hutchinson found Bryant, who switched the ball out to Medley but his cross was blocked. Two minutes later another half chance was created as Medley, using his pace down the right, found space to cross the ball to the far post, where Hutchinson was unable to get his header on target from a tight angle.
St Albans were equally ineffective going forward and their only chance involved Roberts, who attempted to get onto the end of a ball that had been inadvertently nodded back by a Woking defender. Ross Worner, however, was out smartly to gather at the advancing forwardâ€™s feet.
HALF TIME â€“ Woking 0 St Albans City 0
Sadly, for Cards fans the second half was little better and was to get a whole lot worse.
On 49 minutes Worner released Maledon after a St Albans corner. His run down the right-hand side was finished off with a superb ball into Mitchell Bryant, whose shot from just outside the box clipped the bar as it flew over. Medley was now moved up front as Bryant was withdrawn to a midfield role and, with the arrival of last seasonâ€™s top scorer, Paul Hakim, as St Albansâ€™ first substitute, Hutchinson reverted to his normal defensive duties and the back three became a back four again.
The visitors were now pressing and could possibly have taken the lead on 58 minutes when Cohen got through into the Woking box. Worner parried his shot but the rebound was eventually driven wide.
With an hour gone, Harry Arter replaced Jerome Maledon and Moses Ademola was on for Mitchell Bryant. For a moment Woking seemed to regain more purpose and bite in midfield. A Sloma free-kick on the left was pushed away by Bastock, the St Albans keeper, and Thomas flashed a cross in from the right. A minute later Arter put Medley through but he was unable to get his shot away.
On 68 minutes Woking had the ball in the net! An outrageous looping shot from Harry Arter out wide on the left from forty yards out beat Bastock and clattered against the visitorsâ€™ cross bar. Moses was on hand to score from the rebound but was ruled offside.
With seven minutes remaining St Albans took the lead. Wornerâ€™s throw out to Thomas was easily intercepted and returned into the Cardsâ€™ box with interest. Substitute Sagna, only just on, buried his shot at the second attempt and Woking were behind with only themselves to blame.
Woking never looked like levelling things up in the remaining minutes and in fact St Albans had a wonderful opportunity, late on, to double their lead. After a mix-up between Ross Worner and Jon Boardman, who both failed to clear a bouncing ball, Sagna again had an opportunity but failed to hit the target and fired over the bar.
Woking have now gone three games without scoring and desperately need to solve their lack of firepower. Any more slip-ups like this and the Cards will find themselves sliding down the table all too quickly.
Sponsorsâ€™ MOTM â€“ Ross Worner (pictured)
Ross Worner, Tony Sinclair, Aswad Thomas, Jerome Maledon (Harry Arter 62), Tom Hutchinson, Jon Boardman, Ricky Anane (Giuseppe Sole 70), Jamie Hand, Mitchell Bryant (Moses Ademola 62), Luke Medley, Sam Sloma
Unused Subs â€“ Nicky Nicolau, Mark Ricketts
St Albans City
Bastock, Quilter, Smith (Hakim 55), Poku, Clayton, Frater, Bailey, Shields (Johnson 62), Cohen (Sagna 82), Roberts, Oâ€™Donnell
Unused Subs â€“ Baker, Peters