Blown away!

Alan Worth
11:08am, Wed 2nd Dec 2009
1st December 2009

Having handed out a six goal drubbing to St Albans ten days ago, Woking found themselves on the end of a defeat of similar proportions against a rampant Bath City at Twerton Park.

Graham Baker, unsurprisingly, fielded an unchanged side from the last game, with Jon Boardman returning to the bench. But the team struggled to cope with the wind and rain and in a disastrous first half never looked close to reproducing recent performances versus St Albans and Dorchester against a Bath side whose pace up front regularly threatened a strangely out-of-sorts Woking defence.

Playing with the bitterly cold wind behind them, Bath were quickly out of the blocks and within four minutes Ross Worner was called on to turn a Badman shot round his right-hand post after a long ball forward had confused the Woking defence. Worse was to follow as, on 8 minutes, Bath took the lead. Again, a long ball forward skipped off the head of a Woking defender and found Mohamed in acres of space down the Bath right-hand side. The big Bath forward was quickly into the box and smashed an unstoppable shot past the hapless Woking keeper.

Two minutes later and the home side had two. Again, the problem was on the left of the Woking defence as the ball was crossed in from the bye line for Edwards to head home from close range.

The Cards looked shell-shocked and resorted to long balls forward which were either blown back towards them in the wind or dealt with easily by an untroubled Bath defence. Two long-range efforts from Arter and Ademola were the sum total of Woking’s efforts but caused no panic for Robinson in the Bath goal. Meanwhile, at the other end, Mohamed’s pace was causing Nicolau real problems and, as a result of a foul on the right edge of the Woking box, Bath further increased their lead. Edwards’s ball into the area was not cleared at the far post and with defenders out of position Holland was on hand to turn the ball into the net from close range. Three – nil, 37 minutes gone and game already over!

Two further chances for the hosts – yet another dangerous cross from the right that just eluded the onrushing forwards and a fine shot from Edwards well saved by Worner – and Woking were mightily pleased to finish the half without further disaster.

HALF TIME – Bath City 3 Woking 0

Graham Baker immediately made three changes at the start of the second half, with Wright replacing the ineffective Benjamin, Pinney on for Hand and Thomas for Nicolau. Anane was pushed up into right midfield and the Cards moved to three at the back, with the Palace loan signings joining Moses up front.

Woking started with much greater purpose and, with the wind now at their backs, proceeded to press forward with greater determination than had been on view in the first 45 minutes. The ball was now being played on the deck and the Cards performed better as a result. Within a minute of the re-start a thirty-yard effort from Harry Arter was fumbled by Robinson but Pinney could only see the ball deflect away for a goal kick as he closed in from close range. A minute later Anane crossed from the right and a snap shot from Wright was just wide.

Woking now had the ascendancy, with their first corner of the game coming on 50 minutes and with four more in quick succession as Bath struggled to get out of their own half. On 54 minutes the Cards did get the ball into the net but it was ruled out as the corner from Gez Sole had gone behind. A looping header from Wright from an Ademola cross was dealt with by the Bath keeper but the home side were now beginning to find their feet again.

On 60 minutes a Bath corner on the left found its way to Jombati on the wide right. His vicious shot thudded against Worner’s left-hand post – a further warning that the hosts were not finished yet. And on 72 minutes their lead was increased further with a freak goal.

The dangerous Mohamed had been replaced by Bath’s new loan signing, Latvian international, Andrejs Stolcers. The debutant chased a Hutchinson back header towards Worner. Ross came to the edge of his area to clear but the ball rebounded off Stolcers and curled agonisingly into the Woking net. Three minutes later it was five. A free-kick in from the left was not defended and fell to Edwards at the far post, who finished well from a tight angle.

To their credit Woking never gave up and continued to press – a Wright overhead kick, a Ricky Anane header over the bar, a wonderful save from Robinson denying Pinney with a close range header and Ademola inches wide after being put through by Wright. It was just one of those nights as, in stoppage time, Ricky Anane’s goal-bound volley was brilliantly pushed away by Robinson. There was to be no consolation goal for the Cards and no consolation for the hardy band of supporters who’d braved the awful weather to witness their side slump to a second defeat away from home.

SCORERS: Bath City – Mohamed 8, Edwards 10, 75, Holland 37, Stolcers 72
HALF-TIME: Bath City 3 Woking 0
MOTM: Harry Arter (pictured)
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Nicky Nicolau (Aswad Thomas 46), Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Jamie Hand (Nathaniel Pinney 46), Harry Arter, Trevor Benjamin (Matthew Wright 46), Moses Ademola, Giuseppe Sole
UNUSED SUBS: Sam Sloma, Jon Boardman
BATH CITY LINE-UP: Robinson, Simpson (Pelecaci 76), Rollo, Jones, Holland, Connolly, Jombati, Badman, Edwards (Douglas 78), Mohamed (Stolcers 61), Hogg
UNUSED SUBS: Perrott, Browning
REFEREE: A. Bromley

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