Boz's Fruit & Veg

Cards slip up again at home

Alan Worth
4:15pm, Sun 20th Dec 2009
19th December 2009

Woking slipped to a fourth home defeat, against Bath City, at an icy Kingfield. The visitors were also the first Blue Square South side to complete the double against the Cards, having put eight goals past Ross Worner in the two games and conceded only one. Graham Baker and his group of players will be glad to see the back of Bath and perhaps wonder whether the decision to play the game in very difficult conditions was the right call. On a snow-covered pitch the home side struggled to control the ball against a side that out-muscled and out-fought them for most of the match. With Woking resorting to long balls pumped forward, the big Bath defence coped with few alarms. When Bath broke forward the ball was generally kept on the deck and after the first twenty minutes they always looked the more likely to score.

Graham Baker started with a 4-4-2 formation, with Wright and Pinney again paired up front. Woking started quickly and initially looked the brighter side. As Bath took time to adapt to the conditions, the Cards had most of the possession and created a number of chances.

Early on, Gez Sole got underneath a header at the far post from a good Sinclair cross and put the ball over the bar. Three minutes later Sole’s ball into Pinney was chested down for Wright but his shot was deflected away. From the resulting corner the ball finally found its way to Harry Arter, whose shot from the right edge of the box fizzed past the outside of keeper Robinson’s right-hand post. The visitors’ keeper was again called upon to save well from Ademola after a Boardman ball down the right-hand side was crossed in by Pinney. And again Pinney delivered a good ball across the goalmouth, which eluded everyone, and Sole’s side-footed shot was again deflected wide. With this early pressure, Bath struggled at times to clear the ball and it looked as if the home side must score.

A thirty-yard shot from Gez was again over the bar and he then put Wright clear down the left. His ball into an unmarked Ademola was easily intercepted and Bath cleared their lines. On 20 minutes Wright was almost through but brought down by Coupe, who was booked for his challenge. Woking wasted the resulting free-kick from a dangerous position.

But after the first quarter of the match Bath gradually began to dominate. And after 27 minutes they took the lead. As Edwards burst into the box he was tripped by Ricketts and Mohamed scored emphatically from the spot.

Woking were still able to cause occasional confusion in the visitors’ box but with no end product. A significant problem was that the delivery from corners and free-kicks was poor or a final pass misjudged. Arter and Ricketts combined well for the latter to see his shot whistle past the post with Robinson unsighted but that was as close as the Cards came to finding an equaliser. After Ross Worner had saved again from Mohamed, Bath doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. Simpson’s cross from the right was headed against the bar and in the resulting scramble Edwards forced the ball over the line.

HALF TIME – Woking 0 Bath City 2

As the second half started Pinney found himself in a good position after an excellent run through the centre of the Bath defence. He delayed his shot and the visitors managed to get the ball away. Meanwhile Wright, who battled all afternoon with the tough and imposing Bath backline, was rapidly losing his composure and soon found his way into the referee’s note book. But he almost made amends after Pinney put him through but lost his chance after again taking too long to shoot. The resulting effort bobbled across the snow and was easily saved.

On 54 minutes Sam Sloma was on for Harry Arter, whose afternoon had been ineffective by his own high standards. Moses was pushed up front as Woking went to 4-3-3 in a bid to get something from the game. Pinney had a chance after 57 minutes after turning his marker. He got into the box but the resulting shot was well over. Again, another good move involving Ademola, Pinney and Wright saw the ball moved quickly from right to left but Sole seemed to get the ball under his feet as he got onto the end of the final pass and once more there was no end product.

Woking increasingly relied on long balls forward but these were easily dealt with by a solid Bath back four. Woking, though, did manage to reduce the arrears and it was a fortunate long ball that unlocked the visitors’ defence. On 68 minutes Mark Ricketts took a central free-kick from just inside the Bath half. The ball was over-hit and Robinson came to collect. For once he proved fallible as the ball slipped from his grasp and despite Holland’s efforts ended up in the back of the net. A lucky break but the Cards were unable to fashion a comeback.

Five minutes later Aswad Thomas pulled back a Bath forward after a miss-hit back pass from Sloma. Ross set up his wall but as Hogg stepped up to take the free-kick, Sole broke away leaving a gap that the Bath player gratefully used to bend the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net. Game over! Bath could now sit back and soak up any further pressure with little problem as a frustrated Woking slipped to defeat.

SCORERS: Woking – Ricketts 68
Bath City – Mohamed 28 (pen), Edwards 45, Hogg 74
BOOKED: Woking – Wright 50, Thomas 73
Bath City – Coupe 20
HALF-TIME: Woking 0 Bath City 2
MOTM: Jon Boardman
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Tony Sinclair, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson (Ricky Anane 77), Jon Boardman, Moses Ademola, Harry Arter (Sam Sloma 54), Nathaniel Pinney, Matthew Wright (Luke Medley 72), Giuseppe Sole
UNUSED SUBS: Matt Pegler, Nicky Nicolau
BATH CITY LINE-UP: Robinson, Jones, Rollo, Coupe, Holland, Connolly, Simpson, Hogg, Edwards, Mohamed (Stolcers 79), Jombati
UNUSED SUBS: Caldwell, Douglas, Browning, Evans

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