Cards up to second

7:38pm, Sat 23rd Jan 2010

23rd January 2010

by Alan Worth

Phil Ledger must have been smiling down on his beloved Kingfield this afternoon as Woking completed the double over promotion rivals Dover and moved back into second place in the league. The game began with a minute’s applause for both ‘Mr Woking’ and the former manager Brian Caterer, who both passed away during the week. A large contingent of the Woking ‘great and good’, including Glenn Cockerill, lined the edge of the pitch as players, management and supporters showed their appreciation. What followed was hardly a classic but the outcome will have pleased the Woking faithful as the Cards continue to consolidate their place in the play-off positions.

Graham Baker was able to play the returning Matthew Wright up front alongside Moses Ademola despite the fact that the Palace youngster had picked up a knock playing for their reserves during the week. Nicky Nicolau retained his spot on the left side of midfield after a good performance at Oxford and Tom Hutchinson returned after his suspension to partner captain Jon Boardman in the centre of the back four.

Dover dominated possession in both halves but came up against a solid Woking defence that managed to contain the fiery Welford who, along with his team mates, struggled to get their shots on target. At the other end, Arter began with two half chances, one wide and the other over the bar and after twenty two minutes Nicolau’s cross was headed back across goal by Wright but Ademola could only head over. Moses followed up with a powerful shot but it was well wide.

As Dover continued to press so Woking had to work harder at the back. Collin’s vicious free-kick flew just past Worner’s left-hand post, Boardman had to be alert to head away a dangerous cross from Birchall for a corner and Ross was forced to save low down at the near post from Walder’s cross-cum-shot.

Slightly against the run of play Woking took the lead. With the third corner in quick succession Nicolau whipped the ball in for Aswad Thomas to rise at the near post to power in his header for the opener.

Almost immediately Dover manufactured a couple of good chance as Wallis had a shot parried by Worner and then Adelakun played a dangerous ball into the box from the left which Ross again had to save low down.

Just on forty-five minutes Woking finally managed to break out of defence. Sinclair found himself in acres of space but his cross-field ball failed to pick out the unmarked Wright at the far post.

HALF TIME –Woking 1 Dover Athletic 0

The second half continued as the first with the visitors dominating play but unable to break down a solid back four. Collin completed a mazy run across the box four minutes into the half but blazed his shot wide. Woking continued to live dangerously as Welford again flashed a shot over the Woking bar. Perhaps to counter the threat, Graham Baker moved Moses back into midfield on the right, with Arter playing in the hole behind Wright, who operated as the lone striker.

These changes appeared to make little difference but the poor quality of Dover’s final ball into the box, coupled with the dominance of Hutchinson and Boardman at the back, prevented any real alarms. Dover did have further chances – a Collin free-kick into Woking’s defensive wall, a Wallis run unchallenged into the box and a great shot again from Collin from outside the box that fizzed past the left-hand post. Maledon had been brought on after 61 minutes, replacing Sole, to strengthen further the defence as the Cards endeavoured to secure the three points. And on 75 minutes the game was put beyond the visitors’ reach as the Cards doubled their lead.

Harry Arter played a ball in from the left to Moses Ademola at the far post. His goal-bound header was palmed away by Flitney but only into the path of Delano Sam-Yorke, on for Wright, and with almost his first touch the young substitute put the ball away from close range.

Dover continued to push forward with further shots from Birchall, a Southall free-kick well over, a deflected Wallis shot and finally Ross Worner spectacularly punching away a long-range effort. Without a real cutting edge, Dover were never able to capitalise on all their possession. Meanwhile the Cards had created two chances and taken them both.

Speaking on BBC Surrey after the game, Graham Baker admitted that his side had “not been at the races and looked leggy after Oxford. Dover, possession-wise, were the best team but we dug deep�. After a difficult week and a tough game the Cards had managed to give Phil Ledger the send-off he would have wanted.

SCORERS: Woking – Thomas 35, Sam-Yorke 75
BOOKED: Dover Athletic – Welford 73
HALF-TIME: Woking 1 Dover Athletic 0
MOTM: Mark Ricketts (pictured)
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Tony Sinclair, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Jon Boardman, Giuseppe Sole (Jerome Maledon 61), Harry Arter (Sam Sloma 84), Matthew Wright (Delano Sam-Yorke 71), Moses Ademola, Nicky Nicolau
UNUSED SUBS: Ricky Anane, Joe McNerney
DOVER ATHLETIC LINE-UP: Flitney, Walder, Rogers, Fish, Southall, Moore, Wallis, Adelakun, Welford, Collin (Browning 80), Birchall
UNUSED SUBS: Whitehouse, Davis, Grant, Cloke
REFEREE: P. Forrester

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