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Cards continue to impress

Brian Caffarey - 31st July 2011

Cards continue to impress Kingstonian 0 Woking 2
Trevor Jones Memorial Trophy – pre-season friendly
30 July 2011

The Cards, with the returning Moses Ademola starring with two well-taken goals in the first half, eased to a fairly comfortable victory over Kingstonian yesterday afternoon to lift the Trevor Jones Memorial Trophy. Having secured a two-goal lead in half an hour, Woking dropped their tempo and the usual flurry of substitutions after half-time meant that the game became more disjointed and essentially an opportunity to give all the key players some time on the pitch.

Cards fans were hoping to get their first glimpse in a Woking shirt of new signing Derek Duncan, a left-back who joined from Ebbsfleet United on Friday. They weren’t disappointed and he slotted in nicely, looking a ready-made replacement for Aswad Thomas as he overlapped and got in some telling crosses.

The Ks, who are likely to be a force again in the Ryman Premier this season, have been collecting former Kingfield favourites and they started with Tom Hutchinson and Gary MacDonald in the centre back positions and a still feisty Ian Selley and Jerome Maledon in midfield. Neil Barrett, who had a spell on loan at Kingfield, also lined up for the home side.

Garry Hill’s starting eleven looked close to a first-choice side, although with so much competition for some positions it isn’t easy to see who he will leave out. Andy Little was in goal; the back four comprised Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Adam Doyle and Derek Duncan; Mark Ricketts operated as a defensive shield behind Jack King and Jay Davies in central midfield, with Moses Ademola and Dale Binns on the flanks but frequently moving inside to support Elvis Hammond up front.

With seven minutes gone, we saw the first evidence of Duncan’s crossing ability as he fired in a dangerous cross which Binns headed wide. This was closely followed by a Hammond chip which drifted wide. It was Hammond who threatened again in the 18th minute, cutting inside before shooting over the bar. Played through by Binns a few minutes later, Hammond ought to have opened the scoring but saw his effort blocked by the home keeper, Tolfrey. But the resulting corner saw Ademola head in from close range to put the Cards 1-0 up.

Ademola continued to look hungry for goals as he jockeyed an opening shortly afterwards but shot well wide. But it wasn’t long before the fairly continuous pressure led to the Cards extending their lead. A fine interchange between Ademola and Hammond saw the former finish with a crisp left-footed strike to the keeper’s left.

Ademola – certainly staking a strong claim for a starting place – then headed wide from another Duncan cross. This was closely followed by a smart turn and another strike which was also just off target.

Although Jack McLeod had occasionally threatened to break through the Woking back line up to this point, the first real chance for the Ks came in the 37th minute when MacDonald headed just over the bar from a Selley free-kick. Jay Davies – always finding space in midfield – then felt the force of a Selley late tackle, which brought back memories for Cards fans! The Ks threatened again as Tom Bird fired a low free-kick across the Woking goal.

The half ended with an enterprising run and cross by Binns.

Half-time: Kingstonian 0 Woking 2

Half-time changes saw Doyle and Hammond depart, with Ola Sogbanmu (pictured) and Giuseppe Sole coming on up front and Ricketts moving back to replace Doyle. As so often in pre-season friendly games, the second half was a much more disjointed affair with frequent substitutions on both sides.

Sogbanmu, whose physical presence and ability to get into dangerous positions impressed again, was immediately in the thick of the action, seeing a shot saved by the keeper in the first few minutes.

With a quarter of an hour gone, Davies had the first of several attempts on goal from distance, shooting well wide after useful interplay by Duncan and Binns, who were already showing that they might combine well down the left. An even slicker move involving Sole and Sogbanmu led to the former having the ball nicked off his feet just as he looked to test the keeper.

Little was then called on to pull off a tremendous save, diving to his left to palm away a fine strike from Sam Clayton.

With 60 minutes gone, Wayne Gray replaced Ademola, but it was a Ks’ substitute, Paul Olima, who immediately made his mark, pinging a shot onto the top of the bar.

Jack King, who had looked strong and solid in midfield, was then put through superbly by Sole, but the Ks’ keeper once again came off best. The resulting corner saw the Cards awarded what looked like a soft penalty as Gray went down as he tried to connect with a loose ball. But the referee changed his mind after consulting the linesman and awarded a free-kick to the Ks instead!

Josh Griffiths, in the 71st minute, was the next Cards substitute and once again looked mobile and comfortable on the ball.

The Ks had a great chance to pull a goal back in the 78th minute when Mo Harkin headed wide from a deep cross. But in the closing stages the Cards created quite a few attacking moves, with the best chance falling to Sogbanmu, whose chipped shot bounced back off the bar.

The final Woking substitution had come just before that when the referee asked that Davies should be substituted following an impetuous tackle which had left Downs limping. Nathan Koranteng made the most of his chance to impress, latching onto a fine through ball from Griffiths and hammering a shot towards the near post.

All in all, this was another very promising performance from Garry Hill’s side. There was plenty of evidence of strong competition for places in most areas of the pitch even though several players looked to be playing well within themselves or still finding their feet. The King/Davies combination in midfield seems nicely balanced. Hammond and Ademola worked well together in the first half whilst Sogbanmu’s raw strength offered another option in the second half, aided by some clever prompting from Gez Sole. Wayne Gray still needs time to show what he can do but Derek Duncan clearly fits the bill at left-back. Moses Ademola’s sharpness in front of goal poses another interesting dilemma for the manager.

Woking: Andy Little, Adam Newton, Derek Duncan, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Adam Doyle (Ola Sogbanmu 46), Jay Davies (Nathan Koranteng 87), Jack King (Josh Griffiths 71), Moses Ademola (Wayne Gray 60), Elvis Hammond (Giuseppe Sole 46)

Unused subs: Aaron Howe, Alan Inns

Kingstonian: Tolfrey, Page (Summers 73), Bird, MacDonald (Cheadle 55), Hutchinson, Selley, Macleod (Harkin 60), Maledon (Clayton 52), Tait (Olima 52), Barrett (Downs 63), Clarke

Unused sub: Taylor

My MOTM: Moses Ademola

Attendance: 274

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