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Brian Caffarey - 23rd August 2008

Another frustrating afternoon for Cards fans as Kim Grant?s side slipped to their fourth successive defeat, falling to a super strike from Rovers? Kaid Mohamed just after the break. Woking had edged the first half, playing some very nice football at times, but lost their way once they were 1-0 down and were given no help from a very composed Rovers side, who kept the ball well and played it simply ? as you would expect from a team drilled by Jim Harvey.


Lenny Pidgeley, signed on loan from Millwall during the week, made his debut in the Woking goal but, apart from that, it was the same side as started at Burton Albion last Saturday.


Rovers were the quicker of the two sides out of the blocks, gaining a couple of free-kicks out wide as the result of over-enthusiastic tackles from Goma Lambu, who was quickly booked. But it was Goma who had the Cards? first strike at goal after five minutes, firing over the bar after he had been played through by Liam Marum. Goma showed up well again shortly afterwards as he rode two tackles and fired over a dangerous cross.


It was clear that the Cards were trying to play some decent football on the ground, and a lovely move involving Patrice Konan and Goma Lambu on the right wing sent Liam clear. Unfortunately, finishing doesn?t seem to be his strong suit at the moment and he stroked the ball wide of the far post. Liam?s petulant reaction earned him a booking a few minutes later as he kicked the ball away after failing to win a corner.


Another fine move saw Gez Sole advance into the box. The net ruffled, producing some premature celebrations, but, disappointingly, it was only the side netting which Gez had disturbed.


Liam then came perilously close to being sent off as he was pulled up again for a foul. It was noticeable, thereafter, that he exercised considerable caution in his challenges on the keeper.


The nippy Les Afful nearly put Rovers ahead on the half-hour mark but was foiled twice by Lenny Pidgeley, the second time with his chest, bringing claims for a penalty from the Rovers fans. A few minutes later Afful?s snap shot was blocked by Tom Hutchinson?s backside.


Abdou El Kholti, again looking skilful on the left flank for Woking, beat his man beautifully on the by-line and sent in a wicked cross with the outside of his left foot but Goma was not really the player you wanted to see competing for it with the Rovers defenders!


Colin Miles slid in superbly with a crunching tackle on the edge of the area to thwart another Rovers quick break before Gez Sole, juggling for an angle just outside the Rovers area, fired off a volley, which, unfortunately, was off target.


The Cards had played some pleasing football in the first period - better than we have seen for some time at Kingfield ? but, worryingly, had created very few chances and had not got shots on target.


Half-time: Woking 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

The last thing the Cards wanted was to go behind soon after the break but that?s precisely what happened with only three more minutes on the clock. Danny Bunce tried to intercept a pass but the ball rebounded Rovers? way. Kaid Mohamed latched onto it some 30 yards out and let fly with a super strike which flew into the top corner of the Woking goal over Pidgeley?s finger tips.


Kim Grant threw on Delano Sam-Yorke for Danny Bunce, with El Kholti moving back and Delano taking his place on the left flank. Matt Pattison went close with a terrific volley from the edge of the box but keeper Ryan Robinson, who looked secure all game, matched him with an excellent tip over the bar.


A further change ensued as Manny Williams came on for Liam Marum. Delano switched to the middle, with Goma on the left flank and Manny on the right. Whether it was the result of the various changes or whether it was just the intelligent way in which Rovers set about frustrating their opponents, the Cards seemed to find it increasingly hard to get any fluency in their play and, as they became more desperate to level the scores, they resorted to more hopeful balls, giving away possession in the process. Manny looked to break through the Rovers? back line but was twice caught offside.


With Tom Hutchinson increasingly thrown forward, it was not surprising to see Rovers trying to hit the Cards on the break. Afful seized on a ball over the top but lobbed wide as Pidgeley came out. Two minutes later he had to block twice with his feet as Afful wasted a great chance to make the game safe for Rovers.


Woking fans? hopes were raised in the 80th minute as Gez lined up for a free-kick in a promising position but, although he struck the ball well, the wall did its job, deflecting it for a corner. It was mainly half-chances that fell Woking?s way in the closing stages with one significant exception. El Kholti and Sole combined well on the left. Gez whipped in a fine cross, which Hutchinson met a few yards out but he put it wide. Not for the first time in the match you lamented the delayed arrival of the striker whom Kim is apparently trying to bring in.


There were a couple of scrambles in the box, and Delano got in a header from a corner, which Robinson dealt with comfortably, but Rovers never looked like they were going to throw the three points away.


So, still not a single point in the bank after four games. Of course, the ?doom and gloom? merchants, of whom Kingfield seems to have more than its fair share, have dismissed Kim, the side and the season already, but there is a long way to go yet. But it is obvious to all that we do need someone up front who can put the ball in the net! A couple of games away - where the Cards have played their best football so far ? may not be a bad thing for a side under pressure. I think we?ll get some points!



Woking: Lenny Pidgeley, Patrice Konan, Tom Hutchinson, Colin Miles, Danny Bunce (Delano Sam-Yorke, 51), Paolo Vernazza, Goma Lambu, Matt Pattison (Bradley Quamina, 73), Giuseppe Sole, Abdou El Kholti, Liam Marum (Manny Williams, 58)


Unused subs: Ross Worner, Paul Lorraine


Booked: Goma Lambu, Liam Marum, Delano Sam-Yorke


Attendance: 1617

Sponsor?s (Savill Court Hotel) MOTM: Patrice Konan (pictured)
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