Cards Bow Out

Martin Townshend
12:42pm, Sun 27th Nov 2011
Chelmsford City 2 Woking 0
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
26 November 2011

The Cards exited the FA Trophy in a dour match at a blustery Melbourne Stadium in the week’s second encounter with the Clarets. Facing a largely unchanged City side, Jay Davies and Paris Cowan-Hall were missing from the squad, Garry Hill giving starts to Derek Duncan, Elvis Hammond, Giuseppe Sole and new loanee Ben Smith, with Dale Binns and Wayne Gray moving to the bench.

Right from the off it was clear that this was a different game entirely to the 1-1 draw on Tuesday night, with City barely resembling the fast, threatening, and slick-passing side they had been earlier in the week and displaying exactly why they have had such mixed results on their own patch this season. The Cards equally struggled to create anything significant in some scrappy opening exchanges, not helped by the wind, but managed the first few chances of the afternoon. With just five minutes gone outrushing home goalkeeper Stuart Searle hit his clearance straight at the advancing Smith, only for the ball to rebound harmlessly for a goal-kick.

Two minutes later a cross from Moses Ademola into the box found Smith again, but the midfielder’s first-time flick was comfortably held by Searle, before a neat back heel from Jack King (pictured) teed up Derek Duncan for a long-range effort that was deflected to safety.

With Chelmsford contributing little, save for some ultimately unproductive wing play from Warren Whitely and Cliff Akurang, Woking continued to notch a few efforts without ever really dominating the game, Ademola only able to find the athletics track with a long-range effort on the run, before whipping in a cross shortly afterwards which beat defence and attack alike.

Just after the half-hour, Moses managed to create some space for himself on the edge of the Chelmsford box only to fire his shot straight at Searle, before King had arguably Woking’s best effort of the match three minutes later, unleashing a dipping 25-yard volley that only narrowly cleared the bar. The remainder of the half petered out in much the same disjointed fashion as the early exchanges, with neither side managing to impose themselves on the game.

Half-time: Chelmsford City 0 Woking 0

The home side started the second period a little more proactively, a clever exchange between Corcoran and Whitely resulting in the first of several Chelmsford corners. Although this one was hit long and out, it proved a portent of things to come, as five minutes later City had the ball in the net direct from the corner spot, Aiden Palmer looping the ball accurately past Aaron Howe. Home celebrations were cut short, however, when the strike was disallowed for a foul on the Cards' custodian.

The Clarets continued to press without creating any clear chances, a low cross turned wide by the Woking defence for another corner, this time headed clear to Whitely, who hoofed the ball over the goal and the stand behind, before a Parker volley from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Howe.

Gray and Binns entered the fray on 69 minutes, replacing Duncan and Sole, but had little impact on the proceedings. As the game looked to be heading for a Monday night replay the hosts took the lead after 77 minutes, Palmer stepping up to curl a 25-yard free-kick over the Woking wall and into Howe’s bottom left-hand corner to jubilation from home supporters hoping to avoid another trip around the M25.

Woking almost ground out an immediate response, Hammond’s break into the box stopped by a crowded City defence, with both Ademola and Gray not quite able to create the space to get a shot in, but two minutes later it was effectively all over, Kezie Ibe firing home following a throw from the right to make it 2-0 and secure City’s club record of 19-games unbeaten in all competitions.

Ola Sogbanmu replaced Hammond after 83 minutes but suffered the same fate as the previous substitutes, as the Clarets played out the remaining minutes content to punt the ball downfield whilst Woking huffed and puffed without creating any clear chances.

Although this may not be seen as a bad defeat in some quarters, the Cards losing to arguably the best team faced this season and now free to apply that old chestnut of concentrating on the league, it will have to go down as a missed opportunity to add some pennies to the coffers in another disappointingly early departure from a cup competition.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Derek Duncan (Dale Binns 69), Mark Ricketts, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Ben Smith, Jack King, Moses Ademola, Elvis Hammond (Ola Sogbanmu 85), Giuseppe Sole (Wayne Gray 69)

Unused subs: Josh Griffiths, Andy Little

Cautions: Adam Doyle

Chelmsford City: Stuart Searle, Justin Miller, Aiden Palmer, Adam Tann, Kenny Clark, Craig Parker, Warren Whitely, Sam Corcoran, Kezie Ibe, Max Cornhill, Cliff Akurang

Unused subs: Michael Bakare, Joe Benjamin, Jermaine Brown, Mark Hughes, Ben Nunn

Cautions: None

MOTM: Jack King. Bustled around in the centre and was involved in the majority of Woking’s creative play.

Attendance: 740

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