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Brian Caffarey - 25th September 2008


FA Youth Cup, First Qualifying Round

24 September 2008

Woking Youths had to work hard to earn their passage to the next round of the FA Youth Cup at Alwyns Road against a resilient Chertsey side. It wasn?t until midway through the second half when the impressive Anson Cousins scored the Cards? second goal, latching onto a flicked header, that victory looked assured.

Woking, managed on the night by Matt Howard, with Dennis North assisting, started brightly, winning a couple of early corners. But Chertsey responded strongly and had their best spell of the match at this stage. The Woking defence had to be on its mettle to block a shot from close range and then fend off several corners. At the other end, the Cards tried to use the exceptional pace of Danilo Cadete out on the right flank as an outlet, while Alex Lumley?s cultured left-foot was also the springboard for several promising attacks.

Having survived another few minutes of concerted pressure from the Curfews, Woking suddenly took the lead, rather against the run of play at that stage. In the 20th minute Ashley Groombridge picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and fired in a snap-shot. The Chertsey keeper stuck a foot out at it, when it looked as though he could have attempted a more conventional save. Unfortunately for him, he simply directed the ball to the on-rushing Cadete, who had a simple finish to put the Cards 1-0 up.

Having established a decisive lead, Woking continued to look the more accomplished side for the remainder of the match, quickly closing down their opponents and showing some nice skills at times when in possession, but it was far from one-sided as the Curfews always carried a threat when they did get forward. Woking could have doubled their lead, though, in the 25th minute when Anson Cousins mis-kicked in the area as a high ball reached him. The Cards continued to press, with Danilo Cadete putting in a couple of dangerous crosses which just eluded his colleagues and forcing a good save from the opposition keeper. As the half drew to a close, the Cards pressed hard to extend their lead, with Abi Benis?s shot blocked and then shooting wide when a pass inside might have been the better option.

Half-time: Chertsey Town Youth 0 Woking 1

The young Cards came out for the second half looking as though they had been told to work even harder to grab that vital second goal. They now had by far the greater part of the attacking play, and Anson Cousins, Abi Benis and Ashley Groombridge all combined well at times to create openings.

In the first minute of the half a cross fizzed across the box with no Woking player quite managing to get on the end of it. Other attacks followed but none quite as threatening as the swift counter-attack which Chertsey launched in the 60th minute. As the ball came in from the Woking left an equaliser looked certain but the ball was toe-poked wide of the goal. That was really the turning point in many ways since Chertsey never came as close to scoring again while Woking pushed on in search of a second goal.

Initially, most of the shooting opportunities were long-range, rather hopeful, efforts from Ashley Groombridge but Abi Benis also fashioned a fine low cross after cleverly beating his man. Then, with over 70 minutes gone, a flicked header sent Anson Cousins clear of the Chertsey back line and he finished well past the keeper?s right hand to make it 2-0 to Woking.

With five minutes or so remaining, Woking won a free-kick in a central position just outside the area and Charlie Turnball hit a superb shot which left the keeper motionless on his line.

Chertsey, to their credit, had a late rally and came close to pulling a goal back even though the result was beyond doubt by then.

The young Cards started this game with nine first years in the squad and put in a decent performance on a rather bumpy pitch. They will now play Three Bridges away on Wednesday 8 October in the next round.

Woking: Patrick Kinsella, Ashley Lloyd, Alex Lumley, Charlie Turnball, Gavin Miller, Callum Eagle, Danilo Cadete (Josh Coke, 80), Michael Boateng, Abi Benis (Oliver Palmer, 65), Anson Cousins, Ashley Groombridge

Unused subs: Nick Greaves, Liam Mullan, Aaron Gough

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