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John Moore - 27th September 2008

Woking 1 Histon 0

Blue Square Premier League

27 September 2008

At the end of the game Phil Gilchrist rightly praised the players for their grit and desire, after a Wilfried Domoraud goal was enough to see off high-flying Histon and earn the Cards a third home win on the trot, the first time this has happened since 2004.

With Kingfield bathed in sunshine and experiencing a temperature barely witnessed all summer, it came as no surprise to find that the starting eleven were the same players who featured so impressively on Tuesday night, in the win against Salisbury City. Playing what could be described as a fluid 4-1-4-1 formation, the back four consisted of Miles on the left, Konan on the right, with Hutchinson and Lorraine in central defence. Bradley Quamina was again positioned to patrol just in front of the back four and, ahead of him, there was a midfield quartet of Pattison, Sole, Marum and Lambu. Wilfried Domoraud was again given the lone striker role.

Initially the Cards started where they?d left off earlier in the week, showing plenty of energy, quick passing and lots of movement. However, it didn?t take long for Histon?s quick pressing, muscular presence and physical approach to begin to break up the Cards? attacks, and in the seventh minute Reeves missed a glorious opportunity to put them ahead, heading over a cross from six yards with no Woking defender in sight.

This was Histon?s cue for their bombardment to begin as they launched a series of throw-ins, free kicks and corners, all in keeping with their very direct but effective brand of football that?s served them so well in their rapid ascent up the football pyramid. The Cards were a trifle fortunate to survive during this period of play and were twice saved, in quick succession, by the referee?s whistle. In the fourteenth minute, a long throw-in seemed to elude everyone except Reeves, who hit the post, only for the referee?s whistle to go before anyone could follow-up to put the rebound in the net. A minute later, Mr Adcock?s whistle rescued the Cards again, this time disallowing a headed goal from Knight-Percival, for a foul on Pidgeley as he attempted to come and claim the free-kick.

These two reprieves seemed to galvanise the Cards, and make them realise that they had to match Histon?s work rate and effort if they were to get anything out of this match. Marum, Quamina, Domoraud and Lambu, in particular, seemed to rise to the challenge and set the tone, and slowly but surely they began to get back into the game and started to pose Histon one or two problems of their own.

In the twenty-fifth minute, Sole curled a free-kick just past the post and, moments later, Lorraine, from a corner, missed a great opportunity to put the Cards ahead when he headed just wide, with the Histon keeper getting nowhere near the cross.

With the Cards looking more in control again, just before half-time, Marum created a glorious chance for Domoraud, which he should have done better with. Seizing the ball just inside the opposition half, Marum went on a determined run and threaded a delightful pass through to the powerful Domoraud. Not for the first time during the afternoon, he used his considerable strength to shrug off a defender, took the ball on in his stride, but instead of trying to hit his shot low and hard across the keeper, he opted for power instead and blazed well over.

Half-time: Woking 0 Histon 0

Doubtless during the half-time break Phil Gilchrist was urging for more of the same from his players in the second-half, and he must therefore have been pleased with the way they continued from where they?d left off in the first half. Shortly after the re-start, Lambu earned a free-kick and from the resulting cross, Domoraud climbed high, unchallenged and thudded a header against the crossbar.

Having come so close to scoring, Domoraud wasn?t to be denied again when he got another opportunity, and he put the Cards ahead with a quite stunning goal. After interchanging passes with Miles, he found himself inside the penalty area. Receiving the ball with his back to goal, demonstrating great skill, strength and composure, he showed the posse of defenders around him one way, then the other, before swivelling and sending an unstoppable shot that arrowed like a missile into the top corner of the net.

Shortly afterwards, Marum almost put the Cards two up, with what was nearly a repetition of the goal he scored against Salisbury. He was played in on the right hand side, burst past his defender, but this time fired his shot just past the far post.

With the clock ticking down, it was no surprise that Histon made a late surge to endeavour to find an equaliser. Fortunately, both Hutchinson and Lorraine were at their most resolute, and with Pidgeley too as commanding as ever in goal, the number of chances created were few and far between, for all the extra possession that Histon had begun to enjoy.

However, it wasn?t all plain sailing by any means and the Cards supporters were made to suffer one or two very anxious moments. Within a minute of coming on in the seventy-fifth minute for the injured Miles, Danny Bunce had to clear a misdirected Lorraine header off the line. The Cards then had a further piece of good fortune when the unmarked Barker missed a sitter from close range, following a free-kick that had floated over everyone and found him lurking at the far post.

Thankfully, although there were four minutes of additional time added, there were no further scares and the Cards held out for three more points.

This was another well deserved win against a team which was lying in fifth place in the table. What was particularly pleasing was the way that the whole side refused to be intimidated by Histon?s physical approach, particularly after losing their way a bit during part of the first-half, and competed for every ball right across the pitch for the duration of the match. It was an excellent battling performance, rounded off by a fabulous strike from Domoraud, who once again led the line well and proved to be a real handful for the Histon defence all afternoon.

Woking : Lenny Pidgeley; Patrice Konan, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Colin Miles (Danny Bunce, 75); Goma Lambu (Delano Sam-Yorke, 90), Liam Marum, Bradley Quamina, Giuseppe Sole, Matt Pattison (Joel Ledgister, 65); Wilfried Domoraud

Unused subs: Ross Worner, Charlie Moone

Attendance: 1797






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