Useful Run-Out for Cards XI
11:57am, Wed 23rd Jul 2014
Frome Town 1 Woking XI 1
22nd July 2014
A young Cards side made up of trialists and fringe first team squad players took the field at the Aldersmith Stadium against the Southern League Premier side. Picture a greensward and slight slope away from the main stand, which the Cards were to take full advantage of in the second half with Longleat Forest in the distance.
Frome began determinedly and it took a defensive block inside the penalty area to stop Mark Francis. Dave Fitzpatrick scampered down the right for the visitors and his cross struck a hand but a penalty would have been harsh. Hicham Abdellah, looking lively on the left, fired in from wide but his shot was well held by Chitty in the home goal.
For Frome, centre back Jack Vallis headed down a corner and a foot waved at the bouncing ball from 4 yards out without contact.
Frome were soon in the lead. Adam Brice and Alec McClean got into trouble for a second time playing the ball between themselves under pressure which led to a corner. Josh Fordâ€™s deftly deflected header found the bottom corner to give Frome the lead.
Although a 4-4-2 formation saw Reece Beckles isolated at times, the diminutive striker was working hard at the apex of the attack to spark Woking into life. He encouraged his midfield to join him as Cards sought a leveller. Abdellah continued to look lively on the left whenever set free but saw less of the ball as Frome doubled up on him to reduce his threat.
Xabi smuggled the ball out from under the toe of Francis in the area to bring away and clear. Golledge got away and Burton again scrambled clear close to his goal area.
Fitzpatrickâ€™s dummy and short run into the box before he was stopped was evidence of ability but demonstrated the lack of a final ball from the young Cards.
Matt Steer and Fitzpatrick were finding gaps but not the final ball, forcing several corners as they searched for the equaliser. From one they tried twice, led by Reece Beckles, to force the ball home past Frome defending under their own crossbar, but could not manage it. Beckles did find space in the box close in but couldnâ€™t make the best strike, and hit the base of the post.
George Burton was forced to rush out of his goal for Woking following a quick break with Matt Steer marooned up field and no cover at right back. Somehow the Cards 'keeper smothered the effort when one on one.
The visitors' energy and enthusiasm was finally rewarded. Reece Beckles, set free through a gaping hole down the middle of the home defence, finished left-footed before Chitty could get to him.
Half-time: Frome Town 1 Woking XI 1
Beginning brightly with a wickedly deflected shot just wide of the right-hand post, the resultant corner was flapped away by 'keeper Chitty as the Cards gradually took control. Fitzgerald had switched wings with Abdellah and increasingly harried a tiring Frome Town, cutting in from the left on to his favoured right foot and shooting wide of the left-hand post. He then set up Dylan Bonella with a slide rule low cross but the midfielder blazed over from 12 yards out.
Abdellah increasingly found space picking up diagonal balls, trying his own luck but slicing wide before setting up Beckles at the near post, but neither he nor Abdellah could force the ball home.
The control and distribution of Ebby Nelson-Addy dominated midfield in the last half-hour as the young Cards ran the show, though they could not finish Frome off. Abdellah sliced another presentable chance wide from the edge of the box and Dave Fitzpatrick fired a free kick in but his effort was comfortably saved.
The young Cards side showed energy and enthusiasm in abundance but could not quite find the killer blow to seal victory in a lively game that sometimes lacked craft but proved the fitness of the visitors.
Frome Town: Darren Chitty, Kris Miller, Mark Cooper, Josh Ford, Jack Vallis, Jon Vance, Alex Ferguson, Matt Smith, Tom Golledge, Mark Francis, Ben Thomson.
Subs: Mario Mateus, Lewis Pierre (GK), Thomas Bannerman-Williams, Ricky Hulbert, Matt Cowler, Aurelian Bouhoua
Goal: Josh Ford
Woking: George Burton, Matt Steer, Adam Brice, Alec McClean, Xabi, Dave Fitzpatrick, Dylan Bonellla, Ebby Nelson-Addy, Hicham Abdellah, Maz Bettache, Reece Beckles
Subs: Kernius Zakaras, Trevor Mutero
Goal: Reece Beckles
My MotM: Dave Fitzpatrickâ€™s wing-raiding caught the eye in the second half but Ebby Nelson-Addy stood out for me with his control and ability to create time and room to play his passes.