Tidy display against Wombles despite defeat
12:00am, Fri 29th Jul 2016
Woking 1 AFC Wimbledon 2
July 29th 2016
Woking FC were just edged by League 1 newcomers AFC Wimbledon on Friday night with two headers from Tom Elliot.
The Cards faced Wimbledon on a humid July evening at the Laithwaites Community stadium. Woking came into the game in confident mood following positive results against Football League opposition, Swindon Town and Luton Town.
The game started in fairly frantic mood as both sides tried to assert some sort of midfield dominance. The first clear chance of the game fell to the League 1 newcomers; a long throw found Tom Elliot unmarked, but the striker could not generate enough pace on his header and the ball fell gratefully into Brandon Hallâ€™s arms.
The 9th minute brought the first goal of the game. Elliot had obviously learnt from his previous headed effort and made no mistake this time. A corner from the right was viciously whipped into the back post and man-mountain Elliot powered a header from the six-yard box into Wokingâ€™s goal. The Former Leeds and England U18 product took his header with composure and made room for himself by just pulling off his marker.
The Cards almost instantly replied as the game continued its rapid start. A minute following the Wimbledon goal, the Cards won a free kick 25 yards out on the right. Fabio Sariava bent an effort that looked to be looping over James Sheaâ€™s goal but the ball rattled his crossbar.
As the half grew, so did Wokingâ€™s confidence. Successions of neat interplay involving Penny, Banya and Kandi were to no avail in the 18th minute as the Cards struggled to produce that killer ball that their League opponents previously did.
The 23rd minute saw another clear chance fall to Wimbledon. The ball was taken down cutely on the halfway line by ex Chelsea academy man Dom Poleom who slotted in the onrushing fullback whose ball found yet another header in the form of Alfie Egan which found the target. However a strong palm from Brandon Hall saw the woodwork hit for the second time in the match.
The Cards were dealt a blow as target man Delano Sam-Yorke (replaced by Gozi Ugwu) trudged off with an injury that didnâ€™t look too serious on the 29th minute; obviously a precautionary measure with the season starting next Saturday.
Woking restored parity on the 41st minute with a goal from Charlie Penny. Yorkeâ€™s replacement, Ugwu, injected pace and guile into the Cards attack. A clever flick found Chike Kandi, who drilled an effort from the left by-line across the Wimbledon goal forcing a save. Shea couldnâ€™t push Kandiâ€™s vicious shot fully out of danger and Charlie Penny beat his marker in a foot race and slid the ball in from 3 yards.
The first half drew to a close with a speculative effort from Jake Caprice, which Shea this time had no trouble in holding. The Cards looked the stronger team and probably didnâ€™t want half time to arrive.
Half time: Woking 1 AFC Wimbledon 1
The Cards and The Dons made no changes at the start of the 2nd half with it being the last Pre Season game for Woking and the penultimate for Wimbledon - and more minutes required in playersâ€™ legs.
Much like the first half, Woking started the half sluggishly. 2 minutes in, Elliot doubled his tally for the evening with another free header. Poleom was found on the left, then cut inside to chip in a delicate cross towards man mountain Elliot who produced a carbon copy goal to his first with a powerful effort on the edge of the six yard box. Hall, however, got a touch on this occasion but could only parry it into the roof of his net.
Penny, a menace all night for the Cards, catalysed a move that found the marauding Jake Caprice whose cross mustered a succession of corners on the 55th minute which culminated in nothing.
Fabio Saraiva left foot threatened for the 2nd time of the night on the 61st minute. He found himself unmarked almost being encouraged to shoot from 30 yards out; his effort didnâ€™t trouble the Wimbledon goal as it was drilled wide of the mark.
That was Saraivaâ€™s last involvement of the evening as Woking searched for an equaliser with what looked like 4-2-4 formation. A flurry of substitutions midway through the 2nd half saw Caprice, Banya, Saraiva, Yakubu, Kandi and Carter depart, being replaced by Jones, Watford loanee Lewis, Ralph, Ansah, Gordon and Smith-Joseph.
Wimbledon missed a glaring opportunity on the 69th minute to practically end proceedings as goal scorer Elliot raced past his marker and almost turned creator for Poleom with a rasping ball across the edge of the box. Poleom somehow poked the ball handsomely wide from 3 yards out and also took a knock from the post for his efforts.
They were nearly made to rue that missed chance swiftly after. A deep ball into the Dons box eventually bobbled out to Max Kretzschmar who did well to carve out a shooting opportunity from the edge of the box which forced another parry from Shea. Unfortunately for the Cards, no player in red and white was present to sweep it in. The Dons keeper did well to this time parry away from his goal rather than in front of him.
Substitute Smith-Joseph missed a half chance in the 85th for the Cards. The ball was fizzed in by Gordon who found the lively Smith-Joseph, who unfortunately fluffed his lines with an air shot that looked destined for the top corner.
Wimbledon eventually looked to see the game out by making their first change of the game, with Toyosil Ocusanya coming on as the final whistle blew in a pretty pointless substitution. The Cards produced a fair showing against a tough AFC Wimbledon who had previously beaten Reading 2-0 in pre-season. The Laithwaite Community Stadium will next welcome Lincoln City, where things get real.
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice (Dennon Lewis 65), Charles Banya (Nathan Ralph 65), Charlie Carter (Ben Gordon 65), Brian Saah, Ishmael Yakubu (Aaron Smith-Joseph 70), Fabio Saraiva (Joey Jones 65), Max Kretzschmar, Delano Sam-Yorke (Gozie Ugwu 28), Charlie Penny, Chike Kandi (Zac Ansah 65)
Goal: Charlie Carter (41)
Subs not used: Kieran Murtagh, Michael Poke
AFC Wimbledon: James Shea, Toby Sibbick, Sean Kelly, Dannie Bulman, Will Nightingale, Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Gallagher, Alfie Egan, Tom Elliott (Toyosil Ocusanya 90), Dominic Poleom, Chris Whelpdale
Goals: Tom Elliott (9, 47)
Subs not used: Paul Kalamabayi, Joe McDonnell, Seanan Mckillop, George Oakley, Nez Belliki
First Half - Charles Banya. Was a constant attacking threat down Wokingâ€™s left hand side, added a few tricks and flicks and still remained defensively solid as Wimbledon continued to probe down the right.
Second Half - Dennon Lewis. Added pace and quality down the right and made a real impression when he came on. The Watford loanee looks a real prospect.
Referee: Graham Horwood