Woking 1 AFC Wimbledon
12:00am, Tue 24th Jul 2007
Woking 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
24 July 2007
A first-minute goal from Matt Gray(pictured) ? which I missed! ? settled this first meeting between the two clubs. Whilst the result may not have mattered much, Woking fans can also take heart from a more encouraging performance than in the previous two friendly games. Dons fans too must have seen enough to have felt that their side is good enough to take the Ryman Premier title this time.
The Cards, missing Tom Hutchinson and Jay Gasson, started with Nick Gindre in goal; a back three of Paul Lorraine, Matt Ruby and Danny Bunce; a midfield of Matt Gray, Bradley Quamina, Matt Pattison and Adam Green; Giuseppe Sole was behind a front two of Liam Marum and Marvin Morgan. Steve Ferguson was in the Dons? line-up, although it has to be said that he had a quiet game on his return to Kingfield.
Having been forced by the segregation of the Chris Lane Terrace to trek round to Moaners? Corner, I arrived there just in time to hear the cheers for Matt Gray?s goal. I am reliably informed that it was a volley from the edge of the area into the bottom corner. Some felt that Dons? keeper Paul Seuke should perhaps have saved it.
There were hopes of a second as Giuseppe Sole lined up a free-kick a couple of minutes later but he was well off target. Sam Hatton then almost equalised for the Dons as a firm header flashed past the post. Nick Gindre was also busy collecting a succession of centres into the box.
At the other end there were fairly tame efforts from Matt Gray and Marvin Morgan ? who was looking quite lively ? before we got our first glimpse of Steve Ferguson in action. A poor kick from Gindre allowed the impressive Tony Finn to get in a cross. Fergie got half a shot in as the defence closed him down. The game became a bit feisty shortly afterwards as the quick-footed Matt Pattison was bowled over after a promising run in midfield and then Matt Gray?s two-footed tackle provoked Fergie into his only other memorable contribution as he scythed him down in retaliation.
A decent shot from the Dons? Robert Quinn was followed by a run out of defence by Marvin Morgan which took him the length of the pitch but he lost control as he neared the Dons? line. A snap shot by Bradley Quamina was blocked and Nick Gindre was lucky to catch a shot after he had flapped at a cross. The half ended with a bad clash of heads, forcing Adam Green and Dons? Will Salmon to go off, with Goma Lambu replacing Adam.
Half-time: Woking 1 AFC Wimbledon 0
Marvin Morgan was very much in the action at the beginning of the second half. Tall and strong and difficult to shake off the ball, he rode several tackles to create space in the box and then put in a couple of good crosses as well. Goma Lambu too was very purposeful out on the right wing, putting in some decent centres and tackling back quickly. But it was not all one way as the Dons? Michael Haswell fired in a fierce shot which Nick Gindre did well to take cleanly.
Ten minutes into the half there was a series of substitutions, with Michael Charles replacing Liam Marum and Jerome Maledon coming on for Bradley Quamina. David Shin replaced Marvin Morgan ten minutes later. But in the meantime Jason Goodliffe had come very close to scoring as his powerful header from a corner (conceded needlessly by Matt Gray) was cleared off the line. David Shin, playing out on the left, was quickly into the game, showing control and pace. Giuseppe was well off target again as he blasted over from a free-kick tapped to him and Michael Charles had a great chance to get a shot on target as he ghosted onto a fine pass from Goma Lambu, but he put it well wide.
The Dons continued to look for the equaliser and saw fine efforts from substitutes Jack Tallentine and Kevin Warner go marginally wide, the latter hitting the stanchion behind the goal. As injury time was being played Sam Hatton hit another fine effort just wide from a free-kick.
Woking fans would no doubt have liked to see a few more efforts on goal but there were some encouraging performances. Matt Ruby looked composed and steady at the back; surely, he will get his chance this season to press hard for a regular first team place? Paul Lorraine had a fine game too against his former club. In midfield Matt Pattison showed flashes of inspiration and Bradley Quamina was more involved than in previous outings. Marvin Morgan impressed up front and both Goma Lambu and David Shin performed well in the wide positions.
The Cards now travel to Havant and Waterlooville on Friday evening and to Bognor on Saturday afternoon before entertaining Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday 1 August.
Woking: Nick Gindre; Paul Lorraine, Matt Ruby, Danny Bunce; Matt Gray, Bradley Quamina (Jerome Maledon, 57), Matt Pattison, Adam Green (Goma Lambu, 44); Giuseppe Sole, Liam Marum (Michael Charles, 57), Marvin Morgan (David Shin, 65).