Natalie Kaye
12:00am, Sun 25th Nov 2007
Torquay United 2 Woking 0
24 November 2007

Woking fell to a 2-0 defeat against Torquay in the swirling wind and rain at Plainmoor. Not helped by referee Merchant?s highly controversial decision to send Marvin Morgan off in the first half, the Cards slipped to 19th in the table and are now without a win since their last outing in front of the cameras, against Farsley.

Frank Gray lined up a return from injury for Nick Gindre in the Woking goal. Giuseppe Sole was also recalled to the starting line-up following his goal at Kidderminster. Adam Green continued on the left in place of Danny Bunce.

Woking started the first half brightly, matching the hosts, who struggled to stamp their authority on the game. The Cards? defence held the Torquay front two of Tim Sills and Elliott Benyon at bay, forcing the home side to shots from distance from midfielder Chris Zebroski.

Torquay?s opening goal arrived in the 22nd minute somewhat out of the blue, after a long ball from deep wasn?t dealt with by the Cards? defence. Elliot Benyon got in between Paul Lorraine and Nick Gindre before steering the ball beyond the Woking keeper to make it 1-0.

Woking immediately tried to hit back, and were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out after a Lee Mansell handball. Gez stepped up, but hit the set play over the bar. At the other end, Tim Sills turned and hit an instinctive shot just wide after gratefully receiving a misplaced Woking pass.

In the 27th minute a throw-in deep in the Torquay half fell to Marvin, who kept possession well under pressure, finding Bradley Quamina in the centre. He collided with a Gulls defender in the area when well placed to have a shot. Lee Mansell had another Torquay shot from distance shortly afterwards, and Tim Sills headed wide of Nick Gindre?s post in the 35th minute before referee Merchant took centre stage.

Marvin lost possession just outside the Torquay area and in his attempt to retrieve the ball lunged in two-footed, winning the ball in fact, and not connecting with any Gulls player. To the amazement of most inside Plainmoor the referee then proceeded to hand Marvin his marching orders. It says it all that there was a shocked silence among the home fans too, and that some even applauded Marvin as he left the pitch.

Woking tried to re-group, but it was 11-man Torquay who had the last chance of the first half. Adam Green conceded a corner, which fell to Mark Ellis just outside the area. His bobbly shot was seen late by Nick, but sailed past his left-hand post.

Half-time: Torquay United 1-0 Woking

Torquay took the game to the visitors with their one man advantage in the second half. In the 52nd minute a shot from 20 yards by Lee Mansell was claimed by Nick. He threw the ball out to Patto, who was dispossessed by Chris Hargreaves. The midfielder got another shot on target which Nick again dealt with.

The home side made it 2-0 on the hour. The goal arrived from a corner. Chris Hargreaves rose highest and powered his header home, giving the Cards a mountain to climb with 10 men.

Frank brought about a couple of changes to the Woking personnel shortly afterwards, with Jerome Maledon replacing Goma Lambu on the right, and making an attacking change with Liam Marum coming on in place of defender Paul Lorraine.

Chris Zebroski almost added to Torquay?s lead when he got in behind the Woking defence, but was put off by Jay Gasson and shot over Nick Gindre?s bar. He saw another effort sail over when his turn and shot cleared the Cards? goal.

Tim Sills smashed a shot against the bar in the 73rd minute. A long cross cleared Jerome at the far post, before being passed back into the path of Sills. He took his shot on the half volley, smashing it against the bar and out again, but clear of danger.

A couple of late challenges from Chris Zebroski on Bradley Quamina and Mark Ellis on Matt Pattison brought about only a booking for the Gulls players, with Woking trying to push forward. Both set plays were pumped into the area, but cleared. Patto was first to each clearance and shot first time from outside the area. Neither chance troubled keeper Martin Rice, sailing high and wide.

The match drew to a close with the conditions worsening. It is impossible to say how the game would have panned out had Marvin Morgan stayed on the pitch. One thing?s for sure, luck is definitely not on Woking?s side at the moment.

Woking: Nick Gindre, Paul Lorraine (Liam Marum, 65), Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Matt Pattison, Goma Lambu (Jerome Maledon, 60), Bradley Quamina, Kevin James, Adam Green, Marvin Morgan, Giuseppe Sole (Joe Gatting, 72)

Subs not used: Danny Bunce, Matt Ruby

Booked: Jay Gasson

Sent off: Marvin Morgan

Attendance: 3275

MOTM (Brian Caffarey's choice): Jay Gasson - the defence were under the cosh for most of the game and Jay defended as well as anyone.

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