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Brian Caffarey - 29th December 2007

Woking 0 Torquay United 1
29 December 2007

Frank Gray will have scarcely needed another reminder of his side?s attacking frailties but it was plain for all to see again this afternoon that the Cards desperately require some reinforcement up front if the pattern of 2007 isn?t simply going to be repeated in the New Year. As it is, the Cards came close to gaining an unlikely point but for Nick Gindre?s rush of blood to the head which gifted the Gulls a 60th minute penalty and the woodwork which kept out Kevin James?s late strike. All eyes now turn to the transfer window.

Woking, kicking towards the Leslie Gosden Stand, were missing Matt Gray in midfield, replaced by Bradley Quamina, while Liam Marum, making his first league start of the season, paired Marvin Morgan in attack, with Giuseppe Sole dropping to the bench.

After a quiet opening, in a blustery wind, Chris Zebroski fired the first shot in anger in the 8th minute, forcing Nick Gindre to push the ball round the post. Liam Marum responded with an inviting, low curling cross but no one could reach it. Torquay, making their first-ever visit to Kingfield, gradually began to apply more pressure with Tim Sills and Lee Phillips doing what the Cards forwards were generally unable to do: win the ball, hold it up and bring team mates into the game. Woking?s attacking threat was largely confined to a couple of corners and free-kicks, none of which came to anything.

On the half-hour mark the game moved up a gear. Kevin Nicholson had a decent effort, with Nick Gindre grabbing the ball at the second attempt at his right-hand post. Some good harrying by Paul Lorraine then enabled Liam Marum to set off on a fine run before delivering an excellent cross which a Torquay defender just deflected for a corner. A dangerous delivery went right across the goalmouth but was then cleared.

Nick Gindre was soon in action again, punching well clear, but could only watch as Tim Sills put a far post header wide. Kevin James burst through from midfield but his final ball went astray. Immediately, Torquay charged up the other end and Sills looked certain to score, having evaded Nick Gindre, only to see Paul Lorraine produce a brilliant clearing tackle. The Gulls went close again from a free-kick a couple of minutes later, with Lee Phillips heading the ball just wide.

With three minutes to go till half-time Woking registered their first proper effort on goal, and it could so easily have given them a surprising lead. Danny Bunce?s cross from the left was met at speed at the far post by the on-rushing Matt Pattison but he put his downward header inches wide.

Half-time: Woking 0 Torquay United 0

Woking now had the wind behind them but it was Torquay who upped the pressure at the start of the second half, pushing forward and flooding the midfield, making it difficult for the Cards to get out of their own half for long periods. For all their possession, though, the Gulls created few chances, with Chris Zebroski blasting one chance high and wide. However, in the 60th minute they were gifted a goal. Nick Gindre needlessly brought a Torquay player down on the right-hand edge of the box when he had done enough to shepherd the danger away. A yellow card ensued and Tim Sills made no mistake with the penalty, sending Nick the wrong way.

Nick did better a couple of minutes later to snatch the ball off Zebroski?s toes, while Tim Sills sent a fierce left-footed effort inches over. It was no surprise to see Giuseppe Sole appear in the 67th minute, followed a few minutes later by Goma Lambu, with Adam Green and Bradley Quamina giving way. Gez?s arrival produced Woking?s first shot of the half, quickly followed by a fine run through the middle from Matt Pattison, whose effort went just wide of the post.

Torquay looked as though they were going to wrap the three points up in the 80th minute when an almighty scramble in the Woking box produced a clearance off the line and several blocked shots. They were nearly made to pay severely for their profligacy when, in the 86th minute, Kevin James latched onto a through ball but saw his shot cannon off the bar. It bounced out to Tom Hutchinson, thrown forward into attack, but he took too long to shoot and his attempt was blocked. The Cards tried desperately to fashion an equaliser in the four minutes of injury time but could not find a way through.

This was a disappointing performance in many ways, with the Cards looking less of a force than on Boxing Day. The front pair of Marvin Morgan and Liam Marum offered little, although they had poor support on the whole from a fairly defensive midfield. The back four ? as so often this season ? were excellent but how frustrating it must be for them to see so little reward for their all their application.

Woking: Nick Gindre, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Jay Gasson, Danny Bunce; Matt Pattison, Bradley Quamina (Goma Lambu, 71), Kevin James, Adam Green (Giuseppe Sole, 67); Marvin Morgan, Liam Marum

Unused subs: Ross Worner, Izedin Harusha, Carlos Talbot

Booked: Matt Pattison, Nick Gindre

Attendance: 2181

Sponsor?s MOTM: Danny Bunce (pictured)

Next game: Aldershot Town v Woking, 3pm on Tuesday 1 January 2008
Next home game: Woking v Halifax Town, 3pm on Saturday 5 January 2008
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