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Brian Caffarey - 23rd January 2008

Woking 2 Walton Casuals 1
Surrey Senior Cup, Round 3
22 January 2008

The Cards made it through to the next round of the Surrey Senior Cup but only after being made to work hard by a lively Walton Casuals side. Liam Marum?s late strike, his second of the night, spared us all extra time. The Cards will now be at home to Sutton United in the Quarter-Finals, with the prospect of meeting Scott Steele?s and Lloyd Wye?s Guildford City or Whyteleafe in the Semi-Finals. But the Cards? finishing will have to improve significantly if we are to progress confidently.

As expected, Frank Gray gave priority to those players who had not played full games recently. Ross Worner was in goal. The back four were Lewis Christon, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson and Danny Bunce. The midfield comprised Goma Lambu, Matt Pattison, Jerome Maledon and Adam Green, while Liam Marum (pictured) and Giuseppe Sole started up front.

The Stags made a fine start, taking the lead in the second minute when a useful ball over the top from ex-Card Kevin MacLaren caught out the Woking defence. Ross Worner came out to the left edge of his area but could not prevent the tricky Serge Musungu reaching the ball first and crossing it for Mark King to shoot home. The Casuals proceeded to look the more determined and enthusiastic of the two sides in the opening exchanges but the Cards gradually began to gain control and create a succession of chances, especially once they started to pass the ball around more.

Matt Pattison stole in to slam the ball straight at the keeper in the 12th minute, with Adam Green putting the rebound over the bar. Paul Lorraine headed over from a corner; Tom Hutchinson seemed keen to get in the action and curled a side-footed effort over. Liam Marum should have done better in the 23rd minute when he was played in on the right of the area but managed only to blast the ball wastefully over the bar. A Matt Pattison header, well fielded by the Stags? keeper, was the only decisive action before Liam got a chance to make amends five minutes later, An excellent move, which started with Jerome Maledon breaking from defence, involved several players before Giuseppe slipped the ball nicely into Liam?s path. He finished with a crisp shot across the keeper.

The Cards, now well in control, continued to create chances. Some smart footwork from Lewis Christon opened the way for a shot from Adam Green before Tom Hutchinson headed wide from the resulting corner. Matt Pattison had a shot blocked and Tom Hutchinson headed down from a corner. But there was a scare at the other end when Ross Worner?s attempted headed clearance fell short, but a Walton forward was unable to profit from the mistake. The litany of spurned Woking chances included a crisp, but off-target, shot from Liam Marum; a blocked effort from Adam Green; another miss from Liam after a clever back heel from Gez; and, worst of all, a scoop over the bar by Gez after Goma Lambu had robbed a defender on the by-line.

Half-time: Woking 1 Walton Casuals 1

Frank Gray brought on Jay Gasson for Tom Hutchinson, and Bradley Quamina for Matt Pattison, at half-time. Woking made a poor start to the second half, failing to gain much momentum from midfield, seemingly unable to fashion incisive passes through the Casuals? defence. There had been very little goalmouth action before Frank threw on Marvin Morgan for Adam Green in the 62nd minute. That seemed to be the signal for the Cards to raise the tempo again and they began to apply more pressure. But Gez?s shooting still left a lot to be desired as, following a fine back heel from Liam Marum, he blasted over the bar from a few yards out.

The Casuals got forward more in the second half than in the first half, with Musungu providing most of the action down their right, but they rarely threatened the Woking goal. Their defence was busy, though, as the Cards laboured to get the crucial second goal. Most of the attacking threat began with the hard-working Goma Lambu, although his final ball was sometimes ineffective. Marvin Morgan hit a weak shot with his left foot; Lewis Christon did well to get a shot on target from a corner; Marvin then burst through two defenders, setting up Bradley Quamina for a blocked shot before Gez skied the rebound over. The winning goal seemed to be coming as a series of shots rained in on the Casuals? goal in a frenzied burst, with Liam, Goma and Danny Bunce among those firing away. Just when extra time seemed to be looming Liam Marum swivelled on the edge of the box, in the 86th minute, to hit a fine high volley past the Stags? keeper for the winner. It was tough on the Casuals to concede the goal so late in the game but Woking really ought to have finished off the tie much earlier. The Casuals had a final fling, though, as Jay Gasson was forced to clear wildly for a corner and a header went just wide as the referee put the whistle to his lips to mark the end of extra time.

This was a useful, if not wholly convincing, work-out for those players on the fringes of the first team. The Casuals were clearly ?up? for this tie, whilst it seemed that the Woking side were playing somewhat within themselves and, as so often happens in such a situation, the difference in class and fitness between the two sides was narrowed considerably. Nevertheless, there were promising displays from Jerome Maledon and Lewis Christon in particular, and Liam Marum took his two goals well.

Woking: Ross Worner, Lewis Christon, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson (Jay Gasson, 45), Danny Bunce; Goma Lambu, Matt Pattison (Bradley Quamina, 45), Jerome Maledon, Adam Green (Marvin Morgan, 62), Giuseppe Sole, Liam Marum

Unused subs: Nick Gindre, Izedin Harusha

Booked: Bradley Quamina

Attendance: 328

My MOTM: Goma Lambu for a committed and hard-working performance all evening.
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