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Patient Cards rewarded

Brian Caffarey - 25th October 2011
Woking 4 Weston-super-Mare 1
24 October 2011

The Cards had to be patient at Kingfield last night but eventually turned pressure into some fine goals to record a resounding win which takes them, if only temporarily, six points clear at the top of the Blue Square South table.

Garry Hill made one change from the side which started at Staines on Saturday, with Derek Duncan coming in for Alan Inns, and Adam Doyle moving to centre back to partner Mark Ricketts.

On a pitch made slippery from the rain which started just before kick-off and which intensified after half-time, Woking fashioned an early promising attack which led to shouts for a penalty as Elvis Hammond was knocked to the ground but the referee ignored the appeals from players and fans alike.

The promising opening was not, however, built on in a somewhat frustrating first half as a combination of pernickety refereeing, misplaced passes, too many high balls, offside decisions and well-executed Weston midfield spoiling and time-wasting combined to prevent the Cards from gaining any real attacking momentum. Woking tried to feed Moses Ademola out on the right flank and on a couple of occasions he worked some clever moves with Jay Davies and Paris Cowan-Hall but the Weston goal was rarely seriously threatened.

Cowan-Hall got in a header from a high, dropping ball but it went straight to Lloyd Irish, Weston’s keeper. The Cards managed a bout of sustained pressure around the 25-minute mark, as good crosses from Elvis Hammond and Duncan began to test the Weston defence. Mark Ricketts connected with a resulting corner but his header was saved on the line by Irish.

A rare attack by the visitors immediately afterwards saw Adam Newton booked and a free-kick awarded just outside the area but Cleverley curled his effort over the bar. Aaron Howe then had to punch clear in another attack.

More Woking pressure followed as we moved into the last ten minutes of the half. A superb Cowan-Hill cross was deflected away for a corner before an injury to Dale Binns saw him replaced by Nathan Koranteng. Cowan-Hall then broke from defence and slid the ball into Hammond’s path on the edge of the area but the Woking striker hesitated and was robbed. Jack King, went close, stretching full-length to reach a pass from Ademola but he could only get a toe-poke on the ball rather than re-direct it towards the target.

Just as it seemed that we would all have to resign ourselves to a scoreless first half Ademola, so often the ‘game changer’, won a penalty. Jinking his way along the edge of the area, and indeed moving away from the box when the crucial lunge came in, he was tripped by a Weston defender, deceived by his clever footwork. Jack King stepped up and converted a perfect penalty: a firm, side-footed shot directed right into the corner.

In injury time the Cards pressed for a second goal, with a nice move involving Ademola and Cowan-Hall winning the first of two more corners but we had to be satisfied with that one-goal lead.

Half-time: Woking 1 Weston-super-Mare 0

The Cards came out for the second half looking as though they’d been given orders to grab that second goal as quickly as possible. With the ball being played on the ground noticeably more frequently than in the first half, they immediately created goalscoring chances. A superb move involving Duncan and Ademola saw Jay Davies slipped through one-on-one with Irish but his scuffed shot dribbled past the post. A couple of minutes later Ademola characteristically jockeyed his defender before unleashing a fierce shot which was deflected for a corner. More attempts on goal followed as Davies saw a shot blocked and Adam Doyle’s header from a corner bounced down and over.

Another excellent opportunity arose in the 60th minute as Ademola put Cowan-Hall through but Irish did well to block his shot. A Weston free-kick briefly interrupted the Woking barrage but Ademola was soon in the thick of the action again, forcing a smart save from Irish at his near post before Cowan-Hall’s superb run led to two more corners and a Duncan snap-shot.

Weston, who, admirably, continued to play neat passing football even at the death, rallied and began to see a lot more of the ball in midfield but were not able to threaten the Woking goal. The livelier Woking forwards were soon prominent once more, Ademola scything through the Weston defence before shooting over the bar.

Finally, in the 73rd minute, the decisive second goal arrived. Ademola slipped Hammond through in a fine run and the experienced striker showed how to finish, deftly dinking the ball over Irish and then watching it gently roll into the net.

The third Woking goal followed almost immediately. A rare misplaced Weston pass presented the ball to Ademola. A shuffle and a shot and the ball flew under Irish at his near post.

Garry Hill now had the luxury of being able to take off Hammond and Cowan-Hall and to give a quarter of an hour on the pitch to Ola Sogbanmu and Gez Sole. The latter looked sharp once more and was soon sliding the ball through to Davies but the lively young midfielder blazed over.

Sole wrote his own name on the score-sheet a couple of minutes later. Picking up a Koranteng cross in the area, he turned and slammed the ball home in an instant to make it 4-0 to the Cards.

In the 85th minute Sole went close to doubling his goal tally as he swivelled and shot after Sogbanmu had ‘bought’ a foul just outside the ‘D’.

The game had a final, unexpected twist. Just as Andy Turner was announcing that Moses Ademola had deservedly won the sponsor’s ‘man of the match’ award, Aaron Howe was adjudged to have brought down a Weston attacker – I confess I didn’t see the incident, being too busy scribbling Moses’s name! Those around me expressed some doubt whether it was really a foul or whether the attacker had just run into Howe. But Pepperell didn’t pass up the chance of a consolation goal and so the Cards were pegged back to 4-1.

As so often at home this season, the Cards found themselves having to overcome a side who would have been more than happy to have ground out a point but their patience was rewarded and it was good to see the Woking forwards, who’ve found goals a little hard to come by in recent games, find the net in such emphatic fashion. Now we need three more points at Truro on Saturday whilst some promotion rivals are engaged in Cup action!

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Derek Duncan, Mark Ricketts, Jay Davies, Adam Doyle, Paris Cowan-Hall (OIa Sogbanmu 76), Jack King, Moses Ademola, Elvis Hammond (Giuseppe Sole 76), Dale Binns (Nathan Koranteng 35)

Unused subs: Andy Little, Joe McNerney

Booked: Adam Newton 28

Sponsor’s MOTM: Moses Ademola (pictured)

Weston-super-Mare: Lloyd Irish, Jamie Price, Jamie Laird, Nabi Diallo, Matt Villis, Jak Martin, Kane Ingram (Dayle Grubb 69), Nat Pepperell, Brett Trowbridge, Matt Huxley (Sahr Kabba 56), Ben Cleverley

Unused subs: Ben Kirk, Chris Young, Mike MacKay

Attendance: 1462