Sutton swept aside as Cards march on
12:12pm, Sun 11th Dec 2011
Woking 4 Sutton United 1
Blue Square Bet South
10 December 2011
Woking comfortably despatched another of their promotion rivals with a clinical display in front of the largest Kingfield attendance of the season.
Lining up with only one change from last weekâ€™s win over Eastleigh, Adam Doyle returning from suspension to replace Jay Davies, the Cards were expecting a tough test, with fifth-placed Sutton looking to be a different proposition entirely from the side thumped 5-0 on the first day of the campaign.
However, with just 55 seconds gone, United supporters must have been fearing a repeat performance as Paris Cowan-Hall (pictured) latched onto a flick from Wayne Gray just inside the Sutton half, powered beyond the last defender and placed his shot past the advancing Kevin Scriven and into the net.
Just six minutes later it was 2-0, Wayne Gray scoring after a clever interchange of passes with Moses Ademola inside the Sutton box, despite Scrivenâ€™s efforts to keep the ball out.
The visitorsâ€™ first effort of note followed shortly afterwards, the industrious Harry Beautyman firing well over the bar after some good work from Leroy Griffiths to create the chance. Five minutes later Sutton really should have reduced the arrears, Tony Taggart floating the ball into the Woking penalty area to Craig Watkins who, from close-range and with only Aaron Howe to beat, scuffed his shot horribly and could only watch it spin harmlessly wide.
Play continued to switch between ends and with fifteen minutes on the clock Dale Binns, a thorn in the Sutton side all afternoon, intercepted a United pass before firing a low cross into the United area which Moses Ademola and Wayne Gray both just failed to reach.
Elvis Hammond replaced the injured Cowan-Hall after seventeen minutes as United pressed for a way back into the game but were unable to create any real chances in the face of some solid Woking defending.
The home side again came close after twenty-five minutes, Adam Newton doing well to collect a pass from Ademola and find Ben Smith in the box, the Cardsâ€™ midfielder firing a low shot across the goal narrowly wide with Scrivens only able to watch helplessly.
Sutton continued to press and were creating their own chances. A blocked shot fell to Griffiths, with the big strikerâ€™s dipping volley narrowly clearing the Woking bar, before two corners in quick succession were cleared without troubling Aaron Howe. Taggart then created some space in the box, only for Beautyman to fail to get a significant touch on the subsequent cross and the ball bobble out for a goal-kick.
At the other end Ademola stole the ball from the United defence, turning to create some space and firing across the goal and narrowly wide on the half hour.
Two minutes later Sutton finally managed to reduce the deficit, a ball across the edge of the box finding Beautyman, whose first-time effort found the right-hand corner despite Howe getting a hand to the ball.
Any worries amongst the home fans of a Sutton comeback were almost immediately dispelled as the Cards went straight back onto the offensive, Ben Smith picking up a ball from Hammond on the right wing and beating three defenders on his way around the touchline before seeing his shot saved by Scriven at close range. The Sutton goalkeeper was called into action again moments later, saving from Ademola after a neat one-two between the Cardsâ€™ hitman and Adam Doyle. Two minutes before the interval it was Dale Binns who arguably settled the contest. Again intercepting a pass from the Sutton defence, he jinked past his marker before looping the ball over Scriven, who once more managed to get a hand to the ball but was powerless to stop it dropping down and in to restore the Cardsâ€™ two-goal cushion.
Half-time: Woking 3 Sutton United 1
Unsurprisingly, the second half never really matched the first, with the Cards largely content to attack on the break as Sutton endeavoured to get back into the game. Although play continued to switch between ends, there were few scares for either custodian as their defenders prevented any clear sights of goal.
Jay Davies replaced Gray just before the hour mark, and the substitute made a significant contribution as the Cards extended the lead to 4-1 a few minutes later. Picking up the ball in defence, he played it out to Ademola on the right. Moses turned a defender and let loose a shot that deflected off the veteran Paul Telfer and into the net, despite Scriven once again getting a hand to the ball.
Sutton did create a chance to cut the deficit within minutes, but only managed to put the ball wide from close range from a cross into the area. After a spell when most attacks were halted swiftly by the linesmenâ€™s flags, Howe was forced into action after seventy-two minutes, comfortably holding an angled drive from Kavanagh. At the other end, Hammond turned a defender before firing across goal with no-one close enough to connect with the ball.
With just over ten minutes left, Giuseppe Sole came on for Smith as Woking continued to create half-chances on the break, Hammond escaping on the left five minutes before the end only to place his low cross nearer to Scriven than to the onrushing Binns.
It was United who had the final chances of the day, Howe diving low to his right to turn a free-kick around the post for a corner, then keeping out a headed effort from the subsequent corner.
So, nine points clear now (OK, so weâ€™ve played the odd game more, but itâ€™s not often we get to make statements like that!) and another potential challenger defeated ahead of a tricky away game at Dartford as the Cards look to leave the following pack even further behind!
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Ben Smith (Giuseppe Sole 79), Mark Ricketts, Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Paris Cowan-Hall (Elvis Hammond 17), Jack King, Moses Ademola, Wayne Gray (Jay Davies 59), Dale Binns
Unused subs: Andy Little, Joe McNerney
Sutton United: Kevin Scriven, Chris Piper, Paul Telfer, Harry Beautyman (Craig Dundas 79), Simon Downer, Sam Page, Anthony Riviere, Craig Watkins (Kyle Vassell 68), Leroy Griffiths, Tommy Kavanagh (Romone MacCrae 79), Tony Taggart
Unused subs: Fola Orilonishe, Wayne Shaw
Cautions: Simon Downer
MOTM: Dale Binns.