Woking given tough examination as pre-season starts
6:46pm, Sat 14th Jul 2012
Windsor 2 Woking 0
14th July 2012
Woking kicked off their pre-season schedule with a visit to Stag Meadow, home of the newly-formed Windsor FC who, last season, just lost out to Guildford City for the Combined Counties Premier League title. With a 5-0 victory against neighbours Ascot United already under their belt, Windsor provided a more than useful first test for a Cards side featuring nine triallists.
Woking, with Steve Thompson looking after matters from the dugout and Garry Hill watching from the stands, fielded two different elevens for each half and, despite having the majority of possession throughout, found it difficult to find that final ball to really trouble a very impressive Windsor side.
The Cards started with triallist Mark Scott from Swindon in goal and a back four of Newton, McNerney, Johnson and Cestor. Mark Ricketts, (pictured) making a welcome return as captain, partnered new signing Jack Parkinson in central midfield with triallists Jesse Waller-Lassen, from the Spurs Academy and Greg Mills from AFC Telford playing wide on the right and left. Loick Pires was partnered for the first half up front with Gez Sole.
Conditions on a well-grassed pitch were very wet and slippery underfoot with standing water along the far touchline. This didnâ€™t particularly help Wokingâ€™s passing game and a number of half chances went begging as forwards slipped in the final third.
Within five minutes of the start Windsor had the lead â€“ a free kick, swung into the box by the dangerous Jake Parsons, was not dealt with by the Cards defence and Fagan was on hand to score from close range.
The Cards now began to settle and take charge of the possession. A Pires header hit the post, although the new striker was flagged off-side, and then Waller-Lassen had a great opportunity to level things up but his close-range header from a Mills cross was over the bar. Greg Mills then had a further chance cleared off the line after he had been forced wide by good Windsor defending.
After almost half an hour Cards fans were given a taste of the striking potential of Loick Pires. The tall forward saw his turn and rasping shot from the left edge of the area fly off the angle of post and bar and away to safety.
Windsor made it two-nil against the run of play after Jake Parsons was allowed to waltz through the centre of the Woking defence. His finish was excellent as he drove the ball past Scott and into the bottom corner of the net. And not long after a Gez Sole free-kick from twenty yards had been tipped over by Bullevant, Parsons again tested the Woking goal. This time his snap shot flew off the bar and over.
Half-time: Windsor 2 Woking 0
The second half saw Woking line up with Louis Meech, an Academy graduate, Jack Parkinson, Adam Doyle and Rene Steer from St Neots and Staines Town across the back, Jay Davies and Sam Corcoran from Chelmsford in the centre of midfield with Mills and Waller-Lassen continuing on the flanks. Triallists Jordan Carter, ex-Farnborough, and Michael Uwezu, ex-Forest Green Rovers, were partnered up front.
Mark Scott continued in goal before Aaron Howe replaced him after sixty-seven minutes. Kevin Betsy and Josh Griffiths replaced Waller-Lassen and Mills at the same stage. A final substitution on seventy-nine minutes saw George Frith on for Parkinson, with Sam Corcoran moving into the centre of defence.
As with the first half, it was the Cards who largely dominated possession but were unable to create any real chances. The best move of the half saw Waller-Lassen into the box after some good one-touch passing but his shot smacked against the crossbar. Then from a deep Meech cross Doyleâ€™s header also hit the bar.
A Betsy corner had to be tipped over by Bullevant and then the Windsor keeper just managed to keep out a close range Betsy chip. Finally, on ninety minutes, a long-range effort from the hardworking Davies was turned away spectacularly by the hosts' keeper.
So, Woking begin their pre-season programme with a disappointing defeat. But Windsor provided the Cards with a tough first examination as the management team consider their options in preparation for the new season. No doubt there will be plenty more twists and turns before the squad is finalised over the coming weeks.
Woking: Mark Scott* (Aaron Howe 67), Jesse Waller-Lassen* (Josh Griffiths 67), Mike Cestor* (Rene Steer* 46), Mark Ricketts (Jay Davies 46), Joe McNerney (Adam Doyle 46), Brett Johnson (Sam Corcoran* 46), Adam Newton (Louis Meech* 46), Jack Parkinson (George Frith 79), Loick Pires (Jordan Carter* 46), Gez Sole (Michael Uwezu* 46), Greg Mills* (Kevin Betsy 67)
Windsor: Rob Bullevant, James Trip (George Gould 19), Ryan Parsons, Andrew Fagan, Chris Ellis, James Houghton, Jake Parsons, Joe Chandirham, Yashwa Romeo (David Tilbury 83), Ryan Oâ€™Toole, Ken Porter (Ben Harris 56)
Unused subs: Ryan Ashe, Michael Jahodnik, Liridon Daka
MOTM: Mark Ricketts â€“ a commanding performance from the captain on his return.