LCS Events
Friendly
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 7th AugustAug 2010
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 618

Woking
Woking
1 - 2

Luton Town
Luton Town

Final tough test for Cards

Brian Caffarey
8:07am, Fri 6th Aug 2010
Woking v Luton Town
Pre-season friendly
3pm on Saturday 7 August 2010

The Cards’ final pre-season friendly game on Saturday afternoon will provide a suitably tough test of the side’s readiness for the new campaign. The visitors, starting their second season in the Conference National, are the bookies’ favourites for promotion back to League 2, reflecting a strong finish to last season and some impressive summer signings. Graham Baker’s side won’t lack confidence, however, after a vibrant display against a young Blues’ side.

WOKING

The Cards will of course be without Ross Worner, whose transfer to Charlton Athletic was concluded this week. Cards fans will be sorry to see this excellent young keeper leave the Club but will wish him well now that he’s achieved his thoroughly deserved chance to begin his League career. On Wednesday night against a Chelsea XI, Lenny Pidgeley returned to the Club to take over in goal. In spite of his problems off the field, there is no doubt that Lenny, judging by his previous spell on loan and his performance on Wednesday, would be a terrific signing, although he would no doubt be looking to get back into the League as quickly as possible.

At the time of writing, we are still waiting to hear too whether Graham will pursue his interest in the two remaining triallists, Toby Little and Daryn Hennessy.

LUTON TOWN

The Hatters found life in the BSP last season not quite as much of a ‘doddle’ as some commentators had assumed, although it was no great surprise, in the light of recent experience, to find a relegated League club struggling to bounce straight back up. But the side finished strongly and Manager Richard Money has brought in some highly-regarded players this summer to improve his squad. They include defender Dan Gleeson and midfielder Adam Murray, both from Cambridge United; Andy Drury, surprisingly switching from Stevenage Borough; keeper Kevin Pilkington from Notts County; and winger/striker Dan Walker from Bedford Town. When you add the likes of ex-Kidderminster striker Matthew Barnes-Homer, the experienced Kevin Gallen, striker Tom Craddock, star midfielders Claude Gnapka and Keith Keane, it’s easy to see why the Hatters are strongly fancied to beat off challenges from Steve Evans’s Crawley Town and others and land the BSP title.

The Hatters have won their last three pre-season games, including most recently a 4-1 defeat of a Newcastle United X1 which included two strikes from Barnes-Homer.


ADMISSION

£8 adults, £4 concessions, and U16s will be admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.


Come on, you Cards!


P.S. Make sure you’ve got the Cards’ first league encounter firmly in your diary: 3pm on Saturday 14 August v Dover Athletic

Hatters edge final friendly

Brian Caffarey
9:01pm, Sat 7th Aug 2010
Woking 1 Luton Town 2
Pre-season friendly
7 August 2010


If truth be told, this was a rather dull encounter, with both sides playing well within themselves – no doubt keeping their powder dry for the real thing in a week’s time. For Woking fans, the main interest lay, in the end, in the second-half appearance of new signing Adam Doyle from Farnborough, who slotted in very comfortably in the left centre back role.

Lenny Pidgeley was again wearing the goalkeeper’s gloves, increasing speculation that he will be at Kingfield for the start of the season at least. He also provided the most entertaining moment in the game, with an adventurous (or reckless) dribble out of defence which took him past three Luton attackers and into midfield before passing to a Woking colleague.

The afternoon started quietly, in front of a disappointingly sparse crowd, with both sides seeming content to play at a subdued tempo. For Woking, the main threat seemed likely to come from Aswad Thomas down the left and, on the few occasions he received the ball, Moses Ademola on the other flank, but triallist Daryn Hennessy also showed up well with some pleasing movement and passing. Luton, meanwhile, got in a few crosses from the wings but nothing which looked like troubling Pidgeley.

The first real home attempt on goal came in the 20th minute in the shape of a blocked effort from Francis Quarm from the edge of the area after enterprising play from Thomas. The visitors, similarly, saw a shot blocked.

The game livened up on the half hour mark as Luton – always looking slightly more fluent – attacked with greater intent. Matthew Barnes-Homer hit the corner of post and bar after the ball had rebounded to him in the area and then immediately drew a fine save from Pidgeley, who got down smartly at his near post to block a goalbound effort. The former Carlisle keeper was then quickly in action again as he dived to his left to hold a fierce shot from Claude Gnapka.

Woking continued to plug away but found it difficult to pierce a solid Luton defence with through balls or get in dangerous crosses. However, in the 35th minute, Jerome Maledon tested the visitors’ keeper with a decent strike with the outside of his right foot on the volley.

As the match seemed to be drifting towards a half-time stalemate, Luton took the lead with a simple, but well-executed, attack. The ball was fired in from the right flank and Kevin Gallen shot past Pidgeley from close range.

Half-time: Woking 0 Luton Town 1

Both sides made several changes at half-time, with Graham Baker bringing on Doyle, Craig Faulconbridge, Dave Gilroy and triallist Toby Little for Alan Inns, Andy Forbes, Hennessy and Sam Hurrell.

Faulconbridge, who, as usual, won more than his fair share of headers, was immediately in the thick of the action, centering for Maledon, who connected well only to see a defender block his shot. Woking threatened again shortly afterwards as Ademola crossed from the same area but neither Faulconbridge nor Gilroy was able to take advantage.

The Woking fans, having been aroused and amused by Pidgeley’s midfield foray, then saw their team launch a couple more attacks before the visitors, rather against the run of play, increased their lead. Pidgeley did well to block a shot but Adam Murray was on hand to blast the ball back past him into the net.

Four minutes later, the Cards pulled a goal back. More useful work from Thomas led to a professional foul on Gilroy on the edge of the area. Little’s low, rasping, free-kick cannoned off the base of the far post to nestle in the side netting on the opposite side of the goal.

Ademola put the Luton defence under more pressure with a cross-cum-shot which flew across the face of the Hatters’ goalmouth. Little followed up with an excellent centre, which Gilroy very nearly reached.

Woking had a great opportunity to level the scores in the 75th minute when Faulconbridge’s headed flick-on put Gilroy clear. It seemed as if he only had to pass the ball across to Maledon – who again, creditably, had got himself into the right place – but he seemed to lose concentration as the keeper advanced and he barely connected with the ball.

Another good chance fell Woking’s way three minutes later. Ricky Anane crossed to Little, who laid the ball off well to Ola Sogbanmu (now on for Ademola) near the penalty spot but the young striker did not get enough weight on his shot to trouble the Luton keeper.

With six minutes to go, a Thomas back pass nearly got Pidgeley into trouble as a Luton player intercepted but, fortunately for Woking, the attack fizzled out. But Luton came even closer to restoring a two-goal margin when a superb cross from the busy Keith Keane whipped over Joe McNerney’s head, with Tom Craddock planting a header against the bar. As if to make amends, McNerney was next seen making an enterprising run into the opposition box, with a decent left-foot strike to finish the move.

As the referee brought proceedings to a close, it was hard to make any definitive judgments about either side on the basis of this cautious, rather tame, encounter. But there were positive signs from, amongst others, Aswad Thomas, Joe McNerney, Jerome Maledon and Adam Doyle. The overall feeling, however, was that both players and fans were saving their energies for next Saturday.

Woking: Lenny Pidgeley, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Jerome Maledon, Alan Inns (Adam Doyle, 46), Joe McNerney, Moses Ademola (Ola Sogbanmu, 76), Francis Quarm, Andy Forbes (Craig Faulconbridge, 46), Daryn Hennessy (Dave Gilroy, 46), Sam Hurrell (Toby Little, 46)

Unused sub: Matt Pegler

Luton: Mark Tyler, Dan Gleeson, Zdenek Korca, George Pilkington, Shane Blackett, Claude Gnapka, Pavel Besta, Keith Keane, Andy Drury, Kevin Gallen, Matthew Barnes-Homer

Subs used: Kevin Pilkington, Freddie Murray, Adam Murray, Tom Craddock, Jake Howells

Subs not used: Dan Walker, Godfrey Poku, Alan White, Ed Asafu Adjane

Attendance: 618.

Audio Interviews

David Holmes
6:57pm, Sat 7th Aug 2010
Interviews with Graham Baker (pictured) and Craig Faulconbridge following today's friendly with Luton Town, to get their thoughts on the match and pre-season.



Graham Baker:








Craig Faulconbridge:







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