Lovetts
BSBS
7:45pm - MondayMon 16th AugustAug 2010
| Att: 948

Chelmsford City
Chelmsford City
3 - 0

Woking
Woking

Chelmsford City V Woking

Adam Horne
3:03pm, Sun 15th Aug 2010
On Monday night the Cards travel to Melbourne stadium, home of Chelmsford City, where they will be looking to make amends after their home defeat to Dover Athletic on Saturday. Since gaining promotion from the Isthmian Premier Division in 2007/08, Chelmsford have become one of the teams to beat in the Conference South. They finished their first season in fifth, and improved on that last season to finish third. Woking could only finish fifth last season. However, both sides have seen a number of comings and goings over the summer and will be hoping their new arrivals can help them to promotion this time around. Woking lost their home fixture against Chelmsford City 2-1 last season, but managed to beat them on the return fixture at Melbourne Stadium, a result which bodes well for Monday night.


WOKING

Woking have seen a lot of players come and go over the summer, and the effects were obvious during their first game loss to Dover at the weekend. The team were unfortunate to lose in the manner they did, but it was clear that the team were still trying to gel as they get used to individual playing styles.

Graham Baker may look to make one or two changes on Monday night, given that the players have only been given two days' rest since their weekend fixture. New signing Adam Doyle should be available on the night, and could partner Joe McNerney in central defence, allowing Alan Inns an important rest as he continues to gain full match fitness.

The manager will also have an important decision to make in terms of the formation he wishes to play. The Cards appeared to struggle playing 4-4-2 on the weekend, and looked more threatening after switching to a more versatile 4-3-3. With that in mind, Dave Gilroy may be given another chance upfront, and could be supported by Moses Ademola and Sam Hurrell, who also impressed on Saturday.

More importantly, however, Graham Baker will be looking for a more energetic and confident performance from his side on Monday night. They failed to pack a punch on their opening fixture, but rest assured they will be looking to right their wrongs when they meet Chelmsford tomorrow night.


CHELMSFORD

Chelmsford got their season underway in perfect fashion over the weekend, winning a five goal thriller 3-2 against Basingstoke Town. Their away win will no doubt give them a strong mental advantage over Woking on the night, as will their home support. Like Woking, Chelmsford have also seen some new faces join the club over the summer, some of whom were involved on Saturday afternoon.

New signing Billy Bricknell scored on his debut to help provide his side with an important victory, and at the other end, new keeper James Pullen made some very impressive saves throughout the match to ensure the Clarets retained their lead.

Chelmsford are priced at 9/2 to gain promotion this season, after reaching the play-offs in each of the last two seasons. There can be no doubt that Woking face a tough task tomorrow night as they travel to Melbourne Park, but there are signs that the Clarets' defence is prone to the odd lapse in concentration.

Against Basingstoke they conceded a penalty and a late goal, as well as being caught in possession on a number of occasions. All are mistakes that they will no doubt be looking to rectify, but if Woking can take advantage of these weaknesses then they stand a great chance of snatching all three points on the night.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

By coach
Leaves 4.30pm. Members £14. Non-Members £19. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book your place.

By car
From M25 take J28, A12 Brentwood. Leave at J15 onto A414 to Chelmsford. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Three Mile Hill, A414. Next roundabout take 1st exit onto A138, Waterhouse Lane. Left at A138 / Park Way. Left at A1060 / Rainsford Road, turn right onto Melbourne Ave, then 3rd left onto Salerno Way. Multimap says that it will take 1 hour 30 minutes, so leave at least 2 hours to be sure! There are a small number of parking spaces on matchday located at the centre, and limited street parking is available.

By train
Take the train to Waterloo and then take the Jubilee Line to Stratford. There are frequent trains from there to Chelmsford, taking about 25 minutes, e.g. the 18.20 arrives at 18.43. Then get a taxi from the rank or a bus. The number 54 and 56 buses leave initially from outside the site of the old bus station, opposite the train station in Duke Street. The journey takes about 15 minutes. Trains back to Stratford include the following times: 21.58, 22.11, 22.27 and 22.40.


Come on, you Cards!

Out-of-sorts Cards well beaten

Brian Caffarey
7:26am, Tue 17th Aug 2010
Chelmsford City 3 Woking 0
16 August 2010

Writing a match report for the official site when things go well is a relatively easy, pleasant task. Writing one when it’s hard to think of anything positive to say is much more problematic. The scoreline at the Melbourne Stadium last night suggests that the Cards were well beaten, but it doesn’t fully convey just how poor the performance was. Had Chelmsford, 3-0 up after 21 minutes, really pushed hard, they could easily have doubled their advantage.

Graham Baker switched to a 4-5-1 formation, bringing in Jerome Maledon in place of Francis Quarm in midfield, with Toby Little and Sam Hurrell on the flanks, and with just Craig Faulconbridge up front. Accordingly, Dave Gilroy dropped to the bench. The Clarets’ line-up included Takumi Aki, who had impressed in trials for Woking, and who proceeded to torment Ricky Anane, who was booked for his first attempt to tackle him.

The home side, confident after a good win at Basingstoke at the weekend and bolstered by the belief that this season’s squad will deliver a stronger promotion challenge than last year, started well, with Nunn connecting with a fine volley from distance, which Lenny Pidgeley fielded comfortably. Moses Ademola, perhaps intermittently Woking’s best player on the night, got a decent cross in from the right, well taken by Chelmsford’s keeper, James Pullen.

In the 9th minute Pidgeley, for the second game running, pressed the suicide button. Alan Inns’s header deflected a cross towards the corner. The keeper, reasonably enough, chased it down but instead of booting it far into the stand merely succeeded in passing it along the touchline to Nunn. Pidgeley seemed not to appreciate the danger initially and by the time he tried to rush back to cover his goal, Nunn’s long-range effort was snaking its way to the back of the Woking net. 1-0 to the Clarets.

A free-kick which went straight through the Woking defence didn’t inspire confidence but worse was to follow in the 15th minute. Aki out-jumped Anane to flick the ball over Inns and into the path of the impressive Chelmsford front man, Higgins, who strode on to thrash the ball past Pidgeley. 2-0.

And it got worse still. In the 21st minute the Cards’ defence failed to head clear a corner swung towards the far post. The ball was headed onto the bar and the Clarets’ skipper, Rainford, was on the spot to nod it back into the net. 3-0.

There was little prospect of the Cards recovering from this deficit but there was little sign, in truth, that they had the ability to do so anyway. The midfield stuttered, with Hurrell and Little barely in evidence, and Maledon and Mark Ricketts rarely getting ‘clean’ ball, while up front Faulconbridge did not look likely to get much change out of a solid home central rearguard.

An out-of-sorts Woking managed to repel further Chelmsford attacks, with Cook firing narrowly wide from a free-kick. Just before half-time the Woking attack flickered into life. Ademola, now popping up through the middle, battled well to create a shooting chance but dragged it well wide, and then Anane made a good run into the box, passing to Faulconbridge, who should have done better than chip his shot wide.

Half-time: Chelmsford City 3 Woking 0

An unchanged Woking side started the second half more brightly, with Ademola’s enterprising run unlucky not to win him a corner, and Faulconbridge seeing a strike blocked. But the side’s frustration soon showed up as Inns and Aswad Thomas were booked. A scramble in the Woking box threatened to increase the home side’s lead but the danger was narrowly averted. At the other end, Faulconbridge flicked on to Little, whose volley was deflected for a corner.

That was Little’s last contribution, with Graham Baker bringing on Daryn Hennessy in his place. But it proved to be an ill-timed substitution as, a couple of minutes later, Thomas (apparently also involved in an ‘off the ball’ incident) made his second rash challenge, diving in to earn a straight red. Hurrell then switched to left back.

Down to ten men, the Cards’ minimal chances of staging a recovery were completely extinguished, and the mystery is how the home side failed to add to the scoreline. The lively Cook went close and, in the 70th minute, Pidgeley had to punch clear twice as the home side eased forward, enjoying the ability to pass the ball around comfortably and to bring on substitutes without any fear of sacrificing the game.

Andy Forbes came on for Faulconbridge with some 20 minutes to go but the focus was on Aki as he unleashed a superb volley, just missing the far post. Wry amusement ensued as the matchday announcer informed Woking fans that the Supporters’ Club coach would be leaving the ground very promptly once the game had finished. One suspects that most Woking-ites would have been happy to have left well before the end!

Another decent run by Ademola was spoiled by a poor final shot, and Forbes lost his footing as he tried to attack the home penalty area. Pidgeley then had to make a superb save to keep out Lock’s terrific strike from distance, with the Woking goal somehow surviving as the ball bounced around the box from the resulting corner.

As the game drew to a close, Woking fashioned probably their best attacking move of the night down the right, with Ricketts’s shot being blocked, but Inns side-footed well over from the subsequent corner.

An injury-time clearance off the Woking line maintained the 3-0 scoreline before the referee drew a hugely disappointing evening to a close.

The Cards have now lost both of their opening games, scoring no goals and conceding four. Both Dover Athletic and Chelmsford City look well placed to mount serious promotion challenges again but Woking fans have yet to see any evidence that their side can repeat last season’s challenge. The next few games look easier on paper. The hope must be that some confidence and ‘bite’ can be restored with some improved performances against weaker sides.

Woking: Lenny Pidgeley, Ricky Anane, Aswad Thomas, Jerome Maledon, Alan Inns, Joe McNerney, Moses Ademola (Dave Gilroy), Mark Ricketts, Craig Faulconbridge (Andy Forbes, 71), Sam Hurrell, Toby Little (Daryn Hennessy, 61)

Unused subs: Matt Pegler, Francis Quarm

Sent off: Aswad Thomas

Booked: Ricky Anane, Joe McNerney, Alan Inns, Aswad Thomas

Attendance: 948




Chelmsford City LINEUP
1James Pullen
2Ben Nunn
3Marlon Patterson
4Adam Tann
5Sami El-Abd
6Dave Rainford
7Matt Lock
8John Martin
9Sam Higgins ('64)
10Anthony Cook ('75)
11Takumi Ake
BENCH
12Billy Bricknell ('64)
14Rob Edmans ('75)
15Mark Haines
16Stephen Reed
19Lewis Batchford
WOKING LINEUP
1Lenny Pidgeley
2Ricky Anane
3Aswad Thomas
4Jerome Maledon
5Alan Inns
6Joe McNerney
7Moses Ademola ('86)
8Mark Ricketts
9Craig Faulconbridge ('71)
10Sam Hurrell
11Toby Little ('60)
BENCH
12Dave Gilroy ('86)
14Andy Forbes ('71)
15Francis Quarm
16Daryn Hennessy ('60)
18Matt Pegler

Graham Baker Interview after Chelmsford City 3-0 Woking

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