Seymours
Friendly
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 21st JulyJul 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 817

Woking
Woking
1 - 0

Oxford Utd
Oxford United

Cards face tough test on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey
7:29pm, Sun 19th Jul 2015
Woking v Oxford United
Pre-season friendly
7.45pm on Tuesday 21 July 2015

The Cards take on League 2 side Oxford United on Tuesday evening in their second pre-season friendly. Come on down to Kingfield and see how the squad is shaping up in what should be a tough test for Garry Hill’s side. There should be a number of trialists on view as well as home debuts for the Cards’ new signings.

WOKING

The Cards’ first outing on Saturday saw them lose 3-2 at Staines Town in injury time. Garry played a different side in each half, the first consisting mainly of trialists and the second chiefly of players on Woking’s books.

There were a few familiar faces among the trialists, including Brian Saah, Charles Banya and Lionel Stone, who were all on loan at Kingfield at some stage last season, plus out-of-contract Reece Beckles. Other trialists were Jordan Brown, Dan Sweeney, Evans Kouassi, Alex Smith, Andre Johnson and Karim Kazeem. Woking’s goals were scored by Alex Smith and Chris Arthur – both excellent strikes.

OXFORD UNITED

The Us, managed by Michael Appleton, beat Didcot Town 5-0 away on 11 July, before flying out to Austria for a training camp, where they also drew 0-0 in a friendly with SC Wiener Neustadt. Ex-Shot Danny Hylton and new signing Kemar Roofe both grabbed two goals in the win over Didcot. Other new signings include keeper Sam Slocombe, midfielder Liam Sercombe and striker Ryan Taylor, who was with Portsmouth last season.

The Us begin their league campaign with a home game against Crawley Town on 8 August.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £10
Concessions £5
U16s FREE

COMING UP

The remaining pre-season programme is:

Friday 24 July (7.45pm) – Woking v Portsmouth
Tuesday 28 July (7.45pm) – Woking v Leyton Orient
Saturday 1 August (3pm) – St Albans City v Woking

The Cards start their league programme on Saturday 8 August with an away trip to newly-relegated Tranmere Rovers, followed by two home games: against Bromley on Tuesday 11 August and against Altrincham on Saturday 15 August.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget the fans’ forum at 7.30pm on Thursday 30 July.

A pleasing night's work

Brian Caffarey
11:39am, Wed 22nd Jul 2015
Woking 1 Oxford United 0
Pre-season friendly
21 July 2015

This was an encouraging performance both from the players Garry Hill has already signed and the trialists who came on during the second half. The visitors fielded a strong side but Woking more than matched them throughout the game and won with a headed goal from John Goddard (pictured), one of the night’s best performers, early in the second half.

Garry started off with a line-up that probably isn’t far off his first choice, with Jake Cole in goal, a central defensive trio of Ismail Yakubu, Mark Ricketts and Brian Saah, flanked by Jake Caprice on the right and Chris Arthur on the left; a midfield of Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones and John Goddard; and a front pair of Scott Rendell and Giuseppe Sole. Only Saah isn’t currently signed on – and fans must hope that will soon be rectified since he, along with Ricketts and Yakubu, looked a solid grouping, giving plenty of protection to Jake Cole and subsequently Nick Hamann.

Wearing their new strip, the Cards got off to a lively start with Arthur, looking much happier in a wing back role, making a strong run, and Goddard’s clever footwork making space for a blocked attempt and several more openings. Woking continued to look the more threatening side in the next quarter of an hour or so, with Murtagh pulling the strings in midfield, ably supported by Jones and Goddard, and Rendell linking well with his team mates, while Caprice and Arthur both looked to get forward whenever possible. Jones produced a fine save from the Oxford keeper, Sam Slocombe, before failing to capitalise on a free header from the resulting corner. The visitors’ best chance fell shortly afterwards to Alex McDonald as he scuffed his shot wide after a cross from the Oxford right had eluded the Woking defence.

The Cards continued to pass the ball around nicely, tending to make more forward progress than the visitors. A fine move in the 25th minute ended with Sole turning the Oxford defence but failing to get enough purchase on his shot to trouble Slocombe. Murtagh then flashed a shot into the side netting, followed not long after by a fierce effort from Arthur which Slocombe did well to parry for a corner. The half ended with a couple of chances for the visitors, with Mickey Collins drilling a shot wide and Ryan Taylor heading over.

Half-time: Woking 0 Oxford United 0

With no changes for either side at the break, Oxford nearly took the lead with only three minutes more played but Danny Hylton’s header produced a fine reaction save from Cole, beating the ball away instinctively. The visitors’ initial urgency seemed to fade quickly as Woking again seemed to gain a measure of control, with efforts from Jones and Sole soon following.

In the 55th minute Woking took the lead. Murtagh fed Caprice on the right and a fine deep cross was met by Goddard, heading back very deliberately across the keeper into the net.

That move was almost matched by Arthur, as he tore down the left, producing a great cross but this time there was no one to apply the finishing touch.

Shortly afterwards it was all change in the Woking ranks as Garry Hill brought on six of his seven substitutes, with Nick Hamann, Charles Banya, Alex Smith, Godfrey Poku, Jordan Brown and Kouassi Evans joining the fray: all trialists except Poku and Hamann. The visitors almost took advantage as a free header was cleared off the line but Rendell responded, scooping over from a cross by Kouassi, who proceeded to produce several good pacy runs and crosses from the right flank.

Alex Smith, with Yeovil last season, then impressed with a snap shot after Rendell had challenged in the box. Slocombe threw his hand up to direct the effort over the bar.

With Reece Beckles also coming on, in place of Rendell, Woking had a distinctly lightweight look about their front line physically, but this was compensated by some admirable chasing down, especially by Poku in midfield, and some real pace on the ball. One might have expected Oxford to have capitalised on all the changes and the disruption but, apart from the closing few minutes, when the visitors exerted some sustained pressure, the Cards continued to match the Us. Saah re-appeared for Jones, who suffered some cramp, and helped the excellent Yakubu amongst others to round off a very pleasing night’s work for Garry Hill’s side.

Obviously, it would be wrong to read too much into one game and one result but there were certainly some encouraging signs, although the squad will clearly need strengthening in certain areas – a quick forward, a wide player and another central defender seem to be the main priorities – and more numbers will be required. But there was much to admire, especially in the solidity of the defence and the creativity and control in midfield areas.

Next up are Portsmouth on Friday evening: don’t forget (a) that it’s Friday, not Saturday and (b) that it’s a 7.30pm kick-off.

Woking: Jake Cole (Nick Hamann 63); Jake Caprice (Kouassi Evans 63), Ismail Yakubu, Mark Ricketts, Brian Saah (Alex Smith 63), Chris Arthur (Jordan Brown 63) Joey Jones (Brian Saah 80), Keiran Murtagh (Godfrey Poku 63), Scott Rendell (Reece Beckles 75), Giuseppe Sole (Charles Banya 63), John Goddard

Oxford United: Sam Slocombe, George Baldock, Joe Skarz, Kemar Roofe, John Mullins, Jake Wright, Liam Sercombe, Mickey Collins, Ryan Taylor, Danny Hylton, Alex McDonald

Unused subs: A J George, Sam Humphries, Robbie Cundy, Josh Ashby, Aiden Hawtin, Wayne Brown

Attendance: 817







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