Lovetts
Friendly
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 11th JulyJul 2017

Leatherhead
Leatherhead
2 - 2

Woking
Woking

Cards face Tanners in second friendly outing

Brian Caffarey
5:12pm, Sun 9th Jul 2017
Leatherhead v Woking
Pre-season friendly
7.45pm on Tuesday 11 July 2017

Following their encouraging 1-1 draw on Saturday against a young Watford side, Anthony Limbrick’s new-look Cards travel to River Lane on Tuesday evening for their second pre-season friendly game against Bostik Premier (formerly Ryman Premier) Leatherhead. The Tanners have signed some experienced players this summer and should provide a good test for the Cards. Please remember that this game is being played on the 3G pitch at River Lane, not Fetcham Grove.

WOKING

Although it was disappointing that Watford decided, late on, not to send their first team squad, Saturday’s game was nevertheless a good, energetic, workout for Anthony’s squad, which included two trialists, in right back Sam Hatton, familiar from his time with AFC Wimbledon and Aldershot, and Jamie Philpot, a young Millwall forward who had a loan spell with Bromley last season, and four Academy players. Among those to catch the eye on a superb playing surface was Joe Ward, who lived up to his billing as a fast, direct wide man but who also laid on an excellent ball for Bobson Bawling’s well-taken equaliser. 18-year-old Nathan Baxter had a fine debut in goal, making a couple of smart saves and coming quickly off his line to thwart other threats. Richard Orlu (pictured) provided the defensive dominance we’d hoped for and the midfield was certainly strengthened once the bustling Chez Isaac came on. Inih Effiong, up front, worked hard but lacked support for quite a bit of the game: Anthony is clearly aware that we’ll need to provide more of a goal threat when the season starts. Of the familiar faces, Joey Jones again suggested that his ball-playing ability points to a role further forward than the back four, while Nathan Ralph got in several useful crosses as the Cards stepped up their game in the second half.

LEATHERHEAD

The Tanners appointed a new player/manager, Sammy Moore, in May to succeed Jimmy Bullard, who had resigned after taking the Tanners away from the relegation zone to end in 13th place last season. Moore, who had five seasons at AFC Wimbledon and was most recently at Leyton Orient and on loan at Dover Athletic, has brought in some highly experienced former team mates in the shape of midfielder Lee Minshull and striker Jack Midson. Another signing with plenty of League experience is defender Sean Clohessy, recently with Colchester United. Other arrivals include Chike Kandi, with Woking last season; Sam Blackman, a young striker who played for the Tanners when only 17 before spending some time in the States; and 19-year-old keeper Harry Girling, on loan from Millwall but with a previous loan spell at Welling United under his belt.

This will be the Tanners’ third pre-season friendly. On Friday evening they beat Corinthian away 4-2, with Kandi scoring twice. On Saturday they were beaten 2-0 at home by Bromley.

GETTING THERE

River Lane
Leatherhead
KT22 0AY

Take M25 Eastbound, leaving at J9 (A243 Leatherhead). At roundabout take 1st exit onto Oaklawn Road. After 0.8 miles turn left onto Randalls Road/A245. Go through one roundabout. Turn right onto River Lane. The postcode address, if using Satnav, will take you to Leatherhead Crematorium, just before the ground.

ADMISSION

Adults £5
OAPs £3
Under 16s FREE

COMING UP

Basingstoke Town v Woking - 7.45pm, Tuesday 18th July (The Camrose, RG22 6EZ)

Wingate & Finchley v Woking - 3pm, Saturday 22nd July (The Maurice Rebak Stadium, N12 0PD)

Woking v Cambridge United - 7.45pm, Tuesday 25th July (The Laithwaite Community Stadium)

Woking v Swindon Town - 3pm, Saturday 29th July (The Laithwaite Community Stadium)

The season kicks off on Saturday 5 August 2017 when Woking are at home to Gateshead.


Come on, you Cards!

It's a draw again, in the River Lane rain

John Pearce
12:00am, Tue 11th Jul 2017
Leatherhead 2 Woking 2
Pre-season Friendly
11th July 2017

Woking’s second Pre-season Friendly nearly saw them come unstuck away to Bostik Premier League team Leatherhead, a club they had last faced earlier this year Surrey Senior Cup.

The match took place at the River Lane ground, home to Leatherhead Youth Football Club, which is in the throes of a potential merger with Leatherhead Football Club, and a move of the latter to this ground from Fetcham Grove. The ground has clearly been redeveloped in recent times and the modern and hospitable, if low-key, facilities include a decent-sized car park, a ‘small but perfectly formed’ clubhouse/bar and two covered stands providing seating for 120-130 spectators.

The rain – conspicuous by its absence in recent weeks – was persistent throughout the game, and heavy at times. The 3G pitch on which this was played meant that this wasn’t much of an issue.

Woking’s starting line-up entirely consisted of contracted players and, of only 4 on the bench, 3 were from the academy and there were no other triallists; only Kane Ferdinand and Jason Banton were missing from the main squad. Leatherhead including several players experience at a significantly higher level, including right-back Sean Clohessy (ex Southend, Colchester, etc.) and midfielder Lee Minshull (AFC Wimbledon, Newport County) – and with Chike Kandi, at Kingfield last season, leading the line.

As early as the 3rd minute, Joe Ward showed why he is an exciting prospect with a surging run down the left, passing a couple of defenders before being fouled just outside the Leatherhead box; the ensuing free kick just missed Harry Girling’s left post. 4 minutes later, Ward hit the side netting from close range on the left, and had another shot blocked shortly after that.

Woking continued to apply pressure on the opposition goal, with a couple of corners, taken by Nathan Ralph, in quick succession but – slightly against the run of play, in the 19th minute – Leatherhead took the lead as Callum Davies found himself free in the Woking box and blasted the ball past Baxter into the net.

This lead was short lived as, finding himself free in the Leatherhead goal area, Ward slotted the ball calmly past Girling into the right-hand corner of Leatherhead’s goal, from a centre by Effiong on the right. Bobson Bawling’s shot shortly after that was well saved.

Unfortunately, Leatherhead regained the lead when Woking managed to conjure up a classic comedy own goal moment in the 30th minute. Staunton, well out on the right, contrived to over hit and misdirect a backpass, which left Baxter scrambling to his right but helplessly watching it drift past him into the corner of the net. 2-1.

Leatherhead had come into the game, with some dangerous attacks, and 3 minutes later Baxter was forced to punch out a cross under pressure. Playing up front for Leatherhead, Kandi was looking as lively and inventive as on his better appearances for the Cards last season; on 36 minutes, his shot from close range was saved well by Baxter, going out for a corner.

The first half drifted to a close, with Girling collecting a Ward cross and a Woking corner which led to nothing.

Half-time: Leatherhead 2 Woking 1

Woking made two changes at half time, with Richard Orlu replacing Joey Jones in defence, and academy player Declan Appau on for Ward. Leatherhead also swapped couple of players.

A Woking shot in the 49th minute was well saved and, 5 minutes later, a goal bound strike by Appau was deflected past the post for a corner. Shortly after that, Charlie Carter did superbly to get to the byline to the left of the Leatherhead goal and cut the ball back to Bawling who was ideally positioned to drive it into the net. 2-2

Inih Effiong was struggling to find form, compsure and accuracy up front and blasted the ball over the bar, and headed wide to the right, in the 62nd and 68th minutes respectively. A ball lofted in towards the Leatherhead goal was headed wide by Fabio Saraiva and, 4 minutes later, the same player drove the ball dangerously across their box from the right, missing everyone.

A further Woking substitution ensued, with Ivan Nsimbi replacing Saraiva. A Leatherhead shot from the left was pushed out unconvincingly by Baxter, in the final meaningful action of the game.

An entertaining game, and a solid display and good run-out for Woking, against a determined opposition performing above their theoretical station, in conditions that were unpleasant – and probably unplayable if it had been on grass. There still appear to be some issues to be addressed before the season starts next month – for example, the need for an effective back-up for Effiong as a main striker, a more experienced goalkeeper as competition for Baxter, and a midfielder who can effectively replace the assured Murtagh in his pivotal role?

Leatherhead goals: Callum Davies 19, Staunton 30 (OG)

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Jordan Wynter, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton, Joey Jones (Richard Orlu 45), Chez Isaac, Charlie Carter, Fabio Saraiva (Ivan Nsimbi 78), Bobson Bawling, Joe Ward (Declan Appau 45), Inih Effiong

Unused subs: Sam Mason

Goals: Ward 25, Bawling 56

Bookings: None

Attendance: 97, according to Leatherhead Twitter feed (looked about 150-200)

Man of the Match: Impressive performances from Bobson Bawling and Joe Ward in particular but – although he only played for the first half of the game – my vote goes to Ward for his incisive runs at the opposition defence and his calm side-footing of the ball for Woking’s first goal. He looks a class act.

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