Spelthorne Sports 0 - Woking 2
Saturday 14th July 2018
The sun was beating down on the pitch as Spelthorne got the friendly underway. Woking showed their dominance within the first two minutes, when a shot on target by Appau forced a save by the Spelthorne keeper. Within a minute Jolley had also had a shot saved, and a minute later Reggie Young shot just wide of the net.
The first fifteen minutes of play were spattered with Woking corners, many of which leading to attempts on goal, including a couple of close ones by Diau.
In the sixteenth minute the ball hit the back of the net via the head of Ofori-Acheampong, which was, unfortunately, disallowed for a foul on the keeper.
Woking fans were confused when a shot by Reggie Young was finger-tipped away by the Spelthorne keeper, yet the home side were awarded the goal kick.
Mid-way through the first half Woking had their second goal disallowed, when the referee called offside on the strike made by Ofori-Acheampong, playing off a goalkeeperâ€™s parry.
Again, the Cards were pushing forward, and a header by captain Wassmer was disallowed for a foul on the defender.
Whilst Woking began to feel the pressure, Spelthorne made their push forwards, and Sam Mason was pressured into making a spectacular double save, despite Woking fansâ€™ shouts of offside.
The remainder of the first half was a consistent push from both teams on goal, with Woking hitting the bar, and shots going wide, whilst Spelthorne played directly into Masonâ€™s safe hands. The half time whistle was a welcome reprieve from what was becoming a rather intensive game.
Half-Time: Spelthorne Sports 0 â€“ Woking 0
At half time Woking made three changes, using all the available players on the bench to rest the players returning from injury. Spelthorne surprised all of the away fans by bringing out not only a full new team, but in different coloured kits! With Dowse leaving at half time for Wokingâ€™s other match, Jolley, with his coaching experience, stood in on the touch line. Wassmer leaving the pitch left Declan Appau as captain for the remainder of the game.
In the 46th minute Spelthorne gave away a free kick in a dangerous area, and with a strong and decisive foot, Appau sent it straight into the top corner of the goal.
Declan Appau opens the scoring for Woking
Woking gave away a free kick themselves within three minutes, but were lucky to have Spelthorne fire above the bar. In the 54th minute Diau went down with a groin injury. Despite trying to walk it off, within a couple of minutes it was clear he would not be able to continue playing. With no other subs available, Woking were forced to drop to ten men.
From that point the match seemed to be much more in Wokingâ€™s hands. Some incredibly strong midfield play by Hester-Cook, and some lovely pushes forward by Young and Halliday made Woking look a threatening side.
A Spelthorne push forced another strong save from Sam Mason, who was clearly on his best form today. For the next few minutes, the teams traded shots, with Mason being made to show what he was made of, and with some Woking forwards shooting too far wide.
In the 83rd minute Woking won another free kick in a strong position, which was skilfully put away without question by Halliday.
Whilst Woking defended their clean sheet hard, with their ten remaining men, Spelthorne continued to push, with Mason having to make saves right up until the final minute of play.
Whilst perhaps this was not as strong a result as some fans may have been hoping for, the Cards showed a lot of promise for the season to come, with some brilliant work from many players, and some nicely worked set plays.
Woking First Half:
1. Sam Mason, 2. Dan Choules, 3. Eoin Kirwan, 4. Declan Appau, 5 Charlie Wassmer (C), 6 Brandon Diau, 7 Christian Jolley, 8 Charlie Hester-Cook, 9 Duane Ofori-Acheampong, 10, Kofi Halliday, 11. Reggie Young
Woking Second Half:
1. Sam Mason, 2. Dan Choules, 3. Eoin Kirwan, 4. Declan Appau (C), 6 Brandon Diau, 8 Charlie Hester-Cook, 10, Kofi Halliday, 11. Reggie Young, 12. Billy Mountague, 14. Luke King, 17. Ibby Akanbi
Appau 46â€™, Halliday 84â€™
Man of the Match:
My man of the match was Kofi Halliday (pictured), his pace created plenty of opportunities, and his determination on the ball shone through.