Fitogether
FA Trophy (R2)
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 15th JanuaryJan 2011
| Att: 2259

AFC Wimbledon
AFC Wimbledon
2 - 3

Woking
Woking

Cards and Dons do battle!

Brian Caffarey
9:28am, Fri 14th Jan 2011
AFC Wimbledon v Woking
FA Trophy, 2nd Round
3pm on Saturday 15 January 2011

The Dons and the Cards do serious battle at last! In the tie of the round Graham Baker’s side face a daunting task in travelling to the BSP leaders. Both sides are focused on their respective league campaigns but that won’t detract from their eagerness to make progress in the Trophy at the expense of near neighbours. The Cards will need to repeat FA Cup heroics to live with Terry Brown’s side. Fingers crossed for an exciting tie!

WOKING

The Cards’ impressive display in their 2-2 draw at Dover midweek, when they played some of their best football of the season, suggested that their confidence hadn’t been dented by the disappointing league defeat at Basingstoke last Saturday nor the subsequent furore over some fans’ reaction to that defeat and the exception which Graham Baker took to those criticisms and the manner in which they were voiced.

But Graham will have to make at least one change to his line-up tomorrow since Sam Hurrell, who is beginning to show why Graham brought him to Kingfield in the summer, is cup-tied, having played for Boreham Wood in this competition during his loan spell there. Nor will Reiss Noel be in the squad since he too is cup-tied, having played for Brentwood before his transfer. Two players who will be particularly looking forward to the trip to Kingsmeadow are former Dons, Andy Little and Alan Inns. The former is certain to play and the latter will be hoping that he gets the nod, although Joe McNerney and Adam Doyle both seem certain to start if fit.

Cards fans will be hoping that their side can raise their game for this tie as they did against Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup and, indeed, against Dover in an earlier round of the Trophy. Up front, hopes rest mainly on the ability of Elvis Hammond to hold the ball up – provided it’s kept on the ground! – wriggle past defenders and finish cleanly.

The Cards’ progress so far in this competition has been:

Dover Athletic 1 Woking 2
Harlow Town 0 Woking 2

AFC WIMBLEDON

Terry Brown has put together a squad which blends plenty of talented young players with a leavening of equally talented, but more experienced, performers. Their promotion challenge fell away last season, their first in the BSP, after a bright start. Brown substantially strengthened the squad in the summer and needed to do so if the Dons were to withstand the challenge of big-spending Crawley Town and relegated Luton Town. Among those who departed was Paul Lorraine, Woking’s ‘player of the season’ the previous year.

There is strength in depth in all positions, which is particularly apparent in the abundance of able strikers. Cards fans had already suffered from Danny Kedwell’s goalscoring skills when he was at Welling but his four goals in the pre-season friendly between the Cards and the Dons was a sharp reminder of the damage he can do to defences. Similarly, Mark Nwojeki, on loan from Dagenham and Redbridge, has previously haunted us when plying his trade for Staines Town. You can then add in Jon Main, Kedwell’s frequent striking partner, who’s expected to go out on loan soon; Christian Jolley, brought in from Kingstonian in the summer; and Luke Moore, another familiar name from his time with Ebbsfleet.

It’s the same story, though, if you look at defenders and midfield players. An interesting summer signing was ‘bad boy’ Andre Blackman, an exciting left-back who was with Arsenal, Spurs, Portsmouth and (for one game!) Bristol City. But he’s now training with Oldham with a view to a move there. Another arrival was Barnet’s Ismail Yakubu. Recently, Terry Brown has added the very experienced Jamie Stuart, who has won two Trophy winner’s medals with Grays Athletic – once against the Cards, of course! The most recent arrival is Gareth Gwillim, who’s just been recruited from the Daggers to replace Chris Bush, who played briefly for the Cards on loan earlier this season but who has now been recalled to Brentford. Gwillim is expected to make his Dons’ debut tomorrow. Midfielders include former Dover star Sammy Moore, the powerful Lee Minshull (who, though, is out injured), ex-Shot Kirk Hudson on loan from Brentford, Ricky Wellard, ‘Toks’ Rashid Yussuf and James Mulley, who’s signed on non-contract terms from Chelmsford City.

The Dons remain top of the BSP following their 0-0 home draw against Luton on Wednesday night – a game in which they had to rely heavily on the excellence of their young keeper, Seb Brown. In a preview for that game Terry Brown spoke of the need to focus on the Luton encounter but also to be able to put out a ‘strong-enough’ side to cope with our visit. He’s certainly got sufficient depth in his squad to ring the changes and still put out a formidable side.

In their only previous outing in this competition the Dons beat BSS leaders Braintree Town at home 3-0: another indication of the task facing the Cards.

GETTING THERE

AFC Wimbledon
The Cherry Red Records Fans’ Stadium
Kingsmeadow
Jack Goodchild Way
422a Kingston Road
Kingston-Upon-Thames
Surrey
KT1 3PB

Website: www.afcwimbledon.co.uk

By Coach
Leaves at 1pm. Cost £10 for members; £15 for non-members. Phone the Club Shop today or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk

By Car

Take the A3 northbound. At the exit for New Malden/Worcester Park, turn off and go left onto the Malden Road (A2043) towards Kingston. Follow this to the next roundabout. Take the first exit onto the Kingston Road (A2043) and Kingsmeadow is a mile on the left.

By Train

Norbiton is the nearest station, within easy walking distance. From Woking trains for Norbiton leave at 17 and 48 minutes past each hour, changing at Clapham Junction. Alternatively, trains leave at 3 and 33 minutes past each hour, changing at Wimbledon. Journey time in both cases is around 50 minutes.

Leave the station via the back exit and take the first left onto Norbiton Avenue. Turn right at the end onto Gloucester Road and walk down to Kingston Road. Turn left, and Kingsmeadow is 400 yards on the right.

Trains back leave at 6 and 36 minutes past the hour, via New Malden and Surbiton, or at 21 and 51 minutes past the hour via Clapham Junction.

Come on, you Cards!

Superb Cards triumph in Trophy

Brian Caffarey
9:15pm, Sat 15th Jan 2011
AFC Wimbledon 2 Woking 3
FA Trophy 2nd Round
15 January 2011

A fantastic performance from Graham Baker’s side, capped by a winning goal of the highest quality from ‘man of the match’ Elvis Hammond, saw the Cards advance into the last 16 of the FA Trophy at Kingsmeadow this afternoon in an exciting, end-to-end encounter.

It was good to see the promising Anson Cousins brought in as a replacement for the cup-tied Sam Hurrell as the Cards lined up in a 4-5-1 formation. Ex-Don Andy Little was given a warm welcome by the home fans, as was Alan Inns when he came on as a substitute early in the second half. Terry Brown, for his part, rang a few changes following the Dons’ 0-0 home draw against Luton on Wednesday night but it still looked a tough call for the Cards against their upwardly-mobile neighbours.

The Cards got off to a wonderful start and it owed not a little to the willingness of Cousins to run at defenders. He was halted but the ball ran loose to Hammond, who played in Moses Ademola. His excellent left-foot strike soared into the net to put Woking 1-0 up with only three minutes on the clock.

Two minutes later some fine interplay down the Woking left threatened a second goal as Aswad Thomas got down the byeline, but his cross was cleared by the home defence.

As the game began to settle down, the Dons saw more of the ball but their attacks were blunted by a combination of tenacious tackling, with Mark Ricketts leading the way, superbly committed defending from Adam Doyle and Joe McNerney in particular and a tendency to fall foul of the offside trap.

The Dons still hadn’t managed a shot on target when Thomas made another foray down the left in the 15th minute. His cross went right across the area but Ricky Anane was quick to seize his chance out right, forcing the Dons’ keeper, Seb Brown, into a save at his near post.

Another quick break out of defence saw Lee Sawyer, picking up an excellent headed clearance from McNerney, feed Hammond. His teasing cross was in the right area but Brown was quickly off his line to avert danger.

In the 23rd minute the home side finally tested Little, with Christian Jolley firing in a low effort from the left of the area, which the experienced keeper fielded comfortably.

The Dons had a glorious chance to equalise two minutes later. Jolley broke through Anane’s tackle on the byeline, planting his cross perfectly onto Kirk Hudson’s head but the ex-Shot headed wastefully wide from a few yards out.

Wimbledon continued to enjoy more possession but the Cards made life difficult for them as the midfield contested every ball and the defence challenged strongly. On the half-hour mark a fine move involving Hammond and Jerome Maledon almost put Ademola through. The Dons responded a few minutes later as Sam Hatton headed over the bar from a free-kick just outside the area.

Just as Woking fans were hoping that their side could hold onto their lead till half-time the Dons struck. Nwokeji seized on a headed flick-on as he advanced into the left of the Woking area. McNerney attempted to block his shot but the ball went through his legs and past Little to make it 1-1.

The Cards rallied immediately. Some fine play from Cousins released the ever-dangerous Hammond in another attack. No sooner had that been foiled when the Woking striker slipped the ball to Sawyer, whose shot was blocked. A similar fate befell McNerney’s effort from the resulting corner. In the blink of an eye the Dons were down the other end but Jolley’s chipped shot was weak and landed straight into Little’s grateful arms.

Into two minutes of injury time a poor clearance from Brown fell to Sawyer. He lost no time in playing the ball into Hammond on the penalty spot. Holding the ball up, twisting one way and then the other, Hammond drew a foul as he turned towards goal. Penalty! It was something of a surprise to see Ademola step up to take the kick but the ex-Brentford player is on something of a roll at present and converted superbly, placing the ball high to Brown’s left.

There was just time for the Dons to earn a free-kick, which they wasted as the ball cleared everyone, before the referee blew for half-time, with the Woking players walking off to very warm applause from their fans.

Half-time: AFC Wimbledon 1 Woking 2

Little was quickly in action after the break, palming away a low, close-range header after the ball had mysteriously travelled right across the Woking box from a corner. The Dons then got the ball in the net but the linesman’s flag had been raised well before the final strike.

With only five minutes gone, Graham Baker had to reshuffle his defence, with Alan Inns coming on for Anane and McNerney moving to the right of defence.

The Cards threatened again as Ademola spun and shot after Hammond had played him in. Thomas, and then Sawyer, picking up from his full-back, made headway down the left flank. The ball was centred into Ademola, who struck a fierce left-footed effort. Unfortunately, it was blocked by Hammond, who hadn’t had time to duck.

Attacks continued at both ends as Hammond shot wide from distance and then Little made a great ‘take’ in the swirling wind before clutching Nwokeji’s cross at his near post.

Terry Brown threw on Danny Kedwell and Sammy Moore for Jolley and Hudson, and the Dons ramped up the pressure on the Woking defence as they gained greater control of the midfield, stretching the Cards down both flanks. Some last-ditch defending from Thomas and Sawyer kept the Dons at bay before Little tipped Hatton’s cross-cum-shot over his bar.

But the home side’s pressure paid off in the 69th minute as Doyle was adjudged to have handled a cross. Kedwell converted emphatically, sending Little the wrong way.

At 2-2 and with 20 minutes to go, the tide seemed to be with the home side but the tie still had an unexpected final twist.

Graham Baker pushed Anson Cousins up front for a few minutes to partner Hammond before replacing the Woking youngster with Dave Gilroy.

The Cards continued to have to work hard to repel the home side as Doyle blocked another shot, Little grabbed a cross from Mulley and Wellard tried his luck with a long-range effort which was always veering off target. With the minutes ticking down, Nwokeji then headed a decent chance over the bar. Another shot from Hatton was deflected over.

But it wasn’t all one-way traffic as Gilroy attempted an ambitious volley from out right. Woking kept up a spell of pressure on the Dons’ defence, keeping possession and probing for an opening. After the ball had been played out left a cross came over. In one fluent movement Hammond, with his back to goal, touched the ball to his left and volleyed it brilliantly past Brown for a goal fit to win any match. 3-2 to the Cards!

But the visitors still had three minutes of ordinary time and four minutes of added time to see out. They had Little to thank as he threw himself at Nwokeji to block a strike from close-range but the resolute Woking defence successfully snuffed out other attempts to deprive them of a victory for which the whole side had worked in such determined fashion. Prolonged applause from the Woking fans was a fitting response to a memorable and hugely-satisfying win.

Woking: Andy Little, Ricky Anane (Alan Inns 50), Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Adam Doyle, Moses Ademola, Jerome Maledon, Elvis Hammond (Craig Faulconbridge 87), Lee Sawyer, Anson Cousins (Dave Gilroy 73)

Unused sub: Matt Pegler

Booked: Lee Sawyer

My MOTM: Elvis Hammond (pictured)

Attendance: 2259
AFC Wimbledon LINEUP
1Seb Brown
7Samuel Hatton
29Gareth Gwillim ('81)
8Ricky Wellard
18Ed Harris
16Fraser Franks
26James Mulley
11Luke Moore
17Mark Nwokeji
12Christian Jolley ('58)
25Kirk Hudson ('59)
BENCH
9Danny Kedwell ('58)
20Jack Turner
15Sammy Moore ('59)
2Ryan Jackson
23Rashid Yussuff ('81)
WOKING LINEUP
1Andy Little
2Ricky Anane ('50)
3Aswad Thomas
4Mark Ricketts
5Joe McNerney
6Adam Doyle
7Moses Ademola
8Jerome Maledon
9Elvis Hammond ('88)
10Lee Sawyer
11Anson Cousins ('74)
BENCH
12Craig Faulconbridge ('88)
14Dave Gilroy ('74)
15Alan Inns ('50)
18Matt Pegler

Graham Baker Interview after AFC Wimbledon 2-3 Woking

Lee Sawyer Interview

David Holmes
6:48pm, Sat 15th Jan 2011
Interview with Lee Sawyer following Woking's 3-2 win in the FA Trophy at Wimbledon today.

Lee Sawyer:








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