Cards ship four goals
11:26pm, Mon 3rd Aug 2009
Woking 0 Southampton XI 4
3 August 2009
This result looks rather worse on paper than it was in practice. It was a bit disappointing, however, that a stronger Cards line-up in the second half wasnâ€™t able to claw back the 2-0 deficit left by a much younger side at the break, and indeed ended up conceding two more goals without reply. You felt that this was a friendly too many for some of the players concerned and that their minds were already turning to the opening fixture at Welling on Saturday.
Grahamâ€™s first half side was composed entirely of current or recent Academy players with the exception of trialist keeper Mark Scott.
There was little to choose between the two sides in the opening exchanges but, in the 10th minute, the Saintsâ€™ Jake Thomson repeated his feat in the friendly against Farnborough, scoring from virtually the half-way line. Mark Scott, caught by surprise, back-pedalled furiously but couldnâ€™t prevent the ball dipping under the bar to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Cards looked as though they might well cancel out this advantage as they attacked well down the flanks, although Charlie Moone, in the centre, was firmly marshalled by physically-imposing defenders. The closest Woking came to an equaliser was in the 22nd minute when a series of headers and shots rained in on the Saints goal from Daniel Sintim, Justin Clayton and Delano Sam-Yorke, ending with a header wide from Anson Cousins.
Southampton were generally quicker in their passing moves and looked most dangerous when crosses were slung in to the back post, although the quality was variable. They should have extended their lead in the 39th minute when Gobern rose above Matt Ferdinando but nodded wide. Doble then went close with a clever flick from a corner.
Just before half-time a quick counter-attack down the Woking left after Matt Powellâ€™s run forward had broken down exposed the Woking defence horribly. Hands were raised in appeal for offside but play was waved on and Doble ran through to slot the ball past Scott to make it 2-0.
Half-time: Woking 0 Southampton XI 2
It was virtually all change at half-time for Woking, with only Billy Hussey and Delano Sam-Yorke remaining from the first half side. With Moses Ademola, Luke Medley and Gez Sole now in attack, the expectation was that the Cards would present a much greater threat to the Saintsâ€™ defence. And that was how it looked initially, as Ademola immediately unleashed two efforts. But a defensive mix-up between Mark Ricketts and keeper Rodney Chiweshe nearly let the Saints in for a third goal.
Woking continued to threaten. In the 50th minute Ademola pounced on a rebound which took him beyond the Saintsâ€™ defence. He did well to hold off a defender but then blasted over the bar. Further efforts came quickly from Tony Sinclair, Sole and Medley but were either off target or saved by Michael Poke, Saintsâ€™ second-half keeper. Sam-Yorke flicked wide from a Sam Sloma corner, while Ademola and Sole combined effectively near the corner flag to open up a shooting chance for Sloma.
But, in spite of making most of the running, the Cards found themselves 3-0 down in the 70th minute. A misunderstanding between Sinclair and Hussey allowed Jack Boyle to nick the ball and finish emphatically beyond Chiweshe with a fine strike.
Disappointingly, it was soon 4-0 as Doble sprang the offside trap, rounded Chiweshe and fired home.
Ademola deserved to open his account in the 78th minute as he executed a fine turn on the edge of the box, danced past another defender but his toe-poked shot was well saved â€“ ironically â€“ by Poke. As the minutes ticked away, the Cards continued to create the odd half-chance but without really looking wholly committed to the fight. A Sole free-kick from the edge of the area wasnâ€™t far off target and then Gez nearly scored with a point-blank header at the far post but Poke was fortunate enough to get his body in the way and then prevent the ball going over the line. The final effort was another shot by Sinclair, showing that he can play effectively in a right back role as well as in central defence.
Woking (first half): Mark Scott, Matt Ferdinando, Daniel Sintim, Joe McNerney, Anson Cousins, Matt Powell, Justin Clayton, Billy Hussey, Luke Baker, Charlie Moone, Delano Sam-Yorke
Woking (second half): Rodney Chiweshe, Tony Sinclair, Tom Hutchinson, Aswad Thomas, Billy Hussey, Mark Ricketts, Sam Sloma, Giuseppe Sole, Luke Medley, Moses Ademola, Delano Sam-Yorke
The Cardsâ€™ final pre-season game is at Westfield tomorrow (Tuesday) night, kicking off at 7.30pm.