Young Cards' fine win in FA Youth Cup
10:56pm, Wed 23rd Sep 2009
Tooting and Mitcham United 0 Woking 5
FA Youth Cup, 1st Qualifying Round
23 September 2009
The Youth side had an ultimately comfortable win against their Terrorsâ€™ counterparts this evening but had to wait till nearly half-time to achieve the breakthrough that had looked probable from the opening minutes.
Woking were quickly on the attack from the kick-off, forcing Tootingâ€™s diminutive keeper to punch and kick clear in the first minute, with the impressive Ola Sogbanmu then planting a shot just wide of the far post. With the home defence still looking hesitant, Anson Cousins then fired a free-kick over the keeper and off the bar, with the Tooting custodian grabbing the header from the rebound.
The main threat from the Terrors came from quick breaks down the flanks and through the middle, while Woking continued to boss the midfield, passing the ball well and making good progress till the final third, when things tended to peter out. A terrific break down the right flank by Josh Watkins seemed to set Ollie Palmer up for a goal in the 10th minute but the keeper did very well to block his shot: a fate which also befell Rob Carrâ€™s follow-up effort.
The Cards threatened again as Sogbanmu headed over the bar and the keeper almost got caught out by a deep cross. But the home side responded with the first of several well-struck shots from the powerful Luke Smith running through the centre. Matt Pegler saved comfortably.
As the Woking attacks continued to mount up, with Sogbanmu and Watkins heading over, you began to wonder if it was going to be one of those evenings when the dominant side just canâ€™t put the ball in the net. And Tooting nearly turned the tables as Matt Pegler couldnâ€™t hold the ball at Smithâ€™s feet, but fortunately the dependable Cards defence cleared their lines.
The breakthrough eventually came with five minutes to go till half-time, with Palmer looping in a fine header from a long free-kick. The floodgates then opened. Almost immediately the lively Rob Carr was brought down on the edge of the area, with the referee awarding what seemed a rather â€˜softâ€™ penalty. Anson Cousins coolly despatched the kick, sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 2-0. And then it was 3-0 as Sogbanmu made a superb, powerful run up the bye-line, pulling back for Carr to sweep home, left-footed, just inside the far post.
Half-time: Tooting and Mitcham United 0 Woking 3
With a three goal advantage at half-time, it was no great surprise to find that the Cards played a little within themselves in the second period. But Tooting always carried a threat, so Woking could not afford to be complacent. Early efforts from Sogbanmu and Tom Topham looked to extend the Cardsâ€™ lead, whilst Cousins tried a long-distance strike. The game became rather â€˜bittyâ€™ for a while as both sides made a series of substitutions. As the game picked up its pace again, Cousins made a fine run down the left flank and Tootingâ€™s Smith forced Pegler to palm away a fierce strike at the other end. Woking regained some attacking impetus as George Frith hit a superb effort from distance, which the keeper parried, and then Sogbanmu robbed a defender and advanced, only to curl his left-footed strike over the bar.
After Watkins had tried his luck from all of 30 yards, with a rising shot, Cousins went even better in the 78th minute with a fabulous strike from even further out, which beat the keeper all ends up to give the Cards a 4-0 lead. Two minutes later Sogbanmu rounded off a very satisfying evening, combining well with Frith and then driving the ball into the far corner.
Tooting, to their credit, didnâ€™t give up and continued to test the Woking defence right till the end.
This was a good performance from this youth side, who looked accomplished in all departments. The defence formed a solid back line, the midfield tackled tenaciously and moved the ball well and, in Sogbanmu and Palmer (Ola and Ollie!), the side has two strikers who can not only find the net but can hold the ball up and bring others into the game.
Woking now travel again to play the winners of the Walton and Hersham v Molesey tie in the next round.
Woking: Matt Pegler, Josh Watkins, Anson Cousins, Jack Blatchford, Josh Frost-Niven, Aaron Gough, Chris Aldridge, Tom Topham, Ollie Palmer, Ola Sogbanmu, Rob Carr
Subs used: Will Hammond, Sean Bradley, George Frith
Unused subs: Ali Turpie, Connor Close
Booked: Anson Cousins, Josh Watkins
My MOTM: Ollie Palmer (pictured_