Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers

Ola shows the way!

12:00am, Wed 30th Sep 2009
Alan Worth has kindly supplied this report of Tuesday evening’s game.


29th September 2009

In the end it was comfortable but for long periods Woking struggled in the final third to build on Gez Sole’s early penalty. In fact for a short period in the second half after the Kent Premier League side had pulled this cup tie back to 2-1 it looked as if the visitors might see the game into extra time or worse. That was the situation until Graham Baker decided to introduce youth team forward, Ola Sogbanmu (pictured). The youngster immediately looked the part and proceeded to show his more senior team mates the way to goal. Two clinical finishes and a classy set up for another, put away by Sam Sloma against a tiring Hythe side, lit up Kingfield, sending Cards fans home happy. He’s still young and very inexperienced at this level but perhaps he could be the answer up front – if not immediately, certainly in the future.

Woking lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Ross Worner back in goal, Arter replacing Hand, Watkins on the right of midfield, with Sintim moved to the bench and Delano Sam-Yorke partnering Fola Onibuje up front. Hythe made one change from the first game, with Hooper in for the injured Ransley.

After an early scare, Clarke fizzing a strong shot just past Worner’s right-hand post, the Cards got off to the best possible start. In the eighth minute Gez Sole controlled Onibuje’s cross from the right and as he attempted to skip past Pursglove was tripped inside the box. Pursglove went into the book and there were no arguments this time from the visitors’ bench. Gez stepped up to take the penalty and as Mann went to his right Gez fired the ball into the opposite corner.

Woking fans might now have expected Woking to assert themselves over a side that plays three leagues below the Blue Square South. But, as they showed on Saturday, Hythe were never intimidated and the home side struggled to break them down. The occasional raid from Hythe again showed that they have forwards in Byrne and Kingwell who are dangerous but, unlike on Saturday, Woking were much more comfortable at the back with Tom Hutchinson dominant in the air and Ricky Anane’s pace vital in turning defence into attack.

On 15 minutes Woking had the ball in the net again – this time Harry Arter flashing a shot from outside the box after the ball had been chested down by Onibuje but the referee had already blown up for a push by the big Nigerian forward. But it was Gez Sole, having much his best game for some weeks, who posed the most threat to the visitors’ goal. On 19 minutes he flashed another long-range effort wide after bursting through the centre. Six minutes later he was in the box and on the end of a Sam-Yorke cross but this was again wide and on 27 minutes he produced a superb effort after a one-two with Delano but this time his shot was superbly saved by Mann in the Hythe Town goal. On the half hour Gez was on target again after an Arter shot had been blocked and Harry cleverly back-heeled the rebound to his team mate. Mann again saved well.

By half-time Woking looked comfortable, were creating plenty of chances but either the final shot or the excellence of Mann meant that the home side only had a slender lead going into the break. They needed at least one more goal to settle the nerves.

HALF TIME – Woking 1 Hythe Town 0

Right on cue Woking scored that second goal 3 minutes into the second half. Again, it was Gez Sole, slamming the ball into the net for his fifth goal of the season, after Sam Sloma’s ball in from the left had been knocked down by Onibuje. That looked like the tie was finally done and dusted but, to their great credit Hythe came storming back. On 56 minutes a superb cross from Wingfield on the left was nodded on by Cook, whose looping header gave Worner no chance.

Now it was Hythe who looked the most likely, with Woking rapidly running out of ideas in the final third and coming under real pressure for the first time in the match. However, as with the Cards, Hythe could not turn possession into goals. It was at this point, with around thirty minutes remaining, that the home fans were introduced to Ola Sogbanmu. In fact Ola’s introduction was somewhat unusual as he was ordered off after a couple of minutes to change his shirt. Apparently, the eagle-eyed fourth official had noticed that his number nineteen shirt was one of last year’s models. He completed the remainder of the match with the new variety and no number on his back.

It mattered not, for the young striker immediately started to cause problems. Within a minute of coming on his pace took him through on goal but Mann managed to get to the ball first and cleared. On 81 minutes Ola scored his first goal for the senior side. Worner released the ball quickly and Sole, running down the left-hand side, picked out the youngster with a delightful flick. He controlled the ball on his chest, turned and coolly finished with a left-foot shot into the corner of the net.

Two minutes later and the same combination worked again as Woking made the game absolutely safe with a fourth goal. This time Sole chipped the ball into the box and Ola was in the right place to head downwards and past Mann for his second. On 90 minutes he was the provider. An excellent move saw Sogbanmu expertly laying the ball back to Sloma who, from a central position, made no mistake. Hythe’s final chance came with a free-kick just outside the box after a Ricketts trip but Cook’s shot from 20 yards rebounded off the Woking wall and away to safety.

So, Woking move through to the FA Cup 3rd qualifying round with a home tie against Maidstone United next up. A little more of Sogbanmu’s fire power wouldn’t come amiss if we’re to see off the Ryman Premier League side and make further progress.

SCORERS: Woking – Sole (pen) 9, 48; Sogbanmu 81, 83; Sloma 90
Hythe Town - Cook
BOOKED: Woking – Hand 79
Hythe Town – Pursglove 8
HALF-TIME: Woking 1 Hythe Town 0
MOTM: Ricky Anane
WOKING LINE-UP: Ross Worner, Ricky Anane, Sam Sloma, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Joe McNerney, Craig Watkins, Harry Arter (Jamie Hand 73), Fola Onibuje (Ola Sogbanmu 62),Delano Sam-Yorke (Anson Cousins 78), Giuseppe Sole
UNUSED SUBS: Daniel Sintim, Jerome Maledon, Aswad Thomas, Matt Pegler
HYTHE TOWN LINE-UP: Mann, Adlington, Walker, Marsh, Hooper (Bond 86), Clarke (Beaney 85), Cook, Byrne, Pursglove (Punton 76), Kingwell, Wingfield
UNUSED SUBS: Guiver, Bullard, Chandler, Allen

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