Brian Caffarey
12:00am, Tue 15th Jul 2008

Farnborough 1 Woking 1

Pre-season friendly

15 July 2008

Kim Grant?s side, wearing their fetching new gold strip (with Calor Gas logo), took the field last night at Cherrywood Road on a lovely summer?s evening. The stadium is undergoing a radical transformation and, when finished, will have stands on all sides and a capacity of some 7,500, apparently. Quite a change!

As Kim had intimated beforehand, he started the game with a side largely comprised of last season?s squad. Ross Worner was in goal; at the back were Danny Bunce, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson and Matt Gray; Goma Lambu (right) and Abdou El Kholti (left) were on the flanks, with Giuseppe Sole and Bradley Quamina inside them. Liam Marum, wearing the captain?s armband, was playing a deep-lying role behind the lone striker, trialist Wilfred Droummond.

The game started at a good pace, with some feisty tackles from both sides. The Cards took the initiative and there were some useful runs down the flanks from Goma, Abdou and Danny, with the last-named firing over the bar. Farnborough responded with a header over the bar from Oliver but it was a rare foray forward from the home side. After quarter of an hour Liam hit the side netting but a minute later Woking were in front. A cross from Danny Bunce on the left found its way through to Droummond at the far post, who side-footed home from a few yards out (see picture).

Woking continued to make most of the running, with Gez whipping a shot over the bar after some concerted pressure. But, on the half-hour mark, Farnborough?s equaliser came out of the blue. Ross Worner, who had barely touched the ball, came out to grab, low down, a lobbed ball forward but was adjudged to have brought Michael Charles down as the ball ran loose. Darren Wheeler made no mistake from the spot.

Woking?s best chance of the remainder of the half came when Droummond, who had worked the line energetically, latched onto a ball over the top from Bradley but was foiled in a one-on-one from the keeper, who did well to save with his legs.

The pluses and minuses of the Woking performance in the first half were pretty familiar, with continuing doubts about how best to plug the right back position and some wayward passing at times, but Abdou El Kholti looked skilful and Droummond challenged strongly and worked hard.

Half-time: Farnborough 1 Woking 1

It was all change for the Cards at half-time. There was the usual problem of finding out ? even Kim seemed to be vague about some of the names! ? who the various trialists were. At the back we saw Nick Gindre in goal, Patrice Kona, Matt Ruby, Omar Dieme and Matt Gray (now on the left); Goma also switched to the left, with Joel Ledgister on the right; in the middle were Matt Pattison, Kunle and Mohammed [ ?], with Delano Sam-Yorke up front.

Not surprisingly, it took the side a while to settle. Matt Pattison lasted only five minutes, catching a late tackle on his ankle, with Gez returning in his place. The changes had the effect of evening things up on the pitch. Matt Ruby looked his usual dependable self at the back and Omar Dieme seemed to grow in confidence as the half progressed. Delano looked strong and quick on the ball but lacked support up front. That changed when Kim threw on Manny Williams, with Liam Marum also returning in a more forward role. At the back, Phil Gilchrist came on for Matt Gray and showed his experience as he directed operations.

The changes produced a flurry of Woking attacks, with Liam Marum firing in three efforts in quick succession, including one deflected attempt which was tipped over the bar, while Manny Williams buzzed about in threatening fashion. But the game petered out, with both sides probably happy with a decent work-out but both wanting a bit more firepower up front.

It was pleasing to see the levels of commitment and fitness from the Woking side, who had started training two weeks later than their hosts, and the trialists all acquitted themselves creditably, with Omar Dieme, though looking raw at times, perhaps making the greatest impression.

Woking (first half): Ross Worner, Matt Gray, Tom Hutchinson, Paul Lorraine, Danny Bunce, Goma Lambu, Giuseppe Sole, Bradley Quamina, Abdou El Kholti, Liam Marum, Wilfred Droummond

Woking (second half): Nick Gindre, Patrice Kona, Matt Ruby, Omar Dieme, Matt Gray (Phil Gilchrist), Joel Ledgister, Matt Pattison (Giuseppe Sole) (Liam Marum), Mohammed [?], Kunle, Goma Lambu (Manny Williams), Delano Sam-Yorke

Attendance: 614

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