Woking News & Mail

Clinical finishing keeps Cards on top in Cornwall

David Taylor
1:03pm, Sun 30th Oct 2011
Truro City 1 Woking 4
Blue Square Bet South
29 October 2011

Woking came away with maximum points to round off a very successful week and this win was for three main reasons – Steve Thompson watching Truro hammer Farnborough in midweek helped decide tactics, the way that despite the windy, swirling conditions Woking stuck together as a unit and finally the Cards’ clinical finishing, highlighted by two sublime lobs of a 6ft 3inch keeper.

The game had several firsts – the first time these two clubs have ever played since they were both formed in 1889, the first overnight stay for the team this season and the first match in quite a while where the fans spent longer travelling to the game than actually watching it.

Woking made two changes to the starting line-up that beat Weston-super-Mare 4-1 at Kingfield on Monday evening – Alan Inns (pictured) replaced Derek Duncan and Nathan Koranteng played instead of Dale Binns.

The match kicked off at 3.01pm with Truro in all white and Woking in their yellow away strip. The visitors started well until a Truro through ball to the always dangerous Afful beat the offside trap. Looking up, he lobbed the advancing Howe from fully 25 yards to put the White Tigers ahead.

As some Truro fans with poor memories chanted “are you Farnborough in disguise?� (which would have been more apt had we scored first), Woking set about replying with a quick equaliser. It came just eight minutes later – a perfect pass from Cowan-Hall to Ademola, who accelerated down the right into the Truro penalty area, beating two defenders before playing a low, hard cross that reached the unmarked Koranteng at the far post. He drilled the ball home from 10 yards out to score his first goal for the club.

After such a frantic and frenetic start the game settled into a pattern, with both attacks looking dangerous and making each defence look uncomfortable.

In the absence of his strike partner Andy Watkins (groin injury), Barry Hayles (our old nemesis from his Stevenage days) was Truro’s lone front man, and his role was to hold the ball up and lay it off to Afful or Taylor, which he did effectively for much of the afternoon.

There were good chances at both ends as both sides tried to play passing football, made difficult by slippery conditions, a swirling wind and the unpredictable bounce of the ball.

Woking’s second came after 18 minutes – started by Inns just over the half-way line with a low straight pass to Hammond, who turned inside, and surrounded by five white shirts, found Cowan-Hall to his right, with a wonderful reverse pass. With few options, Cowan-Hall calmly chipped the keeper Sandercombe to score a great goal.

Although possession had been fairly even up to this point, Woking were buoyed by their taking of chances, and by the long distance travelling support of around 200 Cards fans.

Now the game was end to end, typified first by the following Truro move – Broad found Smith on the right who crossed, Yetto stepped over it, Hayles' shot was saved by Howe – and that started a Woking attack. Howe quickly threw to Ademola, whose long ball to Cowan-Hall very nearly gave Woking a third, with Sandercombe out quickly to stop the shot.

By this stage both teams were looking dangerous when attacking down the right-hand side. This was Truro’s favourite tactic in their 8-2 demolition of Farnborough just a few days earlier, and for Woking, Moses Ademola was weaving his magic and always looking a threat.

Woking’s third came after Newton broke up a run by Truro number eleven, Afful. Tackling the lively Truro forward in his own half, Newton played a 20 yard pass to Hammond on the right, who found Moses running on his inside. What happened next was Moses at his best. Controlling the ball instantly, he emulated Cowan-Hall by scoring with a magnificent angled chip over the keeper.

Moses celebrated before the ball had hit the net, going down on his hands and knees in front of the Cards fans in the right-hand corner, and showing what scoring goals means to him.

To be fair to Truro, the game was more even than the scoreline suggested. However, Woking were taking their chances, and such clinical finishing on all three goals gave the Cards a deserved two goal lead at half-time.

Half Time: Truro City 1 – Woking 3

The second half failed to live up to the excitement witnessed in the first, and was rather a scrappy affair. Nonetheless it was largely controlled by a Woking side two to the good, who closed the game down whilst looking for every opportunity to attack.

There were two bizarre incidents in the early part of the second half – Truro’s Scott Walker took a foul throw, picked it up and took it again with a disarming smile at the ref, who just let him get on with it. This was followed by one of the Assistant Referee's flag breaking in the now strong wind, as he raised it for a foul on Elvis Hammond.

These were breaks in a game that continued to offer chances to both sides – for the Cards, Hammond was linking well with Ademola and Koranteng, and Truro were getting the ball into a well-defended Woking penalty area, with Howe often choosing to punch clear, with the ball being too wet and unpredictable to risk a catch.

Good chances by Walker (Truro) and Davies (Woking) were put over the respective bar as the clock ticked down to 30 minutes remaining.

McNerney came on for Davies in the 65th minute and took his place at the back, enabling Ricketts to move forward to bolster the midfield.

To their credit Truro continued to play football, which both suited Woking and continued to keep the game entertaining, with Afful heading over from close range on 68 mins. With 20 minutes remaining, a great ball from Cowan-Hall gave Koranteng a chance but he shot over.

Truro were then awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside Woking’s penalty area – what we would call “Gez range�. Scott Walker took his time before a clever low shot through the wall was well saved by keeper Howe, who dived low to his right after seeing the ball very late.

Sole came on for the hard-working Koranteng in the 74th minute, and this was followed by a frantic scramble in the Woking area on the 78th – a Truro free-kick from the half-way line was headed on by Palmer, and then seven Woking players defended as if their lives depended on it against four Truro players, all inside Howe’s penalty area, before the keeper dived on the ball to end the melee.

Duncan replaced the hard-working Cowan-Hall in the 84th minute, and moments later Woking were awarded a free-kick near the left touchline, about 25 yards from the by line. Gez’s curled cross to the far post was played back into the penalty area by Inns, and on to Doyle, whose header was pushed away by Sandercombe only back to Inns, who bundled the ball home.

This scrambled effort was a well-deserved goal for my 'man of the match', Alan Inns, and all credit to Woking for having four players forward for the free-kick.

Woking continued to play with confidence to see the game out.

Overall this was a game that Woking deserved to win because of the chances taken, played away against a tough side who trounced Farnborough in midweek and who had beaten fellow promotion chasers Dartford away last Saturday.

Four goals, three points and top of the league. It’s funny how such thoughts can make a very long, dark wet journey home on the A303 seem almost enjoyable.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Alan Inns, Mark Ricketts, Jay Davies (Joe McNerney 65), Adam Doyle, Paris Cowan-Hall (Derek Duncan 84), Jack King, Moses Ademola, Elvis Hammond, Nathan Koranteng (Gez Sole 74)

Unused subs: Andy Little, Wayne Gray

Cautions: Doyle, Ricketts

Truro: Tim Sandercombe, Barry McConnell, Scott Walker, Ed Palmer, Steve Adams, Marcus Martin, Daniel Smith, Joe Broad, Stewart Yetton (Andrew Taylor 86), Barry Hayles, Les Afful

Unused subs: Tom Brooks, Cody Cooke, Arran Pugh, Lee Hodges

Cautions: Yetton, Martin

MOTM: Alan Inns

Attendance: 664

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