Cards crushed by first half avalanche
11:26am, Wed 29th Jul 2015
Woking 0 Leyton Orient 4
28th July 2015
Woking welcomed League Two side Leyton Orient to Kingfield for their final home friendly of the pre-season.
Manager Garry Hill looks to have settled on the nucleus of his side but one new face made the starting line-up. Tobisho Silva, an attacking midfielder formerly with Charlton Athletic, partnered Scott Rendell up front for an an hour before being replaced by Giuseppe Sole. Showing plenty of intelligent touches and good energy levels, he might well be worth a second look. Another trialist was Dave Martin, a left winger whose previous clubs include Luton Town and Bristol Rovers,who played the second half in place of John Goddard.
A bright start from the home side gave little indication of what was to follow as the visitors quickly found their feet and went up a gear to race into a three goal lead within twenty minutes before the best player on the pitch, the former Arsenal attacker Jay Simpson, pounced on the stroke of half-time to notch his second and give Orient a commanding interval lead.
The second half saw a more even encounter as both sides rung the changes and the game became a little disjointed. Woking had their chances as the game wore on but it was generally the side from the higher league who looked more likely to add to their goal tally.
The Cards started with the increasingly familiar 3-5-2 formation with Ismail Yakubu, Mark Ricketts and Brian Saah making up the trio at the heart of the defence. Jake Caprice and Chris Arthur lined up as wing-backs, with Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones and John Goddard in midfield and Silva and Rendell up front.
Following a bright opening from Woking with both Arthur and Silva showing up well, the O's took the lead with their first serious foray into their opponents' half. There was a slice of good fortune about the goal too as former Card Ollie Palmer's shot from Blair Turgott's cross seemed to be covered by Jake Cole, only for the ball to take a wicked deflection off Yakubu and end up in the back of the net.
Woking responded well with Arthur looking dangerous as he broke down the left and Murtagh looking energetic and eager in midfield.
It was the visitors who increased their lead just before the quarter hour, however, as the luckless Yakubu slipped to allow Simpson to steal in and score with a composed finish.
The visitors were now starting to enjoy themselves and to impress with their movement and slick passing. With the home defence at sixes and sevens, a third goal followed soon afterwards as Scott Kashket converted at the far post from inside the six yard area.
The gulf between the two sides was plain to see as the Cards grappled to contain the wave of fast-paced attacks which continued to flood into their half.
The home side continued to stick to their task manfully, nevertheless, as Arthur saw a right-footed effort blocked and there was short-lived joy for the home crowd on thirty-five minutes as a Murtagh free kick from forty yards out sailed into the back of the net only for the referee to penalise Yakubu for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Woking then had their best opportunity of the half as a pin-point cross from Arthur on the left was headed narrowly wide by Rendell.
Just as it looked as though the Cards would keep the deficit to reasonable proportions, however, Simpson rifled home his second to stretch the O's lead.
Half-time: Woking 0 Leyton Orient 4
The home side withdrew Saah at the interval and set up in a more conventional 4-4-2 formation, with Evans Kouassi and Martin operating as wide midfielders.
A fairly even and quiet period then ensued as the teams gradually became acquainted with their changes in system and personnel and full use was made of both sets of substitutes.
Just after the hour mark, Rendell received a high ball inside the opposing penalty area and did well to chest it down. The Orient defence was able to snuff out the danger, however, before the striker could get his shot away. The marauding Caprice, in one of his many raids down the flank during the evening, then crossed perfectly but Rendell's well-directed header was safely gathered low down by the 'keeper as the home side strove to get onto the score sheet.
The industrious Godfrey Poku then showed good vision to play in Murtagh who shot wide. Shortly after, the latter burst through but Deniz Mehmet in the Orient goal was able to steer the ball away for a corner.
Although the visitors continued to look dangerous in spells, they no longer played with the same urgency as they had done in the first half and Poku and Sole had further efforts, both of which went narrowly wide, before the referee blew the full-time whistle.
There is clearly plenty for the manager and Steve Thompson to ponder as the first league game of the season, away to Tranmere Rovers, moves ever closer. They will no doubt be on the lookout for a couple of creative midfielders to replace Messrs Betsy and Payne and also some additional quality fire power up front to augment what is still a relatively small squad. This is no time to panic, however, as Garry will no doubt be using his considerable experience and excellent judgement, as he has done in previous seasons, to hopefully bring in some quality loan signings to make the squad as competitive as it has been in the past few campaigns.
Next up, the final pre-season friendly on Saturday away to St Albans City.
Woking: Jake Cole (Nick Hamann 46), Jake Caprice (Charles Banya 70), Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts, Ismail Yakubu, Brian Saah (Evans Kouassi 46), Joey Jones (Godfrey Poku 26), Keiran Murtagh, Scott Rendell (Reece Beckles 70), Tobisho Silva (Giuseppe Sole 58), John Goddard (Dave Martin 46)
Leyton Orient: Alex Cisak (Deniz Mehmet 46), Sean Clohessy (Jan Songo'o 46), Alan Dunne (Sam Ling 46), Jack Parkinson, Zaine Francis-Angol, Lloyd James (Freddie Moncur 70), Ollie Palmer (Sandro Semedo 70), Sammy Moore (Bradley Pritchard 46), Blair Turgott, Scott Kashket (Montel Agyemang 76), Jay Simpson
Unused sub: Frazier Shaw
Goals: Yakubu og (3), Simpson (14, 45), Kashket (19)