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Match Report | Cards limp to defeat at Fleet

William Bewsey
9:41pm, Tue 20th Feb 2024
Ebbsfleet United 1-0 Woking
Vanarama National League
20th February 2024

Michael Doyle made three changes to the side beaten at Halifax, with Tunji Akinola back from suspension and in for Rohan Ince who dropped to the bench. Scott Cuthbert was rotated and in came Luke Wilkinson at centre back, whilst Ricky Korboa replaced Jermaine Anderson, also on the bench.

A fast start to the game saw Woking robbed in possession early on, and a swift Ebbsfleet counter ended with the ball going into the side netting of the Cards’ goal, an early warning sign just two minutes in.

With eight minutes gone, Woking’s first sight of goal came when a Fleet player gave up possession to Jayden Luker, whose low drive was just wide of Mark Cousins’ far post. More good play from Luker saw him feed Lewis Walker, but Cousins rushed out to block his effort from a tight angle.

However, another swift Ebbsfleet break saw a neat through ball into Dominic Poleon, and he lifted the ball over Andre Jr to give the Fleet the lead on 18 minutes. The Woking response almost led to an equaliser on 25 minutes when a drilled ball in from Korboa was only parried by Cousins, and Dennon Lewis’ effort was somehow blocked on the line.

It was a similar story to previous games going into half time, with Woking chances not being put away and the opposition punishing them.

Half-time: Ebbsfleet 1-0 Woking

A low shot from Korboa on 50 minutes was the first chance of note during the second half, even if Mark Cousins gathered the ball fairly comfortably. But a big chance for the Fleet when the ball richoched into Poleon’s path went begging on 64 minutes as Andre pulled off a big save to deflect the ball behind for a corner. The following set piece saw Luke O’Neill free at the back post, but he couldn’t keep his half volley down.

Another big Andre Jr save was necessary to keep out a looping header on 73 minutes before ten minutes later, Josh Casey had to make a superb clearance off the line to keep out Rakish Bingham’s goalbound effort.

A couple of Ebbsfleet blocks were needed to keep out efforts from Manny Oyeleke, Dennon Lewis and Charley Kendall as Woking threw everything forwards, before a sumptuous cross from Dion Kelly-Evans just didn’t have the finishing touch from Walker’s flicked header, as it went agonisingly wide of the far post.

And that was the story of the game, as once again it was the Cards’ finishing touch that deserted them at the Kuflink, not to say Ebbsfleet were first to much of the general play. Saturday’s home fixture with Wealdstone is the next time Woking will take to the pitch, with points much needed.

Woking: Alexis Andre Jr, Josh Casey, Luke Wilkinson, Lewis Walker, Dennon Lewis, Tunji Akinola (Anderson 59’), Curtis Edwards (Oyeleke 45’), Ricky Korboa (Kendall 70’), Dion Kelly-Evans, Jayden Luker, Max Dyche

Unused subs: Odusina, Ince

Bookings: Walker 7’, Anderson 62’

Ebbsfleet United Mark Cousins, Luke O’Neill, Josh Wright, Rakish Bingham, Dominic Poleon (Samuel 82’), Franklin Domi (Clifford 64’), Toby Edser, Ben Chapman, Declan Skura, Bryant Bilongo (McQueen 57’), Myles Kenlock

Unused subs: Cisse, Fogarty

Bookings: Cousins 53’, Edser 58’, Domi 62’, Clifford 93’

Goals: Poleon 18’

Attendance: 1525 (244 Woking)

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