Team: Lennox, Monthe, Simmonds, Albert, Brown, Parmenter, Sharif, Hitchcock, Hulse, Garcia, Andrade.
Rangers had won the previous encounter 4-3 on 3rd August 2011. My previous trip to the Kingfield Stadium had been for a Reserve fixture with Roger Stokes about 6 years ago. It was a hot, humid afternoon, but it managed to stay dry. Glyn Hodges and Marc Bircham took charge and it soon became apparent that the starting line-up according to the team sheet was incorrect.
Rangers took to the field in their orange and blue kit and within minutes Aaron Lennox made the first of many superb 1st half saves. He then had to race off his line to clear a ball into touch from just outside the box. The Cards were having the best of it as the R’s hardly threatened. Lennox was soon on hand again to punch the ball away to safety. At the other end Aaron Howe saved a low shot from Rob Hulse with his legs. But it was Lennox who was still by far the busier keeper and he put a stinging drive round the post for a corner.
Soon after that excellent save he had to negotiate a difficult high, dipping punt which he put behind at the very last moment. From the resulting corner the impressive Woking No.7 powerfully headed just over the bar. The home side again went close when a swerving shot just cleared the crossbar. Woking had a big shout for a penalty when they claimed for a handball, but Mr O’Brien wasn’t interested. It was still pretty much one-way traffic as the Woking No.10 chipped the ball just over the bar. A long ball over from the left flank was met by a Woking player bombing forward who side-footed a whisker past the post. Somehow the half finished goalless.
We all expected a number of changes after the interval and over the course of the 2nd half; DJ Campbell, Tommy Smith, Troy Hewitt, Jake Downs, Adam Francis, Abdul Adegbola and Tommaso Trani were all introduced. It was refreshing to see Frankie Sutherland take his place in midfield wearing the captain’s armband. Although the R’s were beginning to gradually stamp some authority on the game it was Woking who almost broke the deadlock on 58 minutes when a teasing cross into the box was almost met by a diving Woking striker at full stretch, but it just evaded him. Alan Barnes reminded us that only 5 of the 19 players involved had played for the 1st team.
Jake Downs, who had come on at left-back in place of the versatile Manny Monthe, made a strong, solid tackle, but he was told to calm down for what looked like a fair challenge to me ? With around 20 minutes remaining, the R’s took the lead. Adam Francis was bundled over in the box and up stepped DJ Campbell to coolly slot home as he sent the keeper the wrong way.
Frankie Sutherland was looking very comfortable and some very good play by him was followed by a nice touch in the box to DJ Campbell who spun round and belted the ball into the back of the net. Woking managed to pull a goal back after 87 minutes when a free kick was deflected onto the post and put away from close range. Final Score: 2-1.
(The above pics were taken by Martin Percival and used with his permission)