Torquay United 1 Woking 1
FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
15th October 2016
Garry Hill made 3 changes after the defeat at Sutton United. Matt Tubbs being withheld by Forest Green Rovers to avoid being cup-tied, Joey Jones dropping to the bench and Connor Essam back at Eastleigh and out of action in any case with a twisted ankle in training there. In came Ismail Yakubu to central defence, Chike Kandi to partner Delano Sam Yorke in attack and Charlie Carter to support Keiran Murtagh in the engine room of Woking’s 4-4-2, Lewis and Saraiva playing wide. They faced off against the Gulls similar set up with Richards and Lathrope anchoring the home side’s midfield, academy keeper Luke Terry appearing on the bench in place of Michael Poke, as Brandon Hall kept his goalkeeping spot and acquitted himself well.
The Plainmoor pitch survived a very heavy downpour with some surface water. Both sides exchanged early salvos, Saraiva shooting just over from outside the area after Charlie Carter’s feed inside from the left and Sam Chaney doing likewise from a similar position at the other end for the Gulls.
Before Woking could really settle, Brian Saah’s header did not clear his lines the ball bouncing invitingly for Luke Young on the right of the penalty area. Hall had little chance as the shot skimmed past him into the far corner of his net superbly, for the very early lead on 5 minutes.
The Gulls flew at Woking. Lathanial Turner strode onto a flick as they opened up the defence on the left and only Nathan Ralph, covering across from left back at the expense of a corner, saved Hall being left one on one. Gallifuoco got up above the Woking defence at the corner but was wide with his header close in. Young got another sight of the goal centrally but Hall patted his hard shot down and collected. A free kick was swung in and headed well over by Gallifuoco and Yakubu headed down straight to Chaney whose shot skimmed the cross bar from just outside the area.
Yakubu’s knowhow and skilful shielding and blocking of the ball earned him the crowd’s ire but it steadied the ship at the back for Woking. They countered and Saah got up above the home defence on the far post at a corner, but could not direct his header down on goal. Keeper Brendan Moore dropped the ball at a corner and scrambled to retrieve it on his line, one of several handling errors with a wet ball (Aman Verma let a throw in out of the back of his hands behind him at one point). Keeper Moore was undone a little later by Carter smuggling the ball away from him and crossing from the left byline, but the home defence got back to thwart Kandi and company from under the cross bar.
Charlie Carter set up Jake Caprice twice, the first cross being blocked, the second whipped in for the near post run by Chike Kandi, stabbing wide and just high. Another brilliant swinging cross at chest height had Carter diving to head in but Brendan Moore clawed it away with his ‘other hand’, at point blank range.
Nathan Ralph pushed in the back by an opposing forward to concede a corner was taken off with a head wound, Saraiva filling in at left back. It did coincide with a Gulls’ revival. Richards shot well wide from distance. Lathrope got in behind the Cards back line from a ball over the top and it took Caprice covering, to poke away for a corner at full stretch. Torquay weaved in from the left for a shooting chance from Williams that Hall could not hold and Yakubu hacked clear from around his own penalty spot.
With a head bandaged Ralph back on with a blank back to his new shirt, Woking steadied the ship. Carter trapped a defender and turned defence into attack. Sam-Yorke and Saraiva sliding in could not quite touch home Caprice’s low driven cross and at the other end, Chaney fizzed a right hand free kick across the Cards’ goal area without a touch on it also.
Narrow escapes in an even half with definite attacking spells for either side meaning the Cards were unfortunate to be behind.
Half Time Torquay United 1 Woking 0
After the break Woking began on the front foot and that ascendancy grew throughout the half.
Working down the left Ralph’s deep cross beat the defence, but Kandi had a split second to stab at the ball and was well over the goal at the back post, unmarked.
Dennon Lewis got away down the right wing, after Yorke dispossessed his man to spring open the home defence, but could not create a cross for the unmarked Carter, being closed down by his marker.
Torquay worked in well from the left. Williams involved in it looking for a shooting chance and it took a Murtagh overhead kick clearance of the bouncing ball on the edge of the Woking area.
Pressure building and counterattacks for the Cards but not enough clear chances, so Garry Hill made his changes, bringing on Anthony Edgar and Frankie Sullivan for Kandi and Saraiva, to go
4-3-3 and exploit the full width of the width of the pitch. Edgar almost immediately, won a corner down the left, practically on the flag stick and took it himself.
Another Cards’ move set Murtagh up centre field and he ‘side volleyed’ the bouncing ball but straight at Moore, who saved. At the other end a Williams drive had Hall at full stretch to finger tip round for a corner.
Sutherland broke clear from midfield twice and first could not quite find Lewis with a pass; with the second break, he did get in and fire at goal, for Moore to leap to his right and tip over. Woking were working the ball well now and in charge. A superb move from right to left trying the open up an increasingly entrenched home defence, allowed Murtagh to set Edgar up in the middle, but his shot was deflected for a corner. Yorke got up at the far post to it but headed over.
Torquay brought on Ward for Verma at right back and at the same time the Cards exchanged Gozie Ugwu for Sam-Yorke. Ugwu took less than no time to get in the thick of the action, sprinting between the Gulls backline and just when shaping to shoot a third man, McGinty, slid in late to clear.
Edgar and Ralph engineered a left wing move but got in a muddle and the chance for a cross was gone, with time ticking away for Woking. They were even more frustrated moments later as after Edgar weaved in both Carter and Sutherland tried to find space for a shot and couldn’t. Richards’ reckless tackle sent Sutherland into the air and referee Treleaven appeared to run over and brandish a yellow card. It could have been worse for both of them through serious injury and a sending off, on another day.
Woking weren’t done though. The tireless Ralph, set Ugwu racing forward and he broke a tackle again and fed Edgar. He drove in from the left to the heart of the penalty area and fired right footed inside Moore’s right hand post, for a deserved Cards’ equaliser.
Torquay found some energy and sought an instant reply as the Cards slackened. A late corner from the Gulls was headed over the bar. Ralph gave away a free kick that Hall punched downwards but clear.
On the break now Woking scented victory. Carter got Edgar away for a shot that was saved low down by Moore. Edgar was just over the bar with his shot after Carter and Sutherland couldn’t find a way through on the ‘D’ of the Torquay area.
The home side exchanged Brett Williams for Jamie Chamberlain in the four minutes of stoppage time and they pinned Cards back with a succession of throw ins, at least two being launched to the edge of the area by Richards, but Woking’s defence held firm.
Now Cards must fit the replay in straight away this Tuesday, the 18th of October, at 19.45. A chance of the FA Cup First Round, they have kept alive with a determined and sometimes dominant display, only lacking a finish at times. It is also back to league action next Saturday with a tough home fixture against Barrow.
Torquay United: Brendan Moore, Aman Verma (Joe Ward 66), Giancarlo Gallifuoco; Sean McGinty, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Luke Young, Damon Lathrope, Courtney Richards (c), Sam Chaney, Nathan Blissett, Brett Williams (Jamie Chamberlain 88)
Unused Subs: Joel Ambalu, Connor Stewart, Jamie Robba, Kevin Nicholson
Goal: Young 5
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Ishmael Yakubu, Brian Saah, Nathan Ralph, Dennon Lewis Keiran Murtagh (c), Charlie Carter, Fabio Saraiva (Frankie Sutherland 56), Chike Kandi (Anthony Edgar 56), Delano Sam-Yorke (Gozie Ugwu 66)
Unused subs: Luke Terry, Joey Jones, Max Kretzschmar
Goal: Edgar 80
Referee: D Treleaven
My MotM: Charlie Carter worked hard throughout and created and tried to take chances in an all round team effort, but he was shaded for me by Anthony Edgar’s sheer attacking threat (with Gozie Ugwu), coming on in attack to earn the replay.