Woking 2 Torquay United 1
FA CUP 4th Qualifying Round Replay
18th October 2016
Two second half goals from Woking’s Gozie Ugwu and no little good fortune in the closing minutes of this FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round replay against Torquay was enough to see the Cards finally make it to the First Round. They’ll now make the long trip to the North West on November 5th for the tie against Stockport County of National League North.
The Cards, who had largely dominated the first half, missed a penalty and then conceded from yet another set piece found themselves a goal down very much against the run of play. But another second half recovery saw Woking score twice inside five minutes to take the lead. With both centre backs replaced the Cards struggled at times to keep the Gulls at bay as they poured forward looking for an equaliser. But a goal line clearance and a few close shaves was enough to see the hosts over the line.
In front of Kingfield’s smallest gate of the season to date, a disappointing 791, Garry Hill made one change from the team that earned a draw in Devon at the weekend. Ugwu replaced Luke Kandi up front alongside Delano Sam Yorke. With Brandon Hall in goal, the Cards lined up with a back four of Caprice, Yakubu, Saah and Ralph. Lewis, Murtagh, Carter and Saraiva made up the midfield four.
Within seconds of the start Torquay almost scored as Blissett just failed to turn in a low cross from Sparkes. And then almost immediately at the other end, with space on the right, Ugwu found the side netting from a tight angle.
On eleven minutes Woking won a penalty. Moore, the visitor’s keeper, tripped Carter after he had been initially robbed by Sam-Yorke. The Cards front man stepped up to take the spot kick but Moore, diving to his right, made a fine save making amends for his initial mistake.
Woking, despite failing to take advantage of the penalty, continued to press and looked the most likely to break the deadlock.
With twenty minutes gone Brian Saah was substituted, presumably for an injury though this was not particularly clear and replaced by Joey Jones. Almost his first contribution was to gift Sparkes an opportunity after failing to clear his lines. But Hall made a magnificent save, flicking the ball over the bar with his legs as the Gulls forward looked certain to score.
However from the resulting corner Torquay took the lead. Gallifuoco flicked the ball onto a post and Chaney was on hand to knock the ball into the net.
The Cards dominated the remainder of the half with crosses raining in from both flanks but the Torquay defence managed to keep a clean sheet. Saraiva and Caprice looked particularly dangerous as they raided down the left and right respectively but no one was on hand to administer the coup de grace.
Half-time: Woking 0 Torquay United 1
Garry Hill made an immediate substitution at the start of the second period bringing on Anthony Edgar to replace Yakubu – the Cards’ skipper presumably still finding it difficult to play two full games inside four days as a result of his recent injury. Keiran Murtagh joined Jones in the centre of the defence with Edgar playing out wide on the left.
As the Cards continued to press for an equaliser Ugwu almost connected with a dangerous ball whipped in from the right that would almost certainly have found the back of the net. But Woking didn’t have to wait long for the first goal of the evening.
Yet again it was created by a superb ball into the box from Caprice and Ugwu was on hand to slide the ball past Moore and the Cards were finally level.
Five minutes later and after further Woking pressure they had the lead. A Saraiva corner from the left was met by the head of Ugwu who looped the ball back past Moore and into the corner of the net.
The Gulls immediately broke from the restart and Young’s long-range effort was beaten away by Hall before Chaney saw his own effort, after the ball was returned into the box, just fly inches past the post.
The game was now beginning to open up with Edgar at one end shooting on sight at every opportunity and Torquay creating no little panic in the makeshift Cards defence as they pressed for their own equaliser.
And as the game headed into the final few minutes a defining moment that secured the result for the hosts. The Gulls launched the ball into the Cards’ box – Hall attempted to punch away with the ball ping ponging around the Woking box and a rasping effort appearing to hit Caprice on the goal line. A goal looked a certainty but somehow Woking managed to scrape the ball away and hold out for the further four minutes of added time.
This was a much needed victory and an opportunity to progress further in a competition that Garry Hill is so determined to achieve. His hardworking side in the end made rather heavy weather of a game that they looked to be in control of for long periods. They must now recover quickly as they next face a stiff test at home against high-flying Barrow on Saturday in the league. With a more ruthless approach in front of goal, some more kindness from lady luck and a healthy crowd cheering his side on Garry may yet engineer another home win and three more valuable points.
Woking: Brandon Hall; Jake Caprice; Ismail Yakubu (Anthony Edgar 46); Brian Saah (Joey Jones 19); Nathan Ralph; Dennon Lewis (Frankie Sutherland 88); Charlie Carter; Keiran Murtagh; Fabio Saraiva; Gozie Ugwu; Delano Sam-Yorke
Unused subs: Luke Terry; Luke Kandi; Max Kretzschmar
Goals: Gozie Ugwu 57; 62
Torquay United: Brendan Moore; Aman Verma; Giancarlo Gallifuoco; Kevin Nicholson; Courtney Richards; Luke Young; Joe Wako (Damon Lathrope 72); Sam Chaney; Sean McGinty; Dan Sparkes (Jamie Chamberlain 85); Nathan Blissett (Brett Williams 46)
Unused subs: Jamie Robba
Goal: Sam Chaney 22
MOTM: Charlie Carter – not easy to pick a MOTM with a number of good performances particularly from Caprice, Murtagh and Ugwu. But Charlie Carter had another fine game looking solid in defence and getting forward into dangerous areas, as he never stopped running and competing.