Woking 0 Ebbsfleet United 1
FA Trophy 1st Round Replay
13th December 2016
A little over a week after defeat in the FA Cup, the Cards found themselves dumped out of the FA Trophy by Ebbsfleet United and so ending any interest in this season’s two major cup competitions.
The visitors from North Kent were worthy winners, solid in defence, stronger in the tackle and overall working so much harder than their hosts. The Cards appeared flat from the start and never really matched the pace and ambition of the lower league side. But for the heroics of ‘Man of the Match’ Brandon Hall, Woking could well have faced defeat by a much larger margin.
Garry Hill made one change from the side that had started away at Ebbsfleet with a fit again Keiran Murtagh replacing Terell Thomas.
The Fleet started on the front foot and Cards fans had to wait until the 10th minute before a volley at the far post from Kandi was deflected away for a corner. But it was at the other end that most of the chances were being created.
A rasping drive from Jack Connors, after a breakaway by the dangerous Darren McQueen, was brilliantly turned away by Hall diving full length to his right. But on 20 minutes Woking had their best chance of the game. Jones’ long through ball found Caprice on the right. The full back switched inside to make space for a shot and almost squeezed the ball in at the near post.
After a Yakubu slip, Hall was called on again to parry away a fierce shot from Rance and then a wonderful chance to take the lead was spurned by Ebbsfleet – McQueen with a free header six yards out could only direct his header straight at Hall.
Finally just before half time Ebbsfleet had a strong appeal for a penalty. As Jones looked to usher a ball out of play it appeared to bounce up and catch him on the arm. For once referee Coggins waved the appeals away.
Half-time: Woking 0 Ebbsfleet United 0
From the start of the second period Garry Hill made a change with Frankie Sutherland replacing Murtagh, presumably to guard against any recurrence of the hamstring injury as the midfielder begins to build up his match fitness.
However the change and subsequent substitutions made little difference as Woking struggled to match the work rate and desire of the Vanarama South side and it came as little surprise when Ebbsfleet finally broke the deadlock.
On 50 minutes Hall again was called into action to make a fantastic save as Cook’s shot, following good interplay from Kedwell and Powell, seemed destined to find the corner of the net. However the subsequent corner was played in low and a sliced clearance from a Woking defender bounced up invitingly for Clark to nod home from close range.
As Ebbsfleet sat back to protect their lead Woking began to see a little more of the possession – but the final pass was often poor and wide players appeared incapable of getting behind a very well organised Ebbsfleet defence.
Woking’s one shot on target was from Kandi - cutting in from the left his effort was comfortably held by Ashmore. Apart from three long range efforts from Jones all wide of the target and a near post flick from Ugwu that was it from the Cards.
Ebbsfleet saw out the game comfortably and should have made it two when substitute Deering broke clear. One on one with Hall the Woking keeper again showed why he is keeping Michael Poke on the bench making a fine save with his feet.
Woking’s exit from the Trophy in such a manner will no doubt not sit well with Garry Hill who now has the difficult job of turning things round before Saturday’s crucial league fixture at home against fellow strugglers Guiseley. Woking’s performance will need to improve considerably if they are to get anything from that key encounter.
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu, Keiran Murtagh (Frankie Sutherland 46), Frazer Shaw, Fabio Saraiva, Joey Jones, Dennon Lewis (Anthony Edgar 65), Chike Kandi (Delano Sam-Yorke 59), Gozie Ugwu
Unused subs: Michael Poke, Terell Thomas
Bookings: Lewis, Jones, Edgar
Ebbsfleet United: Nathan Ashmore, Anthony Cook, Jack Connors, Marvin McCoy, Dave Winfield, Kenny Clarke, Dean Rance, Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell, Darren McQueen (Sam Deering 82), Jack Powell (Stuart Lewis 79)
Unused subs: Charlie Sheringham, Jonathan Miles, Bradley Bubb
Goal: Kenny Clark 51
MOTM: Brandon Hall - whose fine performance kept the score down to a single goal.