Woking 2 Leatherhead 0
Surrey Senior Cup 3rd Round
10th January 2017
A much-changed Woking side put on a cunning performance to sweep aside a determined Leatherhead team at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on a damp and chilly Tuesday evening. After having gone 7 games without a win the Cards had to somehow bounce back and they did so in style giving the squad a possible lift for future games with goals either side of half-time. The Tanners put on a gutsy show and made Woking work hard for their goals, getting some good chances of their own and dominating a surprising amount of the game.
Woking fielded a strong but different-looking line-up for the contest, only starting Kane Ferdinand and new signing Connor Hall from the defeat at Wrexham, whilst including a large number of first-teamers including Frankie Sutherland, Luke Kandi and Charlie Carter all of whom made substitute appearances at the Racecourse Ground. Leatherhead managed by Jimmy Bullard made only one change to the eleven who played Harrow Borough replacing D’sean Theobalds with Nana Boakye-Yiadom.
It was a relatively relaxed opening for Woking who hardly lost possession in a ten-minute spell. The home side got chances early on with Zak Ansah slotting wide, narrowly missing Luke Kandi at the back post. The hosts also delivered the first shot on target with 9 minutes gone, Luke Kandi with a powerful snapshot saved comfortably by Louis Wells, but their early domination wasn’t rewarded with a deserved goal.
It was then the turn of a resolute Leatherhead side to take the game by the scruff of the neck and they were rewarded with a corner, which was eventually cleared by Ismail Yakubu, to start off a period of surprising domination. They passed the ball around confidently and they were eventually compensated for their keeping of possession when they conjured up their best chance of the game. A brilliant through ball from hard-working Tyron Smith caused problems for Kane Ferdinand and ex-Woking loanee Daniel Carr found himself through on goal down the right hand side. He skipped through and venomously fired the shot low towards the bottom left of the goal where it was brilliantly saved by reliable Brandon Hall between the sticks.
Woking were finding chances coming few and far between due to the stability of Leatherhead but caught a glimpse of goal when in the 27th minute defensive mountain Ismail Yakubu came up from the back for a corner, which was whipped into the box by former u21 Republic of Ireland international Frankie Sutherland, and headed just wide of the goal, giving the Tanners something to worry about.
Leatherhead continued to keep the ball though and were passing the ball around the back without a worry. This allowed the crowd to have a look at the excellent work rate of new signing Connor Hall who was all over the place putting the defence under pressure and almost being rewarded when dispossessing Rian Bray only for his tackle to roll into the hands of Louis Wells, a goalkeeper used to playing at Kingfield from his time at Hayes and Yeading.
It was then the hosts’ turn to have the ball at their feet and, in the 34th minute, Woking were rewarded for the pressure they were putting on the Leatherhead defence. After a flurry of passes in the middle of the park the ball was eventually sent out to lightning-quick Jake Caprice who beat his man and whipped in a cross from the right hand side. The ball caught the eye of Connor Hall who forced a magnificent save from the keeper, unfortunately for him he received a lack of help from his defenders and promising youngster Charlie Carter reacted quickest to the rebound calmly slotting home after controlling midfield with his attacking prowess for large chunks of the first half.
Woking continued to dominate the ball but struggled to keep tabs on winger Nana Boakye-Yiadom, who proved himself to be a pain all night with his rapid pace and ability to go past someone in a flash. It was he who got through the Woking midfield and fired just over the bar from 25 yards just before the half time whistle. This was before Leatherhead had a brilliant chance to go into half-time level with Tyron Smith crossing brilliantly for Rian Bray who was unmarked but unfortunately missing the ball with his head.
Half-time: Woking 1-0 Leatherhead
The start of the second half prompted a substitute for either side with Luke Kandi coming off for Fabio Saraiva and former Woking starlet Kadell Daniel coming off for D’sean Theobalds. It was Woking who started the second half with more vigour and it was Zak Ansah who got away the first shot of the second half which caused problems for the Tanners back line; it was saved well by keeper Louis Wells who then also had to catch the rebound.
This chance led to a cascade of chances for Woking including a Nathan Ralph shot which was fired over the bar from long range, a tame shot by Frankie Sutherland and a Saraiva shot with 52 minutes gone which didn't give the Leatherhead defence anything to worry about. Fabio Saraiva was showing how much of a vital asset he is to the Woking line-up and controlled midfield alongside the confident Charlie Carter who together created many chances for the side. This included a free kick just out the left-hand side of the 18 yard box. Fabio Saraiva has given himself a reputation in recent weeks for having a lovely free kick on him but sadly this one was went just over the bar!
The cards domination of a tiring Tanners side was to be kept in mind by manager Jimmy Bullard and in the 59th minute he subbed right back Danny Murphy for youngster Louis Downey to try and make an impact on the game. After the stoppage Frankie Sutherland put in a strong challenge on Tyron Smith in front of the dugouts and produced a talking point for the 231 fans present, with Leatherhead fans hinting of a red card. He was instead shown a yellow and Woking continued to dominate the game going past the hour mark.
With 63 minutes gone Leatherhead made their final substitution and decided to bring on another youngster in Calum Davies to replace a Tyron Smith who had been limping since the challenge from Sutherland. Leatherhead were just starting to push Woking back into their own half and started to pile the pressure on with a shot from Mohammed Sagaf who dragged just wide, showing the Ryman Football League outfit hadn't given up yet and were sure to keep Woking under the cosh.
After having held up the ball and being a positive impact for most of the game, Zak Ansah limped off holding his shin which meant Charlie Hester Cook was brought on as a replacement. Woking players were pushing up the pitch in search of the all-important second goal and in the 73rd minute the vital goal came. Charlie Carter had the ball at his feel just outside the Woking dugout when he turned magnificently, leaving two Leatherhead midfielders in his wake, and powered towards the box, playing a one-two, receiving the ball 25-yards out and hitting a thunderbolt into the top right hand corner sealing the win for the cards.
The second goal didn't seem to hinder the spirit levels of Leatherhead and they kept going forward lead by the blistering speed of Boakye-Yiadom. Adam Cash at left back continued to sprint down the left hand side and created two chances towards the end of the game which proved to be the only good chances the away side could muster during the dying embers. The first chance was a pull back into the front post and Daniel Carr was just centimetres from getting a touch on it; the second was in the 90th minute where he beat Jake Caprice and fired in a ball towards the Woking box causing panic, only for the referee to spot a foul by Daniel Carr on Kane Ferdinand, who had a very solid game at centre-back.
Unfortunately for Leatherhead, it remained 2-0 and Woking marched on in to the 4th round of the competition having won the cup 12 times in their history. Leatherhead will be proud of their performance and can leave knowing they caused Woking problems and dominated segments of the game. From a Woking point of view it can be seen as a good win which can spark some confidence back into the squad and can hopefully start a run of good form in the league ahead of this Saturday’s fixture vs Torquay United.
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Frazer Shaw, Nathan Ralph, Ismail Yakubu, Kane Ferdinand, Frankie Sutherland, Charlie Carter, Luke Kandi (Fabio Saraiva 45), Connor Hall, Zak Ansah (Charlie Hester-Cook 67)
Unused subs: Brian Saah, Michael Poke
Goals: Charlie Carter (34, 73)
Bookings: Frankie Sutherland
Leatherhead: Louie Wells, Adam Cash, Danny Murphy (Louis Downey 59), Paul Semakula, Rian Bray, Chris Parr, Kadell Daniel (D’sean Theobalds 45), Tyron Smith (Calum Davies 63), Daniel Carr, Mohammed Sadgaf, Nana Boakye-Yiadom
Unused subs: Anthony Mendy, Jerry Nnamani
Referee: Darren Sheldrake
Man of the Match: Charlie Carter- confident in midfield and a fantastic brace.