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CARDS BOW OUT OF CUP

Brian Caffarey - 29th October 2008

Ebbsfleet United 1 Woking 0

FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round Replay

28 October 2008

Woking bowed out of the FA Cup at a very chilly Stonebridge Road last night, going out with a whimper rather than the bang of the Diwali fireworks that lit up the surrounding area.

Phil Gilchrist stuck with the same starting line-up as on Saturday ? with pretty much the same outcome in terms of the balance of play except that this time the Cards weren?t blessed with an opening goal, let alone two. Once the Fleet took the lead in the 19th minute their powerful, direct style increasingly dominated the game and, by the end, the Cards were well beaten in spite of the solitary goal separating the sides.

The opening spell promised more, though, as Woking took the game to their hosts. In the first minute Wilfried Domoraud saw his header from a free-kick tipped over the bar by Lance Cronin. But the Fleet went even closer two minutes later as Carl Pentney stuck out a leg instinctively to stop a close-range shot from Darius Charles after Tom Hutchinson had missed his tackle out on Woking?s right.

Domoraud was in the thick of the action again in the 8th minute as he unleashed a fierce left-footed strike which was beaten away by Cronin for a corner. The positive Woking start continued as they threw in some good crosses and as Bradley Quamina won a lot of possession in midfield.

But the Cards suffered a hammer blow in the 19th minute. Hutchinson?s stooped headed clearance on the edge of the area hit a Fleet player and ricocheted nicely into Kezie Ibe?s path. He hit an unstoppable right-footed swerving shot, which flew unerringly into the top corner.

Thereafter, neither side managed to create any clear-cut chances. The Woking defence, with Paul Lorraine prominent again, coped reasonably comfortably with Fleet attacks, although the lanky Michael Gash got in a few weak headers. But the Cards could not make any real progress further forward: quick balls forward for Domoraud, Marum and Ledgister to chase rarely produced any threat.

Half-time: Ebbsfleet United 1 Woking 0

Woking started the second half brightly, applying some pressure in the opening few minutes, with Quamina getting in a blocked left-footed effort and then blasting wide from the rebound. But it was downhill after that as Ebbsfleet?s dominance of midfield intensified and as they sought another goal to kill off the game.

The only chance of an equaliser came midway through the half. It fell to Marum, who, from a difficult angle, tried to nick the ball, with the outside of his right foot, over Cronin but he didn?t get enough height on his effort, resulting in a comfortable catch for the very competent Fleet keeper.

Towards the end of the game the Fleet succeeded in quelling any Woking thoughts of a Woking comeback by the very effective strategy of penning the Cards in their half for long periods. As the minutes ticked away, Pentney, back pedalling, saw one effort go narrowly over, while another cross-cum-shot bounced off the bar, and Stacy Long?s fierce strike was just too high.

Six minutes of added time offered hope of a Woking last-ditch assault but, as the rain/sleet began, the final Woking corner summed up a miserable evening. With everyone forward, including Pentney, substitute Gez Sole slipped as he took the corner and the ball didn?t get beyond the first defender.

Once again, the Woking defence acquitted themselves well in general, and Quamina worked hard and mostly effectively in midfield, and Domoraud represented the occasional threat, but most of those around them made very little impact on a disappointing night.

Woking: Carl Pentney, Patrice Konan, Paul Lorraine, Tom Hutchinson, Colin Miles (Danny Bunce, 66), Bradley Quamina, Joel Ledgister (Daniel Spence, 69), Paolo Vernazza, Abdou El Kholti, Liam Marum (Giuseppe Sole, 79), Wilfried Domoraud

Subs not used: Ross Worner, Matt Pattison, Charlie Moone, Delano Sam-Yorke

Booked: Patrice Konan, Colin Miles

Attendance: 869 (105 from Woking)

My MOTM: Bradley Quamina (pictured)

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