Guildford City 1 Woking 2
Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup
15th March 2017
A strong Woking side scraped through to the final of the Surrey Senior Cup as Delano Sam-Yorke came up with the goods with an outstanding acrobatic effort in the last minute of an exciting cup tie. In front of a Guildford City record attendance of 545, Woking put up a poor display but managed to reach the final by the skin of their teeth in what was the first meeting between the two sides since Guildford overcame Woking 6-0 in the 1965 FA Cup. Woking came into the game as strong favourites knowing the four divisions separating the two would hopefully have some sort of affect on the game, but at times a Guildford side coming off the back of a disappointing 3-2 loss to Camberley Town, looked the better of the two teams.
On what was a mild night at the Spectrum, Garry Hill made 6 changes to the team that faced Boreham Wood in a dour 0-0 draw keeping Jake Caprice, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu, Fabio Saraiva and Delano Sam-Yorke in the starting line-up whilst giving the likes of Brandon Hall, Nathan Ralph, Charlie Carter, Dennon Lewis and Zac Ansah rare first team opportunities. Guildford managed by Steve Dormer were forced to play stand-in keeper Callum Lunn, a replacement for Luke Badiali.
Guildford City came out the stronger of the two sides and pushed Woking back as they piled the pressure on the cards early in to the cup tie, but it was Woking who managed to muster the first half chance of the semi-final with Jake Caprice working hard down the right, before spotting Dennon Lewis who could only flash his shot wide from the wing, giving Guildford a glimpse of what was to come.
It seemed like every time Woking had possession of the ball they were pushed off the pitch by the resilient City defence and it was Guildford who managed to cut through Woking’s back-line in the eleventh minute. A mesmerising solo run from the halfway line from Robert Mundow led to a queue of City players trying to hit the target, resulting in to a parade of blocks until Guildford earned themselves a free kick, which was to be closed down by the wall and cleared by the cards’ defence. It was the first sign of Guildford City’s attacking intentions and a chance which seemed to panic the Woking defence.
It was then Woking’s chance to cut through the oppositions defence and create their first clear-cut opportunity of the game but after a defence splitting pass through the eye of a needle from midfield sensation Fabio Saraiva leaving Delano Sam-Yorke one on one, a first shot on target lead to a spectacular, body adjusting save from Kallum Lunn, resulting in a corner. From the corner Saraiva managed to spot the run of Brian Saah who found himself free, but could only fire his great opportunity wide with 13 minutes played.
Woking were now starting to efficiently use the ball and broke through the Sweeney’s lines once more, but after a cross from Caprice caused anguish between the centre back pairing of Guildford, it was Guildford city who galloped away on the break.
It was Robert Mundow who yet again brought the ball up the pitch and after an exchange with Kiye Martin in the 23rd minute he found his shot blocked, but fortunately for Martin the ball came straight out to him after Brandon Hall’s save and he managed to slot home to Hall’s right sending City’s fans into frenzy.
Woking tried to reply quickly through Charlie Carter but this lead to another chance for Guildford City only to be halted by Brian Saah when through on goal. It was from this moment that from a Woking perspective all they seemed to do was pass to the opposition and only two free kicks in the next ten minutes resulting to nothing, looked like a path way back in to the game for the cardinals, until a minute before half time. As half time beckoned Zac Ansah was put through with a looped pass, but spurned Woking’s best chance as the cards went into half time losing for the first time in this seasons Surrey Senior Cup run.
Half-time: Guildford City 1 Woking 0
Garry Hill’s half time team talk seemed to have worked as the start of the second half prompted a quick reaction from Woking, coming out the better side. After a few half chances, including Zac Ansah pulling wide after clever play from Charlie Carter with 53 minutes gone, it was finally Woking’s turn to get themselves on the scoresheet and claim what was their tenth goal in this season’s campaign. The goal came through Woking’s SSC top scorer Charlie Carter, with Dennon Lewis the provider, crossing from the left wing only to find Carter with a low cross at the back post who made sure, sliding past Lunn after 55 minutes.
This goal was met with relief from the travelling fans who made the 5-mile journey, but didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of both the Guildford City players and supporters who continued to push on. They say you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and that was almost the case as Guildford tried to reply, Tom Booth powering forward, finding tricky on-loan winger Evander Lopes, who’s shot was deflected just wide of Brandon Hall’s goal.
This may have prompted a change from Garry Hill who brought commanding youngster Declan Appau on for Saah with 57 minutes played.
It seemed like Woking had upped the tempo, but after the dispossessing of Zac Ansah on the edge of box, Evander Lopes saw the chance to gallop forward, running the whole pitch with an exciting run and earning a free kick which was later cleared, but showed the energy that Guildford still had stored in the locker. From this clearance Woking tried to answer, with Carter participating in a mazy run only for his shot to be saved yet again, when through one on one with the determined City keeper.
Woking continued to attack but looked vulnerable when facing a breakaway from Guildford City and after a halt in the attack from Woking, Guildford burst forward in view of their second, with Evander Lopes leading the attack once more. This was an exciting opportunity from a Guildford perspective, 5 on 3 with the Woking defence but the final ball was poor and squirmed through the legs of attacker Kiye Martin in to Hall’s grateful hands. With Woking attacking, this looked inevitable but a poor effort from Ansah, after good hold up from Sam-Yorke, and a Sam-Yorke volley trickling wide, couldn’t alter the score either.
With ten minutes remaining Woking piled the pressure on City’s goal but still couldn’t find the winner as the final ball lacked quality. It was at this moment going into the latter stages of the game that Garry Hill decided to substitute Charlie Carter and bring on academy graduate Charlie Hester-Cook to try and put an impact on proceedings. This substitution ensured Woking kept the ball when attacking and with 90 minutes gone Woking finally got their noses in front, confirming their place in the Surrey Senior Cup final. After an intelligent transition on the edge of the box the ball was delivered to the right wing, where a defensive clearance found its way to Delano Sam-Yorke at the back post. His amazing overhead kick proved too hot to handle for Lunn who palmed into his own net, giving a false reflection on his overall performance.
Unfortunately for Guildford they couldn't find a goal in the remaining minutes and Woking go through to play the winner of the other tie. Overall it wasn’t the best performance from Woking, who will hope Dennon Lewis isn’t injured, but one they’ll definitely take going into the latter part of the season, as they try to win the Surrey Senior Cup as well as retaining their position as a National League team. Guildford City can go away from this game feeling hard done by and knowing they were the hardest fighting competitors the cards have had to face in the competition so far.
Going forward it’s vital for the Cards to gain confidence from this win for future league games knowing they have a final against either Dorking or Merstham to savour.
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Brian Saah (Declan Appau 57), Ismail Yakubu, Fabio Saraiva, Charlie Carter (Charlie Hester-Cook 85), Dennon Lewis, Delano Sam-Yorke, Zac Ansah
Unused subs: Michael Poke, Max Kretzschmar, Chris Arthur
Goals: Carter 55, Sam-Yorke 90
Guildford City: Kallum Lunn, Tom Booth (David Koduah 90), Darryl Siaw (Lewis Leonetti 57), Greg Haydon, Nehemiah Adams, Dan Akinwande, Robert Mundow, Bobby Dormer, Tom Bingham (Matt Brown 65), Kiye Martin, Evander Lopes
Goals: Martin 23
Bookings: Akinwande, Haydon
Referee: Nigel Lugg
Man of the Match: Fabio Saraiva- rarely lost the ball and created most of Woking’s chances