Disappointment for young Cards
10:51pm, Thu 18th Nov 2010
Woking U18s 2 Cheltenham Town U18s 4
FA Youth Cup 2nd Round
18th November 2010
Two superb first half strikes from Cheltenham Town’s Academy side turned the tide on a promising start from Woking’s young hopefuls and saw them finally slip out of the FA Youth Cup at the second round. Despite a spirited fight back late on in the second half, Woking could not quite match Cheltenham’s slick, passing football and will probably reflect that they had not managed to match the quality they have shown in previous rounds.
But Woking certainly started the stronger and immediately had the visitors on the back foot. Jack Mazzone had an early chance in the 7th minute and then almost got on the end of a long ball forward but Barnfather, the Cheltenham keeper, was out in the nick of time to head the ball to safety.
On 21 minutes Woking took the lead. Jon Coussens chased down what looked like a lost cause, beat the keeper on the bye line and crossed for Jack Mazzone to crash the ball home from close range.
But the Cards were unable to hold their lead and Cheltenham replied within four minutes with a superb left footed curler from Moore that gave Jordan Kennedy no chance as it found the top left corner. And three minutes later the visitors had taken the lead as Hadley beat Kennedy with a quality strike from outside the box.
When George Frith was able to dominate proceedings in the mid field then Woking looked dangerous. On the half hour mark he had a couple of good efforts – the first a volley after Mazzone’s cross had been half cleared and the second a sweet strike from outside the box that just scraped the post.
But Cheltenham also continued to create chances. With two minutes of the first period remaining, Jon Coussens cleared off the line but a minute later the visitors’ lead had been doubled as the unlucky Ryan Alderman turned a ball, swept into the box by Brown, into his own net.
Half-time: Woking 1 Cheltenham Town 3
Cheltenham continued to look threatening at the start of the second half and the Cards increasingly resorted to long balls forward as they tried to get a foothold in the game. Mazzone had a penalty shout turned down as his shot was deflected away by a Cheltenham defender and then had another good snap shot after turning the visitors’ defence.
But as the young Cards gradually began to dominate the half and pass the ball more effectively so Cheltenham managed to seal their victory with a final sucker punch. Awarded a very soft free kick on the left of the box, Egan’s delivery into the box was met by Williams who headed home through a crowd of Woking defenders.
It was always going to be difficult to get back into the game after a fourth goal but Woking never gave up and with four minutes remaining Frith was brought down in the visitors box. He took the penalty himself, sending Barnfarther the wrong way, as he calmly converted the spot kick.
So the Academy sides FA Youth Cup adventure is over for another season but this young side again has demonstrated the real quality that the Club has amongst its ranks of young hopefuls. It all bodes well for Woking’s future if these players can be brought through to the first team and follow in the footsteps of our current crop of ex Academy stars.
Woking: Jordan Kennedy, Aaron Turner, Tim Taylor, Lewis Martin (Max Blackmore 54), Ryan Alderman, Jon Coussens, Adam Bicknell, Conor Close, Jack Mazzone, George Frith, Jordan Junior Smith (Shane Cheeseman 74)
Unused subs: Adam Bellmaine, Josh Frost-Niven, Niall Wright
Cheltenham Town: Barnfather, Saunston, Brown, Hitchins, Williams, Fawke, Egan, Turley, Hadley (Parry 85), Moore, Waters
Unused subs: Poole, Swales, Morgan, Donaghue
MOTM: George Frith