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Cards knocked out of FA Cup

Ben Mitchell - 10th November 2014

Cards knocked out of FA Cup Wrexham 3 Woking 0

FA Cup 1st Round

Sunday 9th November 2014

The last few weeks have seen Woking struggle to find the form that they showed at the start of the campaign. Potentially, a good cup run may have been just the catalyst they needed to reignite their season. Instead, the Cards were denied by a fired-up Wrexham team unwilling to give up their place in the second round draw.

The sound of the lone bugler was a fitting tribute at the Racecourse Stadium, with a respectful hush maintained throughout the minute’s silence. However, it was not long until the Wrexham fans were in full voice.

Jake Cole saved a 19th minute penalty from Neil Ashton, but could do nothing to stop him tucking home the rebound to put the Welsh side in front.

Just after the half-hour mark a defensive miscommunication allowed Wrexham’s Andy Bishop to break away down the left hand side, before picking out a sliding Wes York to stretch the hosts' lead.

York soon returned the favour, crossing low into the six-yard box for Bishop to slot home the third goal just before the break.

Woking’s second-half improvements were in vain, with headers from Scott Rendell and Joe McNerney going narrowly wide and Mike Cestor and Kevin Betsy trying to stretch the Dragons on the break.

The game started in high gear with both teams leaving themselves open to counterattacks. Jack Marriott and Chris Arthur looked to expose the opposition early on with fast breaks down the wings.

But, as fast as Woking attacked they were instantly back in defence, as Wrexham’s Ashton and Elliott Durrell were consistently playing dangerous balls in and around Woking’s box.

This early intensity resulted in a number of strong challenges from both sides, which led to both McNerney and Josh Payne receiving yellow cards.

Woking had a chance to open the scoring when Betsy skilfully rounded Wrexham’s Ashton and flirted with the touchline before driving a dangerous ball across the face of goal.

But it was in the 19th minute, when a spell of Wrexham pressure culminated in the opening goal. A looping cross into the box saw Cestor tussling with Bishop for the ball. The Wrexham striker went to ground and was judged, by referee Simon Bennett, to have been fouled in the process. Bishop missed his last penalty for the club, which came in the previous round of the FA Cup when he was on a hat trick, so Ashton stepped up with confidence. Cole was equal to the strike, however, diving low to his right to keep the ball out. Unfortunately, there was little he could do except helplessly sprawl in front of a thankful Ashton as he gratefully took his second chance to open the scoring.

Woking then had a long period of pressure where they began to pepper the Wrexham box from an array of free kicks, corners and wide play. But it was Wrexham who continued to look dangerous on the counterattack, particularly with Johnny Hunt running free.

The Cards were still in the game at 1-0 down and looked to keep the tempo up and press on.
Woking were then awarded a free kick and looked to take it quickly. Clarke played the ball to Joey Jones, but a miscommunication between the pair left both players unsure if the free kick had been taken. As a result, the home team was able to launch yet another break and this they did with devastating effect as Bishop crossed sharply into the path of a sliding York to score Wrexham’s second on 36 minutes.

With a few moments left until half-time, Woking desperately tried to take something into the changing rooms. Betsy ran onto a well-timed header from Rendell on the half-way line, before shifting the ball wide to Arthur who crossed the ball deep into the box, but it was claimed by Wrexham’s keeper Andy Coughlin.

It was in fact Wrexham who saw the game off before the interval with York picking up the ball in a wide position. He looked up and crossed low into the Woking area where Clarke found himself on the wrong side of Bishop, who turned the ball confidently past Cole and into the net.

Half-time: Wrexham 3 Woking 0

Woking started the second half brightly with the best chance seeing Cestor ride a heavy challenge to cross the ball into Rendell, who saw his header go narrowly wide.

McNerney led from the front trying to increase the pressure on the opposition. He began hounding attackers in front of him, stealing the ball and playing some searching crosses into dangerous areas.

Substitute John Goddard also had some promising moments, as did Oliver Taylor, who came close to scoring, but couldn’t manage to get on the end of a Rendell cross in the dying moments of the game.

Despite having plenty of possession during the second period, however, the visitors never really looked as though they would mount a concerted challenge to get back into the match and Wrexham ran out worthy winners on the day, much to the disappointment of the travelling fans and those watching the match (if not understanding the Welsh commentary!) live on S4C.

There will be an early opportunity for the Cards to turn the tables on Wrexham when they look to do a league double on their Welsh opponents whom they host in the return league fixture at Kingfield this coming Wednesday (November 12th). 

Wrexham: Andy Coughlin, Mark Carrington, Neil Ashton, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson, Joe Clarke, Elliott Durrell (Dean Keates 85), Andy Bishop (Louis Moult 81), Wes York (Connor Jennings 71), Johnny Hunt, James Pearson

Unused Substitutes: Louis Gray, Steve Tomassen, Rob Evans, Ross White

Goals: Ashton 19, York 36, Bishop 43

Caution: Clarke 45

Woking: Jake Cole, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, James Clarke (Adam Newton 54), Josh Payne, Scott Rendell (Oliver Taylor 68), Kevin Betsy, Theo Lewis, Jack Marriott,  Joey Jones (John Goddard 63), Chris Arthur

Unused Substitutes: Aaron Howe, Giuseppe Sole, John Nutter, Andy Little

Cautions: Rendell 18, McNerney 18, Payne 23

Attendance: 2,253

My MotM: Mike Cestor
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