Posh defeat hard on brave Cards

Anthony Scott
12:00am, Tue 12th Dec 2017
Peterborough United 5 Woking 2
The Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay
12th December 2017

Sometimes football can be cruel, and sometimes the result doesn’t necessarily reflect the whole picture of the game.

And that was the case for a brave Woking side who gave their all at Peterborough United on a bitterly cold Tuesday night, with a final score of 5-2 certainly flattering the Football League outfit.

Whilst the dream of a trip to Aston Villa appeared to be a reality for periods of this Emirates FA Cup Second Round Replay, the clinical edge of the SkyBet League One outfit proved to be the difference.

However, the Cards took their opportunity to show what they are made of in their biggest game for many-a-year, never giving up and causing their higher-league opponents and majority of a 3000-strong crowd major concerns.

Anthony Limbrick’s side showed plenty of character to come back from 2-1 down to draw level having taken the lead in the first half.

Yes, Peterborough were expected to go through, but they were given an almighty scare from this young Woking side who’s never-say-die attitude was there for all to see, regardless of the score.

Woking were forced into two changes to the starting line-up, with Chez Isaac missing out due to suspension and Regan Charles-Cook unavailable due to Charlton recalling him for a match in between the first tie and the replay. In came skipper Richard Orlu, with Joey Jones moving into midfield, and Fabio Saraiva – only making his fourth start of the season.

The Cards showed promise early on, but it was the hosts who had the first effort of the tie as Marcus Maddison’s ball in from the right picked out ex-Card Michael Doughty in the middle but his header was well held by Nathan Baxter.

And Limbrick’s men were nearly rewarded for their promising start after ten minutes. Fabio Saraiva’s ball in eventually fell to Charlie Carter, and after beating two defenders he had just the keeper to beat, but from a tight angle he saw his drive saved by Jonathan Bond at his near post. The loose ball fell to Joe Ward, in a similar place to that memorable moment back at the Laithwaite, but on this occasion his effort was blocked.

Woking then got the goal their efforts fully deserved 19 minutes in. Joe Ward’s cross was headed out to Kane Ferdinand, who in turn found Inih Effiong. With his back to goal, the striker turned brilliantly past his man before curling a left footed strike beyond Bond and into the far corner from just outside the area.

With the terrific away support dreaming of a trip to Villa Park in the new year, Peterborough sought a swift response, with the dangerous Maddison cutting in from the right before firing just wide of the far corner.

And the Posh got the equaliser some would say against the run of play just before the half hour mark. Good work from Gwion Edwards saw him lay the ball across to Doughty, and his first time effort found the far bottom corner.

The hosts then started to turn the screw, with good link up play from Doughty, Maddison and Jack Marriott saw the latter see a low shot well saved by Baxter when well placed. Alex Penny then dispossessed Ferdinand on the edge of his own area, but Baxter was equal to the full-back’s effort.

Baxter was then at his best to keep the Cards level. Anthony Grant’s great ball from midfield set Marriott through on goal, but the teenager came off his line well to prevent the striker, who enjoyed a spell with the Cards on loan in 2014/15.

However, he couldn’t do anything to prevent Peterborough taking the lead on the stroke of half-time. Edwards won possession on the left hand side before lifting the ball to the far post and Marriott saw his looping effort back across goal find the far corner.

Half-time: Peterborough United 2 Woking 1

A half-time change was forced with Louis Ramsay coming off through injury, and Matt Young coming on in his place at right-back.

The hosts then had a great chance to make it 3-1 just minutes into the second period as Edwards played a neat ball through to set Marriott away, but Baxter produced another great save to thwart the Posh top scorer.

The second half produced little in terms of goalmouth action in its early stages, but it didn’t detract from a fascinating encounter. Peterborough briefly thought they extended their lead when Penny fired a ball across to Maddison who deflected the ball in, only to have it disallowed for offside.

However, the Cards drew themselves level on 68 minutes. A great ball through from Kane Ferdinand played through substitute Matt Young who burst down the right, and fired the ball low across Bond and into the far corner.

Despite that, there was heartbreak just a minute later. Maddison played a neat ball through to Marriott, who finished low past Baxter at his near post to restore the hosts’ lead.

Despite the setback, the Cards kept battling – and even had the ball in the Posh net but it was disallowed as Ward’s cross was fumbled by Bond and bundled in by Joey Jones, but a foul was given against the keeper. Replays prove inconclusive, but it’s a question of ‘what if’ for the visitors, as it would have stood maybe the tie would have taken another turn.

However, the Cards’ task was made even tougher twelve minutes from time. Richard Orlu was judged to have bundled over Danny Lloyd inside the area, and Maddison stepped up to fire in from twelve yards.

It only took some great Cards defending to stop the hosts from scoring again. A great ball through from Lloyd put through Maddison but one on one he was denied by a great save from Baxter, before even better defending from Orlu prevented Maddison from firing into the empty net on the rebound.

And the visitors continued to give their all until the final whistle. Ferdinand met a corner from the left, but saw his header come back off the angle of post and bar before Ward lashed the rebound just over the bar.

However, deep in added time the hosts added a fifth – which was certainly harsh on the visitors. Maddison’s corner from the left picked out Edwards at the near post, and his low half volley found the near corner.

A testament goes to the 516 travelling fans – who chanted their hearts out throughout the 90 minutes, even when the Cards were 4-2 and then 5-2 down. They provided an atmosphere that will live long in the memory of everyone there, including boss Limbrick who paid tribute to the supporters in his post-match interviews.

The club’s history in The FA Cup is prestigious, and there is no doubt that every one of the players will be added to the Cards’ history books on a night where Woking came close to upsetting the odds once again.

The young side must regroup, however, with the visit of Maidenhead United in the First Round of The FA Trophy – another competition which Limbrick is targeting a good run in.

And if the Cards can reproduce half of the performance of this, then it promises to be an exciting second half of the season for Woking.

Shots: PET 15-9 WOK; Shots On Target: PET 12-4 WOK; Corners: PET 3-3 WOK; Fouls Committed: PET 19-9 WOK; Offside: PET 3-1 WOK.

Peterborough United: Jonathan Bond, Andrew Hughes, Ryan Tafazolli, Gwion Edwards, Marcus Maddison, Jack Marriott, Alex Penny, Leo Da Silva Lopes (Danny Lloyd 60), Michael Doughty (Chris Forrester 84), Steven Taylor, Anthony Grant.

Unused Subs: Conor O’Malley (GK), Ricky Miller, Idris Kanu, Jermaine Anderson, Lewis Freestone.

Goals: Doughty 29’, Marriott 45’ 69’, Maddison 79 (pen)’, Edwards 90+4’

Booked: Marriott (81)

WFC: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsay (Matt Young 45), Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Richard Orlu, Inih Effiong, Charlie Carter (Jamie Philpot 70), Fabio Saraiva (Jason Banton 58), Jordan Wynter, Kane Ferdinand, Joe Ward.

Unused Subs: Sam Mason (GK), Josh Staunton, Declan Appau.

Goals: Effiong 19’, Young 68’.

Booked: Orlu

MotM: Nathan Baxter. Even with a knock that prevented him from kicking at times, the Cards keeper was the brightest of several stars on the pitch. Produced several great saves to keep the Cards in the tie.

Attendance: 3022 (516 Away)

Referee: Antony Coggins

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