Boz's Fruit & Veg

Solid Performance by the Cards Sees Progress in FA Trophy

Bob Raikes
12:00am, Sun 25th Nov 2018
Woking 2 Folkestone Invicta 0
The Buildbase FA Trophy
24th November 2018

A grey sky meant cold conditions on this wintery day at Kingfield and 805 spectators chose to forego seasonal shopping to watch Woking win comfortably and progress to the next round of the FA Trophy. Some sparkling passages of play in the first half enabled Woking to lead by the two goals, and they settled back more in the second half to contain Invicta. Despite six bookings, the game was played in a good spirit, with both sides playing good passing football.

Before the FA Trophy match, Dowse, in his weekly catch-up, had said that Woking would be taking the FA Trophy seriously and showed this with his team selection. As well as acknowledging the club's (glorious) history in the competition, he pointed out that Woking couldn't win the FA Cup, but it could win the Trophy with ‘the road to Wembley’ being relatively short - a real opportunity for the club.

The starting line-up saw Jack Hyde coming in for Charlie Hester-Cook, who dropped to the bench. The back five stayed consistent, a reward for the solid performances of recent weeks. In holding positions in midfield were Toby Edser (pictured) and Armani Little and in attack. Hyde led the line ahead of Max Kretzschmar, Greg Luer and Paul Hodges. The front four played in a fluid formation throughout.

Woking started the match kicking towards the LGS, pleasing those that like to see the Cards attack towards the KRE in the second half. Woking started on the front foot and made a half chance in the first minute but within 20 seconds, the play switched to the other end and Ross was called into action to tip over a smart shot from Folkestone from the corner of the box.

The Cards were looking lively and in the fifth minute there was an attack with pace and an exchange of short passes between the Woking players. To stop it, Everitt of Invicta tackled Edser outside the box in the fifth minute and got a yellow card. Kretzschmar took the kick which went just wide of the keeper's right hand post, with Roberts rooted to the spot in the middle of the goal.

Woking then made a sustained attack around the edge of the Folkestone penalty area, with several neat passes, but the ball was cleared. In the next drive forward, Hodges got into the box, running directly at the defence and getting between defenders, creating a chance for a shot, but the keeper was able to save.

At 12 minutes, a nice knock down by Hyde to Luer was followed by a good pass to Kretzschmar and another Woking shot was saved. That was followed by another good multi-player attack that allowed Hyde a 'sighter' shot , but he was offside, anyway.

At this stage, Woking were starting to dominate, but just missing the final ball. A great break and pass from Kretzschmar almost got the ball to Hodges, but it went out for a corner. In a counter-attack, Folkestone almost got away but a good tackle by Casey put the ball out and the subsequent corner was defended successfully.

On 18 minutes, in a flowing move, Hodges got the ball near the byline close to Moaners' Corner and he passed it back to Kretzschmar who put in a fine cross which went over the heads of both attackers and defenders. Edser was at the far post to score his first goal for the Cards. 3 minutes later, he had to go off to get another shirt - presumably from blood on his. It took some time, so Woking were down to ten men for a while, but he returned with the number 22 shirt.

Toby Edser wheels away, with the ball nestling in Invicta's net for the Card first goal; pic: David Holmes

At 27 minutes, there was a nice move between Hodges and Edser but the ball forward was just wide of the area needed for someone to get on the end of it. That was followed by a sharp attack by Folkestone. Yusuff, who looked lively all game, beat Gerring's tackle but his shot was weak and straight to Ross who saved comfortably.

A Woking free kick saw Kretzschmar get the ball to Hyde who flicked it just past the post with the goalie beaten.

Paxman was then booked for a tackle on Casey who was on one of his trademark charging runs. Kretzschmar took another good free kick, but Gerring couldn't quite get on the end of it at the far post.

Woking pressed on and Edser had a shot but it was cleared by a defender with the keeper beaten, but, happily, Hodges was there to put the ball into the goal on 35 minutes to bring the score to 2-0.

Folkestone were trying to get back in the game and the referee spoke to Yusuff who was lucky not to get in the book for trying too hard!

Invicta won a free kick from 30 yards after a tackle by Cook on Yusuff. It was headed out by Woking to concede a corner between the KRE and Chris Lane Terrace. The corner was a good one but the subsequent shot was blazed over the bar by McCann.

Woking had another good attack with Little again looking dangerous, but he was well tackled. At this stage of the game there was lots of neat passing by Woking who kept control, frustrating the attempts by Invicta to get back in the game.

That frustration boiled over in the 43rd minute and Little got the first yellow card for Woking after a scuffle (the word 'handbags' echoed around the press box). McCann was also booked for Invicta. The subsequent free kick was well defended beyond the far post but FI got a corner but that was cleared.

Half Time: Woking 2 Folkestone 0

Woking again got off to a good start with Hodges getting the ball to to Luer and on to Kretzschmar but Hyde couldn't quite get on the end of it.

Folkestone were working hard to get back in the game, but the Cards were defending well, although without the threat that they created in the first half. Yusuff made a good run through and looked as though he might get a shot in, but Cook did well to get back quickly to get his body in the way and win a foul to avert the danger.

At 57 minutes, Invicta made their first change with Dolan going off and being replaced by Draycott.

Woking were looking good and staying in control of the game and there were several promising attacks by Hodges and Hyde, but just after the hour, Jack Cook made another bid for the number 9 shirt with a run in which he beat several men to get through the defence. His pull-back was a good one, but was intercepted by Folkestone and the ball was cleared.

At the other end, Folkestone got close to getting past Gerring who mistimed his tackle and went into into the book.

In the 67th minute, Everitt was taken off and replace by Rowland, while a minute later Yusuff was booked for a pull back on Kretzschmar. The latter then got in a good ball to Casey who crossed the ball, but Edser's shot was just past the goal. On 69 minutes, Luer went off to be replaced by Hester-Cook as Woking looked to close things down a little.

Folkestone were having one of their best periods of possession, when Little skilfully got the ball to Hyde. It had to be the Woking third goal, to ease the tension, but Hyde made the 'miss of the season' according to the commentator next to me in the press box. Woking continue to threaten and Little put in another telling cross after a great run, but Hyde just couldn't get on the end of it.

Wheeler came on for Kretzschmar at 80 minutes and after that there were several good attacks as he played a more conventional winger's game and that quickly led to a chance when Roberts lost the ball, but it went out for a corner. Invicta replied with a great run by Yussuf on the right, but the shot from Draycott went over the bar.

Gerring was tackled in the corner and fouled, and he was lucky not to get booked or worse for retaliation in the scuffle that followed - the incident was in the 'I've seen them given' category.

The fourth official indicated three minutes of extra time and there were still a couple of good chances for Woking, but a header from Hodges on the end of a cross from Wheeler went straight to the keeper. Hyde nearly got away after a bright run on the left wing by Hodges. For Invicta, Yussuf nearly got clear, but was offside, so at the final whistle, it was 2-0 to the Cards, who go into the draw for the next round of the Trophy.

Woking have established a solid defence and a high quality midfield with flexible attacking options; more ruthlessness in front of goal and the team would look very strong indeed. The Cards should go into next week’s FA cup tie with Swindon, confident that they can give ‘the Robins’ a real test on their home ground, especially if they play with the intensity and crisp passing they showed in the first half against Folkestone.

Woking: Craig Ross, Nathan Collier, John Casey, Jack Cook, Ben Gerring, Toby Edser, Greg Luer (Charlie Hester- Cook 69), Armani Little, Jake Hyde, Max Kretzschmar (Nicky Wheeler 77), Paul Hodges

Unused subs: Ian Gayle, Dan Spence, Berti Schotterl

Goals: Edser (18), Hodges (35)

Bookings: Little, Gerring

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Phil Starkey, Nat Blanks, Finn O'Mara, Callum Davies, Ronnie Dolan (Ian Draycott 57), Matt Newman, Michael Everitt (Kane Rowland 67), Alfie Paxman, Ade Yusuff, Kieron McCann

Unused Subs: Josh Vincent, Sam Hasler, Nick Shaw

Goals: None

Bookings: Everittt, McCann, Paxman, Yusuff

Referee: Michael Ryan

Attendance: 805

Man of the Match: Armani Little for his constant threat and work rate from beginning to the end.

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