Croydon vs Woking
Surrey Senior Cup 1st Round
Wednesday 5th December 2018
After the joyous scenes of Saturdayâ€™s famous win over League 2 side Swindon Town in the second round of the FA Cup and the giddiness of Mondayâ€™s draw, pitting us against Premier League Watford, the Cards must attempt to focus on another competition as the Surrey Senior Cup begins.
For manager Alan Dowson and his team, itâ€™s a fourth consecutive game playing in a different competition, but despite the smaller stature of Wednesdayâ€™s game with Southern Counties East League Premier Division side Croydon the Cards will no doubt be keen to maintain the momentum of a seven-game unbeaten run which has included six victories and five clean sheets.
Dowse may see the game as an opportunity to give game time to some of those not involved at Swindon on Sunday, including goalkeeper Berti Schotterl, defenders Daniel Spence and Ian Gayle, midfielder Charlie Hester-Cook and forwards Duane Ofori-Acheampong and Paul Hodges. It will also be interesting to see whether there is an opportunity for loan players Reggie Young and Charlie Wassmer to make their respective returns in a Woking shirt ahead of Saturdayâ€™s game at Weston-super-Mare.
Croydon, known as the Trams, currently play in the ninth tier of English football â€“ three divisions below their visitors â€“ and sit in the same league as the likes of Cray Valley Paper Mills, Punjab United and Tunbridge Wells. Their local rivals are AFC Croydon Athletic who were formed in 2012 following the demise of Croydon Athletic â€“ the former club of ex-Woking goalkeeper and coach Andy Little.
They finished in fifth place in the 20-team league last season but with no play-off system in place they missed out on a potential promotion to the lower regions of the Isthmian League. Itâ€™s been much tougher for them so far this year and theyâ€™re currently in last place with just one win and three points from their first 14 games which have also seen them concede 39 goals.
Croydonâ€™s best performance in this competition came in 1982 when they lifted the trophy. Theyâ€™ve also twice been runners-up in 1977 and 2000. The Cards have reached a record 29 finals, winning 13, most recently in 2017 when Garry Hill won his final game in charge of the club 4-0 against Merstham.
For those hoping to attend, Croydon play at the Croydon Arena in South Norwood, which is around an hour journey from Woking depending on the traffic in and around London. Ticket prices are Â£7 for adults, Â£3.50 for concessions and free for under-16s.