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Cards Progress By Seeing Off Soggy Sarnies

Dan Stobbart - 29th January 2019

Cards Progress By Seeing Off Soggy Sarnies Egham Town 0 Woking 5
Surrey Senior Cup - Second Round
January 29th 2019

Woking progressed to the quarter-final of the Surrey Senior Cup by producing a repeat of the score line against Croydon in the previous round, seeing off Egham Town by five goals to nil. In far-from-ideal weather conditions, the Cards ensured their progression by converting a pair of penalties in the first half, Paul Hodges and Duane Ofori-Acheampong dispatching, followed by Nicky Wheeler scoring a hat-trick inside the opening quarter of the second period.

Having lost their unbeaten league run at the weekend, the cup presented an opportunity for the Cards to get back into the winning habit swiftly, albeit against opposition residing two divisions below them in the Isthmian League South. With this and the upcoming away fixture at the weekend in mind, Dowse freshened up his team with a back five consisting of recently acquired goalkeeper James Dunne, behind a central pairing of Ian Gayle and Joe Morrison, Dan Spence and Aaron Bryan the full backs. Skipper for the evening Nathan Collier was deployed out of his usual position to be in front of the back four, partnering Declan Appau. Jack Skinner, impressive in the last round, linked with Paul Hodges and Nicky Wheeler behind front man Duane Ofori-Acheampong.

Pre-match, most talk deliberated over whether the game would actually go ahead given the combination of rain, sleet and borderline-snow falling against an icy cold temperature. Rumours of health and safety concerns were raised by some but, post-inspection, the match officials brushed aside any doubt and looked to be relishing the prospect of an old-school, Sunday league-style encounter. Soon enough, more spectators filtered into the stands and the teams emerged on to the pitch at The Runnymede Stadium, the Cards kicking off towards the clubhouse.

Unfazed by the conditions, it was a predictably scrappy opening but with plenty of energy and commitment from both sides, Egham repeatedly trying to make in-roads down the attacking right but to no avail, the Cards starting to get joy down the left. The first real opportunities of the game were instigated by Nicky Wheeler, finding Skinner with a cross just outside the six yard box but only forcing a speculative effort on goal, just prior to cutting in himself and flashing a shot narrowly past the far post from 25 yards out. A moment later he fed Ofori-Acheampong on the edge of the box, he got a low, hard effort on target but it was saved comfortably by Jack Wingate.

Woking took the lead on 15 minutes, a low corner was met by Ofori-Acheampong but as he took a touch a hard, late tackle came in from behind and the Cards were awarded a spot kick. After a few minutes stoppage as Ofori-Acheampong was treated, Paul Hodges stepped up and tucked away the spot kick to the right side, the keeper going the other way.

Ten minutes later the Cards doubled their lead with another penalty conversion, this time Dan Spence linked up with Skinner playing a nice one-two as the attacker entered the area, Temiloluwa Oladejo then adjudged to have bundled him over. Ofori-Acheampong put the kick away, albeit slightly less convincingly, dragging the effort into the left side of the net, this time the keeper going the right way.

In the lead up to half time Egham started getting more success persisting down the right or going long, main striker Ibrahim Kehinde seeing a good cross skim off his head and go wide, attacking midfielder Perry Coles nearly lobbing the approaching James Dunne but the goalkeeper just getting enough contact to divert wide, and Kehinde spurning the best chance of the half, Morrison unable to trap the ball, the striker then hitting it on the turn from point blank range, Dunne somehow producing a diving save to keep it out. In a frenetic end to the first half Coles had a well taken effort rule out for offside, and at the other end Adam Wadmore spared Jack Wingate's blushed with a goal line clearance following an aerial spillage.

Immediately before half-time, Declan Appau looked to have injured himself in making a block. Josh Casey came on for him, meaning both regular full-backs were now playing in front of the back four.

Half-Time: Egham Town 0 Woking 2

Spurred on by the slightly testing end to the first period, in tandem with the fresh legs and energy of Josh Casey, the Cards began the second half on the front foot and quickly put the game to bed before the hour mark.

Inside the opening minute, Casey teed up Hodges outside the box and he struck a post, Wheeler's follow up effort blocked for a corner. From the resulting corner, Nathan Collier had a free header but could not make good enough contact, nodding wide.

The flurry of goals began on 51 minutes, nice interplay between Hodges and Ofori-Acheampong on the edge of the area played in Wheeler who kept his composure on the left side of goal and finished with a low effort across the keeper.

After a quick counter from the Cards, Wheeler's second followed on 55 minutes, tapping in after good work in the area from Hodges. Then, on the hour, Wheeler was presented with another tap in to seal his hat-trick, this time Skinner with the tidy footwork in the area to set him up.

The front four for Woking continued to make life difficult, particularly the tireless work of Hodges, and the professionalism of Dowse’s side came to the fore throughout the second period with superior ball retention and restricting Egham to very few chances. Goalkeeper Dunne having to make another good save midway through, but otherwise the home side were unable to offer much to reduce the deficit.

Five minutes from normal time Paul Hodges went down with an audible 'yelp' that could be heard from the stands, off the back of chasing play and under no real challenge. He limped off and Greg Luer came on for the closing few minutes; hopefully it's nothing serious for Hodges.

Progression to the quarter-finals, and a confidence boosting display for all involved, particularly in the second period, it was a job well done from the Cards refreshed line up. The winners of Banstead Athletic and AFC Wimbledon await in the next round, and we hope to continue the momentum and get back to winning ways in the league at Oxford City on Saturday.

Woking: 1 James Dunn, 2 Dan Spence, 3 Aaron Bryan, 4 Ian Gayle, 5 Joe Morrison, 6 Declan Appau (16 Josh Casey 40'), 7 Jack Skinner, 8 Nathan Collier ©, 9 Duane Ofori-Acheampong, 10 Paul Hodges (12 Greg Luer 85'), 11 Nicky Wheeler

Unused subs: 14 Jack Cook, 15 Christian Jolley, 17 Craig Ross

Goals: Paul Hodges 15', Duane Ofori-Acheampong 28', Nicky Wheeler 51', 55', 60'

Egham Town FC 1 Jack Wingate, 2 Palmiro Cabo-Verde, 3 Joe Peters, 4 Luke King ©, (14 Connor Channon 57'), 5 Triston Toney, 6 Adam Wadmore (16 Greg Wright 65'), 7 Temiloluwa Oladejo, 8 Josh Owen, 9 Ibrahim Kehinde, 10 Perry Coles, 11 Kieran Scantlebury (17 Lamin Casey 60')

Unused subs: 12 Gilberto Abril

Bookings: 6 Adam Wadmore 11', 3 Joe Peters 15', 7 Temilowluwa Oladejo 26'

Referee: Steven Scott

Attendance: 150 (estimate; not official)

Man of the Match: Paul Hodges – Right up until he went off he was tireless and of a busy front four he carved out more opportunities. Honourable mention to Nicky Wheeler, of course, with the hat trick and Nathan Collier was coolness personified playing out of position and as skipper for the evening
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