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Woking put the past behind them to progress to County Cup quarter-finals

Will Thompson - 21st January 2020

Woking put the past behind them to progress to County Cup quarter-finals Woking 1 Kingstonian 0
Specsavers Surrey Senior Cup
21st January 2020

A solitary Max Kretzschmar (pictured) goal midway though the second half saw Woking safely through to the quarter-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup, bettering Alan Dowson’s former club Kingstonian by a one goal margin at a sparsely populated Laithwaite Stadium on Tuesday night.

On a bitterly cold January evening, Dowson sent out a very strong side against an opposition that had put his team out of the FA Trophy just a few weeks earlier. In what looked like a 4-2-3-1 formation, Sam Howes started in goal, behind a back four of Nathan Collier, Moussa Diarra, Manny Parry and captain Josh Casey. Kane Ferdinand and Josh Neufville took up the deeper central midfield positions, behind a more advanced three of Paul Hodges, Kretzschmar and Dave Tarpey. Alex Wall took on the lone frontman role.

After a very quiet opening five minutes, the away side mustered the first chance of the game. Dan Thomas turned his man inside the Woking penalty box, however before he could unleash his shot the Cards defence managed to divert the ball out for a corner, which came to nothing.

Only a minute later, though, the home side created their first opportunity. Tarpey broke into the away side’s 18-yard box and twisted past his man, but couldn’t beat keeper Tolfrey in the K’s net, and his parry was cleared for a corner, which he impressively punched clear.

New loanee Neufville showed a glimpse of what he has to offer a few minutes later, beating his man on the edge of the area with quick feet, but unfortunately he fired his shot just over the bar. The Cards were by now dominating the game but struggling to create clear cut chances, with a number of free kicks from dangerous positions well-cleared by the Kingstonian defence.

This pattern continued for the rest of the half, and perhaps the most exciting moment came when K’s captain Simon Moore fired an audacious shot from his own half which left Howes briefly struggling, before back peddling quickly to gather the dropping ball.

The Cards did create a good opening in the 38th minute, new signing Wall finding Tarpey with a perfectly-weighted header, however his effort was very well saved, and the away side saw out the rest of the half without any major alarm.

Half-time: Woking 0 Kingstonian 0

Dowse made one change at half time, bringing on Shaun Donnellan for Collier at right-back, and the change almost paid dividends within the first five minutes of the half. A break initiated by Hodges saw the ball fed out to Donnellan on the right, who swung in a lovely cross towards the back post. Ferdinand looked set to nod the Cards ahead, however he headed straight at a defender and the danger was cleared.

The Cards were generally still well on top, and in the 60th minute had a glorious chance to take the lead. Hodges lofted the ball over the Kingstonian backline, Tarpey finding himself one-on-one with keeper Tolfrey. Attempting to slide the ball past the K’s keeper, Tarpey only managed to hit Tolfrey’s legs and the danger cleared.

Five minutes later though, Woking would find the goal they were looking for. Hodges won the ball with a crunching challenge well inside the Kingstonian half, and played a perfect ball through to Tarpey. The former Maidenhead man crossed for Kretzschmar to simply slot home at the back post.

Kingstonian had not posed much threat to Howe’s goal, forcing manager Hayden Bird to make two changes shortly after the goal – Lewis Pearch and Sam Oguntayio for Gus Sow and Dan Thompson. Jayden Wareham replaced the impressive Josh Neufville for final 10 minutes for the home side.

These changes had little impact though, and time ticked down towards 90-minute mark with no major scares bar a strong penalty shout for handball against Casey.

Injury time would be far more eventful however, and not-at-all in keeping with the previous 90 minutes. Former Card Fabio Saraiva almost snatched an equaliser with a long-range strike which deflected off Manny Parry and was expertly saved by Howes in the Woking goal. The Cards cleared the resulting corner, only for Wareham to concede a needless free-kick deep in the Woking half. The initial danger was again cleared, but a very dangerous ball was then sent across the face of Howes’ goal. Fortunately for Woking, no K’s player was on the end of it, and referee Luis Nunes blew his whistle immediately afterwards.

The Cards were full value for their win, and perhaps given their overall dominance in possession could and should have won by a bigger margin. Neufville was impressive in central midfield and Tarpey buzzed around with his usual energy further up the pitch. The Woking defence was largely untroubled until a frenetic few minutes of injury time, and Sam Howe’s will be happy with his clean sheet. A lack of cutting edge may still be of a concern to Dowae though, as his side welcome a very strong Yeovil outfit to Kingfield on Saturday.

Woking: Sam Howes, Nathan Collier (Shaun Donellan 45’), Josh Casey, Moussa Diarra, Manny Parry, Josh Neufville (Jayden Wareham 80’), Kane Ferdinand, Max Kretzschmar, Paul Hodges, Dave Tarpey, Alex Wall

Unused subs: Craig Ross, Ben Gerring, Jake Hyde

Goals: Kretzschmar 65’

Kingstonian Robert Tolfrey, Jeffry Pyemo, Ben Harrison, Simon Cooper, Harry Osbourne, Tom Kavanagh, Callum Davies, Gus Sow (Lewis Perch 68’), Dan Thompson (Sam Oguntayio 68’), Aaron Lamont (Cameron Reardon 80’), Fabio Saraiva

Unused subs: Tuty Henriques, Reuben Bull

Referee: Luis Nunes

Reporter’s Man of the Match: Josh Neufville. Showed glimpses of quality and impressive bursts of pace in the middle of the pitch.
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