Women's Report | Heartbreak for Cards in cup replay
3:00pm, Mon 8th Jan 2024
Woking exited the Southern Region Women’s Football League Cup First Round in cruel fashion after defeat in a penalty shootout. The game, which had to be replayed due to the last one ironically not going to penalties, was determined by spot kicks and went in the favour of the visitors.
It was Ascot who started the game the much better side, as they took the lead in the tenth minute after a shot against the crossbar rebounded into the path of the visitor's striker, to tuck the ball home.
Four minutes later, they had doubled their lead due to a mistake in the Woking defence, giving the ball away which made for an easy finish past Amy Jenkins in goal.
It took a while for the Cards to get a hold of the game, but around 25 minutes in, they started to get a firmer grip. Their first chance came when Helen Ogle found Kaitlin Howard with a great cross from the left-hand side, but the eventual effort went straight into the hands of the ‘keeper.
It didn’t matter though as just two minutes later, an outrageous strike from Sheena Nichol found the back of the net, to get the team back into the game. Sheena carrying on into the new year with her excellence at long-range goals.
Just before the break, Kaitlin had an opportunity down the right-hand side which stung the palms of the goalkeeper, before our own ‘keeper was brought into action down the other end. The save resulted in the Yellas winning back possession and putting a great ball over the top, but the eventual shot was brilliantly saved by Amy in goal.
HT: Woking 1-2 Ascot United
In the second half, Kaitlin went close again, this time watching her effort go agonisingly past the post after great play in the midfield to find the skipper out wide.
That midfield continued to play well, this time with Gracie Price winning the ball up high and playing a great ball behind the defence to Helen whose shot was pushed into the path of Charlotte Keenan to tap home and level up the game. The striker, who had her original goal chalked off in the previous fixture, got her tally back up in the competition.
On the hour mark, Efrosyni Theocharous came on for Gaby Hobday for the host's first substitution of the game. Alicia Christie also came on eight minutes later, swapping with Ellie Boddy.
Ascot had an incredible chance to go back in front when their striker found herself one versus one with Amy, but the shot looped over the ‘keeper and onto the bar before being cleared.
Gaby returned to the pitch in the 80th minute, replacing Trudy Bryan-Kerr. Three minutes later, Ascot re-took the lead thanks to a shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
It looked like history would repeat itself with a 2-3 defeat but with one last throw of the dice, Hayley Giles came on for her first appearance, replacing Fran to go to a more attacking shape for the final few moments. Woking were awarded a free kick around 25 yards out and Sheena took on the responsibility. Just when everybody in the ground was expecting the ball to be looped into the box, the number eight went for goal and smashed the ball into the top right-hand corner, in what can only be described as a thunderbolt!
So, with the game all square again, the right procedure was followed this time around and the game went to penalties. Unfortunately, Sheena, Kaitlin and Laura all missed their spot kicks, meaning that Ascot progressed into the second round of the competition.
FT: Woking 3-3 (1-3p) Ascot United
The team once again played their hearts out and only spot kicks could separate the team top of tier five against the Cards in 210 minutes of football. Lots of positives to be had, but ultimately the team bowed out of the League Cup and will move into the Chairman’s Cup at a later date.
Woking Starting XI: Jenkins, Hobday (60) (80), Mitchell, Cotter (89), Boddy (68), Price, Nichol, Bryan-Kerr (80), Ogle, Howard ©, Keenan
Subs: Theocharous (60), Christie (68), Giles (89)
Player of the Match: Gracie Price