United exited the Emirates FA Cup at the first hurdle thanks to two goals from Woking striker Gozie Ugwu. On a night when a United player opened his account for the club for the first time, the Gulls ended up disappointed that another lead at half-time fell away from them in the second half.
Jamie Reid continued to be unavailable for selection in the Emirates FA Cup as part of the loan agreement with his parent club Exeter City. Lathaniel Rowe-Turner missed out with tendinosis of the groin which will need a further review later in the week. Player-manager Kevin Nicholson brought himself into the starting line-up. He also made tactical adjustments to his starting line-up. Right-back Aman Verma and Giancarlo Gallifuoco swapped their usual positions with Gallifuoco playing at right back and Verma switching to centre back.
Neither side threatened too much in the first ten minutes but the game sprang to life in the eleventh with Woking were awarded a penalty. Goalkeeper Brendan Moore and Aman Verma were not on the same page when dealing with a ball going out of play. Under pressure Moore made enough contact with a Woking player to bring him down.
Nathan Ralph stepped up to take the penalty by United ‘keeper Brendan Moore leapt down to his right to keep the ball out and make his third penalty save of the season.
United had some defending to do as Woking came at them soon after conceding.
Giancarlo Gallifuoco had to come up with a goal-saving header in front of his own goal-line. It was a terrific piece of defending.
Mistakes started to creep into United’s game after they went ahead. Over playing was their main fault; taking too many touches when under little pressure and encouraging Woking to close them down.
Nathan Blissett suffered a dead leg with around ten minutes of the first half to go. Although the striker tried to run the injury off, he was replaced at half-time by Brett Williams.
After the half-time break United quickly created their first chance of the second half.
Sam Chaney supplied the pass for Brett Williams to fire one towards the far corner. The ball came across his body onto his right foot but the angle was tight. His effort whistled a foot past the far post.
Woking full back Jake Caprice has impressed in all of United’s encounters with Woking this season. His ball into United’s box a moment later went begging as the Cards front line stretched to make some kind of contact only for the ball to miss them all and go safe.
United failed to deal with a low ball into the box for Woking’s equalizer.
The chance nearly got away from Gozie Ugwu but he was able to reclaim the ball at the second attempt and knock the ball past Moore.
Woking took the lead just four minutes later.
Saraiva delivered the corner and Ugwu doubled Woking’s lead with a looping header. It felt like it moved in slow-motion as it sailed over a host of yellow shirts and Brendan Moore to give the Cards the lead.
Luke Young and then Sam Chaney responded for the Gulls.
Firstly Young tried to beat Hall from distance but the ‘keeper pushed the ball away for a corner.
Chaney had the more inviting chance a minute later when his side foot effort missed the far post by a few yards.
Gallifuoco pushed further forward from right back as the Gulls searched for an equalizer. He delightful cross bounced a little too high for the oncoming Kevin Nicholson who could only direct his effort straight at Hall.
With United pushing forward it left them open to the counter attack. Ahthony Edgar nearly doubled his account over the two games when he ran clear only to dally too much and allow United to close him down.
Brett Williams peeled off to the left and sent a lofted ball into the box in the 82nd minute. Richards, making his hundredth appearance for the Gulls, couldn’t get enough power on his header to trouble Hall.
Woking continued to threaten as United increasingly desperate attacks failed to make much impression. That was until Gallifuoco looked to take advantage of a moment of indecision from Woking ‘keeper Hall. The ball fell twice to the defender but both times Woking cleared the ball from just in front of their goal. The second effort hit a defender in the face – he couldn’t have known much about it.
United couldn’t find an equalizer in the dying moments and it is Woking that will face Stockport County in the 1st round of the FA Cup.
We’d like to thank the hundred or so members of the Yellow Army for their support last night.
WOKING: Hall; Ugwu; Ralph; Yakubu [46’ Edgar]; Saah [Jones 19’]; Lewis [Sutherland 87’]; Saraiva; Caprice; Carter; Sam-Yorke; Murtagh Subs Not Used: Terry; Kandi; Kretzschmar
UNITED: Moore; Gallifuoco; Chaney; Young; Blissett [Williams 46’]; Richards; Sparkes [Chamberlain 85’]; Verma; McGinty; Ward [Lathrope 72’]; Nicholson Subs Not Used: 26 Robba