Woking match report
report by Taimour Lay, photos by Simon Roe
Here's a new K's routine: finding time and space to listen to Monday afternoon Football Association draws live on Talksport2. This is a new routine. We really haven't had much to do with knockouts for 20 years and yet this season barely a week goes past without build-up to a huge game, the experience of a huge game, the fallout from a huge game and then news of another huge game (with Tony Incenzo dipping his hands into the "famous velvet bag" and saying things like "what a tie for Royston!"). This is much better than the old K's routine of build-up to a first qualifying round game, defeat in the first qualifying game and then Ali saying "but we're still in the Surrey Senior...". I mean, even the Surrey Senior is massive in 2020 with Woking away to come and Wombles and Sutton sitting in the (tin)pot (no velvet bags at the Surrey FA).
Another meeting with Woking but it surely won't or can't be as dramatic as this FA Trophy First Round match at KGF on Sunday. This was epic, this was our best performance and biggest result (arguably) in two decades (says Mark Murphy) and it was against Dowse (we still love you even though we sang "All you need is Bird") and we outplayed the National League Team and Dan Bennett scored an outrageous, joyful free-kick to seal the win, somersaulting in style as players (and Damo Carlin) mobbed him at the Tolworth End.
But back to the beginning. A lead. Fabio Saraiva, against his old club, struck a free-kick left-foot, it hit Accounts Assistant (and Woking Sports Personality of the Year) Josh Casey's hand and deflected past the motionless keeper for 1-0. His shirt said “Abstract Ideas”. Maybe that’s what he thinks saves are. The away team still threatened, Tolfs made some wondrous saves (which we couldn't really see from behind the goal) and it was all going swimmingly until the referee penalised Ollie Cook for cleanly winning the ball in the area (which we could see from 100 yards was a scandal). Max Kretzschmar duly converted the pen right on half-time. 1-1.
"Typical K's". "We're cursed". "What's the point?". "Hate K's". "Let's win the Surrey Senior"..... HANG ON...GOAL! Dan Hector embarked on his 33rd sparkling run of the match and had the presence of mind to cross low and deliberately to Bennett who nonchalantly swept the ball in. That's Daniel Bennett. Bennett's too good for you.
Four minutes later, pinball and chaos and Woking fail to clear. Bennett is felled on the edge of the box, picks himself up and uses his left-foot to curl it over the wall and in. 3-1.
Less than 24 hours later, I’m at work huddled by a transistor radio/mobile phone: “Number 22…. Kingstonian …. Versus….” Someone suddenly walks in to my room to ask a question “Excuse me, but…” “NOT RIGHT NOW, THIS IS THE MOMENT!” The door swiftly closes in apologetic fear. I’ve missed the draw! I check whatsapp. Telford! Or Leamington! (It’s Leamington). Vanarama North. Mid-table. Five games from Wembley. Hayden, you’re the one…..
Woking: 13 - Craig Ross, 12 - Nathan Collier, 3 - Josh Casey, 2 - Jack Cook, 5 - Ben Gerring, 8 - Kane Ferdinand, 14 - Godfrey Poku, 9 - Jake Hyde, 10 - Max Kretzschmar, 7 - Dave Tarpey, 22 - Jamar Loza.
Subs: 21 - Christian Paulat-Brigg, 4 - Manny Parry, 24 - Jake Gray, 11 - Paul Hodges (for Max Kretzschmar, 71m), 18 - Ibrahim Meite (for Dave Tarpey, 71m).