FA Cup (R3)
2:00pm - SundaySun 6th JanuaryJan 2019
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 5717

0 - 2


Cards aim to upset the odds against Premier League Watford

Glen Harrington
7:19pm, Fri 4th Jan 2019
Woking vs Watford
The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Sunday 6th January 2019

The Cards will play in the third-round proper of the FA Cup for only the fifth time in the club’s history on Sunday as they host Premier League Watford at a sold out Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Not since the 1996/97 season have Woking remained in the competition past the turn of the year, when Steve Thompson’s late goal claimed a famous 1-1 draw with then top division Coventry City, only for the Cards to narrowly lose out in the replay; And it was back in 1990 when the club advanced beyond the third round for the first and only time when Tim Buzaglo’s hat-trick condemned West Brom to a 4-2 defeat and earned Woking the most famous result in the club’s history – that, combined with the narrow 1-0 defeat which followed at Goodison Park in the fourth round earning the club plaudits up and down the country. Now, close to three decades later, manager Alan Dowson and his team will attempt to overcome the odds once again knowing, whatever the result, they have already inscribed their names in Woking folklore.

For Watford, who currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, the short trip represents an opportunity to offer game time to some of the players on the periphery of the first team following the traditionally busy Christmas period which has seen them, like the Cards, play four games in quick succession. The Hornets have taken five points from their festive fixtures, winning away at West Ham and losing at home to Chelsea, before draws with Newcastle and Bournemouth. Their recent FA Cup pedigree is also quite impressive – they were semi-finalists in 2016, when they lost out to Crystal Palace at Wembley, whilst they’ve only been beaten at this stage three times in the last 12 years.

We hope all those lucky enough to secure a ticket for Sunday’s game get behind their teams and make it a great occasion for all to remember! Remember, if you aren’t able to attend you can watch the game live on BT Sport 2.

Woking Team News

The Cards were boosted on Friday by the news that Oxford United duo Armani Little and Harvey Bradbury, a Watford player as recently as last summer, have re-signed on loan until the end of the season. Both players have played a significant part in helping the team reach the third-round and are now likely to be available on Sunday.

For Dowse and the rest of his management team, the only question will be how best to fit the pair back into the team, or whether instead they’ll have to settle for a place on the bench. After all, with the Cards currently on a seven-match winning run in the league – the team’s best run in almost eight years – and with just one defeat inside 90 minutes since mid-September, it would be understandable to want to stick with a winning team.

Dowse may have his hand forced somewhat by an injury to top scorer Max Kretzschmar, who missed the game against Eastbourne Borough last weekend and limped off early against Hampton and Richmond in mid-week after declaring himself fit to play. If he isn’t able to play, at least from the start, then it potentially opens the door for Bradbury, who will likely be competing with Jake Hyde, Greg Luer, Jamar Loza, Paul Hodges and Nicky Wheeler for a place in the front three.

Little, meanwhile, will need to displace one of Christian Jolley, Toby Edser or Harry Taylor if he is to resume the midfield role which he was deployed in so successfully for 13 games earlier this season. They are likely to be the two biggest question marks for the Cards heading into the game, barring any late injury issues, with the back four and goalkeeper remarkably settled in recent weeks.

Watford Team News

Head Coach Javi Gracia has already hinted that he will make widespread changes to the team held to a 3-3 draw by Bournemouth on Wednesday. Woking fans can look forward to seeing the likes of veteran Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who won 11 caps for his country between 2003 and 2010, England internationals Nathaniel Chalobah and Tom Cleverley, Dutch international full-back Daryl Janmaat and exciting Venezuelan prospect Adalberto Peñaranda, whose opportunities have been limited so far due to work permit issues.

The star names in Watford’s impressive squad of internationals, full of experience across many of the biggest leagues in Europe, are striker and captain Troy Deeney, scorer of over 100 goals for the club, as well as towering French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré who has reportedly been attracting transfer attention from a number of the world’s biggest clubs. No doubt Woking fans will be hoping to see both players on the pitch at some stage this weekend. Meanwhile, Watford have confirmed that only Sebastian Prödl, Christian Kabasele and Andre Gray are unavailable through injury while Marvin Zeegelaar and Stefano Okaka will also not be considered due to ongoing transfer negotiations.

Next Up

Remember, the Cards are back in action on Wednesday evening at Kingfield for a massively important league fixture against Welling United, and it would be great to see as many fans as possible there to lend their support and hopefully cheer the team on to an important result.

Cards’ Cup dreams stung by Hornets

Alex Wright
12:00am, Sun 6th Jan 2019
Woking 0 Watford 2
Emirates FA Cup third round
6th January 2019

Woking’s FA Cup dream came to an end as Premier League side Watford scored a goal in each half in a largely one-sided affair in front of a sell-out crowd at Kingfield.

A Will Hughes shot from a corner after 13 minutes and a close range finish from Troy Deeney late on sealed victory for the high-flying Hornets on a chilly early January afternoon.

But the Cards can be proud of their performance as they defended resolutely and had chances of their own to score in the second half.

It was always going to be a tough ask for Woking with 110 league places separating the two teams.

The match was billed as one of the biggest matches in Woking’s recent history, with the Cards attempting to reach the FA Cup fourth round for only the second time in their 130-year history since their famous 4-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion in 1991 when Tim Buzaglo netted a hat-trick.

The tie, which is believed to have brought in £150,000 in television money for the club, had a historic connection with Watford midfielder Tom Cleverley’s late great uncle Reg Stratton writing himself into Woking folklore after scoring in their 3-0 1958 FA Amateur Cup win over Ilford.

Jake Hyde, goalscorer in Woking’s 1-0 second round win over Swindon Town, was restored to the starting line-up at the expense of Paul Hodges after sitting out Tuesday’s 3-0 win at Hampton & Richmond Borough.

Alan Dowson had to make do without influential playmaker Max Kretzschmar who was ruled out with a hamstring injury in the victory at Hampton with Jamar Loza coming in to replace him.

Returning Oxford United loanees Armani Little and Harvey Bradbury were also given berths on the bench alongside Academy youngster Charlie Hester-Cook, Nicky Wheeler and Dan Spence.

The Watford side featured England international Nathaniel Chalobah and had the luxury of naming Deeney as a substitute.

Just over 5,700 crammed into Kingfield – Woking’s second largest attendance since the FA Amateur Cup fourth round clash against Finchley in the 1957/58 season – to watch the Cards’ first competitive game against Watford.

Woking lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Loza on the left flank and Greg Luer, hat-trick hero against Hampton on New Year’s Day, on the right and Christian Jolley, Toby Edser and Harry Taylor in the centre, and Hyde the lone man up front.

The game burst into life in the seventh minute when Cleverley teed up Watford debutant Adalberto Penaranda on the left but his right foot curler went inches wide of keeper Craig Ross’ far post.

Moments later Hyde almost played Luer through but the danger was cleared by Watford’s left back Adam Masina.

Hughes then floated over a corner which Manuel Britos got on the end of and the ball fell to Masina but he put his effort wide of the left post from close range.

But Watford made no mistake from the next corner with Masina firing in a low drive which Hughes turned home first time off the head of Harry Taylor past the despairing dive of Ross.

On 14 minutes, the uglier side of the game came to the fore with Isaac Success being booked for diving.

Five minutes later Daryl Janmaat whipped in a cross from the right which Ross did well to get down to and deny Success.

The Watford pressure was relentless and they had another chance soon after when Domingos Quina broke and ran the length of the pitch before firing tamely over.

At the other end Josh Casey (pictured above) launched a long throw into the box which Ben Gerring got on the end of but Heurelho Gomes got down to smother.

Gerring then found himself in the book after 28 minutes for going through the back of Success.

The referee then gave a controversial free-kick after Luer was harshly adjudged to have bundled over the bleach blonde haired Penaranda on 35 minutes, drawing a round of boos from the home end.

From the resulting free-kick Cleverley struck the bar with Ross beaten but it bounced away to safety.

But remember that Woking were 1-0 down at half-time to West Brom in that famous 1991 clash, and were clearly hoping that history would repeat itself.

Half-time: Woking 0 Watford 1

The first action of any note in the second half was a half-chance for Penaranda who moved inside from the left but fired his shot just wide of the right post on 55 minutes.

Minutes later Loza swung in a cross from the left which Hyde got on the end of but it was weak and Gomes dealt easily with the threat.

Dowson then made his first change on 61 minutes, bringing on Little for Taylor. Little almost made an instant impact, receiving the ball from Loza from 30 yards out and he went for the shot but it was comfortably saved by Gomes.

On 70 minutes Dowson made the last roll of the dice, bringing on Hodges and Bradbury for Edser and Luer.

Watford manager Javi Gracia responded by bringing on Sema and Deeney for the disappointing Penaranda and Success.

Quina then swung a long ball over to Sema who drilled the ball across the area and Deeney was there to tap it in for Watford’s second on 74 minutes.

The Hornets made their last change in the 81st minute, replacing the goalscorer Hughes with Marc Navarro.

Moments later, Sema floated in a corner which Deeney got on the end of but Hodges was back to clear well off the line.

With minutes to go Jolley then burst forward and floated over a cross but Bradbury headed agonisingly over from yards out.

Woking’s journey, which began with a 4-0 second qualifying round victory over Tooting & Mitcham in September, followed by wins over Kempston Rovers, Welling United, Torquay United and Swindon, ended with an honourable defeat as they went toe-to-toe with a top 10 Premier League side.

They can now turn their attention to the business end of the promotion race when they host Welling in the league at Kingfield on Wednesday night.

Woking: 1 Craig Ross, 2 Nathan Collier, 3 Josh Casey (c), 4 Jack Cook, 5 Ben Gerring, 6 Christian Jolley, 7 Toby Edser (Paul Hodges 70’), 8 Harry Taylor (14 Armani Little 61’), 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Greg Luer (Harvey Bradbury 70’), 11 Jamar Loza

Unused subs: Berti Schotterl, Charlie Hester-Cook, Nicky Wheeler, Dan Spence

Goals: None

Bookings: Gerring 28'

Watford 1 Heurelho Gomes (c), 2 Daryl Janmaat, 3 Miguel Britos, 8 Tom Cleverley, 10 Isaac Success (9 Troy Deeney 71’), 11 Adam Masina, 14 Nathaniel Chalobah, 17 Adalberto Penaranda (Ken Sema 71’), 19 Will Hughes (Marc Navarro 81’), 20 Domingos Quina, 24 Ben Wilmot

Unused subs: Pontus Dahlberg, Adrian Mariappa, Gerard Deulofeu, Kiko Femenia

Goals: Hughes 12’, Deeney 74’

Bookings: Success 14’

Referee: Graham Scott

Attendance: 5,717

Man of the Match: Ben Gerring, a typical no-nonsense and rock solid performance from the Woking centre back who marshalled Watford’s Nigerian striker Isaac Success superbly
1Craig Ross
2Nathan Collier
3Josh Casey
4Jack Cook
5Ben Gerring
6Christian Jolley
7Toby Edser ('70)
8Harry Taylor ('60)
9Jake Hyde
10Greg Luer ('70)
11Jamar Loza
12Harvey Bradbury ('70)
14Armani Little ('60)
15Paul Hodges ('70)
16Charlie Hester-Cook
17Nicky Wheeler
18Berti Schotterl
19Daniel Spence
Watford LINEUP
1Heurelho Gomes
2Daryl Janmaat
24Ben Wilmot
3Miguel Britos
11Adam Masina
8Tom Cleverley
14Nathaniel Chalobah
20Domingos Quina
19Will Hughes ('80)
10Isaac Success ('71)
17Adalberto Penaranda ('72)
6Adrian Mariappa
7Gerard Deulofeu
9Troy Deeney ('71)
12Ken Sema ('72)
21Kiko Femenia
23Marc Navarro ('80)
30Pontus Dahlberg

Woking 0 - 2 Watford | Ben Gerring Interview

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