Woking finally get past Merstham

Alan Worth
11:15pm, Tue 8th Jan 2013
Merstham 2 Woking 5
Surrey Senior Cup Round Two
8th January 2013

After a dreadful start and going two goals behind, Woking at last got their collective act together to score five answered goals and so progress to the next round of the County Cup.

Merstham finally managed to stage this second round fixture after three previous postponements. Woking, with Steve Thompson looking after the side in Garry Hill’s absence, fielded a relatively strong side, with Aaron Howe in goal, a back four of Griffiths, McNerney, Johnson and Cestor, a midfield comprising Parkinson and Frith with Bubb and McCallum on the flanks and Pires partnering Stockley up front.

On a bumpy pitch a good first touch was vital and all too often this seemed to let the Cards down. The hosts were clearly intent on playing football and their pacey forwards led by the diminutive Mark Nwokeji quickly had the defence in trouble. 'Man of the match' Jack Parkinson had to intervene to break up an early attack before Nwokeji was almost through on goal. A last-ditch challenge from Johnson cleared the danger.

But after twenty minutes Merstham took the lead. Fabio Saravia whipped a shot in from the left edge of the box that flew past Howe and into the far corner of the net.

And five minutes later the hosts had doubled their lead. This time it was Nwokeji, played in past a static Cards defence, who looped his shot over Howe and into the net.

Six minutes later Woking managed to pull a goal back. Josh Griffiths’ long cross-field ball was headed back across goal by McCallum for Pires to tap in from close range. But Merstham continued to expose the Woking defence and should have scored a third when Nwokeji yet again was played in behind the Cards’ defence only to blast his shot wide.

On the stroke of half-time Woking were level and they had Mertham’s keeper to thank for the goal. A Mike Cestor header found Jayden Stockley with his back to goal. He turned to smash a volley straight at Anderson but the unfortunate keeper allowed the ball to slip through his fingers and into the net.

Half-time: Merstham 2 Woking 2

No doubt with Steve Thompson’s half-time talk still ringing in their ears, the Cards started the second half on the front foot and continued to control the majority of the remaining forty-five minutes.

George Frith won the ball on the edge of the Merstham box and poked the ball forward to Bubb, who fired home for Woking’s third and the lead within four minutes of the start of the half. A Stockley header following McCallum’s corner was against the post and cleared before McNerney from a further corner headed just over.

Woking added to their lead after sixty-nine minutes. This time, following confusion in the Merstham box after a Parkinson header almost found the net, McCallumn was able to tap home from close range. A fifth followed when substitute Mark Ricketts blasted home a shot from well outside the box and through a crowded defence after yet another Woking corner had been half cleared.

The home side continued to play the ball to feet but were now far less of a threat as Woking continued to dominate possession. A win, a good workout for the side but Bradley Bubb limping off holding a hamstring won’t have helped. This was a far from fluent Woking performance that will need to improve considerably if the Cards are to see off local rivals Ebbsfleet on Sunday.

Woking will now play Farnham Town away in the next round of the Surrey Senior Cup.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Josh Griffiths, Mike Cestor, George Frith, Joe McNerney (Mark Ricketts 68), Brett Johnson, Loick Pires, Jack Parkinson (Adam Doyle 68), Jayden Stockley, Bradley Bubb (Jack Mazzone 78), Gavin McCallum

Unused subs: Kevin Betsy, Liam Allen

Merstham: Lloyd Anderson, Adam Moriarty, Peter Wedgeworth, David Graves, Justin Hemmings (Dean Gunner 61), Tutu Henriques, Troy Williams (Kevin Tauta 72), Dominic Ogun, Mark Nwokeji, Joe Holland (Jack Macleod 61), Fabio Saravia

Unused subs: Elliott Jones

Attendance: 125

MOTM: Jack Parkinson – total commitment, effort and desire from the start.

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