Emirates FA Cup | First Round Recap
11:21am, Thu 19th Oct 2023
When you think of Woking in the FA Cup, immediate thoughts might be drawn towards West Brom in 1991, or Coventry in 1996. However, in recent years, the likes of Watford, Brighton, Peterborough and Oxford United have come to Kingfield and been tested, whilst there have been memorable days at Swindon, Torquay and Bury.
Ahead of a game where the Cards look to avoid a shock at step four Ramsgate, we look back at the Cards' recent first round record.
2022 - Edged out by Oxford in the rain
After the original tie was postponed due to torrential rain, the rearranged date looked to be in doubt due to more large downpour. However, the full game was played through some wild conditions, and eventually the League One side advanced through by a 2-1 margin despite a superb goal from Rohan Ince on half time.
2020 - Gills come back in front of an empty Priestfield
Following a 2-1 victory at Aldershot in the fourth qualifying round thanks to goals from Josh Davison and Max Kretzschmar, the same combination fired Woking into a 2-0 lead after 55 minutes at League One Gillingham. However, three second half goals from the Gills, topped off by a Vadaine Oliver winner completed the comeback and left the Cards wondering what might've been.
2018 - That trip to Torquay
As a National League South side, Alan Dowson's Woking had to navigate Tooting and Mitcham, Kempston Rovers and Welling United to be in the first round draw. A trip to Plainmoor to take on a recently rejuvenated Torquay side managed by Gary Johnson was daunting, but after Jamar Loza was fouled inside the box just after half time, it was Max Kretzschmar to dispatch his penalty and give Woking a 1-0 lead.
That was how it finished, despite a Torquay onslaught, and wild celebrations began, with a second round tie at Swindon to come, whilst the Cards and Torquay would battle it out for the National League South title, both going up in the end.
2017- Burying the Shakers
A win over Concord Rangers, albeit in extra time of a fourth qualifying round replay, gave the Cards a fixture against rock bottom League One side Bury, but few could predict what would happen next. After a 1-1 draw at Kingfield thanks to a Jamie Philpot equaliser, the Cards made their way up to Gigg Lane.
Goals from Regan Charles-Cook, Inih Effiong and Philpot sent Anthony Limbrick's Woking into the second round, where they would host another League One side in Peterborough United.
2016 - Hitting four at Edgeley Park
Yet another fourth qualifying round replay saw the Cards beat Torquay 2-1 at home, giving them a trip to National League North Stockport County. Winless away from home, this seemed a tough tie for Garry Hill's side, yet they made light work of it, with goals from Joey Jones, Fabio Saraiva and a Gozie Ugwu double sending Woking through to a round two hosting of League Two Accrington Stanley.
2014 - Forgettable trip to the Racecourse
After a Giuseppe Sole double was enough for a 2-1 win in qualifying against Boreham Wood, a trip to then mid table Wrexham was not the kindest draw for the Cards. So it proved, as goals from Neil Ashton, Wes York and Andy Bishop gave Wrexham an easy passage through to round two in front of the Welsh-language channel S4C's cameras.
2010 - Heartbreak against Seagulls
This year's draw saw the Cards given the second lowest ranked side in the first round draw. However, in 2010, Woking were given Gus Poyet's high flying Brighton and Hove Albion at their infamous Withdean Stadium, with the Seagulls top of League One and therefore the highest ranked side in the draw.
This was quite the match up after the Cards had navigated Bishops Cleeve, Brentwood Town and Eastleigh in qualifying, and against a side containing Lewis Dunk, Glenn Murray and Ashley Barnes, Graham Baker's side secured a 0-0 draw in front of almost 6000, which meant a replay at Kingfield.
With the ESPN cameras watching on, a Gordon Greer own goal and Ola Sogbanmu header had Woking 2-1 up in extra time, but an Elliot Bennett leveller saw ten man Albion taken to penalties.
All three Woking players were to miss from the spot, ending a heroic effort against a side who would go on to win League One that season.