Women's Report | Extra Time heartbreak for Cards in League Cup

Benjamin Parker
11:42am, Mon 4th Dec 2023
Woking slipped out of the League Cup First Round in cruel fashion after a brilliant performance against Ascot United. The visitors, who sit at the top of tier five, were taken all the way to extra time before grabbing a later winner.

On a cold and very wet afternoon in Surrey, the Cards played their first game of the season at Woking College, where they will now be for the foreseeable future. In the absence of Kaitlin Hoard, Frances Cotter once again took the captain's armband.

The first chance of the game fell to Ascot, but their striker blazed the ball over the crossbar with a sliced attempt.

Woking were yet to really test former Woking goalkeeper Roz Markham but had shown some good spells of holding onto possession. In particular, Trudy Bryan-Kerr did a fantastic job at holding up the ball on many occasions. She was able to bring the wingbacks higher up the pitch and this allowed Gaby Hobday to win several corners on the right-hand side. One of those came after a beautiful nutmeg on her defender before her cross was blocked.

Unfortunately, it was Ascot who took the lead in the 17th minute after a long-range effort from around 30 yards out flew into the back of the net, off the underside of the bar. It beat the outstretched Amy Jenkins goal and was quite an astonishing finish.

It didn’t take long though for Woking to get back on level terms as a corner on the left-hand side found Sheena Nichol on the edge of the box, whose effort was parried into the path of Gaby to tap it home. The number 11 added to her goal last weekend against Rushmoor Community, this time with a great poacher instinct.

In the blink of an eye, the cards had turned the game right around as they took the lead on the half-hour mark. Brilliant pressing between Efrosyni Theocharous and Trudy resulted in Charlotte Keenan tucking the ball past the stranded Roz.

Woking had really found their feet in this contest right up until half time and had the chance to double their lead when a great one-two between Gaby and Efro allowed a cross to meet Helen Ogle in the box, but her flick just missed the post by a matter of inches.

Anthony Rosenberg-Murray decided to make two substitutions mid-way through the half, replacing Gracie Price and Efro for Alicia Christie and Sian Hardaker. Gracie returned to the pitch just eight minutes later after Ellie Boddy was taken off for precaution, after falling on her wrist.

HT: Woking 2-1 Ascot United

More changes were made at the break, as Bianca Underhill and Ella Smith replaced Gaby and Trudy.

Not much had happened in the first 15 minutes of the second half but it was fair to say that it was the visitors who had the better share of the ball. Despite any definitive shots on goal, they were constantly pushing up higher which saw Woking drop off a few meters. However, on the hour mark, Sheena intercepted a pass and started a counter-attacking opportunity where she brought the ball from her own half all the way to the 18-yard box, but her effort went wide.

With the rain falling even heavier and the floodlights now turned on, it was Ascot who battled for the next goal as they equalised at the back post from a corner. All of Woking resolute defending was undone with just 15 minutes to play.

The visitors went on to have numerous chances to get back ahead but all had been well saved by Amy in goal. She had adapted well to the bounce of the ball as the conditions allowed it to skid a lot quicker than it had been previously.

With ten minutes of normal time to go, Ellie and Efro came back onto the pitch, replacing Sian and Alicia.

FT: Woking 2-2 Ascot United

With neither team able to be separated, the game went to extra time with another 30 minutes added on to see if this game could find a winner. Indeed, there was one as six minutes in Ascot re-took the lead despite it looking as if Amy had two hands on the ball. The backline protested the decision to allow the goal, but it wasn’t turned over and the Cards now had 25 minutes to find a leveller.

Ascot’s number 11 went into the book and was the only player to receive a yellow card in the game due to purposely slowing down the play, towards the end of the first 15 minutes.

Sheena had the only good chance of finding that leveller from a free-kick, but it evaded everyone and just missed the post on the left-hand side.

Gaby and Trudy came back on, replacing Charlotte and Ella but neither was able to write their name in glory as the game finished in favour of the tier-five side.

AET: Woking 2-3 Ascot United

There was so much for the players to be proud of in what could be argued as their best all-round performance of the season. They took the team pushing for FAWNL to 120 minutes and were separated by a goal that was very questionable in the first place. This team has come on leaps and bounds since their last defeat back in September and there is no doubt that they will not let this hang over their heads in shame for next Sunday’s game against Bournemouth Sports Ladies Reserves.

This game will once again be at Woking College and the final one of 2023 so make sure to come on down and buy your ticket online as not only will your support be appreciated but you’re guaranteed a great game of football!

Woking Starting XI: Jenkins, Burgess, Cotter ©, Boddy (44) (80), Hobday (46) (106), Ogle, Theocharous (36) (80), Price (36) (44), Nichol, Keenan (106), Bryan-Kerr (46) (106)

Subs: Underhill (46), Hardaker (36) (80), Christie (36) (80), Smith (46) (106)

Attendance: 48

Player of the Match: Sophie Burgess

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