“And it’s headed in! Sogbanmu!!” A memorable piece of commentary for any nostalgic Woking fan looking back at Brighton’s visit to Kingfield in 2010.
Unfortunately for the Cards, the night had peaked when the 18-year-old headed in from close range, as Woking failed in the penalty shoot-out which saw the Sussex side progress to The FA Cup Second Round.
The game was a highlight of Graham Baker’s reign as first-team manager. But what about the players that took the League One leaders to the brink on a cold November night in Surrey?
After scoring the goal in-front of the cameras that night, many Woking fans were hoping that the young striker, who had progressed through the clubs’ academy system, would become a regular at Kingfield. Sogbanmu made 29 apperances for Woking between the 09/10 season and 11/12. He also appeared for Boreham Wood and Kingstonian during loan spells in that period. Ola left the club in May 2012 and made a move to Carshalton Athletic for an undisclosed fee. Garry Hill expressed his disappointment at this but was said to have understood the move as he was looking for regular football.
Unfortunately, his career didn’t move beyond the Conference South and following a poor 2012/13 season with Carshalton, in which he scored only six goals in 35 league appearances. The now ex-Woking striker made appearances for Boreham Wood before joining St. Neots Town on a permanent basis for the 2013/14 season. This move saw him play in the same team as another ex-Card, Jay Davis, before re-signing for Boreham Wood later in that season.
Defender Doyle notched 33 appearances and played a crucial part in Woking’s 2011/12 promotion back to the Conference Premier. However, after making just 12 appearances for The Cards the following season, the centre back was released at the end of the season.
This saw Adam become a free agent and he was quickly snapped up by Farnborough where he made he made his name before joining Woking in 2010. The move saw both Alan Inns and Doyle play in Farnborough’s defence until Doyle announced he was hanging his boots up at the end of the 2013/14 season. He made his last appearance against Eastbourne Borough and tweeted about his retirement before the game:
“If anyone fancies watching the retirement of the best, worst centre half/midfielder in non league, come to Farnborough today
Palmer, like Sogbanmu, came through Woking’s youth academy and burst into the first team with a string of impressive performances towards the end of the 2010/11 season. That run included a great striker against Bishop’s Stortford to seal a 4-0 victory. After Woking’s play-off defeat to Farnborough the striker left Kingfield and joined fellow Conference South side Havant & Waterlooville.
Palmer scored 15 goals in his first season and then fired his way to top goalscorer with 25 league goals in the following campaign. This attracted interest from the Football League and even the Premier League with The Daily Mail reporting that Chelsea were monitoring the player’s progress.
No bid was made by the London club but a Mansfield Town purchased the striker for an undisclosed fee in August 2013. Palmer struggled to make much of an impact in his debut season in the football league which saw him score only four goals in 28 league appearances.
Article by Jacob Greenwood
Photos by David Holmes. More photos can be found at wokingfc.co.uk