By Jacob Greenwood
Woking were well on the road to Wembley following wins in the second and third qualifying rounds, which we previously covered in part one.
However, an away draw at Hendon meant The Cards were off to Wembley, although not for the May showcase. Woking travelled to face The Dons at the home of Wembley FC, not the home of English football. Hendon signed a ground sharing agreement with the fellow non-league outfit in 2009. The game was given a real FA Cup feel with Wembley’s famous arch being visible from Vale Farm.
Woking got off to a bright start with Giuseppe Sole scoring the first goal of the game within 2 minutes before going on to grab a brace. Harry Arter was also iimpressiveand bagged a hat-trick to give Woking a 5-0 win against the London side.
The draw had been kind to Woking so far but threw them the toughest possible test for the first round. With League One and Two teams entering the competition, The Cards were handed the League One leaders, Swindon, away. A tricky test, but a a day out which only the FA Cup can provide.
When Billy Paynter glanced home a Jon-Paul McGovern corner in the 36th minute the home side thought they had finally broken a stubborn Woking side down. However, were they to be wrong? Celebrations premature? The linesman had his flag raised and cheers rang from the away end. The ref wondered over just to surely rule the goal out. Wrong! He decided not to take the linesman’s advice. Goal given.
The first-half goal was enough to settle it and in truth Woking had probably underperformed on the big stage. Cards fans may still be scratching their heads to how their side lost to a team which started Anthony McNamee. However, cheered on by around 700 travelling Cards it was a fitting end to the side’s first run from the second qualifying stage and served of a reminder that despite relegation, there is never a dull moment following Woking.
Photos from wokingfc.co.uk where a full set can be found.