Three of the four cup ties between these clubs have gone to replays and you can now add another as Woking’s last-minute penalty crushed Fleet’s hopes of a First Round place at the first time of asking.
A foul on Jamar Loza as time added on was about to be announced allowed Max Kretzschmar to fire his spot-kick past Jordan Holmes and set up a replay that few inside the Kuflink Stadium wanted.
Kevin Watson made three changes to his side, with Alex Reid, Alfie Egan and Frankie Sutherland starting, while Gozie Ugwu, Andre Blackman and Albie Morgan were out.
And as they began last Saturday, Fleet were bright, positive and confident, playing passes and picking out red shirts. Reid nipped in between Jack Cook and goalkeeper Craig Ross in the second minute as Cook dawdled but Ross managed to block and get the ball away.
Marvel Ekpiteta was next to test the Cards defence, his strength on the byline allowing a pass into Frankie Sutherland whose decent low effort brushed the side netting.
And Fleet kept it positive with Egan’s excellent through ball splitting the Woking defence and allowing Lawrie Wilson to run in behind. His shot was on target but at Ross who got his hand to it to make the save.
Wilson was in action at the other end moments later as Woking counterattacked quickly and he cleared Ibrahim Meite’s cross off the line.
The industrious Egan was in action again in the 11th minute as he managed to get some power on a shot that Ross pushed behind for another Fleet corner.
Woking started to assert themselves from the quarter hour but it was more Fleet giving the ball to them in dangerous areas that produced their mini-revival. Tyler Cordner saw Dave Tarpey stretch past him before recovering to clear out of the box and Cordner then managed to hack the ball away minutes later as it bounced off the man in front of him.
Myles Weston had to run the length of the left flank to cover back and prevent Tarpey advancing into the box before Fleet got back on top and were rewarded with a goal.
That came on 29 minutes, a ball forward latched on to by Reid. He still had plenty to do, holding off Cook and zipping into the box, turning the ball away from the defender and slotting it low past Ross for 1-0.
Determined to avoid a repeat of Maidenhead’s swift reply last week, Fleet continued to put the pressure on the Woking goal. King hooked a shot just over after Cordner’s header down from a corner while Ekpiteta, Egan and Sutherland worked hard to keep their side on the front foot.
Woking slowly turned the tempo of the game as the second half began though King led Fleet’s defence in a controlled display that kept efforts on Jordan Holmes’ goal to a minimum.
Meite got sight of goal on 54 minutes when he had half a yard on Cordner but the Bournemouth loanee managed to shepherd that one behind for a corner. Fleet failed to deal with a second inswinging corner and Ekpiteta had to sweep that one off the line.
The home side weren’t without their chances to extend the lead and Reid could have grabbed a second on 64 minutes, intercepting the ball 18 yards out and advancing on goal but his second touch took it away from him and Ross made a brave block at his feet. King then lofted an excellent long-range clearance to Umerah 25 yards out but his shot cleared the bar.
Woking threw caution to the wind and brought on Jamar Loza and Jake Hyde and they added to the pressure on the Fleet defence which, to be fair, continued to present a solid challenge.
It was exploited on 73 minutes when Meite broke clear down the right and spread play wide to the other side for Tarpey who caught Holmes out with a low effort that bounced back off the post and into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Loza continued to prove dangerous and his mazy run into the box won the Cards another corner. From that, Kane Ferdinand powered a header into the back of the net but the assistant’s flag had been raised from the moment the corner was taken.
Fleet looked like they’d done all the hard work but with 90 minutes on the clock, Loza had one last run into the box from the left. He got past Wilson whose challenge then sent him tumbling and the referee was well placed to award the penalty.
There was to be no repeat of the missed spot-kick at Kingfield and instead Woking turned the tables as Kretzchmar fired it home.
EUFC: Jordan, Ekpiteta (Ugwu 77), King, Cordner, Payne (Lawless 82), Egan, Sutherland, Wilson, Weston, Reid, Umerah (Obileye 77). Subs not used: Blackman, Palmer, Grimes, Adeloye.
Woking: Ross, Collier, Casey, Cook, Gerring, Shelton (Donnellan 78), Ferdinand, Kretzschmar, Tarpey, Hodges (Loza 61), Meite (Hyde 74). Subs not used: Howes, Parry, Edser, Poku.