Fleet came away from Woking with little reward after a first-half goal made it a blank few days on the road for Daryl McMahon’s squad. They enjoyed plenty of possession but couldn’t turn that into purposeful forward pressure against a Cards back line well marshalled by former Dover defender Richard Orlu.
There were two changes for the visitors with Chris Bush in for the injured Yado Mambo while Jack Powell returned to the starting lineup after a two-match absence in place of Myles Weston. The teams exchanged a couple of early free-kicks that worried neither goalkeeper before the Fleet began to exert some pressure but really without making Woking pay. Powell’s shot failed to trouble young goalkeeper Sam Mason and Luke Coulson was unfortunate that his run and cross wasn’t met by a yellow shirt, while Danny Kedwell pulled a shot wide, all before the 15-minute mark.
Fleet continued to probe but nothing was causing the Woking defence undue bother and when balls did land in the box, Mason was equal to most of those. Kedwell sent a header into the keeper’s arms and Andy Drury headed wide before the home side proved the more clinical on the half-hour.
A neat passage of play saw a through ball slipped into the path of Inih Effiong and with daylight between himself and the Fleet defence, he was able to concentrate on sliding the ball past the advancing Nathan Ashmore.
Fleet’s best chance came on 42 minutes when Kedwell’s strength allowed the men behind him to overlap and Powell ran on to a pass, crossing for Coulson whose shot dipped just wide. The last action of the half saw Bush’s clearance catch teammate Drury square in the face. The poleaxed Fleet midfielder was too groggy to continue and Weston came on in his place.
It was, by and large, a scrappy half of football and both sides continued in much the same vein after the break. Fleet toiled down the flanks to get crosses in but it was a frustrating evening up front as most of them were snuffed out. Kedwell did, however, send in one fine header on 67 minutes with the help of a Jack Connors throw-in and it required Mason to make an excellent save to push it over the bar.
Not to be outdone, Ashmore had to be alert to pull off a double save from Kane Ferdinand, equally deserving of applause as Woking, lacking fluidity themselves, caught sight of the Fleet goal once more. Joe Ward had another effort for the home side – and then minutes later was booked for a dive inside the box after a swift Woking counterattack – before Fleet began to exert more pressure in the closing stages.
Substitute Danny Mills’ run on 77 minutes allowed Weston to get a cross in that ran just too fast for Kedwell while Mason had to tip over another delivery by Weston. Mason continued to breed confidence in his defenders with a couple of catches from Sean Shields and Fleet tried to push Woking deeper as the time ticked away but the home defence shut them out to leave the yellow shirts firing their second blank in succession.
EUFC: Ashmore; Magri, Connors, Bush, Clark, Rance, Drury (Weston 45), Powell, Cook (Shields 57), Coulson (Mills 70), Kedwell. Subs not used: Miles, McCoy
WFC: Mason, Young, Ralph, Orlu, Wynter, Isaac, Ferdinand, Carter (Jones 70), Charles-Cook (Philpot 77), Ward (Saraiva 90), Effiong. Subs not used: Appau, Stojsaljevic