woking

Woking hard for the money

Fleet do battle against Woking for the third time this season with £18,000 and a home tie versus Notts County up for grabs.

Kevin Watson’s side maintained one record on Saturday, having never lost at home to Woking, and now they must protect another – having never lost a cup tie to the Cards either.

This will be the fourth replay in five cup ties between the sides and Fleet will hope to reproduce the 2016 FA Trophy win against the odds, when Kenny Clark’s goal was enough to earn passage through into the next round.

A potential third meeting for the Fleet with Notts County in the Emirates FA Cup offers home advantage and Watson believes whoever contests that First Round tie will have a good shout of making the Second Round.

“Notts County have been a League team and a big League team at that,” he said. “They have a brilliant following so the reward for us after the Woking game, if we are lucky enough to get through, would be a home tie. I think all three teams involved would see that as a potential chance to progress into the Second Round.”

County, of course, are already there. Fleet and Woking are not and Watson thought his side had done enough to progress – until the clock ticked over 90 minutes.

“We should have been out of sight,” he said. “We dealt with most of what Woking threw at us in the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t see it out right to the end. It was a silly penalty to give away so it is gutting. I expected us to get deeper and deeper in terms of the way they threw bodies forward and crashed it at us. We dealt with it admirably for nearly the whole time.

“I felt we’d done enough, especially in the first half, to put the game to bed. When you’re sitting on a 1-0 lead, that’s going to be precarious right till the end and that’s how it turned out. To be fair to Woking they kept going and going and managed to nick a replay.”

Fleet played some neat football in the first half, passing the ball around at Watson’s bidding, but he wants to see more of that for longer across the 90 – and potentially 120 – minutes tomorrow.

“The first thing I needed to do with the group of players I had was change the style of play because I saw a group I knew I could work with, get onside and get out of trouble playing in the right way,” he said.

Once again the Fleet will be without loanee Albie Morgan but Alfie Egan impressed in his midfield berth, so much so that he picked up the majority of votes from fans in the online man of the match on Saturday. Alex Lawless is another option having come through his 10-minute spell but likely lacks full match fitness after his spell on the sidelines.

Woking are more than likely to make changes, with manager Alan Dowson admitting as much after the draw at the Kuflink Stadium. Jamar Loza and Jake Hyde livened up the Cards when they came off the bench and both seem certain to spearhead a more ambitious Woking in front of their own supporters.

Godfrey Poku, another substitute on Saturday, is also likely to get a look-in in midfield having impressed in the league game between the sides and his bite seemed sorely missed by the visitors on Saturday.

Woking’s hospitality lounge is not in use tomorrow and is open as an additional bar underneath the large Leslie Gosden stand behind the goal. There is a pie & mash outlet underneath the stand and Fleet supporters are welcome to take their food into the lounge where they can eat and make use of the bar.

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