Woking 2-0 Folkestone Invicta - We didn't really look out of our depth, says Folkestone Invicta assistant manager Roland Edge

Saturday 24th November 2018
Woking 2 – 0 Folkestone Invicta
Location Kingfield Stadium, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey GU22 9AA
Kickoff 24/11/2018 15:00

The Buildbase FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
Saturday 24 November 2018
Stephen McCartney reports form Kingfield Stadium

FOLKESTONE INVICTA assistant manager Roland Edge says his side gave a good account of themselves at Woking.

Alan Dowson’s side booked their place in The Buildbase FA Trophy First Round, courtesy of a comfortable 2-0 win after midfielders Toby Edser and Paul Hodges scored during the first half.

It was a vast improvement on Folkestone Invicta's last visit to Woking - an 8-4 defeat in The FA Trophy Third Round on 16 January 1999.

Woking – three times The FA Trophy winners – went into this game sitting at the top of the Vanarama National League South table with 34 points from 17 games, while Neil Cugley’s men were in fifteenth-place in the Bostik Premier Division table with 19 points from their 16 league outings.

Woking travel to Sky Bet League Two side Swindon Town in The FA Cup Second Round in eight days time and it appeared that Dowson’s side had one eye on their trip to Wiltshire.

“I thought we showed a good account of ourselves,” said Edge.

“We came here, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They’re in good form, top of the league above, so really this cup competition is kind of what you ask for when you get to this area of the competition, you know you’re going to come up against better opposition. It’s just how you fair against them and I thought the boys did really well today.

“You learn a lot from losing and I thought we were really solid as a unit, although you could argue that the two goals were a little soft but other than that I thought we defended well as a unit.

“The one thing that was apparent was how quickly they moved the ball in the final third and they kept it on the floor and it was nice slick movement. I thought we were a little bit wasteful in that area and you have to keep the ball moving at pace along the floor to unlock a quality side and I think that was the only thing that was lacking despite the fact that we did have a couple of chances but they deserved their 2-0 win.”

Folkestone Invicta created the first chance of the game, following a swift counter-attack, after only 79 seconds.

Callum Davies played the ball out of defence and fed lone striker Ade Yusuff and Ronnie Dolan played the ball out to winger Kieron McCann, who cut inside and stroked a right-footed drive towards the top corner from 16-yards, from the corner of the penalty area, forcing Woking keeper Craig Ross to rise high to his left and use his right-hand to push the ball over the crossbar.

Edge said: “We started bright, you can tell a lot about the character of a team in the first couple of minutes coming to a different tier.  I thought we started well. We were focused on what we had to do.  It was a nice ball in and Kieron cuts in and tests the keeper.  You can’t ask any more than that.”

Woking winger Max Kretzschmar went close with a right-footed free-kick which curled just around the foot of the near post from 30-yards in the seventh minute as Woking began to dominate.

Joshua Casey threw the ball in from the left and the ball was worked into Hodges’ feet, who cut into the box and his shot was smothered by Folkestone Invicta keeper Tim Roberts, who rushed off his line and gathered the shot at the second attempt.

Kretzschmar’s diagonal cross sailed over Philip Starkey’s head and let in Greg Luer, but his left-footed angled shot was parried by Roberts, who then pounced on the loose ball after a back-heeled attempt from 23-year-old attacker.

Edge added: “Tim’s a good keeper. When you actually break it down, they had a lot of breaks but they didn’t have too many chances but when they did you can always rely on Tim to step-up and make some good saves.”

Woking were a threat down their left and Kretzschmar was released again and played a cross-field-pass over to Hodges, whose initial first touch was too heavy and allowed Folkestone Invicta left-back Nathaniel Blanks to sweep his clearance into the stand behind the goal.

Folkestone Invicta created a half-chance following their second corner of the game.

Dolan put in a low corner from the right which was met by a near-post volley from holding midfielder Micheal Everitt, which he flashed across goal and towards the opposite corner flag from a tight angle.

Woking deserved their lead when it arrived with 20 minutes and 54 seconds on the clock.

Striker Jake Hyde played the ball out to Kretzschmar, who was on the right and he released Hodges down the wing.  Hodges cut the ball back for Kretzschmar, who whipped in a deep cross from the right touch-line for central-midfielder Edser to slide in to sweep a half-volley into the bottom left-hand corner from 12-yards.

“The lad scored with a great bit of skill to be honest. He ran in there with desire and pace and caught it kind of on the half-volley, which is a tough way to finish but a good finish by him,” said Edge.

“Slightly disappointed, they played kind of a nothing ball around the outside of our full-back (Blanks).  Hodges gets it and he only had one option than to lay it back to Kretzschmar and we didn’t cut him off.  He puts the ball in to an inviting area and the guy has attacked it well and scored.  A good goal in some ways, but maybe not in a defensive way.”

Folkestone Invicta called Ross into making a comfortable save on the half-hour mark.

Blanks clipped the ball down the left wing for Yusuff to run onto and he rode a sliding tackle from last-defender Ben Gerring, before cutting into the box and sweeping a right-footed shot straight into Ross’s hands from 16-yards.

“I thought Ade was up there on his own today and I thought he caused their two centre backs a few problems,” said Edge.

“In that instance I thought he did well to stay on his feet. I thought the guy fouled him.  He then has to steady himself, do what he has to do and then he beats the next guy and made half-a-yard which is what you ask a forward to do.  He pulled the trigger, didn’t quite catch it like he liked but he was nice and bright and nice and confident.

“The only thing I think in that certain area after doing so well, the better option might’ve been to play in Ronnie Dolan.  Ronnie had a clear sight on goal but you can’t blame a forward for striking.”

Kretzschmar floated in a free-kick into the Folkestone penalty area for Hyde to flick his glancing header sailing just past the far post from 12-yards.

Woking wrapped up the victory by scoring their second goal of the game, timed at 34 minutes and 55 seconds on the clock.

Hodges cut in from the right towards the edge of the penalty area and fed the ball into Edser’s feet and his low shot flashed past Roberts but Davies managed to get back and clear the ball off the line.  Folkestone failed to clear their lines and Hodges found space and picked his spot from a central position into the back of the net.

“That was slightly disappointing. We had an opportunity to clear it before Callum does a good block. Then we have another opportunity to clear it and get caught on the ball in our six-yard box and they score,” said Edge.

“His experienced, he knows nine times out of 10 that would be over that stand if he could kick it hard enough but he just made the wrong decision and they punished us for it.”

Blanks hit a long diagonal cross out of defence which was chested down by Davies but McCann drilled his shot over the crossbar from 30-yards.

“We said go out there and play with the belief.  The game wasn’t out of sight despite the fact it was 2-0 and for all the huffing and puffing they did, the two goals were quite soft believe it or not,” said Edge.

“I thought they struggled to break us down so we just said to them at half-time to stay solid and we have to move the ball a bit better, play the ball along the floor and play percentages in the final third and we’ll get chances.”

The second half wasn’t as exciting as the first and it took Woking nearly 10 minutes to fashion open their first opening.

The impressive Hodges cut the ball onto his left-footed before his cross was met by Hyde’s downward free-header at the far post, which bounced into Roberts’ hands, although the attempt wasn’t on target.

Woking centre-half Jack Cook went on a mazy run into the Folkestone penalty area before his attempted cut-back from the by-line was slid into Roberts’ hands by Folkestone centre-half Matthew Newman.

Folkestone Invicta were given the chance to pull a goal back in the 63rd minute, following their fifth and final corner of the game.

McCann’s poor corner was cleared away at the near post and the ball was worked out to Finn O’Mara, who from outside the box flashed the ball across the face of goal and Newman slid in but couldn’t apply the touch to put the fear into keeper Ross.

Edge said: “We didn’t deserve to win the game but when you’re breaking down half-chances, it comes out to Finn and he’s caught it on the volley. He’s hit it into the ground, it wasn’t his better strike but from where we were it was just going perfectly into Matt Newman’s path for a tap-in but the pace was a little too fast and he couldn’t get it and it just bobbled wide.

“If you don’t take them you often get punished. It was a half-chance. Some people will say it was lucky it fell to us and we (should’ve) scored it.”

Woking continued to be a threat down the left wing the longer the game went on.

Right-back Nathan Collier’s cross-field diagonal pass released Kretzschmar and he fed Edser, who cut the ball back for Armani Little, who found a pocket of space at the near post and he swept his first-time left-footed shot over the crossbar from 10-yards.

Woking missed a sitter inside the final 17 minutes after linking up well down the left again.

Kretzschmar released Little down the channel and an overhit pass was rolling out of play.

Newman came across his man and tried to shepherd the ball out of play but Luer didn’t give up and his persistence paid off as he stole the ball off Newman, cut along the by-line and put a goal on a plate for eight-goal striker Hyde.  But all Hyde could do was use his left-boot to scoop the ball over an empty goal from eight-yards out.

Edge said: “I thought Matt Newman was outstanding today, I’ve got to say that. The worst thing about being a full-back or centre-back is that he’s gone to try to shield the ball out of play, the lad kind of let his shoulder barge into Matt go into thin air, round him and cut it back and the lad has leaned back and put it over the bar.

“I’m happy that it happened for Matt because he didn’t deserve for a goal to be his fault, I thought he played really well.”

Little found space down the left and floated over a deep cross to an unmarked Hyde, who chested the ball down and as the ball bounced Davies was on hand to clear the danger out for a throw-in by the corner flag.

Nicky Wheeler came off the bench to add more threat down the left flank and he took Woking’s second and last corner, which was played short to Hodges and the cross from the right was met first time by Cook, which cleared the Folkestone crossbar.

Folkestone Invicta created a great chance to make it an interesting finale but four-goal striker Ian Draycott couldn’t find the finish.

Davies hit a long diagonal ball out of defence and picked out Yusuff, who got the better off Joshua Casey to cut the ball back for Draycott, who drilled his first time right-footed shot over the crossbar from eight-yards.

“I thought that was probably our best passage of play in the game,” admitted Edge.

“A couple of nice passes and then Callum’s played a nice ball and Ade’s pulled it back and credit where credit’s due. I thought Dracys went on today and looked sharp, got the ball in the hole, a tricky situation, settled it down, with desire and hard work he’s got in the box and unfortunately for him the ball was slightly behind him.  The finish was a lean back and they go over the bar.”

Davies hit a speculative shot from 45-yards, which flew straight down Ross’s throat for a comfortable save, before Woking had the last say at the death.

Wheeler drove towards the by-line and wrapped his foot around the ball to cross for an unmarked Hodges at the far post but he guided his header straight at Roberts, who caught comfortably.

Folkestone Invicta have banked £7,250 in prize money after beating Leatherhead (5-1) and Didcot Town (3-1) both at Cheriton Road in The FA Trophy this season – but Woking collect the five grand for today’s win.

“I think it’s brilliant that The FA have made a real conscience effort to try to look after the lower non-league,” said Edge.

“All money helps, you know what it’s like, bills come in, games get called off.  If you can actually get to the level of expectation for your club in the cup competitions, you end up getting money that help you out for that season.  It’s kind of in your hands but we’ve done alright on the money front and we’ve gone out to a good side.”

Folkestone Invicta travel to bottom-of-the-table side Whitehawk on Tuesday night, without Dolan, who rolled his ankle during the second half here today.

The relegated Hawks have collected two wins and five draws from their 16 games but Cugley’s men are only eight points better off.

“It’s something to build from.  You’ve played a team from the league above and they’re top of the league above and we didn’t really look out of our depth despite there will be a few Woking fans who will probably tell you differently,” said Edge.

“They played a lot of good football but I felt we played well as a team.  We were compact and if you take that kind of performance into our league, we should start climbing the league, which is the most important thing.

“There isn’t an easy game in our league, it’s strange,” added Edge.

“Last year you had Dulwich and Billericay, who were like the front runners and stand out best. This year I think the whole league is competitive and the whole thing getting safety or winning it will go down how consistent you are.

“We now need to focus on everything into the league. The cups are over, other than the League Cup (Velocity Trophy). We need to start getting points on the board and we need to turn up and put a good performance in. 

“I don’t think we started great. I think we’ve grown into the season and now we have to turn performances into points.

“It’s not an easy game and that’s the truth. Everyone is going to fight tooth and nail and they need the three points, we need the three points. It’s just about playing to our capabilities, I think and if we do that, I think we’ve got every chance of taking the points.”

Woking: Craig Ross, Nathan Collier, Joshua Casey, Armani Little, Ben Gerring, Jack Cook, Max Kretzschmar (Nicky Wheeler 80), Toby Edser, Jake Hyde, Greg Luer (Charlie Hester-Cook 68), Paul Hodges.
Subs: Ian Gayle, Dan Spence, Herbert Schotterl

Goals: Toby Edser 21, Paul Hodgesw 35

Booked: Armani Little 44, Ben Gerring 62

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Philip Starkey, Nathaniel Blanks, Micheal Everitt (Kane Rowland 66), Callum Davies, Matthew Newman, Alfie Paxman, Finn O’Mara, Ade Yusuff, Ronnie Dolan (Ian Draycott 57), Kieron McCann.
Subs: Josh Vincent, Sam Hasler, Nick Shaw

Booked: Micheal Everitt 6, Alfie Paxman 32, Kieron McCann 45, Ade Yusuff 68

Attendance: 805
Referee: Mr Michael Ryan (Littlehampton, West Sussex)
Assistants: Mr Luke Donaldson (Tooting, London SW17) & Mr Richard Sargeant (Bognor Regis, West Sussex)