Watford get the job done but Woking do themselves proud in front of sellout crowd

Jeremy Wilson
The Telegraph
Watford captain Troy Deeney is embraced by his team-mates after he scores their second against Woking - Getty Images Europe
Watford captain Troy Deeney is embraced by his team-mates after he scores their second against Woking - Getty Images Europe

Much of the pre-match talk had focused on how to deal with Troy Deeney, but it is fair to say that Woking centre-back Ben Gerring rather struggled to execute his game plan. “The best way for me to gain Troy’s respect is to put him in Row Z,” he had said with a smile.

Notwithstanding the fact that Woking’s Kingfield Stadium does not have a stand that extends further than Row V, the final outcome was emphatic. Deeney, who had come on as a 71st-minute substitute, scored with his first touch to seal Watford’s 2-0 win. 

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Gerring, a window-fitter by day, was down helpless on one knee inside the six-yard box as Deeney finished Ken Sema’s cross to ensure that the lowest-rated team to make the third round were eliminated.

A giant-killing averted, but humiliation still avoided. Indeed, Watford would have to go all the way until the final in May to accumulate as many happy memories from this year’s competition as a club 110 places below them in the football pyramid.

A goal in either half ultimately settled a routine Watford win, but this was an occasion when the wider context was everything. Woking, a club who released all but one of their players last season following relegation to the National League South, had come through five rounds to reach this stage and the £150,000 windfall from the presence of live television will cover around half of their player budget for another year. That is about equivalent to a week of Deeney’s services.

“Don’t let anyone tell you the FA Cup is dead,” said Woking manager Alan Dowson. “The money is great, but it’s about the people and seeing young kids getting the chance to watch Premier League players. We want to build a club.”

<span>Will Hughes opens the scoring early on</span> <span>Credit: Getty images </span>
Will Hughes opens the scoring early on Credit: Getty images

A new stadium is the ultimate priority, even if Dowson does have a more modest request for his chairman, Rosemary Johnson. “I’ll be able to get a new kettle for my office because at the moment I have to walk about 20 miles for a cup of tea,” he said. 

Javi Gracia, Watford’s former Villarreal and Malaga manager, has certainly also never received a post-match gift from an opposing manager quite like it. A bumper bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. “He took it and he gave me one of his sangria,” said Dowson, who was born in Gateshead. “I thought he was a bit tight. The Newcastle Brown was bigger.”

The day Premier League opposition were hosted in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,717 fans was always guaranteed to go down in Woking folklore, as perhaps will assistant referee Stephen Child’s slapstick visit to the club’s “Moaner’s Corner” after tumbling over an advertising hoarding. A poor start, culminating when an unmarked Will Hughes directed Adam Masina’s corner through a crowded penalty area, had been an ideal way to settle any Watford nerves. “C--- goal to concede,” was Dowson’s blunt verdict. 

Woking did rally in the second half but, having earlier made 11 changes, Watford took advantage of Deeney’s presence on the bench and he settled the match just three minutes after coming on.

Woking assistant manager Martin Tyler – the Sky Sports commentator – spent most of the match watching intently from the side of the dugout although he did briefly provide some half-time analysis for the pitch-side radio reporters.

<span>Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler was in the Woking dugout</span> <span>Credit: Reuters </span>
Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler was in the Woking dugout Credit: Reuters

The match was especially significant for Tom Cleverley, who was starting a game for the first time in a year following achilles surgery and hit the crossbar with one effort. His performance against a club for whom his great uncle Reg Stratton was a legendary player will have encouraged Gracia.

“You don’t get the same fan interaction in the Premier League walking from the bus to the changing room but it’s nice,” said Cleverley. “All of us have come from working-class backgrounds and we knew what to expect.”

Gaining promotion back to the National League is now the overriding priority for Woking, with the team hoping to extend their winning streak to eight matches against Welling United on Wednesday.

Preparations will not be resuming until Monday morning. “I’ll get lashed tonight – working men’s club with darts and pool – and I’ll be back in tomorrow,” said Dowson.

Match details

Woking (4-2-3-1): Ross 6; Collier 6, Cook 6, Gerring 7, Casey 6; Taylor 6 (Little, 60), Jolley 7; Luer 6 (Bradbury, 70), Edser 6 (Hodges, 70), Loza 7; Hyde 6.
Subs not used: Hester-Cook, Wheeler, Spence.
Booked: Gerring.
Watford (4-5-1): Gomes 7; Janmaat 6, Wilmot 6, Britos 6, Masina 7; Hughes 6 (Navarro, 80), Cleverley 7, Quina 6, Chalobah 6, Penaranda 6 (Sema, 72); Success 5 (Deeney, 71).
Subs: Mariappa, Deulofeu, Dahlberg.
Booked: Success.
Referee: Graham Scott.





3:58PM

FA Cup third round results

Fulham 1-2 Oldham
Man City 7-0 Rotherham
Millwall 2-1 Hull
Preston 1-3 Doncaster
QPR 2-1 Leeds
Sheff Utd 0-1 Barnet
Woking 0-2 Watford





3:57PM

Full time  at Deepdale

Preston 1-3 Doncaster

3:57PM

Full time at the New Den

Millwall 2-1 Hull City

3:56PM

Full time at the Etihad

Manchester City 7-0 Rotherham

 

3:55PM

Full time - upset at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United 0-1 Barnet

The National League side have beaten the Championship Blades. 

3:54PM

Full time - shock at the Cottage

Fulham 1-2 Oldham Athletic

3:53PM

Full time at Loftus Road

QPR 2-1 Leeds United

3:52PM

Full time score

Woking 0-2 Watford

3:52PM

Two moments of class at the Den

 

3:50PM

GOAL! Preston 1-3 Doncaster (Wilks, 87 min)

 

3:49PM

GOAL!! Fulham 1-2 Oldham (Lang, 88 min)

Scenes at the Cottage.

 

3:48PM

GOAL!! Man City 7-0 Rotherham (Sane, 83 min)

Spurs did it against a League Two club - City against a Championship side:

 

3:46PM

Fulham miss a penalty - Fulham 1-1 Oldham

 

3:45PM

  GOAL!! Milwall 2-1 Hull (Ferguson, 85)

He's turned it around in a three-minute burst.

 

3:44PM

GOAL!! Milwall 1-1 Hull (Ferguson, 82)

 

3:40PM

GOAL!! Man City 6-0 Rotherham (Otamendi, 78 min)

 

3:39PM

GOAL!! Preston 1-2 Doncaster (Anderson, 72 min)

 

3:37PM

GOAL!! Fulham 1-1 Oldham (Surridge, 77 pen)

 

3:36PM

GOAL!! Man City 5-0 Rotherham (Mahrez, 73)

 

3:34PM

GOAL!! QPR 2-1 Leeds (Bidwell, 76 min)

Heads in from a corner, winning the header at the penalty spot. 

3:32PM

GOAL!! Woking 0-2 Watford (74 min)

Run down the left, pass squared through the six-yard box and the captain, on as a substitute, taps in from three yards. 

3:29PM

Man down!

 

3:23PM

Fulham's goal and Odoi's celebration

 

3:18PM

GOAL!! Preston 1-1 Doncaster (Hughes, 55 min)

 

3:14PM

GOAL!! Man City 4-0 Rotherham (Jesus, 52 min)

 

3:13PM

GOAL!! Fulham 1-0 Oldham (Odoi, 52 min)

 

3:11PM

GOAL!! Millwall 0-1 Hull (Toral, 53 min)

 

3:07PM

After the orange quarters

The second-half begins at the seven 2pm kick-offs.

2:51PM

Half-time scores

Fulham 0-0 Oldham
Man City 3-0 Rotherham
Millwall 0-0 Hull
Preston 0-1 Doncaster
QPR 1-1 Leeds
Sheff Utd 0-1 Barnet
Woking 0-1 Watford





2:48PM

GOAL!! Man City 3-0 Rotherham (Ajayi og, 45min)

 

2:45PM

GOAL!! Man City 2-0 Rotherham (Foden, 43min)

It;s Foden's second goal for the first team after scoring his debut goal against Oxford in the League Cup. 

 

2:33PM

Here's Sterling's goal for Man City

 

2:27PM

GOAL! QPR 1-1 Leeds (Halme, 25 min)

Finnish centre-back follows up a parried free-kick to score from five yards. 

 

2:25PM

GOAL! QPR 1-0 (Oteh, pen 23min)

Bidwell was tripped in the area by Davis and Oteh sticks the penalty straight down the middle. 

 

2:22PM

GOAL! Sheffield United 0-1 Barnet (Coulthirst, pen 21 min)

 

2:21PM

Barnet penalty at Bramall Lane

Mason-Clark has been brought down in the box. 

2:15PM

GOAL!! Woking 0-1 Watford ( Hughes, 13 min)

 

2:14PM

GOAL!! Man City 1-0 Rotherham (Sterling, 12 min)

 

2:08PM

GOAL!! Preston 0-1 Doncaster (Marquis, 5 min)

 

2:05PM

Woodwork rattled

At the Etihad - by Gabriel Jesus who hit the bar and Loftus Road - where Tyler Roberts crashed a 20-yard shot into the foot of the right post. 

2:00PM

The teams are out

Grown men are huddling. Referees are raising Acme Thunderers to lips. We're ready. 

1:54PM

BT Sport

Is at Woking vs Watford and I'll be scanning that, the airwaves, the social sewer and the dark web to let you know what's going on elsewhere. Mmm ... lovely blue pills. 

1:08PM

Woking 1-11 vs Watford Numberlesswang

 

1:06PM

Blades vs Barnet

 

1:05PM

QPR side to take on Leeds

 

1:05PM

Darren Ferguson derby

 

1:04PM

Millwall vs Hull

 

1:03PM

Pep Guardiola picks three of his Thursday starters

 

1:02PM

Fulham v Oldham

 

1:01PM

Leeds win the team news race

[Because Marcelo Bielsa named it on Friday]

 

12:52PM

Good afternoon

For some of us it will always be Harvey, Reaney, Madeley, Bremner …; others will find Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay … tripping off the tongue like a mantra; Lawrence, Lawler, Byrne, Strong, Yeats, Stevenson … are reeled off by rote in one half of a city, West, Wright, Wilson, Gabriel, Labone, Harris in the other. 

For all the shoddy treatment of this great competition from hubristic clubs with delusions of grandeur to match their insignificant achievements, people who should know better advocating regulations should be optional for certain clubs with myopic preoccupations and the FA’s failure to value its integrity in myriad ways, the Cup still matters to those who sustain the game in this country, the supporters.

So for one day let's not mither foppishly about the ‘burden’ of replays. It’s the third round of the FA Cup - the opportunity to put yourself on the road to immortality and before kick-off  hope springs eternal for everyone. If it didn’t, what’s the point?

Any road - today's 2pm kick-offs, switched bafflingly and sadistically by the demands of the international broadcasters are:

Fulham vs Oldham
Man City vs Rotherham
Millwall vs Hull
Preston vs Doncaster
QPR vs Leeds
Sheff Utd vs Barnet
Woking vs Watford
 






Join us for team news as soon as they are announced. 

<span>The 'White Horse final', Wembley's first, in 1923 between West Ham and Bolton</span> <span>Credit: Allsport Hulton Getty/ALLSPORT </span>
The 'White Horse final', Wembley's first, in 1923 between West Ham and Bolton Credit: Allsport Hulton Getty/ALLSPORT

 

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