Saturday 25th February

Saturday 25th February 2006
Woking 1 Stafford Rangers 1
FA Carlsberg Trophy Fourth Round
At: Kingfield
Kick-off: 3-00 pm
Attendance: 2020

Stafford Rangers will be looking to claim a third Nationwide Conference scalp in this season’s FA Trophy when they take on Woking in Tuesday's quarter-final replay.

Based on today’s performance and the fact that Morecambe and Forest Green Rovers have already fallen at Marston Road, there is no reason why Rangers shouldn’t be full of confidence about reaching the semi-finals.

Woking may have been lacking their suspended leading scorer and played for nearly an hour with ten men after keeper Shwan Jalal was sent off, but that shouldn’t detract from what Stafford achieved at the wind-swept Kingfield Stadium.

Phil Robinson and the band of over five hundred travelling fans, who made a up a quarter of the 2,020 attendance, were delighted that Rangers proved more than a match for the side placed ninth in the league above.

The manager said: “I thought it was a good performance. We knew that in second half, even with Woking having a man sent off, we’d be under pressure with the force of the wind and the way they play. Overall I thought we were decent, created some good opportunities during the game and limited theirs. But, they always looked a bit of a danger from set-pieces with the wind.”

Stafford, attacking with the strong wind, took the lead on 36 minutes. Neil Grayson got clear as he chased a long ball down the middle from Wayne Daniel. Jalal, who rushed off his line, fumbled under pressure on the edge of the area and then pulled back the veteran striker. The referee had no choice but to dismiss the keeper and, after a delay of several minutes, Grayson coolly sent substitute Clint Davies the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Woking caused problems in the second half, despite being a man short, but Stafford could well have doubled their advantage. Paul Groves and Nathan Talbott both missed from good positions, while Craig Lovatt fired into the sidenetting.

The dangerous Steve Ferguson fired across the face of the Stafford goal before the home side levelled on 67 minutes. Paul Watson’s corner was headed towards goal and Craig McAllister hooked the ball home.

Rangers could have ‘shut up shop’ and settled for a draw but that isn’t the way they play. Robinson, who made two attack-minded substitutions, added: “It is a philosophy we have had all season. We have tried to win every game as there is no point trying to play out the draw.”

Both sides could have won the game in the closing stages. Ferguson sent a free header straight to Dean Williams while Lovatt did the same to Woking’s Davies.

Looking ahead to the replay, Robinson said: “We are looking forward to the game at Marston Road and are confident going into the replay. We have had a look at them first hand and been more than a match for them and looking forward to another game.”

Rangers: Williams, Groves, Talbott, McAughtrie, Daniel, Lovatt, Murray, Street, Grayson, Smith, R. Gibson. Subs: Thomson (for Murray, 77), Reid, Walker (for Smith, 85), Downes, Edwards.