Woking boss Alan Dowson fumes at ‘lazy’ defending after cup exit
Alan Dowson criticised his defence for their laziness after Woking squandered a two-goal lead to miss out on an FA Cup upset against Gillingham
The semi-professional Cards – 44 places below their League One opponents in the football pyramid – looked on course for the FA Cup second round for the fourth time in five seasons when Max Kretzschmar spectacularly fired into the bottom corner and Charlton loanee Josh Davison turned in a loose ball.
But Dominic Samuel’s double, the first from a Jordan Graham cross and the second bouncing in off him after Declan Drysdale headed against the bar, drew the Gills level before Vadaine Oliver broke Woking hearts on 79 minutes by nodding in the winner.
“We worked our socks off only to get done by three balls in the box again,” said Cards boss Dowson.
“Our battling qualities were absolutely fantastic – we did very, very well – and we had them on the ropes.
“But if you look at the last few goals we’ve conceded, they’ve all been from balls in the box. Our shape was good, we battled really hard but the back four weren’t good.
“We’ll always score goals, we always have done and always will do, but defensively we’re not very good at the minute.
“It wasn’t tired legs that got the better of us. It’s laziness, to be honest. I said at half-time that if we didn’t defend our six-yard box we’d have no chance.
“The first goal is from a throw-in, the ball comes in the box and one of my centre-halves doesn’t deal with it. Their second is from a corner and my other centre-half doesn’t deal with it. Then my right-back doesn’t head it away for their third.”
Gillingham may have narrowly avoided a banana skin but assistant boss Paul Raynor believes the character they showed should be commended and reserved special praise for two-goal Samuel.
“At 2-0 down we were dead and buried. We had a real mountain to climb,” admitted Raynor. “We were a bit too passive in the first half – our passing was far too slow and we made it quite easy for Woking.
“But we’ve got character. We changed the shape at half-time and we always felt that we’d create opportunities. Credit to Woking but you’ve to credit the character of our boys as well.
“I’m delighted for Dominic as he’s worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks. He’s not had much luck; he’s had ricochets, shots blocked on the line by our own players and goalkeepers making amazing saves. I’m delighted that he’s got a couple of goals.
“The main thing is that we’re in the second round. We had a wonderful tie here against West Ham last year. We’re now only one game away from getting a really good game, which is what this competition is all about for Gillingham.”