Jonté Smith and Woking one step away from Wembley
Jonté Smith’s Woking are one win away from a Wembley cup final.
Smith and his team-mates continued their superb run in the Buildbase FA Trophy via a narrow 1-0 home win over Vanarama National League leaders Torquay United at the weekend.
Jamaica forward Jamar Loza’s 38th-minute strike proved to be the difference in Saturday’s close encounter at Kingfield Stadium.
“It was a tough game; both teams had chances with the penalty miss by them,” Smith told The Royal Gazette. “We had two cleared off the line as well.
“It could have gone either way and it probably wasn’t our best performance as a team. But part of becoming a winning team is learning how to win ugly in those tough and scrappy games.”
Loza grabbed the winner just before the break with left-footed finish in the box.
The goal came after Torquay were denied twice by the woodwork and were also left to rue Asa Hall’s penalty that was saved by Woking goalkeeper Craig Ross.
The home side were a bit unfortunate themselves not to go into the break leading by a wider margin, as Moussa Diarra’s bicycle kick from a corner was cleared off the line while Loza had another attempt palmed away by Marcin Brzozowski, the Torquay goalkeeper.
Both teams were denied by the woodwork early in the second half, while Smith and Loza both squandered good looks at goal.
The visiting side went close again when Ben Whitfield’s had a close-range effort cleared off the line.
Torquay finally had the ball in the back of the net from a free kick in stoppage time. However, the goal was flagged offside.
Smith and his team-mates then held on the rest of the way to finish the job and book their spot in the last four.
“We deserved to win the game, but I’m sure Torquay will feel hard done by,” Smith said.
“We’re starting to get consistency with results with a few good wins under our belt. Winning against the team that’s top of the league shows the progress we’ve been making.”
Woking will now travel to Edgar Street to face Hereford in the semi-final on March 27.
“We’re happy that we’ve made it to the semi-final,” Smith added. “It’s an opportunity for silverware which is what every player wants. You want to win trophies, you want to win leagues and you want to play in the biggest games.
“Our whole team will continue to work hard and continue to try to improve until the semi-final.”
Woking are back in action today away to Altrincham in the league.
Elsewhere in the National League, Justin Donawa’s Solihull Moors are at home to Dagenham & Redbridge while Milan Butterfield’s Chesterfield will host Eastleigh.