JOEY JONES has paid tribute to the hard work and determination of Concord Rangers after Woking qualified for the First Round Proper of the FA Cup following a 2-1 in extra time on Tuesday evening.
Regan Charles-Cook put the Cards ahead in the seventh minute before Femi Akinwande levelled proceedings just after the half-hour mark so the game went to extra-time.
Just as the game was heading to penalties, Charlie Carter stepped up to net a late winner at Canvey Island so the Cards will now face League One side Bury in the first round next month.
Jones made his injury comeback after nine weeks out with a torn calf, and the second-half substitute applauded the opposition, who were struggling in the National League South.
He said: “They were very good and we had to play our best to win the game, but they didn’t seem as if they were as low as they were in the National League South.”
“You can only play against what is in front of you and they were very good, they were resilient, they had a game plan and they worked hard and it took a lot for us to beat them.”
In an even contest, Woking had to yet again call upon promising goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, who was in inspired form by making a string of good saves to keep his side in the game.
The Cards struggled to get a foothold in the game, so Jones’ introduction was a welcome boost to Woking, who were looking to get the ball in the wider areas and infiltrate the box with crosses.
After taking almost three-and-a-half hours to beat a team 42 places below them in the football pyramid, Jones admitted that his side weren’t at their best, which disappointed the defender.
He added: “We didn’t do it the easy way, we knew it was going to be tough. We weren’t at our best for a large part of the game and we didn’t put in things we worked on in training as much as we would’ve liked.”
“We would’ve liked to have the game wrapped up quicker but it’s nice to get in the first round. The main aim was to get through but we’ve got high expectations as players and we needed to perform at a better level, but we’ve got a good tie against Bury now.”