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Ebbsfleet United 1 Woking 1 FA Cup reaction from Fleet manager Kevin Watson

Caretaker boss Kevin Watson was left ‘sick’ after being denied his first win in charge of Ebbsfleet on Saturday.

Fleet were just seconds away from victory – and reaching the FA Cup first round – before conceding a 90th-minute spot-kick against Woking.

Fleet give chase against Woking. Picture: Sean Aidan FM19711164
Fleet give chase against Woking. Picture: Sean Aidan FM19711164

The visitors converted the spot-kick to force a replay on Tuesday night.

“Sick,” said Watson when summing up his thoughts post-match. “Towards the end of the game they threw as many bodies forward as they could and crashed it into our box, and we dealt with it admirably.

“As the penalty is given away the fourth official’s watch went off for (90 minutes), so gutted really.

“First half we played terrifically well, second half we didn’t keep the ball as much as I would like. Our first pass out up to the front wasn’t good enough.

“We had chances to break on them and wasn’t good enough in that respect.”

The penalty was a needless foul by Fleet’s Lawrie Wilson on Woking substitute Jamar Loza, and Watson admitted the player knew it was a big mistake.

“It was a poor decision by Lawrie to be fair, he doesn’t need to bring him down and he knows that,” said Watson. “It has cost us the result.

“They came at us, they threw bodies forward and played three or four different formations, they tried to get bits and pieces and we need to be better dealing with that.

“You need to be better (dealing with) what teams throw at you. To a point they didn’t really create, offside goal and they hit the post.

“You guys would look and see our style of play is now different. Second half we got caught up in defending a bit too much and then not trying to be brave and play out.

“I didn’t think we got hold of the ball. We gave it away too cheaply which enabled them to stop us getting out.”

Watson again highlighted the Fleet’s lack of fitness – but could not fault the effort of his squad.

“We still need to be fitter but that wasn’t going to happen in two sessions in one week, that takes a while,” said Watson.

“The pitch is quite heavy, quite energy sapping. They’ve given me everything and I can’t ask for any more.

“If they’d have ground out, having not played well in the second half, it could have been massive for the club. It wasn’t to be.

“Last week we passed it exceptionally well but it was a little bit slow and we wasn’t really opening them up. This week, two or three-touch and a lot quicker, and we didn’t give them time to settle. In all honesty we should have been out of sight in the first half.

“It needs to mean more in front of goal, we had proper good opportunities there to go in with the game almost settled. If you only get one goal it puts you under pressure defensively.”

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