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 known as the Cards, Woking Football Club was formed in 1889. The club joined the West Surrey League in 1895/96, winning the title by one point. However, within 21 years of being formed, the club was in danger of folding for financial reasons. The turning point came when, in January 1908, Woking played Bolton Wanderers in the First Round of the FA Cup, having made it through five qualifying rounds. Despite losing the away game 5-0, the
club made it into the national news. Bolton Wanderers, impressed by the minnows they had defeated, travelled to Woking for a friendly match the following season, which kept the club solvent.
In 1911 the Club joined the Isthmian League, maintaining their place in the top division for 72 years and finishing as runners-up to Wycombe Wanderers in 1956/57. That achievement was eclipsed the following season when, in front of a 71,000 crowd, the Cards beat Ilford 3-0 ton win the last FA Amateur Cup Final to be televised live.
The club then went into decline, culminating in a first-ever relegation in 1982/83. By the end of the 1984/85 season the club had plunged to Division Two South of the Isthmian League. It was during that season that former player, Geoff Chapple, was appointed as manager. However, Chapelle was not able to save the club from relegation. The following season, the club just missed out on promotion at the first attempt. However, the club clinched the Division Two South title in 1986/87 and, after two third place finishes in Division One, they were promoted back to the Premier Division at the end of the 1989/90 season.
The next season saw the club become part of FA Cup folklore. Entering the competition in the Fourth Qualifying Round, they beat three Conference sides to set up a Third Round tie away to West Bromwich Albion. Recovering from being a goal behind, Woking triumphed 4-2, after a hat-trick from Tim Buzaglo. The club was then drawn against Everton. The tie was originally going to be played at Woking, though the venue was switched to Everton's home ground, Goodison Park. Woking narrowly lost the match 1-0 to a Kevin Sheedy goal.
Promotion to the Conference was achieved in 1991-92. The Isthmian League title was clinched in early April, with seven games still to be played, 18 points clear of nearest rivals, Enfield. The next season saw Woking finish the season in eighth position. The following summer saw Chapple sign former Chelsea, Sunderland, Fulham and QPR winger, Clive Walker, from Brighton & Hove Albion and he was to prove the catalyst in the most successful period in the club's history. The FA Trophy was won in 1994 when Runcorn were beaten at Wembley.
Cockerill took over as manager in 2002, and oversaw a relative period of stability for the club, before he was sacked shortly before the end of the 2006-07 season. An unimpressive campaign under the management of Frank Gray followed in 2007-08, before a disastrous 2008-09 season which saw three men (Kim Grant, Phil Gilchrist and Graham Baker) take charge of the club, eventually resulted in the club's relegation to the Conference South. That summer, a supporters' trust took over the running of the club. Woking finished 5th in their first Conference South season, but lost to Bath City in the play-off final. The following season saw Woking struggling to challenge for promotion, and Graham Baker was sacked halfway through the campaign for suggesting that the fans were expecting too much of the team. Garry Hill took over as manager and improved the team's form, eventually resulting in another 5th place finish, only for the club to get knocked out in the play-off semi-finals this time against Farnborough. In April 2012, having beaten Maidenhead United 0-1 with Giuseppe Sole scoring for a record breaking ninth game in a row, Woking were promoted to the Conference National, winning the Conference South with two games to spare. They eventually reached 97 points, beating 2nd placed Dartford by 9 points.
FA Cup Glory
Promotion
WOKING FC