Peterborough United top scorer Jack Marriott enjoyed three separate loan spells at Woking, but tonight he broke their hearts in an FA Cup tie.
Marriott scored twice to finally end a strong second round challenge from the National League side who led for 11 minutes in the first-half and briefly drew level in the second period before a power-packed finish from Posh. Marriott now has 17 goals this season and he scould easily have reached 20 goals tonight as he lost three one-on-one duels with Woking ‘keeper Nathan Baxter.
Michael Doughty claimed his first Posh goal just before the half hour to equalise Inih Effiong’s 18th-minute strike. Marriott fired Posh in front on the stroke of half time and scored again less than a minute after Matt Young’s second-half equaliser for Woking. Marcus Maddison added a fourth goal from the penalty spot 12 minutes from time after a foul on substitute Danny Lloyd before Gwion Edwards completed the scoring with a sweet first time finish from a corner in injury time.
For the first 25 minutes there did look two divisions and 50 places between these two sides, but Woking were the team who looked like the League One residents.
A weak challenge from Edwards on 10 minutes enabled Charlie Carter to burst into the area, but Jonathan Bond made a fine stop and Steven Taylor delivered a terrific block to thwart Joe Ward on the follow-up.
But the visitors were not to be denied for long. On 18 minutes they strolled through the Posh defences before a half-cleared cross was picked up by Effiong who sent Andrew Hughes the wrong way before his left foot shot somehow slipped through Bond’s grasp and into the net.
Posh didn’t improve immediately. They looked lost and disorganised in midfield areas and played the ball too long, too often as a result.
But out the blue, the game changed as Posh produced a peach of a goal to equalise just before the half hour mark.
Maddison’s raking, crossfield pass was brilliant, Edwards collected and fed Doughty whose first time shot was precisely played into the corner of the net.
Doughty, who had been preferred to Chris Forrester in one of three changes to the Posh starting line-up, claimed the first goal from any Posh central midfielder this season.
Posh confidence rocketed as a result of their equaliser on a tricky, bobbly, slippy pitch and Doughty soon played Marriott through on goal with a superb pass, but the top scorer dithered and Baxter made a comfortable save.
But Marriott made amends on the stroke of half time. Edwards was again the provider with a left wing cross which reached Marriott at the far post. His poked strike at goal looped into the opposite corner of the net.
And Marriott should have struck again three minutes into the second half. Maddison played him through, but Baxter again came to the rescue.
But Posh stopped playing and Woking grew in confidence before a hectic couple of minutes saw a goal disallowed and two chances converted.
Maddison deflected Alex Penny’s cross home from close range, but was flagged offside, possibly wrongly, and within 60 seconds Woking had split Posh open with two fine passes. Substitute Matt Young galloped onto the second one and finished well.
But within 60 seconds, Doughty and Maddison combined to play Marriott in and he finished superbly to put Posh back in front with 20 minutes to play.
Woking kept pressing and bundled Bond into the back of the net to test the eyesight of indifferent referee Anthony Coggins, but the official spotted that one and the foul by visiting skipper Richard Orlu on Posh substitute Lloyd inside the area 12 minutes from time.
Maddison scored easily from the spot. an act that led to a rampant finish from Posh against tiring opponents. After Marriott was again denied by Baxter, Lloyd’s follow-up was kicked off the line by Orlu.
Jordyn Wynter headed against a post for Woking from an injury time corner before Edwards’ excellent finish capped a fine final 20 minutes for Posh and booked an attractive third round tie at Championship side Aston Villa.
Posh: Jonathan Bond, Alex Penny, Andrew Hughes, Steven Taylor, Ryan Tafazolli, Anthony Grant, Michael Doughty (sub Chris Forrester, 83 mins), Gwion Edwards, Marcus Maddison, Leo Da Silva Lopes (sub Danny Lloyd, 60 mins), Jack Marriott.
Unused substitutes: Conor O’Malley, Ricky Miller, Idris Kanu, Jermaine Anderson, Lewis Freestone.
Woking: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsey (sub Matt Young, 46 mins), Nathan Ralph, Jordan Wynter, Richard Orlu, Joey Jones, Kane Ferdinand, Joe Ward, Fabio Saraiva (sub Jason Banton, 58 mins), Charlie Carter (sub Jamie Philpot, 70 mins), Inih Effiong.
Unused substitutes: Sam Mason, Josh Staunton, Lazar Stojsavljevic, Declan Appau.
Goals: Posh - Doughty (29 mins), Marriott (45 mins & 69 mins), Maddison (78 mins, pen), Edwards (90 + 1 min).
Woking - Effiong (18 mins), Young (68 mins).
Caution: Posh - Marriott (foul).
Referee: Anthony Coggins 5
Attendance: 3,022 (513 Woking).