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So cruel for Steve; Woking 1 Coventry 2.

Heartbroken Woking defender Steve Foster was close to tears last night after handing Coventry a get-out-of-jail-free card at Kingfield.

The part-time pro had wrecked his team's giant-killing dreams with a sickening own goal just 12 minutes from the end of this third-round replay.

Geoff Chapple's heroes were given a standing ovation by the capacity crowd after giving Gordon Strachan's pounds 18million superstars the fright of their lives. But that was no consolation for Foster.

The big centre half headed Gary McAllister's awkward free kick into his own net without an opponent in sight. He admitted: "I thought there was a player behind me and I had to get my head to the ball.

"But instead of going past the post it ended up in the net.

"I am so disappointed. You couldn't tell which was the Premiership side out there tonight."

Yet even Foster's cruel intervention could not detract from the amazing achievements of a Woking side who dumped out Millwall and Cambridge.

Even Noel Whelan's 10th-minute strike after Laurence Batty couldn't hold McAllister's free kick failed to knock the stuffing out of the Vauxhall Conference side.

They deservedly levelled in the 35th minute through former Airdrie cast- off Scott Steele. He sidefooted home following a perfect display of wing wizardry from 39-year-old Clive Walker.

And only a series of wonder saves from Coventry keeper Steve Ogrizovic denied Woking the well-deserved reward of a fourth round trip to Blackburn.

And the Surrey side were convinced that Coventry's Darren Huckerby should have been dismissed for a blatant foul on Woking skipper Kevan Brown.

The two men had already been booked for provoking a 10-man brawl when Brown brought down Huckerby, who then threw his opponent to the ground.

Woking keeper Batty insisted: "He should have been sent off for that one. But the ref bottled it.

"You could see the relief on Coventry's faces when they got away with it because they should have been down to 10 men for the last 20 minutes, and I'd liked to have seen how they coped with that."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Irwin, Mark
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 5, 1997
Words:344
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