SWINDON Town’s hopes of a first appearance in the FA Cup third round since 2012 came crashing down this afternoon as they were humbled at home by non-league side Woking.

Jake Hyde’s second-half header proved decisive for a Woking side flying high in National League South as Town were made to pay for failing to make the most of their dominance in possession.

However, for the ascendancy they had with the ball, chances were at premium for Richie Wellens’ side as Jak McCourt’s drive from distance in the first half and Scott Twine’s close-range blocked shot in the second were the closest they came to a goal.

After shading a poor quality first half at the Energy Check County Ground, Swindon were caught cold nine minutes into the second as Hyde ghosted free of the home defence and into space in in the box to glance a header into the far corner of the net.

Swindon huffed up puffed after that but never looked like following up recent back-to-back League Two wins over Port Vale and Stevenage with another success in the Cup.

Town boss Wellens made four changes to the side who triumphed at home to Stevenage on Tuesday night, although the most notable piece of team news was that 18-year-old striker Sol Pryce kept his place up front after scoring twice in midweek.

Luke McCormick made a first start since mid-October after replacing Lawrence Vigouroux in goal, while club captain Olly Lancashire took Sid Nelson’s spot in the heart of defence.

The other changes came in two holding midfield roles as James Dunne and McCourt combined, with Matt Taylor and Keshi Anderson the final two starters against Stevenage to drop to the bench.

On-loan striker Elijah Adebayo also returned amongst the substitutes after missing out in midweek through suspension.

The hosts were able to muster the first real foray forward, with Twine cutting the ball back to Ellis Iandolo and his dangerous cross from the left was headed behind for corner.

Balls into the box provided the primary source of openings during a lacklustre start and a pair of Michael Doughty set-pieces – first a free-kick from left and then corner – caused moments of alarm in the Woking defence before being safely ushered away.

Town’s defence had enjoyed a relatively trouble-free opening 25 minutes, but they were almost caught out when Woking put together the game’s first real piece of quality play.

Max Kretzschmar showed nifty footwork to dart in from the right-hand touchline and into the box before offloading to Jamar Loza, whose shot took a deflection and went wide.

Swindon responded with their most incisive piece of attacking play just before the half-hour mark as McCourt found Kyle Knoyle on the right and he sent in a low first-time cross to the near post, where the lurking Twine was just beaten to the ball by the visiting defence.

Another good period of Town pressure then ended with Dunne rifling over the crossbar from the edge of the box after a blocked shot from Doughty rebounded nicely into his path.

Just six minutes remained in the half before either goalkeeper was called into meaningful action, with Town’s Luke McCormick the man to see it as he made a straight-forward save from a Jack Cook header following a free-kick.

Woking stopper Craig Ross was then tested for the first time almost immediately afterwards, showing good reactions to bat away Steven Alzate’s cross from the left off the head of Pryce following a swift Town break.

The Cards keeper had to be on his toes again less than a minute later, tipping behind a McCourt drive from 30 yards that looked destined for the top corner as the half ended goalless.

Town were caught cold as the second half got under way as Woking broke the deadlock nine minutes after the restart.

John Casey whipped the ball in from the left and Hyde lost his marker in the box to flick a header beyond the dive of McCormick and into the far corner of the net.

Swindon surged forward in search of an instant response and Twine saw a shot deflected over the bar after good work on the left by Iandolo.

Town boss Wellens responded by making a double change on the hour mark, sending Adebayo and Anderson on in place of Pryce and McCourt.

However, it was Woking that went closest to the next goal as Armani Little pounced on a loose knockdown by Iandolo in the Swindon box and he lashed across goal and narrowly wide.

The hosts went straight up the other end and only a brilliant block from Nathan Collier denied Twine an equaliser after Adebayo’s low ball into the box had picked out the young forward.

Swindon continued to up the tempo, but Woking remained resolute as both Twine and Dunne found bodies in the way of further efforts from inside the box.

Vising goalkeeper Ross was rarely called into action, though, and when he was with seven minutes to go, he made a splendid stop low to his left to keep out a Doughty effort after he was picked out in the box by Alzate.

Town continued to huff and puff in the closing stages but they seemed to run out of ideas in the face of a robust Woking back-line and the chance to reach the FA Cup third round eluded them for a seventh season in succession.

SWINDON TOWN (4-1-4-1): McCormick; Knoyle, Woolfenden, Lancashire (c), Iandolo (Taylor 84); Dunne; Doughty, McCourt (Anderson 59), Alzate, Twine; Pryce (Adebayo 59). Subs not used: Vigouroux, Nelson, Smith, McGlashan.

WOKING (4-3-3): Ross; Collier, Gerring, Cook, Casey (c); Edser, Jolley, Little; Kretzchmar Hyde (Luer 78), Loza (Wheeler 87). Subs not used: Ofori-Acheampong, Hodges, Gayle, Spence, Schotterl.

Referee: Matthew Donohue

Attendance: 3,654