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Woking 0-1 Kingstonian

After the stupefying fair served up on Boxing Day, hope was high that the New Year return fixture with Woking would provide better entertainment. And for K's fans present, there can be no doubt that this is a day that will be remembered for some time to come. The omens looked good from the start - Simon Stewart, Kevin Rattray - back at his old stomping ground - and Eddie Akuamoah were all back in the starting line-up, with Jerome John's inclusion amongst the substitutes pointing to the only real injury worry - whether Steve Farrelly last ninety minutes. By far the biggest league gate of the season was in attendance to see Geoff Chapple's return, and it was good to see a large collection of K's-ite's all around the ground.

The pitch was awful - only beaten in awfulness by Leek's, and that because theirs was under three foot of water - and it seemed to take a while for the visitors to get to grips with the conditions, with the early pressure coming from Woking. Matt Crossley almost headed past his own goalkeeper when he intercepted a Payne cross, but the ball just cleared the post. From the resulting corner, the ball fell at Payne's feet, but Farrelly managed to spread himself all over the place and gathered the ball before it could even consider crossing the line. A long free-kick from Bolt again tested the big-Scouser, but once more he was ready.

But, unlike Woking's toilets, the game wasn't all one-way traffic. Smith and Danzey were booked soon after each other for fouls on Eddie and Geoff Pitcher, and from the second transgression Gary Patterson tried his luck with another left-footed wonder strike. Unfortunately it was a bit further out than his two Christmas efforts and Batty was allowed the luxury of not having to move. From a corner soon after, won thanks to Lee Boylan's pressurising of Eddie Saunders, Batty did need to attempt a catch. He failed, and the ball landed at Boylan's feet six yards from goal. All that was needed was a decent shot, but unfortunately somebody seemed to have buried the striker's feet in the Kingfield sand-trap, and a two yard chip was the result. All he needs is a goal.....

Farrelly was still busy at the other end. Stewart completely misread a flick-on from Steve West which allowed Payne to get in another shot on target. A long-shot from Perkins just cleared the bar, but K's were still more than equaling their opponents in the fight for possession. A fine example came on 32 minutes when Gary Patterson closed down Girdler and won the ball. A quick pass to Eddie released him on the half-way line with Boylan in support. Eddie took on his namesake Saunders and beat him with ease, and there was just one defender left between him and glory. A quick shimmy gave him room to shoot, but the ball just scraped the right-hand post.

The groundsman might have been upset at somebody ruining his fine paint work, but he soon had much larger problems. The game was stopped after Saunders had clearly kicked Boylan in the head when Simon Stewart decided that he would become a miner for the day. Perhaps he'd been told that it was "cold in Woking" and he'd simply heard "gold", or maybe Chapple had instructed him to "get stuck in" and he'd taken it literally. Whatever, a large hole had appeared in the centre of the pitch, which was then surrounded by players and referee (you'd think they'd have better things to do) while a man with a barrow ran on to rescue proceedings. From the free-kick, after the referee had made Pitcher move the ball back the twenty yards that he'd stolen, Stewart headed over.

There was just time for the Woking contingent to make a desperate appeal for a penalty when Colin Luckett cleared from West before half-time came. Chapple must have been pleased at the break - most of the attempts on the K's goal had been from long distances, the defence was looking much more secure with all three members back, the midfield was closing down superbly, with Rattray obviously relishing the prospect of competing with his old team and Boylan and Eddie were looking dangerous up front with their speed. Woking had probably had the most chances, but the scoresheet was still blank.

As the second half began, the third yellow card of the game went to another Card - Taylor - for another foul on Pitcher as K's took the initiative. A Tarkan Mustafa cross was sliced just over by Saunders, who was then unable to stop Eddie getting another shot in after good work from Boylan. The Woking defender then got in the way of another shot from Pitcher which again sliced just past the frame of the goal. All of the attempts on goal were coming at the Kingfield Road End, and it seemed only a matter of time before K's could take the reins off their New Year celebrations.

A move involving Rattray and Mustafa allowed Boylan, who was having a fine game, to cross towards Eddie in the middle. The ball just passed in front of him, another chance was gone and people were starting to think that it was going to be another game pointing to the fact that we need an out-and-out goalscorer. Patterson ruined things slightly just after this when he clearly elbowed Girdler in the head. The referee, Mr.K.A.Woolmer from Northampton, had obviously seen the incident as he made the "elbow-elbow" motion more than once, but failed to follow the rules producing only a yellow card. Such is life.

Woking finally made their way across the half-way line after some 30 minutes of the half, and really should have taken the lead. Taylor crossed from the left, the 3 K's central defenders, obviously trying to disprove the "safety in numbers" theory, had gone walk-about, and Darren Hay found himself free in front of goal. He somehow managed to head wide to the lovely sound of groans, which were amplified just after.

76 minutes were on the clock when Boylan picked up the ball just inside the Woking half. He started ambling towards goal, and saw only Pitcher in support. The midfielder was screaming for the ball in an amazingly high-pitched (sic) voice, and this seemed to disturb the defence. Boylan carried on running, two defenders were drawn towards the screamer, and Saunders found himself the only obstacle in front of Batty. A drop of the shoulder deceived him, and a superb left-foot strike beat the goalkeeper. For his first goal for the club, and possibly his first career goal, it was a stunner. Boylan was suitably impressed with himself, as were the rest of the team, as a mountain of players erupted on top of the scorer.

There was still time for chances for both sides. Boylan again, and Mustafa went close to extending K's lead, while West was still trying to cut into it. Just before the end Eddie Saunders was named the sponsors man of the match, and he then proceeded to pass the ball straight to Boylan who really should have done better with such a fine chance. But it didn't matter. The whistle went and K's had won. The players seemed delighted, and Chapple must have been overjoyed. Although Woking can claim to have had the better of the first half, K's were not nearly as out-played as the home side were in the second. If Boylan had scored earlier, he would surely have found the net on more occasions, with so many chances to his name.

We know that one game doesn't prove anything, and we know that we're still behind Woking in the silverware stakes, but last time we beat them they claimed that it was only a Mickey Mouse Cup and that they didn't care. So await the claims from the West of the county that this was simply for "three Mickey Mouse points" and that they never really try in league games. And just remember, if you're looking for the Pride of Surrey, join the A3 and head North. Not West, not to Woking. Their time has been and gone. The new boys are in town, and the new boys are Kingstonian.

Sat 2nd Jan 1999
Kingfield Stadium
Football Conference
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Colin Luckett
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Geoff Pitcher
9Kevin Rattray
10Lee Boylan
11Eddie Akuamoah
12Alex Willgrass
14Scott Corbett
15Jerome John
Man of the Match
Lee Boylan
Lee Boylan
Match Report By
Gary Ekins