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Woking 1-1 Kingstonian

With a run of four straight defeats behind him, Chapple finally decided to do something about it. Out went leading scorer David Leworthy, find-of-the-season-so-far Derek Allan and Kenny Brown. Joe O'Connor was again up front, with Eddie switching to the number ten shirt, with Mark Harris and Luke Basford lining up in a back five. Despite rumours that Tarkan was out due to a car crash, there he was parked in his usual right wing-back slot.

Last year's boxing day fixture between these two was a dull affair, and most of the large bank-holiday crowd expected the same. So it came as quite a shock when the teams started off attacking each other for all they were worth. The first effort on goal, on an atrocious pitch, came from Geoff Pitcher. The effort troubled Flahavan little, but shots at goal have been something severely lacking in the last few K's matches.

Just a minute later Pitcher clearly fouled Perkins, the Woking man got up and started pushing, Pitcher moved his hand/fist towards his face and then all hell broke loose. The "ruckus" occurred on the half-way line so it was somewhat strange to see K's goalkeeper Farrelly involved. The outcome, after much pushing and shoving, was a yellow card for Pitcher and a few stern finger-wags at others from referee Mr. L.C.Jones.

Woking were not allowing K's time on the ball, and were starting to create chances of their own. A superb touch from Akrour set himself free on the left, with Matt Crossley stranded. His cross was heading towards Darren Hay but Mark Harris just got there first to intercept. Luke Basford then attempted to gift Woking the lead when a woeful throw ended up with Hay. His near post shot was well saved by Farrelly with his legs and Hollingdale's follow-up volley flew well wide. Akrour then had a chance to score when a left-wing cross reached him on the edge of the K's box. Yet another good save was needed by Farrelly, and the big man didn't disappoint.

With more and more chances being created by the home side, K's began to try to break out of defence quickly. Without Leworthy it was much easier..... One chance came to Eddie, when a left-wing cross was cut out by Mustafa. Eddie's quick pass found O'Connor who had Pitcher overlapping to his left. A good ball found the midfielder through on goal with just Flahavan to beat. Perhaps the pitch defeated him, but whatever the reason, the ball ended up in totally the wrong place, in the (totally out of place) stand behind the Woking goal.

Ten minutes before the break Eddie went close himself, when his shot from the left flew just wide of the far post. Then Wingfield headed a Mustafa cross just over from six yards. Although Woking had probably had the clearest chances K's had had the lion's share of the possession when the half-time whistle went, and could be happy with their display.

Mark Harris thought that he'd given K's an early second half lead when he headed in Geoff Pitcher's corner. However, Joe O'Connor had clearly fouled a defender and the goal was quite rightly disallowed. At the other end it was now Tarkan's turn to gift Woking a chance when a terrible pass aimed at Harris found Steele. His run ended with a poor shot at Farrelly's near post which was easily saved. Yet the next chance had a very different result.

Simon Stewart had fouled out on the left, the free-kick was taken short and crossed towards the penalty spot. Almost the entire K's defence stood with their arms aloft, Steve Perkins ignored the appeals and tucked the ball away giving Woking the lead. But strangely enough, this proved to be the one of the best things that could have happened to K's. From this point on, for the next 20 minutes or so, there was but one team in the contest. There was a huge amount of pressure at the Kingfield Road End with too many chances to list.

The finest shot came from Eddie when he aimed at the left-hand post, only for a quite superb save to be produced by Flahavan. The following corner saw a huge scramble, but no luck for K's. But they didn't need luck a few moments later when Pitcher got the ball from O'Connor on the half-way line. At the 20 yard mark he looked up, saw the goalkeeper slightly off his line and unleashed a superb left-footed shot over and past Flahavan. On such an appalling pitch it was the touch of a genius and the players were suitably impressed, jumping all over the poor lad. Well it was the first league goal since November 9th.

Woking's answer was a spell of pressure of their own. One fine tackle by Stewart thwarted Perkins, and one fine post stopped Hay after he headed a right-wing cross against the upright. Another break out gave Pitcher a chance to redo his earlier efforts when he shot from the edge of the area after a fine move involving Mustafa and Eddie. His left-foot shot was deflected wide for just a corner.

At the other end a free-kick from the right ended up at the far post at the feet of somebody. The somebody had a red and white shirt on. He was about two yards from goal when he shot, the net rippled, the somebody ran off with his arms in the air celebrating the Cards' second goal, the KRE jumped up and down and the K's fans groaned. And then, after about three minutes had passed (or so it seemed), Farrelly stood up clutching the ball to his chest. It hadn't gone in. Amazingly. The scores were still level.

The last clear K's chance of the game fell to Eddie, when he shot inches wide after O'Connor had headed on. Steele also had a late chance, but Farrelly saved. And so it ended one apiece. Quite probably the fairest result seeing as both sides had ample chances to win the match. Chapple must have been pleased that the poor form has been brought to a halt, it was just a shame that K's didn't manage to go one better. Still, there's always next millenium.....

Mon 27th Dec 1999
Kingfield Stadium
Football Conference
1Steve Farrelly
2Tarkan Mustafa
3Luke Basford
4Matt Crossley
5Simon Stewart
6Mark Harris
7Gary PattersonCautioned
8Geoff PitcherCautioned
9Joe O'Connor
10Eddie Akuamoah
11Phil Wingfield
12Kenny Brown
13Richard Hurst
14David Leworthy
15Derek Allan
16Junior Kadi
Man of the Match
Geoff Pitcher
Geoff Pitcher
Match Report By
Gary Ekins