A top of the table clash with a less than perfect start: Tim nowhere to be seen, and most of the talk of Woking strengths.
Once started, Woking looked pretty with their play focused down the right, and some good players in midfield. But we looked solid and playing the ball up through all three front men, we produced the majority of the early pressure. This led to the first goal, with a sneaky little Alistair mis-hit in at the near post. We should have added a second with a nice pass from Tom at a short corner, but the opportunity was somehow put over the bar.
In the meantime, Tim had joined us after checking out the Woking pitch for the return fixture, but Woking were starting to work their way into our D on occasions. With a couple of short corners to defend, one somehow led to a penalty stroke which was calmly saved by the reassuring Mark in goal. But just before half time we failed to clear from a 16 yard hit, and Woking took their turn to score from a mis-hit shot at the short corner that followed. Half time 1- 1.
As often happens, the second half became less structured, and the the ball was hit from one end to the other. Brent had his usual effect on the opposition of getting in the way of where they wanted to attack and invariably come away with the ball. We couldn’t quite create clear opportunities to score, but by getting short corners the opportunity came for Toby to follow-up with a second strike to put us 2 - 1 ahead.
Woking stepped up their efforts to get back into the game, but with no real effect on the Gondoliers defence, and Mark had very little to do in the second half. In a frenetic last 10 minutes, your scribe was stupid enough to share his views with the opposition umpire and so to get a nice little 2 minute rest. But the rocks in our defence and midfield held the opposition out to give us a hard fought win.
Overall, a good Gondoliers team effort against the top of the table team, but who possibly came looking not to lose as their priority. I think that we can expect a hard fought return fixture.
Good team effort.