They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but if I’m honest it takes much more than two weeks without football to look forward to a long trip to Woking. There are some teams, some grounds, some away days that really stick out as exciting, memorable and enjoyable and then there’s Woking. I guess the fact that it was our 11th trip around the environs of the M25 this season, it was chucking it down with rain, and Woking always seem to do well against us had something to do with our enthusiasm levels. Anyway by 8.00 am we were on our way again on the long trip South.
It’s been a busy week for Tesco Pete, he’s been preparing carefully for his final television audition, it’s getting serious now too – he’s even had to buy a few new outfits just in case he gets through to the ‘live’ shows. Apparently, they film a batch of programmes together where the contestants must change clothes to look like they’ve come back for the next show. The excuses people come up with to miss football!
It’s fair to say the Positive Shayman takes his football team seriously, normally we’d drive quietly down the motorway without any fuss or razzamatazz but travelling with Mr Positive is an entirely different experience. He’d spent all week with his needle and cotton repairing and reinforcing his threadbare Wembley Car flags for the trip, he says we were honoured as it’s the first time he’s taken them off his own car in over a year! With booming Halifax Town music, additional scarves out of the front windows and constant updates on his social media, there were more than a few knowing glances exchanged with the Ripponden Shayman on the way down.
Woking’s Kingfield Stadium is a decent football ground with a capacity of 6000 including 2500 seats. An impressive all-seater modern stand towers above the rest of the facilities behind one of the goals, with bright red seats and the initials WFC picked out in white. The far end has a covered terrace with a low roof and there’s an open terrace down one of the sides. The old wooden main stands and changing rooms have been there for years, the club have plans to redevelop this side with a new 3000 capacity stand in the future. Perhaps the most iconic feature is the Moaners Terrace, a small section by one of the corner flags complete with the Moaners Corner tea hut; I wonder if this could ever catch on elsewhere?
By half time The Shaymen were a goal up. A Matty Kosylo penalty scored in front of the main stand with the ball blasted into the top right-hand corner of the net, not even two goal keepers would have stopped that penalty. The locals were very friendly too as we sat amongst them with good banter exchanged in a comfortable first half for the Shaymen.
The second half started well for Woking, an equaliser was scored on 51 minutes and the locals turned up the volume. It’s fair to say that for a good 10 minutes afterwards we’d have taken a draw with the balance of play suddenly with the home side. Sometimes things just happen in football though and a second goal was scored by an impressive Matty Kosylo right in front of the 120 or so travelling Shaymen from a tight angle, full of power, the keeper had no chance. In fairness most of the time shots from that area of the pitch usually end up high in the crowd but this time, the ball hit the back of the net in a flash! A third goal put the icing on the cake in a really disciplined hard working team performance.
Leaving the ground and the home fans were gracious in defeat; many spoke to us on the way out and wished us well both for the rest of the season and the long journey home. It’s funny really, a game we weren’t really looking forward to having turned out to be a memorable grand day out. Before long Tesco Pete was on the phone too, he was trying to claim he’d won our monster roll-over car score prediction kitty, if only he’d paid his pound before kick-off, he would indeed have won the money. We were more interested in his TV audition but apparently, he’s not allowed to say anything for now…not until it’s aired. C’mon, spill the bean Pete, you know you want to!
Next up we’re playing up North for a change, it’s the closest game of the season and a visit to our friends at Guiseley, we can’t wait and even Tesco Pete is coming to this one!
Total miles on the road this season: 6700, total goals on the road: 16.
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