5-5-5, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the latest formation the club ought to be playing according to the experts on the forum, but it’s actually the number of days since our last grand day out. It was a defeat to Torquay United back in February 2020. Who would have thought back then, what was going to happen in the world? A big shout out to our friends who have passed away since the last game, you are missed, remembered, and talked about….
“I’m cutting my grass, I can’t make it,” came the first excuse from one of the usual suspects. “I’m off to Cleethorpes for an Emmerdale Farm convention,” came the next. In truth, we couldn’t convince anyone that our 230-mile south was an exciting opportunity not to be missed. It was probably the thought of a healthy breakfast that put them all off, but either way, we had an empty seat as we headed south at 07:30am as the birds were singing away.
Our usual breakfast spot was back in full swing, well almost. The helpful waitress could not do enough for us in terms of making sure our traditional cooked breakfast was everything we wanted, the trouble was, we were still not allowed to help ourselves to the healthy breakfast bar whilst we waited. “I can get it for you, if you really, really want,” she offered. We all knew what she meant though, so, for the sake of the hardworking breakfast staff, we took one for the team and sacrificed our healthy start, just to help out you understand….
Getting to the south was a nightmare; the early start enabled us to relax as the news from the back seat was all doom and gloom. “It’s stop start all the way from Luton to Woking, you won’t get above 40 miles an hour now”. Someone on the back seat had a new phone that they’d bought with all the money they’d saved over lockdown. He was delighted, especially with the new traffic management feature. We didn’t dare tell him it was built into the car sat-nav too. He was having such a great time.
With segregation in place, we trooped into Woking’s Kingfield stadium like we’d never been away. The long-lost traveling Shaymen were full of enthusiasm, everyone we spoke to forecast a victory apart from the usual pessimist who predicted a 1-1 draw. The weather was warm but overcast, the pitch immaculate. Even Tesco Pete’s posh looking Taco snack with an orangey, yellow cheese dip they found behind the fridge looked interesting. Yours for just £6.50 with a bottle of Fanta. It’s amazing what a can of orange and a packet of crisps cost with the right marketing down south.
At half time, we were delirious. Woking had started the game like there was no tomorrow. It was all played in front of us beneath the shadow of the giant all seater main stand. It must have been 15 minutes of so before the ball was up the far end. That resulted in a great goal for the Shaymen, completely against the run of play. Woking equalised with a dodgy looking penalty only for the Shaymen to retake the lead with an equally unexpected tap in at the far end soon after.
The second half started as the first finished, it was 3-1 in no time, completely unexpected. The Shaymen were clinical, three chances, three goals and almost a fourth moments later. Woking had lots of the ball, constantly chucking it into the box and the Shaymen continuously chucked it back out. The inevitable second goal was scored by Woking but, as tense as it was, Sam Johnson was mainly untroubled in the last 20 minutes. In contrast three footballs whizzed over his bar into the carpark beyond. The ball boys had more to worry about.
Driving back and we talked about how much we’d missed it. The unexpected wins make it all worthwhile. The traffic was fine, the team had done us proud. That advice on the forum, about playing 5-5-5 clearly worked wonders this time, so credit to them.
Next up and we’re off back down south to Yeovil with a 5:15pm kick off as we’re on the telly. We’ve got our eye on an FA cup game too, that kicks off at 3.00pm.
Goals on the road 3, Miles 460, C’mon Emmerdale Farm!
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