Well, it took 120 minutes and some iffy moments, but once again, we stood tall. We are now Ryman One Champions AND Surrey Senior Cup winners to boot. It may not sound a lot, but consider we’ve beaten Kingstonian, Sutton United and Crystal Palace to win this tournament, it’s not that small an achievement.
I know I’ve said a lot recently that games seem to sum up our season, but Swans 1 Lead Pellets 2 was in many ways the definitive. Good start, iffy middle, struggled a little bit with fatigue and thinking it could all go pearshaped before finishing the strongest I’ve seen us for a while. QED.
The game? Well, we went 1-0 up thanks to a wonder strike by Smeltz. The way he got mobbed by almost everyone when he scored shows that perhaps he’s settled a bit more now. Certainly hope so, anyway. Then W&H came back, and to be honest I thought they were going to score. That said, they got a penalty – wouldn’t say it was dubious, but I’m sure I saw John Fashanu running away from the ground very quickly when they got it. Which they scored. And we snarled.
Second half? Dunno, it seemed to be a bit, well, strange. Certainly can’t remember many shots on target, anyway. We seemed to lack that bite that we haven’t needed to have all season. Either that or everyone was too busy trying to find out what was going on at Anfield…
When that result came through, and chants of “Bye Bye Chelsea” and “Liverpool” were being sung by some, we seemed to relax a lot more. Seriously. The game went to extra time and things just seemed different. Did DA’s ET talk give out the Liverpool score and said “right, you know the result now, start playing”? I think we should be told.
Suddenly, we looked rejuvinated, finding holes in their defence, and RB eventually netted following a little bit of scrambled pinball. At least, that what it appeared like. To say I haven’t seen emotion like that all season is an understatement : when you get DN running the entire length of the pitch – no exaggeration – to join in the celebration, you know it means something. Dunno what though, either it’s a last victory salute as this team may be broken up for the RP, or the foundations of the new lean, mean, fighting machine they call AFCW.
As the W&H support buggered off – more on them below – and some buggered onto the pitch, they thought it was all over. It was when RB scored, certainly.
So, for the last time this season..
Plus points: Ah, who cares?
Minus points: Ditto.
The referee’s a….. : Owing to the libel and slander laws of this country, I will offer no comment.
Them: Ah, W&H fans – couple of boasts beforehand that they’d take 300 and outsing us (and people call us arrogant). Seems like 150 (if that) turned up, the rest stayed at home as they couldn’t get tickets for Anfield. Liked to mouth off beforehand about 4-0 and MK – the sign of part-time supporters everywhere – and then bitched about the stewarding when they got intimidated by the size of the crowd. Welcome to AFCW’s world, amateurs. Oh, and special mention to the 10 year old who yelled “See you at the station”. Obviously wanted an adult to help him back to Woking’s mainline.
The team? Quite strong, difficult opponents (some last night reckoned it was one of our hardest games in three years), can’t remember the last time an opposition got so many bookings. Lose marks for giving it the big one when they scored – no doubt the hardman act would quickly disappear if somebody threw something on the pitch (players do generally act the untouchable when they’re behind a barrier and a few stewards). Still, it appeared that at the end, they didn’t quite get the nice reception that NGU got last year..
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Getting more for this game than last year’s cup final. Even so, considering Woking’s ground holds between 6-7k, 3800 looked a little understated. (2) Speaking of which – who’s dumb idea was it to have kick-off at 7.30? The fact the game got delayed to 7.45 isn’t exactly unexpected. (3) The programme had us playing in blue and red. (4) The amount of flags – looked like a Co Meath contingent in a GAA All-Ireland final.
Rivals watch: Nope, not a Big Tissue special, but who we’re (likely) to be playing next season. So here we go – Billericay lost 2-0 to Leyton in the RP playoffs. That’s Billericay, full time team losing 2-0 to distinctly amateur Leyton. So with them and the likelyhood of another moneyed team – Fisher – could make life interesting for us next season. Don’t be surprised to see us forced to splash the cash. As for who could be going up with us, the playoff final is Horsham v Bromley. Horsham beat Cray 3-1 AET and Bromley beat the Met on pens. A trip down to West Sussex on Saturday does have a degree of temptation..
Anything else? Yeah. So much for the “no pitch invasion” pleas. Bit disappointing, especially as the intention was so that *everyone* could see the trophy presented, but it seemed inevitable. Especially as it apparently wasn’t totally spontaneous (IYSWIM). Quite a few singing “Off, off off” in the big stand before the stewards decided to give up and open the gates. Next time we’re in such a situation, we’ll either need a few more stewards or face alternative arrangements. What was wrong with last year’s in-the-stand presentation?
Hello mum: Special mention to the certain AFCW fan who kept checking the Liverpool v Chelski (ha ha) score every two minutes. Not only ramming their mobile bill skywards but also made me for a time forget there was a game going on in front of me…
So, was it worth it? What do you think?
In a nutshell: Mine’s another double.
And finally: This site will now obviously be a little bit dormant, though as/when stuff happens, something will appear. It’s my aim to do semi-regular updates anyway, so don’t remove this site from your bookmarks just yet. Now, why is my webspace provider not answering any of my emails…?