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That’s (not) Entertainment

It’s Woking, so a reference to the Jam is almost obligatory.

I suppose the best way of describing Woke 0 Asleep 0 is that it was thankfully forgettable, and it was tough to remember any of it as I sat down to type this.

All I recall was it being very windy, Ryan Johnson missing from about six yards out, and lots of high balls that went nowhere.

Oh, and Alex Bass nearly scoring from a clearance. And giving the ball away to a Woking player who was so stunned at receiving it he fluffed it up.

Our new keeper then turning hero by pulling off a fine save on the stretch. Shame it was Alex Pearce who tested him with a flick-on…

Yep, that was more or less about it.

I had to check the notes I typed (not scribbled, I’ve joined the 21st century now) to remind myself that Woking also claimed a penalty but didn’t get.

And also that we put on about eight subs on 67 minutes. Meaning the rest of the game ended up dragging.

Can I stop trying to remember any more now, please? It’s bad enough when it’s a proper game, let alone a fixture you barely cared about in the first place.

Really, though, PSFs are to get the general ring rustyness out of the way. As usual, one suspects we weren’t going at full pelt and probably attempted to avoid injury.

I would guess Manbun in particular needs a couple more games to get back into it, and that applies to a couple of others too.

It’s not just the players who have to become match sharp again. Your editor has just worked out that I haven’t done a “proper” SW19 report since Hartlepool in February.

I’m not joking when I say that I’ve had to read up how to write one again. Mind you, some of the squad haven’t played football since that day either.

Plus points: We didn’t lose. Clean sheet. Bass looks solid. A bit more cohesive in parts than this time last year. Look fitter.

Minus points: We didn’t win. Didn’t look like scoring. Could have lost it at the end.

The referee’s a…: Clearly bought a new whistle for the upcoming campaign, because he tested it regularly.

Also booked not one but two players (Manbun and one of theirs), so presumably he spends his summers bored and likes writing referee reports.

Them: Got back into it and pushed us a bit too much for my liking.

I don’t think they were likely to win, any more than us, despite our occasional attempts to help them.

Playing a team a division lower in a PSF is one of those no-win situations, a bit like playing them in an FA Cup tie.

If you win, people don’t praise you, but if you don’t – there’s meltdowns a-plenty. Though thankfully, many aren’t paying much attention today.

Some of the reactions from our lot can get hysterical for proper games, so it’s refreshing to be spared the histronics for this one.

Woking had a small toilet block and a kiosk no bigger than at Imber Court for the away section.

It didn’t matter for a couple of hundred of us, mostly, but imagine when Wrexham came down…

Point to ponder: Should we read anything into the absence of Woodyard, Brown, Nightingale and Broome today?

One assumes our backup keeper will be appearing at a Conference club nearish you next season, and that wouldn’t be a bad move.

Woodyard and Brown played at Imber Court, though it’s interesting neither featured at Kingfield this lunchtime.

As for Nightingale, he played a cameo in Spain and we’ve heard nowt since. Is he injured? AWOL? About to negotiate a transfer to the Findus factory?

As soon as I wrote that, our manager says they’re all “precautionary“, according to the SLP anyway.

We had a trialist today, Jamie Bowden, who JJ is keen to have a look at. He seemed OK, and is a centre midfielder apparently. Draw your own conclusion.

Like results, you probably shouldn’t read too much into absences at pre-season games, even if it’s tempting.

But three of the above mentioned names would be very popular choices to be moved on. And who knows, maybe 2+2 could equal four after all.

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) 12pm kickoff, because there was a charity match later today. We could have played until that kicked off and we still wouldn’t have scored. 2) Yes, the PA played some Jam records. Three of them, no less.

Anything else? I saw the Iraqi Scouser doing some warm-ups before the game, which was good to see.

I hope that the injury he sustained at the back of last season doesn’t mean a loss of form that could happen when the games start.

Apart from that, I’m not sure what else to say.

I sometimes mention on here that the PSF campaign is a phoney war, and trying to form an opinion can be difficult.

They’re not solely about fitness, because you can pick up vibes well before the campaign starts.

Today, we seriously laboured up front. But last year, we lost at Eastbourne in a game a lot worse than this afternoon.

Obviously, you’d rather we put a couple of goals in during every game, and you hope our blanks aren’t a sign of impending doom.

But in truth, we won’t know much until we play Southend, assuming they’re still around by then (their game at Billy Rickay today was called off because of “injuries”).

And even then, it’s probably not going to tell us much about how we’ll do at Grimsby.

I have noticed our next friendly is QPR this time next week (with 2000+ visitors…), so that’s seven days.

A full week on the training ground won’t hurt. Maybe they could spend this week learning how to hoof the ball with some accuracy…?

So, was it worth it? At least it finished by 2pm.

In a nutshell: Don’t you love this time of year?

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