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Thread: [STORY] From Riches To Rags

  1. #351

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    Always going to come down to the chairman's patience!

    I've noticed the trend with the backroom staff being on a rolling contract and refusing to discuss new terms too. Not something I've noticed before using the patches though.

  2. #352

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  3. #353

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    From Riches To Rags - 2023/24 April

    Callum Bastock did not get the player of the month.


    I think he was robbed. Bastock had ratings of 10-8-9-8-8 while Chaplin rated 8-8--8-9-9, but did score 6 goals which probably swung it. I still think he was robbed.

    There was one member of the Woking staff that I havenít mentioned, and I think Iím in love. No not her who is just trotted out for gratuitous exploitation of a woman in a male dominated sport, not something that we would condone on this forum.


    Iím talking about KC. Wow ! What a Kat ! I am in love.


    The Kingsley charm offensive starts here and now. How could KC possibly resist


    While love was in the air and consuming 99% of my time, there was the small matter of a football club to run and I was regretting going for the win against Enfield last time out. With just goal difference between us and Eastleigh, and Kidderminster a single point ahead, that leaves no room for any error. As we know, games like my first outing at Lewes just happen. We had to lose to Boston, which would not be easy on Callum Bastockís form.

    It was not his best game. Boston scored midway through the first half then sat back, so Bastock didnít have many chances to redeem himself. Denied of any service, Ansah worked his socks off, but failed to break down the Boston defence. 1-0 will do for me, especially as Eastleigh and Kidderminster both recorded wins. I have my wriggle room back !

    Elsewhere and Southend beat Cambridge, so we have our first confirmed promotion and relegation.

    There were no problems in losing to Harrogate who ran riot in the second half. It was a Monday evening game, so there were only 2 days preparation and as a result few of my preferred starters were match fit. That was no excuse for the 4-0 defeat which gives our goal difference a boost in the right direction. Eastleigh and Kidderminster both lost


    The rest of the week could be spent preparing for an FA Trophy semi final against Northern Premier promotion chasing Telford. There were 2 advantages. Firstly we I could let the lads of the leash and they could go for a win without worrying about the consequences and secondly, we would have a game in hand and therefore know what we needed to do when it gets scheduled. It was a very strange match. I should be used to watching super-keeper performances, but usually at the other end. 36 year old John Sullivan was inspired for Telford and defied his age with a series of top class saves. He was beaten once when he failed to hold a wet ball and it spilled for Sam Elkins to score his first ever Woking goal. It is not the big lead that I wanted, but it is a lead to take to their place. Eastleigh came from behind to snatch a late winner and there is now breathing space between those at the bottom. We are 4 behind Kidderminster and 6 behind Eastliegh who have played a game more


    Three games left and we are almost there. Defeat against Altrincham would almost seal it, and allow the Robins to leapfrog us into 20th place. That didnít go according to plan. From nowhere, we produced a top class performance. It took Max Kretzschmar just 3 minutes to open the scoring and we were 2-0 up thanks to Ansah poaching a second in the 15th minute. From there, we cruised and Michael Heath came off the bench to pick up a 3rd late on. Not only 3 points, but a dent in our goal difference that we didnít want. This was our game in hand over Eastleigh, so we are back to just 3 behind and 2 to play. Kidderminster lost to Cheltenham so we are just 1 point behind them.

    The second leg of the FA Trophy semi final was played on the following Saturday. Everyone else had a week off, possibly due to internationals, but I canít see why. It was a slender 1 goal advantage that we took to Telford, so we would probably need to make it 3 wins in a row if we wanted a day out at Wembley. In the 15th minute, disaster struck. Milligan was left unmarked to head a Gorman cross into our net and level the aggregate score. This was my 10th game in charge and something that had not happened in any of the previous 9 would be required if we are to progress. It would need both teams to scorein the same match. In all of the previous games, one or other had scored 0. We took the game to Telford and that resulted in some scary moments at the back. Fortunately Bastock was having a good game, in fact a man of the match game. When Kretzschmar scored just before the half hour we were back in control. Ugwu tucked away a handling error by their keeper to make it 2-1 and when Ansah powered in a header we were on our way to Wembley.


    There are some pretty bad stadium names in this league, but Cheltenhamís ďWorld of Smile StadiumĒ surely takes the biscuit. With just 3 points between the relegation contenders at the start of play, and Altrincham not mathematically out of it, there was no room for any errors. On the Woking bus back from World of Smile Stadium, only one person was smiling. Me ! A Matt Field hat-trick had given the home side all 3 points. Kidderminster had won and were now safe and that had relegated Altricham.

    With one game left, It was us or Eastleigh to join them and Eastleigh had a 3 point and 6 goal advantage over us.


    2 games to play and I wouldnít bet against Sutton winning both of them !

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  4. #354

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    I can see you repeating last season and winning on the last day but going down anyway!

  5. #355

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I can see you repeating last season and winning on the last day but going down anyway!
    I'd settle for that, but I'd rather not take the risk. I don't think there is any danger of getting the sack.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  6. #356

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    From Riches To Rags - 2023/24 May

    This is it. Destiny is in our own hands. All we have to do is lose to Sutton and nothing else matters. We will be playing Northern Premier football at Kingfield Stadium next season.

    The problem was that Sutton hadnít read the script. They were not in danger of relegation or promotion and appeared happy to cruise along and not risk any injuries before their big day at Wembley. In addition, our players hadnít read the script and they were desperate to do all they could to preserve the clubs National League status. It was a stalemate with one side not interested and the other not capable of winning. Fortunately there was news of an early goal at Eastleigh and if it stayed like that, our result would be academic. Much huffing and puffing ensued and finally, after 57 minutes our Monserratian defensive midfielder, Stefen Grimley, got his head to a Pitman corner and after 29 appearances had his first goal for Woking. Was it time to panic ? A quick check on the live scores and Eastleigh were now 2-0 up. It would need a massive turnaround in the last 30 minutes to save Woking. Then, a Sutton corner. Their striker goes down under a bit of pushing and shoving. Penalty. 1-1. No late tension. No recovery. Even when a rush of blood to Grimleyís head saw him run 70 meters, beating 3 men and getting his second goal, it was just one to please the fans. Woking were relegated.




    I guess that some players react to a relegation in different ways, but Michael Gill managed to surprise even me


    We may have been relegated, but we can still party on our day out at Wembley. It was slightly disappointed to see the empty seats with only 21,163 turning up. It was a very similar game to the league encounter, played in midfield and with very few chances. 2 goals in 2 minutes, for Philips and Davis, won Sutton the cup in an otherwise very forgettable game.


    Time to focus on the Northern Premier League campaign and Iím not anticipating any trouble in getting there.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  7. #357

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I can see you repeating last season and winning on the last day but going down anyway!
    I hate it when other people are right
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  8. #358

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  9. #359

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    I bloody knew it

    Didn't realise there was another tier to finish off, the story continues!

  10. #360

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I bloody knew it

    Didn't realise there was another tier to finish off, the story continues!
    Still the delights of Fylde, Spalding, Gainsborough ..... and Southport to play.
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  11. #361

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    Sell Billy Ions and you'll be alright!
    Remember I'm doing this without selling. Ions does score a lot of goals. I've no idea how as he looks bloody useless

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  12. #362

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
    Still the delights of Fylde, Spalding, Gainsborough ..... and Southport to beat.
    Corrected.

    Well done on relegation mate, will give it a proper read tonight when not in work

  13. #363

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    From Riches To Rags - 2024/25 Pre-Season

    It was all very dull. My job was never at threat and the Woking board appeared to just accept the relegation. That said, they do have high expectations for the coming season.


    That left me time to look at what was happening elsewhere. First of all, we had an amazing Championís League final


    And that was followed by Belgium adding the Euro Championship to their World Cup and Olympic titles. Barcelonaís world footballer of the year, Harry Kane, couldnít stop England going out in the quarter finals to 10 man Portugal.

    There were 3 Northern Premier jobs which came up. Hartlepool who appointed Adam Murray after Scott Griffiths moved to MK Dons, and the newly promoted sides, Worcester City and Spalding United. I couldnít go for any of them as I need to play that first game of the season with Woking. That said, next yearís newly promoted sides would look like a good bet for a relegation battle.

    Elsewhere and there was a very surprising name who took over at National League side Newport County and Arsenal canít seem to make their mind up.




    With the season opener about to be played, Iím not entirely sure how to approach this. I could resign and wait for a job, but that hasnít worked out well for me before. There is no way that the board will let Woking get relegated when they are looking for promotion, but what is the worst that can happen ? I get the sack, and is that any worse than resigning ? Or I could play on and get Woking challenging near the top of the league and jump ship for the right opportunity.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  14. #364

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    The Woking board's high expectations make it clear that you can't stay there, of course.

    Not that you'll mind.

  15. #365

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    From Riches To Rags - 2024/25 August

    In the end, I had 5 players depart in the summer, all on Bosman’s, and all were part of the first team squad. That left me with 27 players, but only 1 goalkeeper and a slight shortage of central defenders and central midfielders. I managed to put together a squad of 22 who would form my first team squad


    If I was going to play a normal game and aim to win, I’d probably settle on a 4-4-2, but that would feel like wasting time. Resigning hasn’t worked in the past, so if I’m going to stay at Woking, I might as well try to get them relegated again. If I get sacked then what have I lost ? My reputation is still the best in the league !

    So we head first for the “R Costings Abbey Stadium” in Cambridge for a showdown between 2 sides relegated from the National League last season. We continued with the 5-4-1 formation from last season and we got the desired result, a 2-0 win for Cambridge Utd. However the score does not reflect the match as a whole. Woking had all of the chances, but a combination of a man of the match performance from the home keeper, a below par day from Ansah and a shocker from Andrew Mills in our goal combined to set up that result.

    Mills has made 260 appearances for Woking, at an average rating of 6.81. Only once, when he started just 4 games, has he managed to finish a year with an average of 7.00.




    For the visit of Bognor Regis, we remained unchanged. This will be their 7th season in the Northern Premier and they alternate between bottom 6 and top 10. Having been 17th last season, they are being tipped to do well this year. Against us, they were very good. Hudson gave them an early lead and, as they started to turn the screw, we got our first of the season. Nathan Ralph at left wingback won a header in midfield. Kretzschmar fed Turnbull on the left wing who crossed to nobody in particular. Ralph picked up the loose ball and hammered in a barely deserved equalizer. It looked as if we might survive to half time, but they scored from a corner in the dying seconds to make it 2-1. The second half was all Bognor, but they failed to find the net and so we go down to a second defeat. To cap a bad day, Michael Gill, probably our best defender, pinged a hamstring and will be out for a month.

    No rumblings from the board yet, so Michael Thomas comes in for the injured Gill and Ions is given a start after 2 poor displays from Ansah. How would we get on against newly promoted Worcester City, another team who have lost their first 2 games ? We did our best, (or is that worst ?) but Worcester are a very poor side. It appeared to be only a matter of time before we scored and Ions alone passed up on 6 great chances. It was midway through the second half when Stefen Grimley, our Montserratian midfielder, pounced on a goal keeping mistake to score the game’s only goal.

    That leaves us 17th in the early league table, and wondering just how bad we need to be to get relegated from this league.


    The board are still pleased with my performance, so on we go with another 7 games in September. After this we will have a better idea on whether relegation is possible or not.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  16. #366

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    What ever you do, don't sign a second goalkeeper and with a bit of bad luck you'll be fine!

  17. #367

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    From Riches To Rags - 2024/25 September

    Not a great start for either promotion or relegation. We are off the pace in either direction and I donít think that we can possibly compete with the likes of Worcester City with the current squad. On that, I have 6 who are out of contract next summer. 4 of them, Duggan, Adams, Ions and Ugwu wonít even start to discuss terms. I suspect that they will all be gone. Nathan Ralph and Michael Thomas did accept, albeit with £500k release clauses. They are currently valued at £70k and £18k respectively.

    And so into a busy set of 7 fixtures scheduled for September, with midweek games every week. This will give us a far better idea of our potential, as well as testing the depth of the squad. We already start with 2 men down, Michael Gill who will be out for a further 3 weeks with his hamstring and Cameron McGeechan who picked up a bruised thigh in training and will miss 10 days.

    There is a reason why Gainsborough Trinity are bottom of the Northern Premier League. They are rank awful and a complete disaster. Oh how I would love to manage them ! Despite lining up in a defensive formation and with a defensive mentality, we were far too good for Gainsborough. In the first half, ur left winger, Harvey Turnbull, got his head to a corner to give us a deserved lead. It was the 20 year old's first ever goal in his 40th appearance. We got a second after half time with a speculative shot from Grimley. Trinity will need a miracle to survive based on this.

    Tamworth are flying near the top of the league and narrowly missed out on promotion last season. We were forced into a couple of changes due to tired legs, but the 2 wins have developed a bit of confidence that I am going to have to find a way to kill. Despite being the home team, Tamworth created very little and Andrew Mills had a very easy day. The action was at the other end where a combination of Billy Ions being useless and Christian Walton in the Tamworth goal providing a man of the match display resulted in a 0-0 draw. Better, but we are now undefeated in 3 which was not the plan.




    It was all change for the trip to Salisbury and a switch to a defensive 4-4-2, with 2 defensive midfielders. Ansah and Ugwu lead the front line. The change didnít work as again we managed to dominate. Again the forwards saved Salisbury an embarrassment with a woeful display. We still managed to score in each half. The first started with us winning the ball at left back and was finished by a low shot from 20 year old right winger Clive Breaker. In the second half, another 20 year old, Paul Gray, came off the bench to put away a knock down from Ugwu. There are times where it is hard to work out how to lose.


    The experiment of the 4-4-2 is dropped and a return to 5-4-1 for a visit from Halifax. It was a fairly even game, with Halifax taking a first half lead that they held until 70 minutes. That was when Andrew Mills pulled down their striker and the only keeper in my squad gets himself sent off. Halifax convert the penalty and add a third before full time. It means that for the next 3 games I will need to rely on a goalkeeper from the academy.


    Could Southport take advantage ? They were given an early boost when Turnbull limped off after 8 minutes, but the defence did a good job of protecting the debutante keeper. The breakthrough came on the brink of halftime. Sessegnon beat Thomas and hit a viscous shot past young Harry Lawrence. It was a double blow as Thomas picked up a knock in the process and he couldnít restart the second half. Our third change was enforced on the hour, and it proved to be a game changer. Gozie Ugwu came on to lead the line and with his first touch, picked up a ricochet off a defender and thumped in an equaliser. Suddenly, we were on top. Breaker tried a shot which took a deflection of Morgan for an own goal to put us in front. Ugwu added a third late on as we move further and further from relegation.

    Fortunately Braintree came to the rescue. Ions had been restored to the attack as I couldnít risk Ugwu again. He only went and scored after 12 minutes. What do I have to do ? The lead didnít last long and a goal in each half for the hosts gave them the win and all 3 points.


    One final game and it is against the other newly promoted side Spalding United. I wasnít hopeful of avoiding another win. I just canít find a reliable tactic which works at this level. After 5 minutes it was already 1-1. Ions equalising with a header from a Breaker cross. He then had to limp off and Spalding took the lead for a second time, which they held until midway through the second half. Grimley got us level again and Kretzschmar beat his man to score in the top corner to put us ahead for the first time. With me screaming to get men behind the ball, Kretzschmar fired in a free kick, Vince failed to hold it and Goode slotted in the rebound. 4-2 and I am starting to lose hope of getting Woking down.

    Already we are 12 points clear of Worcester, but at least the board are happy


    So I think Iíll have one last chance to sort out Woking. Iím going to try some different tactics, perhaps go all out attack since the defence isnít working and if Iím not closer to relegation after the next 6 games, I think Iím forced to abandon the attempt and it will be a waiting game for another job.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  18. #368

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  19. #369

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    A red card for the goalkeeper! There you go!
    It didn't help much as we won 2 of the games that Lawrence started
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  20. #370

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    From Riches To Rags - 2024/25 October

    The tactics so far have just not been working for me, or rather they have been working, which is not what I want. Something has to change, although I suspect that the players are just a little too good. It was time to consult my tactical advisers


    They identified our weakness. The one thing that is consistent is that the forwards just donít score. Of the 13 goals we have scored, just 5 have come from our forwards and only 2 from forwards who started the match. Perhaps this is something that we can exploit, so as the ultra defensive tactics arenít working, it is time to go all out attack.

    Woking fans were pretty shocked to see a 3-4-3 attacking lineup come out to host Leek Town. Andrew Mills was back between the sticks after his suspension, which filled no one with any confidence. Gray, Ansah and Ugwu led the line. It was all looking pretty good. After 30 minutes it was still 0-0 with shots flying over the Leek Town bar, or threatening the corner flag rather than the goal. The problem was that Leek were not looking like scoring. Gray was replaced by Heath as a precaution and almost immediately, the new man blasted a lose ball into the top corner. 2 minutes later and he laid the ball off to Ansah who set up Ugwu for 2-0. This was not the plan. The forwards were scoring which was what I was trying to avoid. The formation was changed to a 5-3-2 based system, which I havenít tried with Woking in this league. Now Leek Town were back in the game 2 goals in 4 minutes just after the hour brought them level, but despite our best efforts, Leek couldnít find a winner.

    The FA Cup qualifying round draw gave us a tricky looking tie away to National League Cheltenham. That will replace the Fylde fixture scheduled for later in the month. There was also news that former club Blackburn had appointed 37 year old Joe Hart as their player manager. Perhaps he will be the man to rescue them from their League One doldrums.


    The 5-3-2 was retained to start against Bradford Park Avenue, who had 39 year old David Stockdale in goal. It was a mauling. Bradford PA were all over us and it looked to be just a matter of time before they scored. Before they did, we won a freekick which Kretzschmar thumped through a gap in the wall. After that the defence held firm, even after we switched to a 3-5-2 for the later stages. What do I have to do to lose ?

    Based on the Bradford game being a fluke, I persisted with the 5-3-2 to visit Bromley. The result Ö. Grimley played in Ions who beat his man to open the scoring. Then a break out and we win a corner. Ions heads it in. Minutes later and Ions picks up a lose ball then beats 3 men on his way to his hat-trick goal. Time to try the sweeper, with Gill dropping back into an unfamiliar role. That helped. Bromley got 2 back, but it was too little too late to drop any points

    The Cheltenham cup tie gives me a break from trying to lose. What on earth will happen with an attacking 4-4-2 ? One thing I was not expecting was Cheltenham to play with a sweeper and then to take a 3rd minute lead, but we didnít let our heads drop. Grimley found Turnbull with an exquisite pass and we were level after 10 minutes played. 2 minutes later we were in front for the first time. Their right wing back had a nightmare, playing a freekick directly to Ansah who wasted no time in finding the net. It was pretty much all Woking now and when McGeechan found himself in space hi hit the ball low and hard towards the goal and we got our 3rd, which was followed by a 4th, from the spot, after a hand-ball. Ansah took the responsibility. It looked as if Ansah had his hat-trick goal, but a linesman's flag chalked it off. Second half and we were looking for more. Swetman had joined the attack from right back and he took advantage of a goalkeeping mistake to make it 5-1, Cheltenham got one back, but soon after it was 6-2 with McGeechan getting his second, roaming forward unmarked. Could we make it 7 ? No. Cheltenham got their 3rd late on, but it was still an emphatic win.


    We will play the winners of the Dover v Colchester replay in the first round proper.

    Back to the league, and for the first time we start with a sweeper to host Darlington. It worked against Bromley and it worked again here. Darlington wont have a much easier away day. They were 2-0 up before Kretzschmar pulled one back on the stroke of half time. Their 3rd, early in the second half killed the game. This is more like it !

    In the FA Cup replay, Dover beat Colchester on penalties after the game ended in a 3-3 draw.

    It was the same formation, but due to a lack of fitness, there were 6 changes and some of the less regulars started against Halifax, the first club I ever managed in CM. The only thing you can predict is that any prediction will be wrong. We demolished them. An Ugwu header started the scoreboard ticking. Blisset made it 2-0 with a fierce strike from the right wing. After they got one back, Michael Heath came off the bench and his challenge on the goalkeeper resulted in him heading us to a 3-1 win.

    I think that kills off any lingering hope of relegation. We are already 15 points clear.


    I guess it is now a waiting game for a worse job to turn up. Iím not going to force any bad results and the aim is for Woking to just miss out on promotion. I donít want to have to get relegated from the National League again ! If it looks like happening Iíll resign.

    The Dover game will be the big one next month. We are just 2 games away from joining the big boys in the 3rd round draw.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  21. #371

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    Yes, time to look out for a worse club indeed!

    I do wonder what happened to your salary over the years, though!

  22. #372

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    Quote Originally Posted by samsami View Post
    Yes, time to look out for a worse club indeed!

    I do wonder what happened to your salary over the years, though!
    A good point. I don't remember ever getting paid. I expect a sequence of dodgy chairmen have trousered my salary over the years
    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  23. #373

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    Makes sense to go for it now with Woking. I'm sure another job will crop up.

  24. #374

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    From Riches To Rags - 2024/25 November

    Now that the pressure is off, Iím going to settle on a default 4-4-2 which suits the squad that I have and means that I donít need to mess about changing tactics (other than for cup games). That should provide good enough results over the next few months for us to stay in touch with the leaders. When it gets to April or May and if Iím still here at Woking we can make some tweaks to get the wins or losses that are needed.

    The only thing to report before the monthís opener at Curzon Ashton is that Charlie Adams (no not that one, this is a 30 year old who was previously at Stevenage and is a left back/left wing) signed a new deal that makes him a player coach. Itís always a gamble what you get, but Charlie looks decent and probably better than my assistant.




    We got demolished. Curzon raced to a 2-0 lead and despite Kretzschmar scoring for us in the second half, the hosts were well worth their 3-1 win. They also had 2 goals disallowed.

    Next up a trip to Brackley and we had a ding dong battle. They took the lead, but Blisset unleashed a volley to level the scores and McGeechan headed in a corner to put us in front. That lead didnít last long and it was 2-2 before 30 minutes were on the clock. It couldnít go on at this pace and sure enough it did settle down in terms of scoring, although both sides had their chances. It was Brackley who converted theirs to take the spoils. 2 defeats in a row, perhaps Iíve stumbled on something. Perhaps itís not too late.

    Before we can further investigate this latest development in tactics, it is a visit from Dover in the FA Cup. It is a game that I want to win, if only to put one over on their manager, Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey


    It was all fairly simple although we left it to the second half before we fully took control. Ralph had got his head to a Kretzschmar cross to finish a fantastic team move in the 8th minute, but Dover, from the National League, levelled just before the interval. 3 minutes into the second half and it was Grimley who put us back in front when he bundled in a loose ball in the 6 yard box. Swetman came on for Adams who was looking tired at left back and with his first touch got his head to a Pitman corner. 3 minutes after coming on, Swetman got his second with a low drive and we were through. A late goal for Dover didnít make any difference.


    There were 2 draws, firstly the FA Trophy where we get a trip to National League Colchester to start our way to the final that I have been in for the last 2 seasons. That was followed by the FA Cup second round and another away tie, to League Two leaders Torquay Utd. Both will be tough ties. The Bradford PA and Bromley games are rearranged to play these cup ties.

    I have more good news as young midfielder Ian Cousins signs up for another 3 years. However Tom Vincent again refuses to discuss terms as he is attracting some interest and we would receive a development fee for any Bosman signing, I decide to release him early.

    Back to business and once again Iím delighted that the default 4-4-2 may be the surprising answer to the relegation problems. Hampton & Richmond race out of the blocks to take an early lead, but then it all goes pear shaped. After a lot of pussy footing at the edge of the box, my captain, Scott Pitman, takes responsibility and drives a lay off from Adams into the back of the net. It is his first ever goal for Woking. After the interval, Breaker cuts in off the right wing to make it 2-1 and Nathan Ralph gets above the keeper to head in a Breaker cross for our 3rd. Maybe 4-4-2 is not the answer after all.

    Altrincham away proved that default 4-4-2 is not the answer, although again we did concede the first goal. Itís not surprising when Andrew Mills is your keeper. A Charlie Adams Header and a Nathan Ralph volley put us in front. Ansah made it 3-1 with a header from an Adams cross. They pulled one back, but a tap in from Ansah restored the 2 goal advantage and a Grimley header from a Gill freekick was the icing on the cake. The fans are getting lots of goals at both ends at the moment.

    What a cup tie at Colchester. For once we scored first, Pitmanís hopeful effort doubling his career tally. But we had to come from behind as we found ourselves 2-0 down to a Harding brace. Ugwu powered in a header from a Ralph cross to restore parity at the interval. It was into the last 30 minutes when McGeechan worked an opening to put us back ahead, only for Harding to complete his hat-trick. The fixture congestion of a replay was saved in injury time as Gray came off the bench to take advantage of a handling error by the Colchester keeper. We face the winners of the Eastleigh v Dagenham and Redbridge replay at Kingfield Stadium in the next round.

    Back to the league and Gloucester were the next visitors. Typically it was they who scored first. Having got that ubiquitous early goal out of the way, it was Woking who then dominated, but Ions and Ugwu were having off days, even by their low standards. We were well into the second half before Ions got away from his marker to get his head on a Ralph cross and scored from about 6 inches out. The sheer number of chances had to result in that inevitable goal. With the Gloucester dam finally breached, McGeechan added a second from a Blisset cross and an own goal from a Pitman corner made it 3-1. A late strike from Docherty didnít amount to any sort of late recovery from the visitors.

    The Altrincham job had come up yet again, but I didnít even apply. They were 10th and as we know they have a psycho chairman. This will be his 6th manager in 8 years. Robbie Fowler is the man given the impossible task after having had spells at Palace, Necastle, Palace again and Notts County. He has been sacked from every one so far. With a bit of luck he will be just as useless as in the previous jobs and will be sacked in April with Altincham all but down. If the CM Gods are listening to my prayers, you know what to do.

    Finally for the month, a tricky FA Cup encounter with Torquay who are top of League One and on the back of a 9 game unbeaten run. Harry White and Rhuari Keating are scoring goals for fun while Manny Parry has been outstanding in their defence. Even with my full on 4-4-2 we would need to be at our very best. What we didnít need was to go behind to an early goal. What we did was to leave Harry White unmarked and given enough time to sit down and have a cup of tea before putting the ball in the net. We have built a reputation of resilience after a set back, and we were level in the 17th minute. A disputed hand ball by Keating gave us a freekick on the right. Gill sent it into the danger zone and it came off the head of Ansah for the equaliser. After that, it could have gone either way. Both sides had penalty appeals turned down. Both sides had goals disallowed and in the end both sides will be happy with the replay.

    They will not be happy with the 3rd round draw. We could have got any of the big boys from the Premier League. Instead it will be the winners of the Millwall v Tamworth replay. I doubt that one will be selected for Live TV.

    The net result of all this is that nothing much has happened. We are still bumbling along just outside the promotion places


    With the Torquay replay added to the schedule, it will be a busy time over the festive period. 7 games and only 2 of them at Kingfield Stadium. The CM Gods owe me one.

    The artist formally known as The Eejit

  25. #375

    Join Date
    27-10-14
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    8,145
    Don't win that game in hand.

    Or, better yest, don't stay at that club. It will be your downfall!

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