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Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Alan Barnes - 13th July 2013

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Staines Town 3 Woking 2
Pre-Season Friendly
13th July 2013

Woking's first pre-season friendly of the 2013-14 campaign against neighbours and Conference South outfit Staines Town was played in searing temperatures at a sun-drenched Wheatsheaf Park.

The Cards had slightly the better of the opening half hour but two goals from the home side as the interval approached gave them a slightly flattering lead, which they increased a few minutes into the second half. Woking rallied in the final forty minutes and reduced the deficit to one goal but the Swans kept their composure to earn a narrow victory.

With the temperature hitting the 90s, both managers chose to field two completely different teams in each half. There were also a number of substitutes throughout the match.

Woking started with a strong and mainly recognisable side from last season, but also included new signing Josh Payne in midfield and trialists Louis Soares and Anthony McNamee up front. Garry Hill shuffled his pack dramatically in the second half, fielding a team comprising mainly of trialists, John Goddard in midfield being the pick of the bunch. There was also a welcome return for Gez Sole, who was making his first appearance after almost a year out through injury.

As this was the first game of the season for both sides there were a number of misplaced passes as the two teams are still looking for match fitness.
The first chance of the day came for Gavin McCallum whose first time shot from twenty five yards was saved at the second attempt by Merson in the home goal.

There was little goalmouth action of note until the forty first minute whereupon a great turn and pass from Beadle for the home side gave Tailor an easy tap in. Two minutes later Theophanous out-muscled the Woking defence to slot home the second.

Half Time Staines Town 2 Woking 0

The second half started with twenty changes in total, only Joe McNerney and Mike Cestor having previously appeared for Woking. Nick Jupp in goal for the Cards did not make the best start for the visitors when, only minutes into the half, he failed to collect the ball, leaving Garrod to slot in easily for the home side's third goal.

Although the match was only a friendly, Woking clearly did not want to start their preparations for the new season with a resounding defeat and, to their credit, they battled away to the end and pulled back two goals in the sixty- third and seventy- sixth minutes through the impressive Goddard.

This was the first of six pre-season friendlies before the Conference Premier begins on 10th August. No doubt, Garry and Steve will be looking at more new trialists before then as they attempt to strengthen the squad in readiness for the new campaign.

Woking first half team: Sam Beasant, Jack Parkinson, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Brett Johnson, Josh Payne, Lee Sawyer, George Frith, Gavin McCallum, Louis Soares, Anthony McNamee.

Attendance; 259

Man of Match: All the players of both sides.

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