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Woking FC: A Season To Remember

An article on the season of Blue Square side Woking FC

By on Jun 13, 2013   2626 views   0 comments
Football Views - Woking FC: A Season To Remember
Another footballing year comes to an end, and another season in the Blue Square Premier League finishes. Woking FC finished a respectable 12th, after a season of pain and misery, but also a season filled with joy and delight, proving many wrong after their recent promotion from the Blue Square South League after a very successful campaign. As the new boys to the league, no one thought much of Woking FC, picturing them as relegation candidates, a team no one had to worry about. Nevertheless, the Cards made sure that picture wasn’t painted.

Recently promoted, and filled with eagerness to get the season underway, Woking went into the pre-season friendlies unsure what to expect. Fans wouldn’t be familiar with the Blue Square Premier League, and some of the friendlies were against strong sides. Putting the first loss against Windsor FC aside, Woking went into the friendly against Crawley Town as the underdogs, a team not even worth considering. Crawley Town had shown their strengths the previous seasons through repeated FA Cup success, as well as promotions up to League One. The Cards put on an extremely encouraging display to overcome Crawley though, defining all odds, thanks to a goal from Kieron St Aimie. The future looked bright following the win, which led to more draws and wins against some top sides. Fans were buzzing, players were pumped, and now was the opportunity to shock off all the Blue Square Premier League.

August became a month of mixed reactions, picking up nine vital points. A few games were lost, but to teams who have competed at this level for much longer. It became a successful month for the club, and was followed for the next few months, picking up more wins and the occasional draw. Woking were solidifying their position within the league, showing who they were, and what they could do. Finally, the Cards had hit the big league, the Blue Square Premier. Woking FC became a name everyone knew, and they grabbed some almighty wins to prove it. Saturday 8th September. A date many fans would remember. The day the club really made their mark in the league. Woking were playing Nuneaton, a game that should be fairly close. However, the Cards had a different plan; they didn’t want a close game. The boys decided to go out and trounce the struggling side. Bradley Bubb decided to put in the performance of a life-time, grabbing a quartet, with all four goals coming in the second half within 25 minutes! McCallum and Sawyer decided they too both wanted a goal, making Woking the name on everyone’s lips that week.

Nevertheless, that didn’t become the most memorable game for the fans of Woking when approaching Christmas. When drawn against local rivals Farnborough in the FA Trophy, fans were ecstatic. A great game was on the cards, and a great game it was. Woking went into the game on poor form, yet to win throughout the month. Woking welcomed back Kingfield favourites Inns and Hammond, but then proved why leaving wasn’t such a great idea. Hammond and Inns would both start for Farnborough, only to find Betsy scoring after six minutes. The goals kept rocketing in, until the teams went in for the half-time break with the score 4-0. The game look settled, Woking had been victorious on the day, a day that needed a win more than ever. Even so, Gary Hill and co. decided four wasn’t enough, so decided to celebrate the final whistle with the score at 7-0. Woking had beaten their local rivals, and were through to the next round. It looked like things could be getting better for the club following the poor form they had previously through October and November.

Woking FC decided to continue with the form in 2013, winning six games in a row from New Year’s Day until mid-February, with the run halted as a result of a 3-1 loss to Newport County at the beloved Kingfield Stadium. The club went into a very busy March with a good league position thanks to the recent success, an improving squad harmony, and the hope of settling with a good league position at the end of the campaign. Although the team only managed one win throughout March, a win 5-2 demolishing of AFC Telford United, they still managed to pick up another six points through draws, only losing three games throughout March. April would be kicked off with an away to Dartford, a team well respected sitting high in the league. It would be a tough fixture, especially with the players taking to the field for the fourth time in less than a week, and it would end as a fixture that was just too tough for the side, eventually losing 4-1, although a score line unfair in the eyes of many Woking fans. A Jayden Stockley goal would give Woking some hope, but unfortunately not enough. Four games would remain, and it was safe to say Woking FC had made its mark on the Blue Square Premier League. One of these games would be the game most Woking fans will remember for a long time.

Following a brilliant 2-0 win against Wrexham, who were fighting for a spot in the play-offs, Woking had to face their Macclesfield Town, a team in a similar position to Woking, both fighting for that extra place in the league. The Cards had been ending the season with a very attractive run of home games, while old rivals Macclesfield, who had recently been relegated after a long stint in the Football League, while still having a very talented squad. Woking started the game brilliantly, with Billy Knott scoring in just 3 minutes, succeeded by a goal just four minutes later by Kevin Betsy. Stockley then aspired to getting a goal, which was achieved with a penalty in the 23rd minute. Stockley decided to grab a second in the 28th minute too. Knott then scored his second to make the score 5-0 at half time, and the game already won for Woking, surely. Macclesfield pulled one back on the hour mark, and ending up scoring another. With 16 minutes left, Woking were 5-2 up, so Macclesfield were still seen to have a minimal chance of a comeback. They decided to play with their hearts on their sleeves though, and pulled one back. 7 minutes remaining and Woking tried everything to stop Macclesfield rampaging on the attack to try and saviour a valuable point. Macclesfield finally etched another goal on the score line, but it was still not enough. In one of the tensest matches of the season, Woking had come out victorious. Sadly, the form could not continue, with Woking losing their final two league matches. That didn’t matter now though, as Woking had proved a point in league, and showed that they were here to stay! Woking FC. 12th place in their first season in the Blue Square Premier League.

Nonetheless, it was not only the results and league position that pleased many, both player and fan, in the 2012/2013 campaign. Bradley Bubb had a very successful loan spell from local team Aldershot Town, managing to become the club’s top scorer in the league, with 18 goals, the 5th highest in the league. Although missing the last few games of the season, Bubb managed to gain a very adequate ratio of 1 goal to 2 games for the Cards. Kevin Betsy also decided to make his mark on the club, following his return to Woking, after 15 long years away from the club, by scoring 13 league goals, as well as a cup goal. Jayden Stockley and Billy Knott also managed to hit double figures for the club, with Gavin McCallum closely behind scoring 9 goals, which including a magnificent four in the cup. Aaron Howe continued in goal for the club with some brilliant performances, becoming a starting XI regular and a fan favourite. Putnins managed to play some top games too, suggesting he could be a definite star in the future for many Blue Square teams.

Despite the success, and the glory many players got throughout the teams, times weren’t always so positive for the club. At the end of March, many Woking fans had to face the very sad, moving news that long term servant, and club legend, Ron Rawlings had passed away. Ron gave so much to the club, and became known to many for his help. When Mr Rawlings died, a part of the club was lost, a part of the club that cannot be replaced. The sadness was felt by many, and became a big moment in the season of Woking. Respects were paid to Ron at games, and his funeral, which brought the club together even more, helping spur them on for the rest of the season.

Pulling through the thick and thin, Woking showed their true colours, showed who they truly are, and most importantly, showed they are a powerful force. Woking had a very successful first season in the Blue Square Premier, which fans will hope can be improved again in the next season, under the reign of the powerful Garry Hill, once again proving wrong people all across the country. Woking FC, a season to remember.

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