Woking 925 - late night ramblings of a Stockport Hatter in the SouthArchived Message
Posted by Stranded Hatter on 22/2/2020, 2:43 am
Woking away is a weird one for me. As someone who left the promised land of Stockport permanently at the end of 1996 (at the tender age of 8 years old) I always dreamt of County being in the same division as someone like Woking. Not because we’d fallen so far but because they’d risen high. Sadly we ended up playing them for the wrong reasons.
Woking is (I believe) the second closest club we’ve ever played to where I live currently. Only Staines are definitely closer (and I lived in Birmingham when we played them) and Wimbledon might be but I’m not sure. In terms of commute it’s a dream but in terms of County v Woking it’s been a nightmare.
My first experience of County at Kingfield was fantastic. Last day of our first season in non league and the return of Jim resulted in a final day win and one of the best Arthur Brownlows at a game I’ve ever experienced. The tin shed at one end perfect for generating an atmosphere in an unsegregated game. But that was against Hayes and Yeading. Things were not going to be so good going forward.
The first time we ever played Woking I was unable to go as I was at a friend’s wedding. That friend, in a weird coincidence that has always amused me, happened to be a Woking fan and I had the “pleasure” of informing him of the score while doing the greetings ahead of the wedding breakfast. Woking were the winners in their first ever trip to Edgeley Park. I didn’t begrudge him that as it was his wedding day. The second time we played them I was able to attend, not only that but I brought to local friends with me. People I’d been extolling the virtues of County’s away support to for years were finally relenting and joining me at a game. As was discussed on my appearance on TSBW podcast (although I can’t remember if this was when the mics were on or not) FCUM “won the signing” in their time in the Conference North, but for me County always “won the singing” and it was part of why I kept coming back despite moving away so young. I was excited, I shouldn’t have been.
Segregation at Kingfield can best be described with the word: crap. Rather than access to the tin shed behind one goal you get a side stand. Me, complaining about a side stand? Who’d have thought. Now yes I am a firm believer that side on as close to the halfway line as possible is the best place to watch a football game from but the stand at Kingfield is awful. No roof, shallow terracing, and nowhere for groups to congregate mean crap view and hard to get an atmosphere going. Needless to say my friends weren’t all that impressed with my vain attempts at starting chants that petered into the afternoon air and after a dull affair on the pitch that neither team deserved to win Woking snatched a 1-0 victory. Poor showing on and off the pitch, and post match it was about to get worse.
Lord Snape got himself on the radio that afternoon and spoke the words that signalled once and for all what the ambition of the powers that be was. Get Jim Gannon out of the club. It was painfully clear from that interview that they wanted him gone and they were squeezing the playing budget to force it to happen. For me the writing was on the wall after that game against Woking and for Snape’s rant it’s one of the few matches from these dark days that I think most will have some recollection of, not just people like me for whom Woking is a local game.
We’ve played them twice since then, both at Edgeley Park and both ending up in defeats for the boys in Blue. I fully expect they’ll take the 3 points tomorrow as well since (and I’m sorry about this) I think they’ve got a jinx on us and I think it’s my fault. Like we seem unlikely to see a goal against Sutton I feel like we’re unlikely to ever take points of Woking. Opposition I have a friendly connection with doesn’t seem to go well for us.
Now since you’ve stayed this far I’ve got a fun side note about Woking. A few years ago this photo went viral on the internet for obvious reasons:
The thing is, it’s a photoshop. There was, at the time this photograph was taken, no 925 service to Woking. However, thanks entirely to this rather impressive photoshop, there is now. The Woking to Heathrow service was renamed from 701 to 925 entirely as a result of this image going viral. It amuses me anyway.
So here’s to 3 points to County tomorrow. I don’t think we’ll get them but my gosh do I hope we can break the Woking hoodoo at last.