Andy Fitzsimon


Chobham Prepared For Arch Rivals

Coach Gregory says his players are not taking their opponents lightly in Surrey Trophy semi-final

CHOBHAM RFC will be hoping to emulate their last success in the Incentive FM Surrey Trophy to progress through to the final of this year’s competition, writes Andy Fitzsimons.

Chobham RFC coach: Ryan Gregory.
Picture courtesy of Chobham RFC

With the Chob lying in mid-table obscurity in the London 1 South, player-coach Ryan Gregory believes there’s no better time than the present to win some silverware to truly celebrate the club’s 50th year anniversary.

The last time Chobham played in the Trophy was several years ago when they beat Sutton & Epsom 26-20 in final. Now the club wants to take a trip back down memory lane when they entertain arch-rivals Camberley in the semi-final on Saturday (18 March ’17).

Despite having home advantage, Gregory and his players are under no illusion of the task ahead and the threat that Camberley pose.

While neither side have played each other in a competitive league game for a number of years, the rivallary is still prevalent; irrespective of whether Camberley play in a lower status London 2 South West division.

He said: “We haven’t played Camberley in a competitive fixture for a good few years now, but they’re flying in their league and are pushing for promotion back to the London 1 South.

“They’re a very young side, and play an exciting attacking brand of rugby. They play with a lot of confidence and have scored a lot of points this season, which why there are where they are.

“If to add into the mix that it’s a local derby too, you can see there’s plenty at stake,” he added.

With the potential of an upset on the cards, Gregory is rightfully not prepared to get into any pre-match mind games and predictions, and remains focused on the job in hand.

“It was important for us to get a win against Maidstone last Saturday (11 March ’17), especially after our second half performance against Tunbridge Wells the previous week,” explained Gregory.

“We know that Camberley will be well drilled and will look to come at us. Therefore, I am treating this Saturday’s Trophy match in much the same way as I would condition the players for any other London 1 South league game.

“Everyone is aware of what happened when we played Camberley in a pre-season friendly back in August, so neither I or any of the players will be complacent; quite the contrary.

“I believe that if we are able to keep the ball for long periods of time, which I know we can, we will win, but it certainly wont be easy,” added Gregory.

The winner of Saturday’s semi-final will play one of Battersea Ironsides or Old Reigatian in the final, which is due to take place on 1 May 2017 at Esher Rugby Club.

IT’S A FINE line between winning and losing, but for Woking Hockey Club ladies coach Mark Robinson, he believes he has the answer, writes Andy Fitzsimons.

With Woking Ladies 1s needing at least one draw from their remaining two division one fixtures against Reading 1A and Wimbledon 1A to potentially avoid relegation, Robinson is calling on some big hitters in the world of sport for a bit of assistance.

Woking HC ladies 1s coach: Mark Robinson

The experienced Woking and England Development Coach is all too aware that psychology and mental

conditioning play a critical role in changing or defining the outcome, so who better to call upon than the likes of a few cult heroes.

In a bid to combat any last minute nerves, Robinson is now leaning on some proven neuro-linguistic tactics to prepare his players.

He has pulled together a three-minute motivational video, which will be screened to his players in the dedicated player room prior to them taking to the pitch against Reading on Saturday (18 March ’17).

He said: “The Reading fixture is a must-win game, plus it’s our last home game of the season.

“I have used motivational tactics before when I was at Havant Hockey Club, so I feel it will appeal to the players and, most importantly, get them in the right frame of mind.

“The quotes used within the videography have been taken from several American sportsmen and women who were all winners on the court and key leaders off it.

“I have been lucky enough to work with and learn from some exceptional mentors myself, with Sue Perry at Sussex Hockey Club possibly being my first mentor and from whom I learnt so much.

“Outside of the game, I have always been inspired by the words and wisdom of big personalities, such as Michael Jordan and Winston Churchill – to name just a few – through their respective leadership and motivational skills.

“It’s all about finding out what makes people tick to help bring the best out of them,” he added.

While Woking’s current league position belies their work-ethic on and off the pitch, Robinson believes that one final push will help his players over the line and preserve their division one status for next season.

And with rivals Staines only one point ahead of Woking in the table – but with a far inferior goal difference – Robinson’s players are well placed to take advantage of the situation if they can prepare themselves effectively.

Woking 1 Mansfield 2

CONTROVERSY reigned at Kingfield last night after an attack on the away team dressing room.

A Woking fan was believed to have thrown a brick through a window and into the room where Mansfield were celebrating a smash and grab victory over the Cards.

But Woking chairman Mike Smith later issued a statement confirming that no brick had been hurled and the supporter had used his hand to break the glass.

SPOT ON - Bradley Bubb celebrates his penalty leveller Picture by: David Holmes

SPOT ON – Bradley Bubb celebrates his penalty leveller Picture by: David Holmes

Mr Smith said:  “Following last night’s Blue Square Bet Premier home game against Mansfield Town, an individual home supporter, who was exiting the stadium broke the window to the away team dressing room with his hand.

“Stories about a brick being thrown are untrue. Mansfield officials and players were inside the room and thankfully, no one was injured.

“For reasons of personal safety and in the interests of wider safety and crowd management, ground operations staff and security removed the individual from the situation, as Mansfield players and officials understandably reacted. Order was quickly restored.

“On behalf of Woking Football Club and its supporters, I apologised to the directors, players and officials of Mansfield Town, which was accepted.

“The individual responsible is known to the club as a season ticket holder and has had the privilege removed. In addition, he has also been informed he is no longer welcome at the club. Woking Football Club has also referred the matter to Surrey Police.

“This kind of behaviour is repulsive and deplorable to all proper fans of football. It has no place in football or at Kingfield.”

Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott, who allegedly suffered a small cut, tweeted: “Something defo came through the window and got me!”

But he also said he didn’t believe the object used to smash the glass was a brick.

Mansfield manager Paul Cox said: “Thankfully Alan was facing the other direction and only suffered a small cut. The shards of glass were huge and someone could have been blinded or scarred for life.”

Cox claimed he had also been spat at and said: “It went straight into my eye. I wouldn’t accept that on the street so I am not accepting that just because I am a football manager.”

Bradley Bubb’s 69th-minute penalty cancelled out Louis Briscoe’s strike but Matt Jones popped up with a winner 13 minutes from time to leave Woking empty handed.

ART students from Woking College are hoping to draw in the crowds by ­exhibiting their work at the prominent Chelsea ­Gallery in London’s Kings Road.

Stunning collections of art, photography and sculpture from the college’s past and present A-level students are now on show in the gallery at an ­exhibition that opened to the public on Tuesday.

BUCKET AND SEE - Florence Robjohn with her piece called Bucket List

BUCKET AND SEE – Florence Robjohn with her piece called Bucket List

The event is down to a stroke of genius by two entrepreneurial students who are in their final year at the college.

Florence Robjohn and Joanne Jones, both 18, were inspired by their fine art teacher Chris Bird to organise the impressive ­London display.

Florence has completed work placements at the Saatchi Art Foundation and sees the exhibition as another big ­helping hand.

She said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for young talent to have a showcase in a leading London gallery.”

The talented twosome decided to ask other students to get involved and called up ­galleries in the capital to find a suitable venue to host their creative works. Joanne, who was brimming with pride at their achievement, revealed: “We organised the entire event within one day.”

Former Woking College student Amy Flanagan will also be showing some of her latest art, having recently been awarded for her outstanding work shown at the college’s Summer Art ­Exhibition at The Lightbox.

THE show at the King’s Road Chelsea Gallery in London will run until Sunday, March 17.

FUTURE CHILD - Joanne Jones with a portrait of herself now, and as an infant

FUTURE CHILD – Joanne Jones with a portrait of herself now, and as an infant

Woking 1 Lincoln City 1

CARDS failed to build on Brett Johnson’s second-minute opener and were forced to share the spoils with Lincoln City.

Johnson got Woking off to a flying start, meeting ex-Imp John Nutter’s cross to head home.

But Cards didn’t have it all their own way and City got back on terms through Vadaine Oliver in the 25th minute.

ON YER 'ED - Cards celebrate taking the lead

ON YER ‘ED – Cards celebrate taking the lead

A share of the points means Woking now only need two more to reach Garry Hill’s magic 50 target.

But they’ll have to wait until Wednesday’s game with Mansfield for another bite at the cherry.

Hill had no complaints about the result, he said: “It was a point won today. I thought we did enough to win it but when you look at the week, we’ve taken four points out of six against Forest Green and Lincoln City which is a good return.”

“It is disappointing not to have won but managers, players and supporters get greedy when you’ve been on a good run.”

Former Lincoln skipper Nutter revealed his frustration at full time.

He said: “They’re fighting for their lives but it wasn’t to be.  They made it hard for us but once we got the ball down and started playing we looked the better side.”

“We’ve been on a decent run and we’ve had a draw today which isn’t something we’ve had much this season. Sometimes a point is good to pick up and we’ll see how many points we can now get.”

Bradley Bubb’s spectacular acrobatic was as close as Woking came to finding a winner but Paul Farman was a match with an equally good save.

Good news for the Cards came at the end of the week as Hill secured the services of Billy Knott for a further month from Sunderland.

It is hoped that he will be returning to the action soon following a hamstring injury.

WOKING: Brown, Newton, Cestor, Ricketts, McNerney, Parkinson, Bubb, Betsy, Johnson (McCallum 45mins), Stockley, Nutter.


Woking 2 Forest Green Rovers 0

JACK PARKINSON thundered in a second-half beauty to lift Cards up to ninth on a night when Garry Hill was quizzed about the vacant manager’s post at former club Dagenham and Redbridge.

Parkinson, usually known for his defensive qualities, rattled home a 79th-minute gem after Kevin Betsy had drilled Woking into a 1-0 lead.

JACK THE LAD - Parkinson celebrates his wonder strike

JACK THE LAD – Parkinson celebrates his wonder strike

And after claiming a sixth win in eight games to gatecrash the top half of the table, Hill moved quickly to assure fans his future lies at Kingfield.

The gaffer said: “Dagenham is a club I have had some great times with and some great memories. All chapters move on in life and I’m very happy with where I am.”

Hill had nothing but praise for his industrious team who ran themselves into the ground to secure back-to-back wins.

He added: “There is a big gulf between part-time and full-time in this league, but if you’ve got heart and if you want it bad enough, it’s surprising how far you can go.”

Full report and pictures in this week’s News & Mail – out Thursday.

WHILE children revelled in a winter Woking wonderland as schools closed early, people travelling to and from work were battling the blizzards.

Angry commuters were left frustrated by South West Trains’ revised timetables.

But even though service alterations were made before a single flake of snow had fallen, councillor Ann-Marie Barker reckons SWT’s pre-emptive action just about struck the right balance.

She said: “I asked a few people about the changes when they were announced on Thursday and I got mixed reviews. There was a lot of division and some people thought it was a terrible idea to be cancelling trains before the snow had hit.

HAVING A BALL - Liz Perera with sons Oliver, four, and William, seven

HAVING A BALL – Liz Perera with sons Oliver, four, and William, seven

“There were no trains first thing on Friday and only two an hour after that, as opposed to four or five.

“On balance it makes sense to run less trains if they can assure they run on time. I think a lot of people had decided not to go into work on Monday so it would have been easier to cope.”

When the snow did fall on Friday, it came down fast and furiously.

Schools across the borough were hit by closures, resulting in a white nightmare for working parents but powdered delight for youngsters.

As the snow eased on Sunday and Monday, temperatures remained icy and it wasn’t much joy for students sitting exams who were forced to battle their way to school or college, otherwise they would have to wait until the summer to take them.

Surrey Police’s Nicola Bur-ress confirmed that, despite early warnings, the force had an influx of calls as icy roads got the better of Woking’s drivers.

A statement said: “Without going through every call, we did experience an increase in the number of calls reporting collisions due to snow and ice on Friday – our advice to motorists was not to travel unless absolutely essential.”

The snow was back with a vengeance on Tuesday evening, with Woking FC having to cancel their game despite fans pitching up on Monday to help clear the Kingfield ground.

SOMEONE up there did not want this game to be played.

Despite the unparalleled effort of fans, the expert and precision decision making of the ground staff, plus all the will in Woking, Cards could not fulfil their Blue Square Premier meeting with Newport County on Tuesday.

A blanket of snow was carefully rolled off the Kingfield turf on Tuesday and, when match officials arrived at the ground at around 5.30pm, the pitch was deemed playable.

But a violent and unrelenting snow storm arrived to ruin the party, undoing all the volunteers’ efforts in a matter of minutes.

By 7pm the game had been chalked off – just the latest casualty in a long list of matches to be claimed by the freezing temperatures.

Garry Hill’s hopes were dashed as the green turf disappeared under a fresh coat of powder.

He also expressed his gratitude to the fans who helped give this fixture a fighting chance.

He said: “I feel so sorry for the supporters and everyone who have put in so much hard work earlier in the week. What I have learned at Woking is that we are all in it together.

“You’ve seen that response and that effort in the fans trying to get this game on. They all played their part and that is an encouraging sign for Woking.

“It’s unfortunate because there has been a lot of work put into this game by everyone connected with the club.

“The chairman, the directors, the supporters – everyone has put in such a great effort – and the groundsman has done brilliantly to get the pitch in perfect playing order at 6pm. It looked a treat – but all of a sudden the sky opened and the snow came down.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve now got to arrange the game for a later date.”

Hill’s primary concern is the prospect of a trip to in-form Kidderminster on Saturday, having not played a competitive game since the 1-0 win over Ebbsfleet on January 13.

Steve Burr’s Harriers will not be the same team who shared the spoils at Kingfield in November – but Hill urged fans not to forget Cards’ recent run heading into Saturday.

Kidderminster have rocketed up the table after losing their first five games of the season.

Burr’s side now occupy the final play-off place, and sit just six points off top spot.

But Hill pointed to the Cards’ recent upturn in fortunes and said: “They are a good side and are arguably as good as any we’ve played this season.

“It will be a very tough game for us because I think they’ve only lost something like two in their last 20 league games.

“They are flying but we’re not going too badly ourselves at the moment so hopefully we’ll get a good result.”

A STALWART supporter of the Basingstoke Canal will be forever remembered – after a lock was named in his honour.

Lifelong St Johns resident Peter Redway MBE lived beside the waterway he so dearly loved, and became dedicated to its restoration after repair work began in the 1970s.

Sadly, Peter, who had been chairman of the Surrey and Hampshire Canal Society for 16 years died, aged 79, in 2011.

LOCK, STOCK – guests braved the snow on Sunday for ceremony at Basingstoke Canal’s Lock 11, now renamed the Redway Lock

LOCK, STOCK – guests braved the snow on Sunday for ceremony at Basingstoke Canal’s Lock 11, now renamed the Redway Lock

But his family – including his widow, Marguerite, and two sons – friends and fellow canal devotees braved a snowy Sunday morning to gather as a stone plaque was unveiled in his memory at Lock 11, now forever known as the Redway Lock.

Surrey county councillor and chairman of the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee, Linda Kemeny, said: “Peter’s total commitment delivered the important St Johns back-pumping scheme to ensure a stable water supply for year-round navigation.

“He was honoured in the 2007 Queen’s birthday honours with a well-deserved award of the MBE.”

Guests at the ceremony included Robin Higgs OBE, vice president and former chairman of the now-renamed Basingstoke Canal Society, the current chairman Philip Riley, members Chai Ken and Denise Hall and John Kingsbury, leader of Woking Borough Council.

The party later retired to The Rowbarge pub to thaw out with some liquid refreshments and a buffet provided by the canal events organiser Verna Smith.

A WOKING man renting a house in America was poking around the basement when he was surprised to find some fine clothes stuffed in a rubbish bag.

A tailor’s tag listing the client’s name on one of the suits startled him even more – “Paul Newman – January 1986”.

Illustrator Peter Gamlen, 23, of Hook Heath, said he believes the suit belonged to the late actor, director, entrepreneur and racing driver.

The suit was made by the tailor Henry Stewart.

NEW CLOB - Peter tries out Paul's suit

NEW CLOB – Peter tries out Paul’s suit

So Peter researched Stewart and found an obituary in the New York Times from 1993 that listed Newman among his clients.

Peter, speaking from New Haven, Conneticut, said he began to shout and run around when he made the discovery.

“Guess where my legs are?” he asked one of his friends.

“They’re in Paul Newman’s trousers! The suit is incredibly well made. The whole cut of this is absolutely beautiful.”

Peter also found a photo of Newman in the pocket of a sports jacket he had also found.

In it the heart-throb actor was wearing sunglasses, standing with three other men.

Newman, who died in 2008, lived in Westport, about 30 miles from New Haven.

Peter, who said The Hustler starring Newman is one of his favourite films, went to work in the US about a year ago.

Newman’s long-time friend, AE Hotchner, said that he could not imagine how New-man’s clothes would end up in New Haven, although he did not rule out the possibility.

He added: “Paul was notoriously under-dressed.

“He owned a tuxedo but he burned it so he would have an excuse not to attend any more black tie events.”