WOKING missed the chance to move back to the top of Vanarama National League South last Saturday, when they could only draw 1-1 with St Albans City at Clarence Park.
Pacesetters Torquay United conceded two goals in the final eight minutes to lose 3-2 to Bath City in front of a 3,492-strong crowd at Twerton Park, meaning The Cards would have taken pole position with victory in Hertfordshire.
However, St Albans were in no mood to give Woking an easy afternoon, and forced their visitors to come from behind to snatch the point that left them only one adrift of Gary Johnson’s Devonians, but with two matches in hand.
So The Cards’ superb run of eight consecutive victories in the league came to an end. Last Saturday was the first time since the 3 November stalemate at Chippenham Town that Woking had dropped points.
Chances were at a premium in a scrappy opening half-hour, although the visitors’ rhythm was hampered when Jake Hyde went off with a hamstring problem after only 20 minutes.
However, City broke the deadlock in the 31st minute.
Woking failed to clear a St Albans attack and the ball fell to Zane Banton. He sent in a shot from just inside the box and team-mate Solomon Sambou stuck out his right boot eight yards from target to divert the ball past keeper Craig Ross via the far post.
Five minutes later, The Cards were back on terms. A Josh Casey free-kick was nodded into Jack Cook’s path by a home defender and the former Hampton & Richmond Borough man drilled in the equaliser from just inside the box.
Ross saved with his feet to deny David Moyo four minutes before the break.
And Moyo went agonisingly close to restoring City’s lead in the 50th minute. After being set up by Ben Wyatt, Moyo powered in a header which crashed off the back post.
Substitute Greg Luer forced a smart save from home gloveman Dean Snedker, before palming over Ben Gerring’s header. Another substitute, Paul Hodges, won Woking a penalty with 17 minutes remaining. He was judged to have been brought down in the box by Banton, but Luer’s spot-kick was thwarted by Snedker’s legs.
City roared back and twice saw efforts cleared off the goal-line as Woking hung on for a draw.