IT WAS six for Woking and one for Dover on an aqueous August Bank Holiday Monday at Kingfield. A Giuseppe Sole double and a top quality quartet from Scott Rendell netted the catch of the day, as Woking hit Chris Kinnear’s recently promoted Dover for six.
It was third time lucky for Woking against their local Kentish rivals this season, following on from the 1-1 draws – most recently against Welling United 48 hours prior to the Dover game, and previously versus Dartford a week earlier.
“It’s a tremendous result, whoever you play in the Conference league,” said Woking gaffer Garry Hill. I thought the game was won in the first 20 minutes, like if we had taken our opportunities against Welling away on Saturday and Dartford here in the first 20 minutes, but we’ve done that today and blown them away.
“There’s still room for improvement – we’ve still got to get one or two a bit fitter and I wanted 10 points out of 15 at the start of the season, and we’ve got nine – but I’ve got to be happy with that.
“It’s a solid start and we’re still in a position where we’re unbeaten after five games and we’re going in the right direction.”
While Woking passed their way around a physical, yet uncultured Dover, the away side seemed more unwilling to risk using the lush, skiddy surface, instead opting to cast their line a little further with long balls and throws raining down amidst the drizzle.
Hill and Thompson looked to get some energy into the wide areas in the absence of the crocked Kevin Betsy, pushing Saturday’s surprise equalising scorer at Welling United, veteran full-back Adam Newton, 33, and new arrival from AFC Wimbledon Chris Arthur, into wing-back roles as part of an ‘in vogue’ 3-5-2 formation.
“We went a little bit different today and went with three at the back and opened up a lot of creativeness going forward – we thought it would be the answer and it proved that way,” surmised said Hill.
In fairness both defences struggled to get to grips with the slippery conditions at times, with the pitch proving particularly tricky for home goalkeeper Jake Cole, who was making his competitive debut. Indeed Cole was withdrawn just after the hour mark having innocuously rolled his left ankle on the top surface.
But it was Woking who rode the storm the better, as they took the game away from Dover, going in three goals to the good at half time, two near-post efforts from Sole, one with his head and one from his right boot, with the pick being Rendell’s first of his four, finishing off a fine passing move.
With Sole and Rendell working well in tandem, the latter went on to net a further second-half hat-trick, including one from the spot, to take his personal tally to four on a satisfying the afternoon.
Talking about his goal-scorers afterwards, boss Hill said that the game was an illustration that competition for places would bring the best out of his players.
“We’re still a couple short. We need a forward with a bit of pace that can play on the shoulder, like Jack Marriott, but I’ll find one, there’s no doubt I’ll find one. But in the mean time it gives other people the opportunity to show what they can do,” said Hill.
“He [Rendell] needs the service. He got the service up at Alfreton and notched a couple and he’s got it again today from wide positions. Gez done very well.
“People mustn’t forget that he got a late goal against Dartford here and got us out of jail. He’s got two today. But that’s what we want, competition.
“We’ve got to have three or four forward players who are in competition to get a place in the team.”
WOKING: Cole (Howe, 65mins), Newton, Ricketts, McNerney, Clarke (Lewis, 62mins), Payne (Jones, 62mins), Murtagh, Arthur, Rendell, Sole, Morgan.
Now is the time to start moving on
WOKING boss Garry Hill says now is the right time for the club to look forward as his side maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
In the first of their two August Bank Holiday weekend fixtures against Welling, a rare Adam Newton goal saved another late point against Kentish rivals from around the M25 – just as Giuseppe Sole had done the previous week against Dartford.
Prior to the Dover game, Hill said that while his side are far from going back in time after three straight draws, he is keen to have club sights set to the future already in the formative stages of this 2014/15 season.
“We’re not as good yet as I thought we would be but the positive is that we are unbeaten, although we’re going to be short of the target we set ourselves for the first five games,” said Hill after the game at Park View Road. We’re not doing bad but we’re looking to improve all the time.”
Full-back Newton stole in at the back post with 10 minutes to go at Welling to nod just his second goal during three years at Kingfield. Newton, 33, who skippered the side to Surrey Senior Cup glory back in April, will have been looking on with interest as the draw for this year’s first round was made, which pitted holders Woking against Combined Counties Premier side Ashford Town.