Woking's Derby Kings Crowned
Combined Counties Division One
Westfield completed the double over local rivals Knaphill with a win they perhaps felt should have wielded a greater margin.
Manager John Comer already without Charlie Newman (now likely to be out for the season) and Daryn Hennessy was forced to shuffle his pack due to an injury to Luke Beale and inform midfielder Tom Hegarty who withdrew on the morning of the match. Rob Jones and Mark Tyler returned to the starting line-up.
The opening exchanges were fairly even with Westfield continually getting caught out by the offside trap. Knaphill had the first effort on target 10 minutes in but Nick McGregor got down well to his right to deny Wetherall. As he half grew it became apparent that the hosts were on top in midfield and the pressure increased. Panter was close to latching onto Jones’s header back across goal but the visitors went up the other end and Jay Coombes volleyed over unmarked from 10 yards out. Minutes later Mark Tyler was next to go close when his effort from Andy King’s corner flew just over the bar. The opening goal arrived on 25 minutes. After being brought down Damian Panter struck a free kick from 25 yards that was saved by Edwick, the ball was scrambled clear but only as far as Jones who rode two tackles and fed the ball to Panter. The striker cleverly turned in the box and the ball broke kindly to Mark Tyler who guided the ball home into the bottom corner. It was a wonderfully composed finish from the classy centre back. Westfield were very much now on top and Damian Panter was instrumental in the attacking moves. The lead was doubled on 35 minutes with a wonderful goal. Andy Wright carried the ball out from the back and fed Damian Panter who turned on halfway and drove at the visiting defence. With an elegant through ball with the outside of his foot he played in Rob Jones who bore down on goal and finished inside Edwick’s near post. Jones having a superb game on the left unfortunately hobbled off shortly afterwards and as the interval approached Westfield maintained their two goal lead.
The second half saw Westfield look to finish the match. On 49 minutes after delightful link up play between the two Hogsden’s cross found Panter 6 yards from goal but his effort was scrambled off the line by Ward. Ricky Hogsden went closer moments later when he was played in but his ferocious shot hit the bar and looped over. It mattered not however as the ex Knaphill man latched onto Panter's expertly crafted through ball to lob Edwick and put the host’s 3 goals to the good. Knaphill looked to reply and McGregor had to be alert to keep out Coombes at his near post. Shane Cheeseman began to find more space and as the game approached its final quarter left Brainch on the ground and slipped the ball to Lee Allum but the skipper fired just wide when well placed. The last twenty minutes saw the visitors finally come into the game and Andy King had to clear off the line twice in quick succession. At the other end Westfield looked capable of breaking through every time on the break and Hogsden went close again but his left footed lob dropped the wrong side of the post. As the game approached injury time Brainch weaved into the box and despite his effort crashing off the bar Paul Wetherall hit home against his former club.
Overall a good performance but Westfield may feel they could have pushed on in the second half and increased the margin. Credit to Knaphill for not giving up particularly in the latter stages.