Sat 24
Holcombe 2
5
-
1
League
Men's 1s
K Browne (58')
Silver Linings in Kent

Silver Linings in Kent

By Craig Alder
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Is it a bird, Is it a plane? No it's Kristian Browne putting it Top Bins!


This past Saturday provided the 1’s squad with not only the first league match, but also the first opportunity to hop on ‘Pinder’s Party Bus’ (trademark pending), with a combined average age, not significantly higher than the buses intended passengers. The exceptions to these were the stalwart of James Turner and Robbie Faulkner, who’s showing the full ageing effects that alcohol brings.

Nevertheless, the squad were in high spirits departing ‘Fortress Goldsworth’ just after noon, filled with optimism. This was epitomised by Elliot Glover, who displayed bundles of energy, following being with ‘special company’ the night before. Would the company of his teammates be up to scratch, if you pardon the pun.

The journey down was filled with false promises of coffee stops by Captain Craig (CC for all future purposes) and complaints from Ollie Stuart that he couldn’t harass our ears into hearing his tunes. Yet, the squad were united in being determined to put on a strong first week performance. Lots of movement over the summer had provided numerous new additions to the squad; all of which were eager to cement their place in the squad.

Having arrived in what can only be described as “Medway”, we were joined by last year’s ‘Man of the Season’, Mathew Cockerham and new signing Kwan Kristian Browne. After managing to sync up the speakers in the changing room and a quick stretch, the squad were up for something rarer than the pandas on our training tops; an opening weekend win.

However, the match didn’t begin well for Woking. A bobbly pitch and a ferocious full press immediately put the defence under pressure. Holcombe were able to capitalise on the home pitch advantage, scoring a goal shortly into time from an interception. Yet this did not phase the team, eager to go again and reset the game.

As time progressed, Woking grew into the game, building up passages of play, with Uni returner Ollie “Stuzz” Stuart and new signing Arthur “Swag” Hunt joining Kristian in making strong contributions to the forward line. This display of character, led to a great solo goal from Joe Snell, which to this day, will remain one of life’s great unanswered questions, as to why it was disallowed.

Although, chances continued to come, few and far between were able to be utilised against the well-drilled Holcombe side. This was especially true with their Spanish centre back looking like he was going for a relaxing walk down the Costa-del-Sol.

The midfield worked well as a new unit, debutants Taz Chowdhury, Sam Wavish and Joe Snell added to the dynamic duo of Mathew Cockerham and Robbie Faulkner to provide dynamism with some big interceptions, catching Holcombe on the back foot.

Yet this wasn’t enough to hold back Holcombe, sliding in two more goals from short corners before the half time whistle. The fledgling, Woking team kept their heads held high, knowing that there was still plenty of time left in the game to gain something, against what was practically a National League opposition.

Could history be on their side? Just as it was in the home game against Horsham last season; Which saw the greatest heist since the Italian Job.

The second half began and we knew we needed to start hitting back hard. I would like to say that I, myself (‘Freight Train’ aka Jamie Goodall aka Kristian Browne stunt double) excelled in this department. Some heavy challenges got Holcombe thinking twice before trying to go past this coal-powered hulk of bone, Lucozade and full English (minus the black pudding).

The final warning shot to the rest of Holcombe, was when an over confident right back tried to test the stability and quickness of this steam engine. He was quickly carried off of the pitch, and placed on the bench not to return for the rest of the match (possibly longer). As a travelling spectator so eloquently put it, “He pushed Jamie, Jamie pushed back harder.” (We don’t mention accidentally injuring Taz in some of these tackles). The injured player in question, was later seen in the bar vacuumed into the tightest jeans you have ever seen; Thank heavens that they double up as compression leggings. Our deepest wishes go to their brave little soldier, get better soon Champ.

However, this spirit of resilience and toughness echoed through the whole squad of Woking. Running for every ball, meeting every 50/50 and leading. Passes were starting to link up with the midfield including Taz, Cockers, Joe S, Billy and Robbie beginning to link to the forward line. This caused for some nervous moments for Holcombe as they were hemmed into their own half for extended passages of play. Holcombe, managed to break the line and momentum of play, winning another corner which was once again successfully converted. 4-0 to the home side.

As the pressure built, diamonds were formed (get it?) with chances opening up. Kristian ‘Twinkle Toes’ Browne managed to get in behind the defensive line, and bury a chance top left which can only be described as “an absolute belter” and “goal of the day”.

Had more of the Woking players, played more cricket this summer, I’m sure that the end result, would have been closer. Alas, Holcombe’s ‘slip-and-slide’ pitch proved costly with missed first touches among other errors leading to our comebacks demise. Holcombe grew back into the game as our legs grew weary, managing to slide in a final goal towards the end of time.

A 5-1 score line at the end. Holcombe deserved the win with flawless basics and regiment. However they themselves know, that the score didn’t reflect the game they had played in.

A disappointing first result but plenty of positives for the squad to build on. With a week off from matches to train hard, Woking are sure to come back and make the league fully aware of their presence, having challenged what was practically a National league side, for extended periods of play.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 24, Sep 2022

Kickoff

15:00

Meet time

12:15

Instructions

13:45 @ Holcombe
Bring both socks

Competition

Men's Premier Division

League position

5
Holcombe 2
12
Woking