It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
Oh, my apologies. After the events of the last 24 hours, dear reader, it's difficult to forget that we still live in the free world, because Big Brother is always watching.
When George Orwell was writing one of his most apt masterpieces, I imagine he would never have thought that The Party would be dealing with a worldwide pandemic, back to back defeats and Andrew Barton still playing as their starting centre back.
Alas, Coach Casson was the latest victim to catch the Rona. Fortunately, we're nearly 40 years removed from the dystopian nightmare predicted by Orwell, so our heroes were still very much on the tightly held leash of their dictator via a combination of the club's newly installed CCTV systems and a direct line to Jamie "Moses" Pinder. If you thought coaches had a god-complex normally, be safe in the knowledge that Ryan actually called himself "God".
Deity or not, Casson was clear in his instructions; for once in our miserable, mortal lives, stick to the path that he put us on and he will bless us with many favours in the afterlife a couple of jugs of beer.
For the visit of Old Williamsonians, Woking welcomed back Captain Fantastic Rodiguez Trimboli and Vice-Captain Fantastic Ming after their absences last week against OGs, along with Polish International Superstar Juli Blaszkiewicz after returning from his efforts at the junior world cup.
Woking started just as the Man on the Telephone had ordered them to, playing delicious, patient and sensible hockey which eventually led to Blaszkiewicz having the first real shot in anger as his tomahawk went just over.
Despite the strong start, Woking found themselves doing a fair amount of defending. Max "Dirty Harry" Deeley saving well, Andrew "Barney Stinson" Barton making some important tackles and Jamie "Choo Choo Mothertrucker" Goodall making crucial interceptions.
Momentum shifted after Tom "Wario" McLean took a "team" green card after the umpires eventually got tired of Woking's apparent inability to tackle. In a strange turn of events, however, the 10 men regained composure, kept it simple and started finding gaps.
The breakthrough finally came for the Goldsworth Park outfit when, after again employing the controversial new tactic of keeping possession through multiple phases, a sprawling pass out from Mat "do you still want fish now you've got no chips?" Ming found Blaszkiewicz who drove into the D and won a corner. After composed work, Mat "The Accountant" Cockerham, slipped a nice underarm pass to The Polish Assassin to drive home.
Cautious after the implosion against Eastbourne a fortnight ago, the Goldworth Park Ultras were soon celebrating again.
Another well threaded pass by Kenny Rogers Ming found Ben McLean's brother, who surprised everyone with a burst of speed to escape the attention of two defenders before picking out legendary onion-bagger Andrew "only in the 1s cause his dad is the President" Pike, who bagged another onion at the second onion bagging attempt.
There was still time for Ryan's Ragtag Rudebois to score an unbelievable third goal before half-time. After some excellent pressing from Blaszkiewicz and Harrison "Not Quite Triple H" Hubbard, Old Willies (TEE HEE) turned the ball over. Smart work by Juli put Stephanie McMahon's husband through on goal, but because the Hubbards are selfless and kind, he squared it back to Blaszkiewicz for his second goal of the day.
3-0 at half time reader. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! IT'S MAD, INNIT.
If before the match Pinder was Moses, at half-time he was Noah. Spreading the gospel of a wrathful Casson. If the Eastbourne game was the flood, this had to be Woking's Ark. Simply put, the voice in Pinder's head left a clear message; "don't fu--mess this up, please."
Truth be told, reader, it wasn't really a game for the unique skill set of this reporter, and for much of the second half I sat on the bench chatting to Pikey and patting James "his name is almost as rude as Old Willies" Fookes on the head and telling he was going to score (more on this later), so I couldn't tell you about what happened it the early exchanges of the second period. It was, however, a game for people with hockeying ability, a desire to pass the ball forward and skills that have developed beyond what is taught in year 4 physical education.
And Woking did and had just that. Perhaps it wasn't quite champagne hockey in the second half (Old Willes scored 2 goals, so... you know...) but it was at the very least a very good bottle of Prosecco. Maybe like M&S? Do they do a good prosecco? I'm more of a whisky man.
Anyway, more goals. HOORAY.
After Fookes was very well tackled but still won a short corner, a smart move saw Ming devastatingly dribble a shot through the legs of the hapless Willies' keeper, and Pike was waiting patiently on his back post to bag another onion. Loves onions that boy. Onions and flipping off Ryan through CCTV cameras.
After Willies rudely scored, Woking then did more sexy hockey, and Craig "The Caffeine" Alder pinged a ball into the D, which was subtly deflected by James "Billy the Kid" Turner into the path of James "Hold on, isn't Pikey usually at the back post?" Fookes to slide home. *Inset Charlie Johnson Voice* Magnificent hockey, Woking
Woking were cruising. They even had the luxury of missing two absolute sitters at the back post through Juli "Hat-trick avoidance" Blaszkiewicz and, even more comically Jamie "Ryan Told Me Not To Talk About How Bad This Miss Was Because He Didn't Want To Knock Your Confidence After You've Played So Well The Last Two Weeks But Don't Worry Mate I'm Gonna Be Really Subtle About How Hilarious Your Miss Was I Mean You Were Pretty Much In The Goal You Duffer But Unlucky Pal Better Luck Next Time It's important You Remain Empowered" Bloomfield.
Unperturbed, The Sixth Day Ryanists just decided to score again.
Fookes won possession back and after Crash Bandicoot Goodall, Energiser Bunny Bloomfield and 14-Time World Champion Hubbard freed up Tom "This was a" Goodwin to thread a ball to McLean who selflessly (yep, honestly, read it again) square to Fookes to magnificently top the ball into the bottom corner.
6-2 then. Magnificent. Big Brother was happy. The crowd were happy. Aunty Suey even came to watch. Just a good day all round. And I won my money back at the Poker tournament in the evening. Honestly, Carlsberg (other awful lagers are available) doing Saturdays and all that...
I mentioned in my last report (3-1 victory against Sittingbourne) that this team will be fun to follow and are worth your support. At times, it's been frustrating. But on days like Saturday, it was a timely reminder that maybe there is a God, and he gave our coach covid and we won without him. Praise be, reader. Praise be.
You thought I was going to end with a nice sentiment, didn't you? (But seriously, keep supporting us.)
Mom: Mat "Got all his chips taken by Andrew Barton at Poker" Ming
Wow: " Craig "Of course it was Craig" Alder.