Woking v Horsham
By Tom McLean
Here you go. I think I only mentioned myself 46 times.
Four goals from talismanic striker Andy Pike was not enough to secure Woking's first win of the season as they fell just short to relegation rivals Horsham. On his return from a two week break after the birth of his second daughter Lara, Pike was in razor sharp form in front of goal, however, six goals from Horsham, including two from ex-Woking legend Sean Pearcy denied Mani Kochar's side their first win, in what was their most spirited performance to date.
Much of the opening few minutes were spent in the Horsham half, however, first blood went to Horsham after just four minutes. Woking's early dominance paid off with a sublime equaliser just seven minutes later. A driving run from the young talent of Robert Faulkner allowed him to seek out Pike in the Horsham D. Off-balance, Pike deflected the ball into the top right corner.
With the scores level at the interval, captain Tom McLean sensed victory, and the second half started as the first had, with Woking holding most of the ball. Unfortunately, much like in the first half, after four positive minutes, Woking fell behind again. A short corner flying past Lewis W. Ankers in the Woking goal. Woking's reply came almost immediately from the restart. Will Mainwaring found the Kai Rohde who fed Faulkner who broke into the D and found Pike again lurking at the far post, who calmly lofted the ball over the keeper to bring the scores level.
The next fifteen minutes were to cost Woking. A series of unforced errors, and some unfortunate decisions led to four quick goals. The sixth of which came from the penalty spot as Mainwaring and Ankers tag team tackled the Horsham striker. Fortunately for Woking Mainwaring was deemed to be the most guilty and took a sit down. Pearcy despatching the lethal penalty.
Woking's defensive setup steadied the ship, with veteran Michael Emes receiving his first call up of the season. It was Emes who then turned provider playing in brother-in-law Pike who rolled on his strong side, before slotting into the bottom corner. Forwards Alex Curry and the energetic James Furness broke again with Pike unable to provide Furness with an assist.
Andrew Barticorn again turned defence into attack, finding a Horsham foot in the D. A slick short corner move with Kasper Kuijpers laying on Mainwaring who's shot-cross was deflected past the keeper onto a Horsham foot. Pike stepped up and roofed the penalty stroke into the top-left corner.
Time was against Woking and once again, captain McLean's side fell just short. Defensive stalwart Mainwaring commented: "Whilst we are hugely disappointed at the final result, today was a very positive performance. We found the net more times than any previous game and with two big games coming up before the break, we feel we are on the brink of something big."
Lineup: Ankers, Mainwaring, Rohde, Kochar, Barticorn, Emes, Faulkner, McLean (C), Kuijpers, Cockerham, Pollock, MacDonald, Pike, Furness, Curry.
MOM: Andrew Pike
WOW: Andrew Barticorn