The good news was that the heatwave broke and thankfully as I type this the heatwave is still broken. Yay.
After the South Park game, which apparently was an impressive 5-0 victory over a scratch home side (if you can’t try players out in pre-season, then when can you? I’ve no doubt that Mick Sullivan will have a competitive side very soon, he’s too good a manager not to), it was with more than a bit of confidence that we visited Woking Park. I haven’t been there for a number of years, certainly the last first team game that I saw there was in the 2004-05 season when we fluked a win over Westfield on the way to Surrey Senior Cup glory the following May just across the road at the Kingfield Stadium. The place has changed drastically, Woking Park is now part of the leisure centre, and is actually a smart and comfortable place to watch football.
After the scorching temperatures and almost complete lack of rain, the pitch resembled a desert. I’m sure Westfield are hardly the only club to suffered this fate for their pitch, suffice it to say that on the day, the home side adapted well, the visitors adapted terribly.
I missed the South Park game, largely because my stupid foot was still too painful, there isn’t really anywhere to sit near the halfway line (there is a stand behind one of the goals but I hate watching football behind a goal), so I gave the game a miss. Therefore, I managed to miss our only pre-season win so far, but despite the results, the performances haven’t been too bad.
On Saturday against Westfield, well, if I produced a box within this blog detailing the positive points of the game as far as Kingstonian was concerned, then it would be blank. Well, it might say “Thankfully it’s only pre-season”, but that’s about it. The fun began early with a strange goal when a good shot from the edge of the area cannoned into the post, flew into Andrew Musungu’s face and went in. I had to check to see if James Milner was playing for K’s as it reminded me of one of the numerous goals for Roma in the Champions League last season against Liverpool.
It didn’t really improve from there, there was no flukiness about the other three goals for Westfield (one came when we all stopped believing that we would get a free kick, something that’s always an obvious no-no), and both teams got exactly what they deserved out of the day.
Westfield were promoted as champions from the Combined Counties League last season, having been runners-up the year before, having scored about a million goals in doing so. Having seen them near the end of July on a dusty and dry pitch, my advice to their nineteen opponents in the South Central Division this season is beware, Westfield are not there simply to make up the numbers. I may be moaning about the K’s on the day, but Tony Reid has done a tremendous job there and I see good things on the horizon for him and his club.
As for us, we literally dust ourselves down and get to business tomorrow night against Whyteleafe. Now I actually have no clue as to what our line-up against Brightlingsea Regent on 11th August is going to be (I would guess Rob Tolfrey in goal, but that’s it), but I just hope that nobody plays their way out of a shirt and that was really a one-off blip. At least I’m 99% sure that we won’t have a repeat of last season when we peaked on opening day at Billericay…
But a good thing is that Leigh has given his squad some competitive friendly matches this summer – we have three to come, no games against Whyteleafe are ever uncompetitive, newly promoted Hartley Wintney on Saturday will be one heck of a good test and then Crystal Palace arrive next Tuesday. I think we’ll be ok come the 11th and the visit of Brightlingsea.