TT BLOG: Woking (FA Trophy) Talking Points

TT Talking Points – Rob Dand

Offside or not offside?

Well, without the benefit of TV replays in line with the play, we will never really know – but this is football, so I’m not going to let the inconvenient hint of futility deter me from discussing it anyway.

A decent ball in from a Jake Andrews free kick out on the right wing (his delivery was pretty good through the whole game, by the way) landed neatly on Connor Lemonheigh-Evans’ head, and he managed to divert the ball goalwards. There was a lot going on in the box, not least the presence of our own goalkeeper, but despite all the hubbub Connor looked like he had got the final touch. At least he did from the zoomed-out Woking stream camera, situated 40 yards away. The linesman, however, was firmly of the belief that man-mountain Billy Waters had managed to push his way to the front of the queue and get the final knock on Connor’s flick. Having spent most of the game in an offside position, this seems highly plausible, but it’s ironic that the one time he seemed not to be actively involved in the move, he was flagged up. A case of reputation letting him down, maybe?

On a side note, talking about Waters and his evident wanderlust, this is infuriating to watch but I’m not sure I really want him to change his ways. A striker like him thrives on playing right on the edge of the defensive line, so ending up offside a couple of times per game is basically a hazard of the job. If he played two yards deeper I’m not sure he’d be quite as effective – his strength seems to be in having an instinct for reacting quickest to opportunities, and there were a couple of instances in this game where he seemed to have too much time to think.

Penalties

Not Asa’s best, this one. A decent height for the sun-blinded keeper, so all he really had to do was commit to the dive and get in the way, which he did. In fairness to Asa, he doesn’t often miss so he was probably due one. I generally think we look much better when we have the wind in our sails, so an early lead would have been nice. As it was, a little while later we conceded and had to chase the game.

Was it a penalty to start with? Well, it was definitely a foul, and it seemed to take place over an area the size of the Amazon rainforest, so pinpointing the exact moment of contact is tricky. It’s one of those that goes down as being ‘on the line’, and the line counts as the box, so I think on balance it was fair. We do have a few clever players in the side – Ben, Connor, Jake – that are quite adept at drawing fouls from less savvy opponents, and it’s becoming a bit of a weapon for us. I’m sure Asa will have no trouble slotting the next one home.

Photo courtesy of David Holmes.
Photo courtesy of David Holmes.

New ‘Keeper

Another game, another last-minute signing. Enter Marcin Brzozwski, a name that the ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ functions on Microsoft Word were seemingly invented for. The 22-year-old goalkeeper, arriving on a one-month loan from QPR, was unveiled in typically dramatic fashion only hours before kick-off. We do enjoy a bit of mystery, don’t we? I’m sure Gary would have his new signings playing with a paper bag over their head if he could.

(CTRL+C) Brzozwski (CTRL+V) had a reasonably decent debut, making two very good saves through the course of the game but also looking a little vulnerable when coming for crosses. I would assume that the latter is more of a communication issue, and as a young man you’d forgive him for not having the confidence on his debut to come crashing through a sea of his new teammates to claim a loose ball. Particularly when they are as imposing as the likes of Billy Waters. Perhaps that will improve – or perhaps we won’t see him between the sticks again, once McDonald returns from his ban? The goal he conceded wasn’t really his fault – it was a pinpoint finish, and the striker had brushed aside two out-of-position defenders to carve the opportunity.

Cup vs League

Sitting down to watch this tie, I wasn’t really sure if I ever wanted us to win. That might sound a bit silly, but with the injuries we’ve got at the moment (props to the Woking commentary team for using the word ‘decimated’ – I enjoyed that), I think the main thing was to come through this with no-one else ruled out. I’m not sure, if we had a more full squad, that the likes of Hall and Wynter would have featured against Woking. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of being able to field a second string or rotate the squad at the moment. The League is by default the priority now, which could be a blessing in disguise. It’s not as if the fans were going to get a day out at Wembley anyway, due to the ongoing bullshit, so I can’t say I’m too upset at getting knocked out.

Gerring Watch

One of the Yellow Army’s most enduring pantomime villains, Ben Gerring is now in his third season with the Cards after intervening spells at Truro and Billericay Town. The commentary team described him as “immense” during this game, which I think is a little bit kind, but in fairness he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet, hit the post with a header, and didn’t do anything stupid. A relative success. It probably helped Woking that there were no away fans there to goad him into a predictable red card. He was, however, beaten by the quick feet of Sheaf, who couldn’t slot the ball through the Woking keeper’s legs in the first half after a tricky run.

Couldn’t help himself having a little dig on Twitter after the game though, could he?

COYY – Rob

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