Well, it wasn’t pretty, but a hard-earned three points for ten-man Yeovil Town at Woking are the first we’ve got on the board in 2022. Here’s how Coatesie saw it from his vantage point at the Kingfield Stadium….


It probably doesn’t bear counting as a conclusion any longer, but this team really is putting everything on the line for points this season.
In a profession where there is a dwindling amount of loyalty, we have a team constructed of those at either ends of their careers who are playing like their lives depend on it.
There’s no experienced heads looking to see out their autumn years on easy street, or youngsters who see this as simply a step on the ladder – or if they do, they are going to kick and fight their way up it.
I cannot help being drawn back to the comparison of the side which took us out of the Football League…..if that side had half the spirit of this one….anyway, that’s a conversation for another day.

Luke Wilkinson.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

How much do we need Luke Wilkinson? The manager described his performance as “great, rubbish and great all in the same game” but even at his most ‘rubbish’ he was inspiring.
Ben Barclay alongside him looks a useful addition and when the kitchen sink came from Woking with us down to ten men, they ran in to a Wilko and Barclay-shaped wall.
The stats in all competitions where he’s featured speak for themselves.
With Wilko: P17 W11 D1 L5.
Without Wilko: P12 W1 D6 L5.
That is if you count the penalty shoot-outs against W*ymouth and Needham Market (both without Wilko) as draws at 90 minutes, and give him a win for his two-minute cameo at the end of the victory at Wrexham.

Whilst you can only beat what’s in front of you, this was a very poor Woking team.
Missing their only decent player in Max Kretzschmar and now without their only goal threat, Tahvon Campbell, who moved back in to the League at the, they were devoid of any quality.
A better side or one with a player able to find a bovine’s behind with a string instrument would surely have put away some of the chances Woking wasted.
Even with ten men for half-an-hour, there was only one occasion where Grant Smith was forced in to serious action.
The effort we put in saw is over the line, but let’s make no mistake this was a poor opponent.

I could complain about the referee, Tom Bishop, who was seemingly intent on sending someone off from the opening moments….oh, I just did a bit!
But, there were too many occasions where we gave the referee an invitation he didn’t need to go to his pocket.
Darren Sarll described Tom Knowles as a “daft bugger” for getting his fifth yellow for delaying play, and it felt like both sides gave away fouls which you can afford to do  against a trigger-happy referee.
When both benches are throwing their hands up in frustration at decisions, you get the impression of the kind of game Mr Bishop had.

Finally, who’s still standing? With Tom Knowles now suspended for Tuesday’s derby with W*ymouth, Jordan Barnett having limped off with a hamstring strain to go with the ankle injury he went in to Saturday with, it’s looking threadbare.
The addition of Barclay was a plus and it was great to see Lawson D’Ath back on the bench – oh how we could do with his skill in midfield – but more reinforcements are needed.

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