National League Woking picked up their first win of pre-season with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Westfield as Non-League warmed up to return, writes Alex Thrower.
With manager Alan Dowson naming two different teams either side of half-time on Tuesday night, the Cards’ big names dominated the first period.
John Goddard, Jack Cook and Dave Tarpey all troubled the Westfied keeper before a trialist eventually headed in from a pinpoint Tarpey corner after 17 minutes.
It took the National League side just four minutes to find a second, returning fans’ favourite Goddard twisting his way through the area before sending a low cross for a trialist midfielder to tap in.
? | ‘Woking were very convincing for most of the first half’.
— Woking Football Club (@wokingfc) August 26, 2020
After a host of changes, Woking looked far less threatening in the second period and Westfield were able to pull a goal back with 20 minutes to go.
Elsewhere, Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio used 22 players as the Magpies opened their pre-season schedule with a 1-0 defeat to Everton U23s and Kings Lynn Town stepped up preparations for their debut season in the National League with a 1-0 win at AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
In Manchester, Step 5 Abbey Hey’s 3-1 triumph over local rivals Trafford was one of few games not falling victim to the weather.
National League South Wealdstone welcomed Championship outfit Luton Town to The Vale, manager Dean Brennan naming a strong starting XI.
Eleven of the title winning squad featuring was not enough to stop The Stones being defeated 3-0 with goals from former Portsmouth legend Kazenga Lualua, as well as Jordan Clark and Andrew Shinnie.
7’ Weymouth 1-0 Wealdstone
18’ Weymouth 1-1 Wealdstone
40’ Weymouth 1-2 Wealdstone
53’ Weymouth 1-3 Wealdstone
62’ Weymouth 2-3 Wealdstone
66’ Weymouth 3-3 Wealdstone
89’ Weymouth 3-4 Wealdstone
— Wealdstone FC (@WealdstoneFC) August 26, 2020
Meanwhile, Step 5 Wellington welcomed Hereford for a competitive 1-1 draw in 60 mile an hour winds and Northern Premier Matlock Town thrashed Maine Road 5-1. The Gladiator’s game will be remembered by the return of fans favourite Craig King, who had missed 18 months with an ACL injury.
Moving south, Isthmian outfit Horsham continued their impressive pre-season with a thumping 6-0 victory over local side Loxwood. The Southern Combination Premier side will be hoping for a better year than last, having picked up just nine points in 28 matches.
In the north east, Northern League Division One champions Stockton Town stunned Step 3 South Shields. The Anchors came from behind to win 4-1 at the 1st Cloud Arena.
There was another remarkable comeback at Marine, who went 2-0 up inside ten minutes against Step 2 Southport. The Sandgrounders battled back to a resounding 6-2 win, while Bristol Manor Farm fought to an impressive 3-2 victory over Westfield. Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist picking up two and missing multiple chances for his hat-trick.
And finally, Bury AFC were able to pick up an emphatic 5-0 victory over Daisy Hill in their first ever game. The Phoenix club will be looking to build momentum ahead of their debut season in Step 5.
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Images courtesy of The Non-League Paper, David Holmes & @wokingfc/Twitter