Woking 0 Harriers 1
Venue: Kingfield Stadium
away fans: 170 (approx)
Dead team Woking as Harriers grab points
The Harriers rewarded their new manager, Mark Yates, and their travelling fans with an, admittedly, lucky win at Woking today. Johnny Mullins grabbed the winning goal to send the fans back home happy and also to make up for missing the game at Altrincham earlier in the week through suspension.
For his first game in charge Yatesy pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the surprising return of Burnley youngster Marc Pugh back for an extension of his loan spell that had originally ended before Christmas. Pugh made the starting line-up as did Daryl Burgess and John Danby for the second game running with both Patrick Flynn and Lee Thompson dropping to the bench.
The first half of the game was virtually one way traffic towards Danbys' goal with chances from Hutchinson and Justin Richards from close range that Danby superbly tipped over the bar. Jimmy Aggrey was also unlucky when his header crashed against the crossbar following a corner from Paul Watson.
It wasn't all going Wokings way though, we did have the occasional foray into their half. One chance when Gareth Sheldon was put through by Iyseden Christie only to side-foot the ball just wide when he should have easily put it past the Woking keeper Shwan Jalal.
By the end of the half there was a marked improvement in our play after taking far too long to settle down, probably down to nerves in trying to impress the new manager too much.
HT: 0 - 0
That improvement continued into the second period of play and we were the first to get a chance of taking the lead when Russ Penn fired into a wall of Woking defenders but the shot was spotted by an alert Jalal to stop it from going in.
Woking were then on the attack for a short while with an header from Craig McAllister after a Simon Jackson cross was picked out of the air just before it crept into the top corner of the goal.
In the sixty ninth minute all our birthdays came at once when Johnny Mullins got on the end of a loose ball following Terry Fleming's well placed corner. Mullins wasted no time in snapping the ball into the back of the net to give us our first away league win since Gravesend in September last year.
The goal was the signal for Woking to throw everything they could at Danbys' goal, including sending their centre half Aggrey up alongside Steve Ferguson as a double headed strike force. Chris Sharpling and Mark Rawle came on for Steve Evans and Craig McAllister but our solid defence kept them at bay until the final whistle blew.
What had originally looked like being a hundred percent home win for Woking had been transformed into a glorious homecoming for Mark Yates and his band of reprobates. The win moves us up one place in the League but it's the feelgood factor that's the most pleasing.