By 1:45pm today the bars and clubs of Britain had been cleared of all punters when they all went back home to the wife and shopping after witnessing a typical Harriers performance that had them falling asleep over their pints. It wasn't just the Harriers lack of effort in their first televised game of the season that drove them away because Woking didn't play their part either.
After storming displays against Vauxhall, Burton and Ware in recent weeks the Harriers were hoping to make this four wins in a row and Woking were just the type of side to be ready for the taking. Their form this season has been nothing short of dire and the Harriers v Woking clashes of the past are not looked forward to as they once were.
After this you can see why. The Harriers had all the possession needed to get a result but did nothing with it because all the great build up play created amounted to zilch once the final ball was put into the box or at the strikers feet.
With no Stuart Whitehead to take charge following his dismissal at Ware last Saturday we lacked the dynamo needed to drive us. This showed when once we had gone in front with the penalty that we failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck and go on to score more goals against poor opponents.
In place of Whitehead we had Gavin Hurren and he didn't do too badly. Justin Richards started the game against his old club in favour of Iyseden Christie who dropped back to his now accustomed seat on the bench. The remainder of the line-up was the same as the FA cup side from last week.
Woking had a few injury problems with the main one being an injury to Nick Gindre, their usual keeper, that forced them to play with a young teenage keeper, Russ Worner, himself suffering with an injury.
The first fifteen minutes of the game were nothing to get excited about but at least we were passing the ball about crisply enough and looking for a way through the five man Woking defence. Our first real chance of the game came through Michael McGrath when he fired a speculative, rising shot over the bar although Richards was better placed to do something with it.
McGrath played his part in the next move of the game when he was bought down on the edge of the Woking box after making a great run towards it looking for someone to make a pass to. Gav Hurren took the kick but that too went over the bar.
So far all the good stuff was coming through McGrath who's stature is rising game on game. This time he sent in a shot that knocked Worner backwards off his feet and made him drop the ball.
It wasn't all going the Harriers way and Woking were getting a couple of chances of their own. Mainly through Joe Gatting but many of his chances were being won unfairly and ended up being penalised. In the thirty sixth minute Justin Richards chased a long ball forward from Mark Creighton but right on his heels was Tom Hutchinson who tried his best to pull him over, climb over him, send him crashing and succeeded.
The ref had no hesitation in pointing to the spot as Richards claimed the ball for himself, put it on the spot, waited for the keeper to dive to his left and put the ball in the other side of the goal.
The Reds continued in the same vein as before but still failed to convince. Brian Smikle went close with a header and James Constable should have done better with a weak shot straight at the keeper but by the time the whistle went for the break we still remained one goal to the good.
Hopes were high for a similar but slightly better performance in the second period.