You know that you have had a great day when the contemplation of sleeping in the garden in the early hours of Sunday morning is more appealing than the prospect of waking up your wife after forgetting your keys and too many lemonade's, but this is what supporting The Wells can do to you on an FA Vase away day.
Everyone in Kent knows that Tunbridge Wells have the best support of any non league football club below tier 7 of the football pyramid, even teams 2 or 3 divisions above us do not have the following that Martin and the boys have, but now the combined counties league know what it's like to have the full force of The Wells support turn up on your doorstep, after we literally took over Westfield Football Club in the 2nd round of our favourite cup competition.
Sterling work behind the scenes by the club, especially James Purton's organisation of the 3 coaches, ensured that the Wells faithful were all able to travel on mass to Woking, but after some heavy rain overnight the prospect of all this hard work unravelling, seemed a depressing possibility. We have to give Westfield a lot of credit for getting the pitch playable, and it was not until we arrived when we saw a tons of sand on the pitch that we realised how close we were to having to come back next weekend.
The day started with the usual P.M.T (Pre Match Tension) and an early visit to the clubhouse for some pre coach lemonade's to discuss the day ahead..after the register was called and everyone was in class we all boarded the fun buses for the hour or so journey to Surrey. After some more soft drinks and merry songs (most notable for the youth finally getting a song for Radders) we arrived at St Johns Catholic school in Woking..after realising that this was obviously not the intended destination despite what the sat nav said, the drivers did a 25 point turn In the narrow streets of Woking and shortly after we arrived at Woking Park.
Upon arriving we thought the police presence was a bit over the top for a tier 9 cup game, until we realised Woking were entertaining Barnet in the conference, only a stone's throw from the Westfield ground..we paid the entrance fee and proceeded in swarming all over the bar area...quite what the players thought when they saw the crowd during the warm up we will never know, but there can't be too many times when a team plays away but have literally all the support.
Once the flags were out and and the impressive 50 seater subbuteo-esq stand was commandeered, the south stand faithfully joined by the injured Parsons and cup-tied Seenan started our singing and we were under way. After an excellent performance last week against Fisher confidence was high and it did not take long for The Wells to take the lead, Lee Radford was brought down and from the resulting free kick, Joe Fuller glanced in a header into the bottom corner of the net, cue a small jostle in the away end. This goal should have inspired the team to put the game to bed nice and early, but Instead Westfield came into the game more and caused lots of problems for the Wells down the left hand side, and after 22 mins Westfield got a deserved equaliser when Michael Milne found himself unmarked in the box after a cut back from the by line and slotted home, cue cheers from the 5 Westfield supporters.
Westfield seemed to cope with the difficult conditions in midfield better than The Wells, and created some half chances during the first half but The Wells made their chances count when just before half time Brendon Cass slotted home from an angle, after a fumble from the Westfield keeper...and we went in at half time 2-1 to the good.
After some half time refreshment we were back under way, and again very quickly The Wells extended their lead, when Lee, Lee Lee Lee Lee, Lee Lee Lee Lee, Lee Lee Lee Lee Radford mesmerised the Westfield defence with his quick feet, and slotted his shot across the keeper and into the bottom corner of the net, a mass jostle ensured from the faithful and finally we could relax and enjoy the game.
To be honest the second half turned into a bit of a lemonade induced blur after that, Westfield brought out a couple of excellent saves from a half-fit Steve Lawrence in goal, but on 56 mins Joe Fuller got his second goal of the game turning and shooting from the edge of the box past an unsighted keeper, cue a crowd player beer throwing embrace and mini pitch invasion...now the singing was relentless and the Woking fans across the road must have heard us.
The Wells saw out the rest of the game but not before Fuller got his hat-trick, when with 6 mins left and after a scramble in the box Joe hooked his shot into the top left corner of the net..more crowd embracing and beer throwing ensured a great end to a great day.
After more soft drink refreshment and banter in the bar we got back on the fun buses for the journey home, today showed the best of Tunbridge Wells football club, a great win and incredible support, the Westfield finance team wished we could come every week, the Westfield players wished to never play us again !! Tomorrow is the 3rd round draw and the Vase journey continues...but most importantly I need to find my keys and aspirin.!!