Sheerwater currently play at Woking's Kingfield Stadium which was actually one of the deciding factors of my game choice. At least if the weather turned really bad there would be plenty of cover at Kingfield. Probably preferable to standing out in the open. Of course, as a former West Brom season ticket holder who was at The Hawthorns on 'Buzaglo Day', a trip to Woking's stadium was going to be a reminder of the second-worst day I had watching West Brom (the worst was relegation to the third tier at Twerton Park).
As you would expect with a stadium at Woking's level, Kingfield can boast covered stands around most of the ground. The Leslie Gosdon Stand is the one that dominates the ground, looming over the goal at the Westfield Avenue end of the ground. There are covered terraces at the Kingfield Road end and a selection of older covered seating areas, including the family and media stands, running along the length of the ground. The clubhouse and all facilities are also on this side of the stadium. The far side of the stadium is the only uncovered area, being open terracing for the full length of the ground.
Only the main section of the stadium was open for this game but I'm sure the small, hardy crowd (including a ground-hopper all the was from Barwell in Leicestershire) were very glad of the cover to protect them from the combination of snow and rain that fell for the entirety of proceedings.
As this is British Airway's first season at this level, this was the first meeting between these two sides. Since promotion from the Middlesex County League BA have given a good account of themselves in Step 6, amassing a creditable 31 points from their 22 games. They should already have done enough to ensure continuation at this level next season and can now concentrate on getting a good points haul. Sheers go into the game on the back of a 4-3 win at Cove and, before that, a superb 1-0 victory over leaders Frimley Green. A win tonight would, take them to second place and keep the pressure on at the top.
Sheerwater took control of the game from the first minute, looking assured and dangerous, they were making light of pretty difficult playing conditions.
It took them 12 minutes to break the deadlock and when they did, it was top-scorer Shane Rideout who provided the goal, latching onto a cross from the left-wing and slotting past Cheadle. 1-0.
It was all Sheerwater and seven minutes after taking the lead they extended their advantage, Danny Taylor applying a very deft touch to flick the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. 2-0
To be fair to British Airways, they were managing to get their fair share of possession, but were not managing to make too much headway into the Sheers final third. After 24 minutes it was, effectively, game over. Timmy Taylor received the ball on the left side of the BA box. His driven effort came back off the far post but Taylor followed his own effort in and was left with an easy finish from the rebound. 3-0
British Airways were reeling now and the Sheerwater onslaught showed no sign of relenting. Just after the half-hour mark right-back Shane Cheeseman got in on the act and showed that defenders can score good goals too. Bursting into the box, he lifted the ball expertly over Cheadle to make it 4-0.
HT Sheerwater 4 British Airways 0. Possession was probably about even. However, its what you do with it that counts. Sheerwater have looked dangerous every time they have attacked and have produced some clinical finishes. BA have not stretched the home 'keeper at all yet. They will need to seriously improve in the second-half.
One plus point for British Airways is that they did improve after the break, but were already out of the game in actuality. They did manage to force the home keeper into a few saves in the second-half though, which is more than they managed in the first half. Sheerwater were still well in command of the game, even though their scoring frequency had dropped somewhat. They put this right a minute after the hour when Timmy Taylor became the third Sheerwater player to score with a delicate lift over the keeper. 5-0.
Taylor then completed his hat-trick three minutes from time, this time driving an unstoppable effort past Cheadle from the left hand corner of the penalty area. 6-0
The scoring finished as it had started, with Rideout adding the seventh just before the final whistle. 7-0
FT Sheerwater 7 British Airways 0. The definition of a comprehensive victory. BA won't look back on their first visit to Sheerwater with any joy.
Sheerwater: Rider, Cheeseman, McAleese, Wilson, Roisetter, Letch, L.Taylor, Hegarty, Rideout(c), D.Taylor, T.Taylor. Subs: Rothwell, Dore, Charles, Ruggles, Machay
British Airways: Cheadle, Adamson(c), Bennett, Parfitt, Jeff, Girt, Nobes, Edwin, Haynes, Kalejaiye, Quadry. Subs: Callan, Richards, Rose, Scott
Ground Number: 179