2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

AndyT
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2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by AndyT » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:37 pm

Now that I've got a bit more spare time on my hands I'm going through my football match records and updating where needed. Doing so brings back a variety of emotions and memories, some good and some bad.

I've just been reviewing season 2002-2003 and what a roller-coaster of a season it was. Glenn Cockerill was manager and considering some of the results during the season it is a wonder that he stayed in his position till March 2007. That season we used 6 different goal keepers let alone numerous outfield players including a cameo appearance from the manager up at Southport.

The season started with 3 wins and a draw to see Woking top the Conference but this only heralded in a disastrous 11 matches without a win that plummeted Woking down to 21st position. During this run we conceded 36 goals which included a 4 match run of heavy defeats: 1-5; 0-5; 0-4 and 1-5. Two draws stopped this particular rot before yet another 5-1 defeat (up at Southport where Cockerill made his cameo appearance). In fact that season we conceded 5 or mores goals in a match on seven occasions so you could say when we lost we did it in style. The heaviest defeat came on 22nd February 2003 when Gateshead put 6 past us at Kingfield in front of 1,491 hardy souls (thankfully not myself as I needed a break from announcing all those goals in the Woking net and was enjoying the hostelries of Norwich that day). That left Woking in 17th place and a further defeat away to Margate dropped us even further with just 10 matches to go.

Amazingly Woking remained undefeated for the remainder of the season and a run of 9 consecutive draws saw Woking go into the final match of the season still in 21st place on 44 points. Kettering Town were well bottom and were already relegated. Above Woking were: Southport, Leigh RMI and Gravesend & Northfleet on 45 points and Nuneaton Borough 46 points. Woking simply had to beat Telford United and hope other results went our way. Leigh RMI and Gravesend & Northfleet both won so secured their place, our old foes Stevenage Borough (they were still Borough back in those days) did us a huge favour by comfortably beating Southport 3-0 so it all came down to Nuneaton Borough who were at home to another one of our rivals, Farnborough Town. A draw would suffice as Woking would have to make up a 9 goal deficit in goal difference to go ahead of them. In front of 3,045 fans Woking stormed to a 3-0 victory with goals from Scott Canham, Amos Foyewa and Ben Townsend so it was all down to the result at Manor Park. I recall it was a tense few minutes after our match had finished before the final result came in and joyously I was able to announce that I looked forward to seeing everyone next season back in the Conference as the final result was Nuneaton Borough 0 Farnborough Town 2 and amazingly Woking had beaten all the odds and had survived.

As I stated at the beginning of this piece some good memories and some bad memories and this season had them all. A bad memory of a season of bad memories that stands out for me was on 25th January 2003 when I witnessed a 1-0 defeat up at Leigh RMI. Two truly dreadful teams in a truly dreadful football match won 5 minutes from time by the home team. It was freezingly cold and by the end of the match it was snowing heavily. While waiting for my bus back to Wigan to catch my train home, a journey that was going to take around 5 hours, I thought to myself why do I do it, I must be mad, I'm freezing cold, it's snowing, the bus hasn't turned up, Woking lost and I won't be home for another 5 hours. The joyous scenes at Kingfield on the final day of that season is a reason why I (and you lot) do it.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by rocknut » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:00 pm

Great read and saved the best till last for the last paragraph. 👍

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Bobbo » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:14 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your loyal experience supporting WFC.
Grazie mille.
80)

Quod non necat emunit.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by AshWFC » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:10 pm

01/02 and 02/03 are the first seasons I was of an age that I went to most home games, and followed away games. I often confuse them with each other, given how relegation imperilled we were during both, and how many heavy defeats we suffered... I don't remember the Gateshead battering, but do recall being decimated by Morecambe at Kingfield (probably 01/02, think it was by six all in the second half?)

Also, it should be said, the brand of football under Cockerill was hard on the eyes at times, only improving a bit when Selley signed the following year. He did find a player here and there... Canham was decent, but Raphael Nade was my favourite 02/03 player, and very fun to watch, no matter how awful and bereft of fortune he was in front of goal. I remember in one game at home (don't know what season, but it was perhaps vs. Chester) he lobbed the keeper one-on-one just outside the area, everyone sure he'd scored, only for the ball to bounce up, come back off the crossbar, and into the keeper's arms. GC's luck with goalkeepers was odd... couldn't settle on one, then later got his hands on both Jalal and Basso at the same time.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by doylie » Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:43 pm

“ . . . and there’s been a goal at Nuneaton. . .”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xhY_Hrt-G5k

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Kingfield Ender » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:05 pm

Wasnt it Morecambe who smashed us 6-0??
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Nonsense Potter » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:07 pm

Was that the game that was 0-0 at half time?
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Kingfield Ender » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:24 pm

Yep, and by the end there was about 300 left in the ground. No boos just silence
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by AndyT » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:50 pm

Kingfield Ender wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:05 pm
Wasnt it Morecambe who smashed us 6-0??
Correct it was Morecambe, you spotted my deliberate mistake ;o)

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Nonsense Potter » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:59 pm

Kingfield Ender wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:24 pm
Yep, and by the end there was about 300 left in the ground. No boos just silence
Same season as getting beaten about 4/5-1 by Stevenage at home too?
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by AndyT » Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:05 pm

Nonsense Potter wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:59 pm
Kingfield Ender wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:24 pm
Yep, and by the end there was about 300 left in the ground. No boos just silence
Same season as getting beaten about 4/5-1 by Stevenage at home too?
It was 5-1 😥

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Dogger » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:25 pm

I remember that season far too well unfortunately (which in itself is amazing due to the alcohol consumed that season!)

Wasn't Chapple manager at the start of the season? seem to remember the Southport game when Cockerill made his cameo was Geoff's last?

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Adz » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:28 pm

AndyT wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:50 pm
Kingfield Ender wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:05 pm
Wasnt it Morecambe who smashed us 6-0??
Correct it was Morecambe, you spotted my deliberate mistake ;o)
I believe to make things worse it was 0-0 at half time!

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by jonwoozley » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:16 am

"Glenn Cockerill was manager and considering some of the results during the season it is a wonder that he stayed in his position till March 2007."

Chapple had replaced Lippiatt with Cockerill which led to them falling out. Then 'Black September' led to Chapple resigning and Cockerill taking over.

I agree, we should have had a new manager at the end of the season, especially as that's when we went full-time.

It's only this Summer coming that we have that opportunity again.

Managing a full-time squad will be a new experience for Dowse, I hope he succeeds.
Dual meditates,
Non habetis argentum.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Kanu's Nan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:21 am

Whilst it might be fair to say that Cockerill didn't do much in 02/03 to warrant the job, for the next three seasons he was justifiably retained I think. finished top-10 in 03/04, were legitimate playoff contenders until the second to last game in 04/05. 05/06 it declined and he should have gone after the Trophy final.
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by JAM » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:59 am

"and there's been a goal at Nuneaton". 1 of the iconic lines in the history of WFC

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by AndyT » Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:42 am

jonwoozley wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:16 am
"Glenn Cockerill was manager and considering some of the results during the season it is a wonder that he stayed in his position till March 2007."

Chapple had replaced Lippiatt with Cockerill which led to them falling out. Then 'Black September' led to Chapple resigning and Cockerill taking over.
I had this in my mind but wasn't so checked Wikipedia. This just said Geoff Chapple 2001-2002; Glen Cockerill 2002-2007 so I hedged my bets by putting it as I did. Losing 7 matches in September, 5 of those at home: 2-3, 1-2, 2-3, 1-5, 0-5, 0-4 and 1-5 was, and is, indeed black.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by alas Tom Jones » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:06 pm

I recall Raphael Nade being brutally barged into the railings at Stevenage, and Cockerill standing guard on the touchline over his prostrate body, while the match continued regardless. And wasn't there a long sequence of alternate draws and losses under his reign?

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Card Sharp » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:37 pm

Kanu's Nan wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:21 am
Whilst it might be fair to say that Cockerill didn't do much in 02/03 to warrant the job, for the next three seasons he was justifiably retained I think. finished top-10 in 03/04, were legitimate playoff contenders until the second to last game in 04/05. 05/06 it declined and he should have gone after the Trophy final.
That Trophy final surely saved his job? Agreed he should have gone. If memory serves, we had a very kind route to the final - on paper at least. I know you have to beat what is front of you, but against a very good Grays side, we were well and truly found wanting in the Final!

The Post Cockerill era until Garry Hill were not very enjoyable times!

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Kanu's Nan » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:00 pm

It probably did save his job but that's probably why he should have gone! The football had turned and we all knew we'd skanked our way to the final in truth.

How many times did Gez save his job the following season?
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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by JAM » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:12 pm

I believe that we didnt play another Conference side until we got to the final. In saying that Grays were a good team in those days

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by darreng » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:51 pm

JAM wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:12 pm
I believe that we didnt play another Conference side until we got to the final. In saying that Grays were a good team in those days
We had however drawn twice with them that season, so you would have expected it to be a competitive game. In truth Grays cruised the match and if we had fluked a goal they would have found extra gears.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by PatsWFC » Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:09 pm

AndyT wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:37 pm
Now that I've got a bit more spare time on my hands I'm going through my football match records and updating where needed. Doing so brings back a variety of emotions and memories, some good and some bad.

I've just been reviewing season 2002-2003 and what a roller-coaster of a season it was. Glenn Cockerill was manager and considering some of the results during the season it is a wonder that he stayed in his position till March 2007. That season we used 6 different goal keepers let alone numerous outfield players including a cameo appearance from the manager up at Southport.

The season started with 3 wins and a draw to see Woking top the Conference but this only heralded in a disastrous 11 matches without a win that plummeted Woking down to 21st position. During this run we conceded 36 goals which included a 4 match run of heavy defeats: 1-5; 0-5; 0-4 and 1-5. Two draws stopped this particular rot before yet another 5-1 defeat (up at Southport where Cockerill made his cameo appearance). In fact that season we conceded 5 or mores goals in a match on seven occasions so you could say when we lost we did it in style. The heaviest defeat came on 22nd February 2003 when Gateshead put 6 past us at Kingfield in front of 1,491 hardy souls (thankfully not myself as I needed a break from announcing all those goals in the Woking net and was enjoying the hostelries of Norwich that day). That left Woking in 17th place and a further defeat away to Margate dropped us even further with just 10 matches to go.

Amazingly Woking remained undefeated for the remainder of the season and a run of 9 consecutive draws saw Woking go into the final match of the season still in 21st place on 44 points. Kettering Town were well bottom and were already relegated. Above Woking were: Southport, Leigh RMI and Gravesend & Northfleet on 45 points and Nuneaton Borough 46 points. Woking simply had to beat Telford United and hope other results went our way. Leigh RMI and Gravesend & Northfleet both won so secured their place, our old foes Stevenage Borough (they were still Borough back in those days) did us a huge favour by comfortably beating Southport 3-0 so it all came down to Nuneaton Borough who were at home to another one of our rivals, Farnborough Town. A draw would suffice as Woking would have to make up a 9 goal deficit in goal difference to go ahead of them. In front of 3,045 fans Woking stormed to a 3-0 victory with goals from Scott Canham, Amos Foyewa and Ben Townsend so it was all down to the result at Manor Park. I recall it was a tense few minutes after our match had finished before the final result came in and joyously I was able to announce that I looked forward to seeing everyone next season back in the Conference as the final result was Nuneaton Borough 0 Farnborough Town 2 and amazingly Woking had beaten all the odds and had survived.

As I stated at the beginning of this piece some good memories and some bad memories and this season had them all. A bad memory of a season of bad memories that stands out for me was on 25th January 2003 when I witnessed a 1-0 defeat up at Leigh RMI. Two truly dreadful teams in a truly dreadful football match won 5 minutes from time by the home team. It was freezingly cold and by the end of the match it was snowing heavily. While waiting for my bus back to Wigan to catch my train home, a journey that was going to take around 5 hours, I thought to myself why do I do it, I must be mad, I'm freezing cold, it's snowing, the bus hasn't turned up, Woking lost and I won't be home for another 5 hours. The joyous scenes at Kingfield on the final day of that season is a reason why I (and you lot) do it.
Ah Black September..............don't think in my 30years of following there has ever been a more alarming run of defeats, and wasn't one of these drubbings televised? Yeovil away wasn't it with SImon Rodghers' only ever appearance for us

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by doylie » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:08 pm

I remember Hereford at home was televised at the very start of that Black September run, it chucked it down with rain and if it wasn’t for the TV cameras would probably have been called off, we were a bit unlucky to be fair but it was the start of the Lee Sandford Shit Fest.

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Re: 2002-2003 A season to remember......or not

Post by Meerkat » Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:31 am

alas Tom Jones wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:06 pm
I recall Raphael Nade being brutally barged into the railings at Stevenage, and Cockerill standing guard on the touchline over his prostrate body, while the match continued regardless. And wasn't there a long sequence of alternate draws and losses under his reign?
We would have been in the playoffs but for the cheating scum breaking Nade. He was the important outlet ball, and as he seemed to make it up by the split second the defenders had no chance of working out what he was going to do.
My dodgy memory says that the Scum broke Nade then we went to Exeter and a couple more got injured then someone else got themselves sent off at home and it fell apart.


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