Trojans have a more youthful look this season, but some of the more experienced Stoneham set remain the guiding lights – as was proved in the 5-0 victory over winless South League Premier Division 2 strugglers Woking.
Colin French opened the scoring, Paul Hilton got two second half goals, Steve Cole kept a clean sheet – and Chris Jackson (left) played the entire 70 minutes.
The match also marked the return of South African hit-man Sinoxolo Mbekeni, from Port Elizabeth, who will be at Trojans for the remainder of the season.
Trojans started the game well, putting Woking under pressure from the start. The hosts hassled and harried well early on, with Ian Bassett at the heart of the early attacks. Despite this intent and endeavour, Trojans were unable to capitalise on good build up play for much of the first half.
The youthful Woking side had set up to counter, unleashing a probable league record in failed one touch passes in attempts to prise open the league’s best defence, which has leaked only 11 goals thus far.
Trojans controlled the first half well, and opened up the scoring with powerful top D strike from French finding the bottom corner of the Woking goal.
After that overdue breakthrough, Trojans were able to get a second. A soaring aerial from Bassett tore open the Woking defence, and Ben Cole was able to get the home side’s second to make it 2-0 at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with Trojans creating and missing a plethora of chances, short corners coming and going. Woking continued to stick to their philosophy of late cuts and first time bounces, to little avail.
As the game wore on, the speed and close control of Sinoxolo Mbekeni, playing his first game in around two months, began carving through the away side.
This pressure led to a third goal, with a deft touch from Paul Hilton utterly bamboozling the Woking keeper.
Three up and with Jackson still on the pitch, Trojans got a fourth, an improvised short corner being parried to the always lurking Richard Aves, who tucked the ball away with aplomb.
Before the final whistle Hilton doubled his tally. Afterwards, there were celebrations for Cole’s clean sheet, Jackson’s uninterrupted 70-minute session and Toby Dudson’s 16th birthday, a chocolate cake, sponsored by Costa of Otterbourne.
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