Alfreton Town played host to Woking on Saturday for only the second time in eight seasons and the outcome was the same - a 0-3 defeat, just as in the FA Trophy back on February 5, 2005.
This was for Blue Square Bet Premier points though, and having won 2-1 in Surrey just three months earlier the Reds looked on course for a double when early pressure saw Darran Kempson head against the crossbar and visiting keeper Aaron Howe pull off excellent saves to deny Nathan Arnold and Scott Boden.
There was also a crisp shot by Connor Franklin from a Law corner that was blocked by Jack Parkinson in the fifth minute.
Kempson’s header stemmed from a Josh Law free-kick, and both Arnold and Boden fired low and hard from 25 yards in an attempt to beat Howe, the keeper having to leave the field in the 25th minute with a suspected broken wrist after landing heavily when fielding under pressure.
Ironically the introduction of Latvian stopper Elvijs Putnins after a lengthy delay swung the pendulum in Woking’s favour, Phil Barnes having already had to superbly tip over John Nutter’s accurate free-kick six minutes earlier.
Matty Harriott volleyed over from 20 yards from a Theo Streete throw on 34 minutes, then Bradley Bubb was sent clear for the Cardinals only for their leading scorer to drag his shot wide from 12 yards.
Boden was quick to latch on to Leigh Franks’ intuitive through-ball with his shot deflecting off Brett Johnson for a corner, but Woking stepped up a gear in the final minutes of the first half with Barnes blocking Kevin Betsy’s shot with his knees before Law cleared Parkinson’s header off the line.
Harriott was only just wide from the edge of the area on 46 minutes, then 12 minutes later when Betsy dispossessed Arnold on the half-way line a swift interchange with Billy Knott ended with Barnes parrying his shot before smothering the loose ball.
Paul Clayton’s shot amidst a hectic 61st minute scramble was blocked by Parkinson following Franklin’s cross, then two minutes further on Barnes needed to pull off an incredible double save from Knott and Joe McNerney.
Woking led on 67 minutes when Bubb stabbed home from six yards after Nutter had played Knott through, then Arnold headed over at the other end after Franks had teed up a Law corner.
It was 2-0 to the visitors on 72 minutes when Bubb’s run to the by-line allowed him to pull the ball back after side-stepping Barnes to leave Betsy with an easy conversion from close range, then 11 minutes later Knott punished slack marking on the edge of the area by Franks to rifle home a third.
ALFRETON: Barnes; Streete, Kempson, Franks, Franklin, Law [Meadows 72], Bradley [Soares 72], Harriott, Arnold, Clayton, Boden [Hewitt 80].
Subs not used: Tomlinson, Worsfold.