Farnborough Town provided the perfect tonic to accompany Woking's spirited performance against Telford United with a 2-0 victory that sent Nuneaton down rather than their near neighbouring rivals, writes ALEX NAREY.
Ian McDonald had promised Woking's army of fans a battling display on their travels and the Kingfield faithful were not disappointed as the manager's word proved to be as strong as oak.
However, McDonald — who has worked tirelessly under the most difficult of circumstances since his arrival back in February — claimed the win was for the fans dressed in the red and white of Boro rather than anyone else.
"We wanted to go there and put in a performance," said the boss. "But we went there and won for ourselves, not for Woking and not for their fans."
Still, he could not deny the prospect that local derbies against Aldershot and Woking next season would wet the appetite of football fans across the region, however, he was quick to add that the hard work still lies ahead.
"It will be great for all the supporters in the area but we can't just get side-tracked with those particular games. There are other tough fixtures to take into consideration and next season is probably going to be tougher than the last three months have been."
On Saturday, McDonald was left surprised at the reactions from the home side's support throughout the 90 minutes, but still knew that Nuneaton would be ready to have a go at his boys.
Fielding a side with just two substitutes yet again, and with two of his front-men — Joff Vansittart and Ken Charlery — playing in defensive roles, Boro took the lead on the half-hour mark when Lenny Piper finished neatly from Danny Potter's cross.
And despite several chances coming Nuneaton's way as they poured forward in numbers, Geoff Pitcher's goal in the later stages of the second half was enough to condemn the midlands' side to playing Doc Martens football next season.
The result means that Boro finish the season in a respectable position of 13th, just one place below Stevenage Borough — the home of former boss Graham Westley.
Speaking with regards to the difficulties he has encountered in the last few months, McDonald claimed that the Jim Rodwell affair — in which the central defender's unpaid wages led to the club being handed a transfer embargo — was the most difficult issue to deal with.
"That whole experience was very disappointing because it was left by the old manager. At the end of the day he (Westley) claimed that he didn't want Farnborough to go down but if he really cared then he would have sorted that out beforehand."
Despite this, McDonald has remained immensely positive and it is no surprise to see that his outlook has rubbed off on the players who have responded to their manager's rallying calls.
"I've really enjoyed it," he added. "Hampton & Richmond Borough did not work out for me but the opportunity to manage Farnborough in the Conference was one that I could turn down.
"It has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. Lady luck has deserted us and you think to yourself ‘what have I done to deserve this'. We didn't win games that we should have won but I am happy with the way I have conducted myself."
Commenting on the players he has had to work with, he added: "We have gained each others respect and we have all remained positive."
You can only take your hat off to the man for the job he has done. Who else would take on a role that offered pretty much everything to lose rather than anything to gain. He has proved to be a local man with a big heart for a local club and nobody should lose sight of that for a second — least of all Woking fans.
BORO: Osborn; Vansittart, Charlery, Annon, C.Piper, Taggart, L.Piper, Pitcher, Patterson (Butterworth 68), Potter, Harkness. Subs not used: Baptiste. Ref: D.Richardson. Att: 1,710.
l A passport belonging to a Mr Gary Parker, has been handed in at the club offices, to claim, either visit the club or phone (01252) 541469.
l Tickets are still available for Saturday night's End of Season Presentation of Awards night at the club, priced at £22.