MKJ Group
BSBS
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 13th DecemberDec 2011
| Att: 1230

Dartford
Dartford
2 - 3

Woking
Woking

Tough away trip on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey
3:52pm, Sun 11th Dec 2011
Dartford v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 13 December 2011

The Cards end their testing run of games against play-off chasing teams with this away trip on Tuesday night against a side who took four points off them last season. This season the Darts lost their way around the time of Charlie Sheringham’s transfer in October but look to be picking up the pace again. Garry Hill’s side should be confident, though, after Saturday’s 4-1 defeat of Sutton United and will want to take advantage if they possibly can of the chance of putting even more distance between themselves and potential challengers for that coveted automatic promotion place.

WOKING

Woking will go into this game without Paris Cowan-Hall, who tweaked his hamstring not long after scoring Saturday’s opening goal. Cards fans will be hoping he will be back in time for the Christmas/New Year games. On Saturday Garry Hill brought on Elvis Hammond to partner Wayne Gray and could start with those two players in tandem or he could decide to strengthen the midfield for what is likely to be a hard-fought battle.

Although Saturday’s scoreline looks emphatic, there was a period in the first half when Sutton seemed as though they might haul back the two goals they had conceded so quickly, passing the ball sweetly and creating several presentable chances in addition to the goal they scored. Woking’s midfield and defence may need to be a bit tighter on Tuesday evening.

Cards fans will also be keeping an ear open to learn if Frank Gray’s Basingstoke Town can clip the wings of second-placed Welling United at the Camrose on the same evening. If both games went Woking’s way the Cards would stretch their lead to a formidable twelve points. On the other hand, defeat for Woking and a win for Welling would narrow the gap to six points with a game in hand for Welling – so there is a lot at stake on Tuesday night.

DARTFORD

It was clear last season that Dartford, with their good support and impressive ground, were likely to become a force in the Blue Square South and they started this campaign in fine style, recording eight wins, two draws and only one defeat (away at Basingstoke Town) during August and September. Sheringham’s somewhat protracted impending transfer to Bournemouth seems to have unsettled the side, with losses to Boreham Wood and Truro City away and at home to Bromley in the FA Cup. But a recovery seems to have set in, with some decent results of late, including an away win at Salisbury and a 3-1 home defeat of Dover. On Saturday the Darts travelled to Brackley in the FA Trophy and came away with a 3-0 win. That makes it seven league and FA Trophy games on the run without a defeat.

Interestingly, Dartford’s home record mirrors Woking’s away record, each side notching seven wins, one draw and one defeat so far. Woking have the edge on goal difference with 26 scored and 9 conceded whilst Dartford have scored 20 and also conceded 9.

Among the new faces in the summer were Jon Wallis, an influential figure in Dover’s midfield in recent seasons: Richard Graham, a skilful winger from Eastleigh; and former Card Adam Green.

Following Sheringham’s departure manager Tony Burman brought in striker Jacob Erskine, most recently with Ebbsfleet. He also signed keeper Louis Wells from Staines.

The Cards’ defence will need to be on their toes to deal with the pace of Ryan Hayes, Lee Noble and Lee Burns.

GETTING THERE

Princes Park
Grassbanks
Darenth Road
Dartford
Kent DA1 1RT

www.dartfordfconline.com

By coach

Leaves Kingfield at 5pm. Members £13. Non-members £18. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk today to book.

By car

Take the M25 eastbound. Exit at J2 (towards A2(E)/Canterbury/M2/Dartford). Then at roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the ramp to Dartford/A225. At the Princes Road interchange roundabout take the 1st exit onto Princes Road/A296, heading towards Dartford/Crayford/A225. Continue to follow Princes Road, then turn left at Darenth Road traffic lights and second left into Grassbanks. There is ample parking at the ground. Journey time is around 60 minutes according to the AA.

By train

You’ll need to head up to London to Waterloo East. Trains from there to Dartford take about 40 minutes. Possible trains are at 17.55 (18.36), 18.04 (18.44), 18.26 (19.04) and 18.40 (19.21). Trains back include those at 21.48, 21.55, 21.59, 22.01 and 22.18
The Dartford FC website gives the following directions for getting from the station to the ground. Exit station straight ahead towards the Orchard Theatre/Shopping Centre. Do NOT cross the bridge but take the steps/ramp down to the bus stops. Then take the Fastrack B service towards Bluewater/Gravesend and alight at the Princes Park stop. Buses run every 10 minutes during the day.
It is a 10-15 minute walk from Dartford town centre largely alongside the Fastrack busway.

LAST SEASON

Woking 2 Dartford 2
27 November 2010

The Cards went into this game unbeaten in their previous eight games but having failed to win at home in the league since 11 September. They started poorly against newly-promoted Dartford and found themselves a goal down in only seven minutes as Ryan Hayes executed a delicate lob over Andy Little. Elvis Hammond equalised somewhat fortuitously and the Cards began to pile on the pressure, taking a deserved lead just before half-time when Craig Faulconbridge headed in from Ricky Anane’s fine cross. The on-loan Jerome Federico was replaced at half-time by the more defensively-minded Jerome Maledon and the Cards seemed to lose their way. George Purcell equalised with a stunning half-volley and by the end the Cards were grateful to hang on for a point, with Purcell and Charlie Sheringham missing several good chances.

Dartford 3 Woking 2
9 April 2011

Five minutes of calamitous defending just before half-time put paid to the Cards’ chances of winning this game, leaving them 8th in the table and two points off the play-off places.

The Cards started strongly and won a penalty with only three minutes gone as Joe McNerney’s header from a corner was handled, but Elvis Hammond’s spot kick went harmlessly wide. Woking continued well on top, with Craig Dobson causing all sorts of problems. By midway through the first half the Darts had begun to get back in the game but found themselves 1-0 down in the 29th minute when Andy Burgess’s free-kick went over the keeper.

The home side came back strongly and on 38 minutes Bradbrook headed in powerfully from a corner. Two minutes later it was 2-1 when Charlie Sheringham came off best in a tussle with McNerney in the box and calmly passed the ball past Andy Little. Two minutes more and it was 3-1 as the Cards’ defence went missing, with Pallen scoring with a fine left-footed strike.

Things got worse for the Cards in the second half when Adam Doyle was sent off for obstructing the tricky Noble for a second time. Craig Dobson narrowed the deficit in the 82nd minute when he converted emphatically from the spot but the Cards were left to rue their uncharacteristic defensive frailties.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that Woking are at home on Boxing Day to Farnborough. Kick-off is at 1pm. Going to a match on Boxing Day is a great football tradition, so line up your family and friends now for a trip to Kingfield!

Cards gain crucial win

Brian Caffarey
8:10am, Wed 14th Dec 2011
Dartford 2 Woking 3
13 December 2011

This match marked the halfway point of the season and, at the end of it, the Cards found themselves maintaining their nine-point lead over Welling United, having gained a crucial win over third-placed Dartford. Woking dominated the first half with some superb football and went into the dressing room at half-time with a deserved 2-0 lead thanks to towering headers from Alan Inns and Adam Doyle, both from Moses Ademola corners. But they made it hard for themselves in the second half, sitting too deep and allowing Dartford to build up a head of steam and pull a goal back. The game then looked safe when Elvis Hammond grabbed a third goal with four minutes to go but the Darts came back to reduce the deficit once more and Woking fans were mightily glad when the final whistle sounded.

With Ben Smith and Jay Davies caught up in traffic on the way to the game, Garry Hill was forced to re-jig his intended side, with Joe McNerney getting a start in left of central defence, alongside Alan Inns, with Adam Doyle at left-back. Wayne Gray and Elvis Hammond began up front.

On a bitterly cold evening, with a strong wind facing Woking in the first half, the Cards – as so often this season – got their noses in front early on. In the fourth minute Ademola swung a corner in. A static Dartford defence watched as Inns powered a header back under the bar to put the Cards 1-0 up.

It was nearly all Woking as the effervescent Cards dominated possession in midfield, looking to release their speedy front men at every opportunity. Hammond, having one of his best games for some time, cleverly played in Dale Binns, continuing his fine form, and the latter’s fierce shot was beaten away by the Darts’ keeper, Louis Wells.

Dartford’s composure at the back wasn’t helped by the loss of Goodacre in the 18th minute through injury. Woking nearly profited immediately as Hammond released Jack King, who crossed to Gray. Gray’s header was deflected away, with some shouts for handball echoing from Woking fans. A few minutes later Hammond was the provider again as Gray’s shot was blocked.

Aaron Howe wasn’t really called into action until the half-hour mark when he punched and then caught the ball from a Dartford corner. Play was soon up the other end when Inns nearly repeated his opening headed goal from a corner.

Dartford briefly came into the game around the 35-minute mark, for the first time in the match putting some passes together and applying some pressure to the Woking defence. Burns tried a wind-assisted snap shot which flew wide.

Shortly before half-time Woking put together a flowing move out of defence, started by Adam Newton and continued by Hammond, Gray and King to win a corner. Doyle ran in to meet Ademola’s corner with a bullet header, the Dartford defence static again, and the Cards rejoiced in a 2-0 lead.

Dartford fought hard to reduce the deficit before half-time, with Howe being forced into a smart reaction save from a corner, and ex-Card Adam Green twice trying his luck from distance. But Ademola could –and probably should – have wrapped the game up a minute later. A fine break down the left saw him with only the keeper to beat but he applied too heavy a touch to his finish, lifting the ball over the bar.

Half-time: Dartford 0 Woking 2

The Dartford players were no doubt given a hard time by their manager at the break and came out for the second half in more determined mood, but some casual Woking play presented them with their first chance as a loose clearance was returned with interest, Inns being forced to head off the line.

But, as the home side pressed forward, there were still opportunities for Woking to grab a crucial third goal. A break out of defence in the 51st minute saw Ademola hammer a shot against Wells and Doyle put a looping header just over the bar. A surging run by Newton was then halted as his cross was blocked.

However, the Dartford momentum was building and some hesitant play by Newton led to an incisive Dartford attack, with a header coming back off the post or Howe’s foot – I couldn’t tell which from where I was standing.

Garry Hill brought on Gez Sole for Dale Binns in the 61st minute and it was Sole, two minutes later, who had the next chance to stop the Darts’ resurgence. Ademola dinked a nice ball to him in the area but the substitute fluffed his shot.

Woking were quickly made to pay for not killing off Dartford. The home side was beginning to find plenty of space down Woking’s left flank. A cross from there went over Inns and Rogers’s diving header gave Howe no chance.

Ola Sogbanmu immediately came on for Gray, whilst play was then held up by what looked like quite a serious injury to Mark Ricketts, who hobbled off to be replaced by Jay Davies.

Ademola attempted to wriggle his way past a posse of Dartford defenders on the edge of the area but the Dartford pressure continued, with another cross from Woking’s left flank forcing Howe into a clearing punch. The Cards were under the cosh at this stage, seemingly unable to get hold of the ball and too often resorting to panicky clearances or hasty, over-ambitious passes when they did gain possession.

In the 82nd minute it looked as though Sogbanmu, beating Wells to a through ball, might relieve the pressure, but the ex-Staines keeper managed to clear the danger. He signally failed to do so, however, four minutes later, ballooning the ball high into the air on the edge of his area. Hammond showed all his experience in making sure that he, rather than the Dartford defender, was in the right position as the ball came down over his shoulder and then executing an excellent left-footed sweep past Wells and into the net.

Those Woking fans who thought that the Cards were now home and dry were in for a rude shock. Dartford continued to press, with Doyle and then King booked. The latter’s foul led to a free-kick in the 90th minute. Howe, who had otherwise had a faultless game, seemed to miss the ball as it was flighted over but it was headed back across the goal for Erskine, stooping, to head home to make it 2-3.

As the game headed into four minutes plus of injury time Dartford came very close to equalising as a fierce shot was blocked and then Howe did well to grab a cross at a forward’s feet. There was much relief among the sizeable contingent of Woking fans when the referee finally blew his whistle – followed by noisy celebration of what looks like a particularly valuable three points, especially with Welling winning at Basingstoke Town.

Having come through a difficult series of games against a number of top sides, Woking now have what looks like some easier games to negotiate against sides lower down the table but Garry Hill won’t be fooled into thinking that the job is done.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts (Jay Davies 70), Alan Inns, Adam Doyle, Wayne Gray (Ola Sogbanmu 65), Jack King, Moses Ademola, Elvis Hammond, Dale Binns (Giuseppe Sole 61)

Unused subs: Ben Smith, Andy Little

Bookings: Adam Doyle 88; Jack King 89

Dartford: Louis Wells, Matt Jones, Adam Green, Tom Bonner, Paul Goodacre (Jacob Erskine 19), Tom Champion, Ryan Hayes, Jon Wallis, Lee Burns (Tony Garrod 78), Elliot Bradbrook, James Rogers (Richard Graham 78)

Unused subs: Lee Noble, Deren Ibrahim

Bookings: Jon Wallis 65, Elliot Bradbrook 65

My MOTM: Adam Doyle

Attendance: 1230

P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards are at home to Farnborough on Boxing Day. Kick-off is at 1pm.
Dartford LINEUP
1Louis Wells
2Matt Jones
3Adam Green
4Tom Bonner
5Paul Goodacre ('19)
6Tom Champion
7Ryan Hayes
8Jon Wallis
9Lee Burns ('79)
10Elliot Bradbrook
11James Rogers ('79)
BENCH
12Richard Graham ('79)
14Jacob Erskine ('19)
15Tony Garrod ('79)
16Lee Noble
17Deren Ibrahim
WOKING LINEUP
1Aaron Howe
2Adam Newton
3Joe McNerney
4Mark Ricketts ('72)
5Alan Inns
6Adam Doyle
7Wayne Gray ('66)
8Jack King
9Moses Ademola
10Elvis Hammond
11Dale Binns ('62)
BENCH
12Ben Smith
14Giuseppe Sole ('62)
15Jay Davies ('72)
16Ola Sogbanmu ('66)
18Andy Little

Dartford 2-3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

Joe McNerney Interview

David Holmes
11:59pm, Tue 13th Dec 2011
Interview with Joe McNerney following Woking's 3-2 win at Dartford this evening.

Joe McNerney:








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