Specsavers
BSS
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 17th AprilApr 2010
| Att: 752

St Albans City
St Albans City
0 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards seek yet another win

Brian Caffarey
12:15pm, Fri 16th Apr 2010
St Albans City v Woking
3pm on Saturday 17th April 2010

Woking fans will be travelling to Clarence Park en masse tomorrow to see if the resurgent Cards can continue their magnificent late-season assault on the play-off places. Graham Baker’s side have to win their last two games, tomorrow and then at home to relegated Weymouth the following Saturday, to stand any chance of retaining their precarious hold – gained on Tuesday at Maidenhead – on fifth place, and even then they would have to rely on other results going their way. But a win at St Albans would definitely take the contest to the last day of the league season to set up an exciting finale.

WOKING

Graham Baker will have to weigh the odds over whether to start with several players who are carrying injuries, including the influential midfield pairing of Harry Arter and Mark Ricketts, while another midfielder, Jerome Maledon, has still got a bruised heel. The impact which Matthew Wright has made after coming on in the last two games makes a strong case for including him in the starting line-up but, then again, it would leave Graham with less opportunity to change things from the bench if Matthew wasn’t available to bring on.

The current relevant league positions are:

4. Braintree 40 games 68 points
5. Woking 40 games 66 points
6. Bath City 39 games 65 points
7. Havant and W 40 games 65 points
8. Staines Town 39 games 63 points

Fixtures tomorrow include:

Basingstoke Town v Braintree
Bromley v Bath City
Maidenhead United v Havant and Waterlooville
Staines Town v Thurrock

The Cards will be desperately hoping that, not only can they win at St Albans, but that either Braintree or Bath City are defeated on their travels – and that Staines Town fail to beat Thurrock. A lot to hope for on one afternoon!

ST ALBANS

After a patchy start to the season, which saw them lingering towards the bottom of the table, the Saints hit impressive form in early February, going on a run of six wins in eight games, which took them into the group of play-off contenders. But three successive defeats ended those aspirations and they now lie in 12th place with 54 points from 40 games.. However, they did well to gain a point at Braintree Town last Saturday and are not to be taken lightly.

Recent results are:

13 Mar St Albans 1 Thurrock 0
20 Mar Worcester City 0 St Albans 0
7 Mar St Albans 1 Dover Athletic 2
3 Apr St Albans 2 Bishop’s Stortford 4
5 Apr Hampton and RB 3 St Albans 0
10 Apr Braintree Town 2 St Albans 2

In the home fixture back in November a poor Cards performance, on the rebound after FA Cup exit at Swindon Town, saw them suffer a surprising 1-0 defeat.

GETTING THERE

Clarence Park
York Road
St Albans
AL1 4PL

Tel: 01727 864296
Website: www.sacfc.co.uk

By coach
Leaves 12 noon; £11 members, £15 non-members; phone the Club Shop before 4pm today.

By car
Exit M25 at J22 (A1081). Follow signs to St. Albans from slip road. At London Colney roundabout (traffic light controlled) exit onto A1081. Follow road for about 1 mile until mini roundabout (Great Northern pub on left). Turn right into Alma Road. At traffic lights turn right into Victoria Street and continue to junction with Crown pub. Go straight across into Clarence Road, ground is first on left about 50 yards past junction or take the next turning on the left into York Road. Ground entrance is at the end of the road on the left.

A small amount of parking is available at the Clarence Road entrance. If not, the station car park can be used or surrounding roads.

By train
There is a good service from St Pancras to St Albans, taking some 20-25 minutes. For train times visit www.thetrainline.com. Turn left out of the station into Station Way and cross Hatfield Road into Clarence Park. Follow the path round to the right of the ground until you reach the main entrance.

Come on, you Cards!




Cards take it to the last game

Brian Caffarey
12:46pm, Sun 18th Apr 2010
St Albans City 0 Woking 1
17 April 2010

The Cards continued their late-season surge with another win – their seventh in eight games – with this victory at a sun-baked Clarence Park yesterday. In doing so, they took the fight for the play-off places to the last game of the season, at home to relegated Weymouth next Saturday, but even a win then might still not be enough to secure a top-five spot. Much may depend on two fixtures on Tuesday night, when Bath City travel to Lewes (5-0 home winners yesterday) and Staines Town play at Maidenhead United.

The Woking line-up, in front of terrific away support, was very much as expected, with a back four of Anane, Sinclair, Hutchinson and Thomas; the midfield comprised Ademola, Ricketts, Arter and Nicolau, while Gez Sole sought to capitalise on Craig Faulconbridge’s lay-offs up front.

The Cards attacked strongly from the kick-off against a youthful Saints side. On a hard, bumpy pitch, though, both sides found it difficult to get the ball under firm control and with Woking looking frequently for the head of Faulconbridge, the ball spent quite a lot of time in the air.

Early threats came from an Ademola cross, dummied by Sole, and then Faulconbridge headed wide from a fine cross by Nicolau. On the quarter hour mark a nice Woking move, which began with a Worner throw-out to Thomas, ended as Ademola blazed well over. The home side responded immediately, when Anane inadvertently played the ball to an attacker, and the Cards had to be grateful to Worner for saving with his legs. He was in action again from the corner, punching clear in the box as the ball bobbed around. In a lively spell Sole’s well-struck free-kick was parried clear by the reliable Bastock in the Saints goal, and then Harry Arter made a terrific run into the box, hammering the ball across from the byeline, only to see it cleared. But the ball was then played out wide right by Thomas to Ademola, who was then foiled by Bastock once more as he shot and then saw the ball rebound back off him to the keeper.

After this lively opening 20 minutes the tempo dropped and proceedings became rather scrappy, with the ball frequently finding touch or spending a lot of time in the air. The Cards nearly had a rude awakening in the 27th minute, though, when Cohen leapt prodigiously to send in a header which crashed down off the bar and away.

There was little by way of subsequent action to note until an arguably decisive incident in the 38th minute. Cohen, exercised by a couple of robust Woking challenges, went in high on Anane and found himself sent off after a melee. And six minutes later the Cards made the breakthrough. Faulconbridge flicked the ball back over his head to Ademola, who jinked and then managed to get to the byeline. His cross was met by Arter (pictured), who finished neatly, sending the away fans into raptures.

Half-time: St Albans City 0 Woking 1

One-nil up, against ten men, with a win absolutely vital, one might have expected the away side to have moved quickly to tie up the game with a second goal. But in the second half the Cards demonstrated their common failing this season of not being able to ‘finish off’ opponents.

In the first few minutes, though, they had to rely on Worner once more to make two good saves after the Cards defence parted to allow the home side a worryingly good sight of goal.

Soon, however, Woking were finding plenty of space as they attacked against a sometimes beleaguered-looking St Albans defence but the decisive second goal escaped them. Ademola’s goal drought continued as he saw Bastock save a point-blank header and Arter shot well wide after being played in by Sole.

As expected, Matthew Wright soon replaced Faulconbridge and helped to further stretch the home defence. Nicolau had a decent effort but, leaning back, the ball was always heading over the bar. The best chances, midway through the half, fell to Sole, but they were to his head, not to his feet. First, a deep Arter cross was nodded back beyond the far post and then a wonderful cross from Anane was sent over the bar from close range. There was just time for a wild effort from Ademola before McNerney came on for Sole.

The Cards continued to press forward but could not make the final ball pay. Shots came in from Arter, Ademola and Wright but none of them looked likely to trouble Bastock. At the other end a rare home attack saw the ball blasted against Hutchinson before Worner grabbed the resulting header.

In the end the referee’s whistle brought proceedings to a welcome close for two tired-looking teams, with the away players and supporters celebrating yet another victory in this absorbing end to the season.

Woking: Ross Worner, Aswad Thomas, Mark Ricketts, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair, Moses Ademola, Harry Arter, Craig Faulconbridge (Matthew Wright 59), Giuseppe Sole (Joe McNerney 80), Nicky Nicolau
Subs not used: Jon Boardman, Charlie Moone, Billy Hussey
Attendance: 752
St Albans City LINEUP
1Paul Bastock
2Ross Dedman
3Peter Smith
4Rob Magwood ('72)
5Adam Everitt
6Ryan Frater
7Jake Argent
8James Fisher
9Ian Dunn ('57)
10Gary Cohen
11Chris Sullivan ('66)
BENCH
12Danny Johnson ('66)
14Jack Ashcroft ('72)
15Tegana James
16Harry Wheeler
17Mark Peters ('57)
WOKING LINEUP
1Ross Worner
2Ricky Anane
3Aswad Thomas
4Mark Ricketts
5Tom Hutchinson
6Tony Sinclair
7Moses Ademola
8Harry Arter
9Craig Faulconbridge ('59)
10Giuseppe Sole ('79)
11Nicky Nicolau
BENCH
12Matthew Wright ('59)
14Jon Boardman
15Charlie Moone
16Billy Hussey
17Joe McNerney ('79)

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