Specsavers
FCP
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 18th FebruaryFeb 2014
| Att: 1002

Dartford
Dartford
5 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards look to move clear of the bottom four

Glen Harrington
10:55am, Mon 17th Feb 2014
Dartford v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 18 February 2014

The Cards play in their third away match in seven days on Tuesday night when they make the relatively short trip to old rivals Dartford. If the Cards can produce a repeat of their excellent performance against Tony Burman’s side at Kingfield back in November, they will have taken a very respectable six points out of nine from three consecutive away games, while they will inch ever closer to their initial safety target of 50 points.


WOKING

Saturday’s superb performance and result against play-off chasing Gateshead means Garry Hill’s side are now nine points clear of the relegation zone, as well as 13 ahead of the Darts. Now in 16th place in the table, the Cards are not quite in the position to stop glancing over their shoulders, but victory on Tuesday will certainly have them starting to look up rather than down.

Mike Cestor remains Woking’s only long term absentee, although both Adam Newton and Kieran Murtagh were missing at Gateshead. It seems unlikely that there will be many changes from Saturday’s team, although one or more of those players could return to the bench.


DARTFORD

The Darts hit a dreadful run of poor form, towards the end of last year, losing 10 league games in a row during November and December. When the two teams met in mid-November (see below) the Darts lay in 18th place, four points and four places above the Cards but soon plummeted down the table. The last few weeks, though, have seen a recovery, with a fighting draw at home to Cambridge United and superb away wins at Kidderminster and Wrexham.

Earlier in the season the Darts seem to have suffered from the loss of a couple of key defenders during the summer, with both Tom Champion and Tom Bonner joining Cambridge United, and they were also hit by injury problems. But they still have some fine players in their squad, including the sharp-shooting Ryan Hayes, the influential midfielder Elliott Bradbrook, experienced defender Lee Burns and goalscorer Lee Noble. Among the summer arrivals were keeper Alan Julian from Newport County, defender Tyrone Sterling from Dover Athletic, defender Mat Mitchel-King from AFC Wimbledon, and defender Kenny Clark and midfielder Max Cornhill, both from Chelmsford City. A much-trumpeted capture was the long-term loan signing of striker Adam Birchall from Gillingham, who has since returned to his parent club.

Tony Burman has strengthened his squad during the transfer window with the arrival of striker Mikel Suarez from Tonbridge Angels, winger Ben Swallow from Bromley, plus the loan signings of strikers Andy Pugh from Cambridge United and Alex Wall from Luton. The loans of Rory McAuley and Jim Stevenson from Cambridge and Luton have also been extended.


GETTING THERE

Princes Park
Grassbanks
Darenth Road
Dartford
Kent DA1 1RT

www.dartfordfconline.com

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 5.30pm. The cost is £12 for members and £17 for non-members. Email or ring the Club Shop (01483 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

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. Journey time is around 60 minutes according to the AA.

By train

You’ll need to head up to London to Waterloo East. Trains to Dartford leave at 05, 12, 35, 43 and 59 minutes past the hour, with the journey taking about 40 minutes. Returning, trains are at 18, 22, 29, 48 and 59 minutes past the hour.
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’s a 10-15 minute walk from Dartford town centre largely alongside the Fastrack busway.


ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15
Concessions (Over 65s and age 12-17): £8
Juniors (aged 5-11): £3
Under 5s: Free


LAST TIME OUT

Woking 3 Dartford 0
12 November 2013

This seemed, in prospect, a vital game for the Cards, who had gone five games without a win and, in retrospect, that view was absolutely right for this decisive victory against Dartford marked the beginning of Woking’s climb out of the relegation places and into at least temporarily safer territory.

The game also marked the debut of loan signing Jack Marriott, who soon convinced the Kingfield faithful that he could provide the goalscoring touch which had been missing. Jack nabbed the opening goal in the second half and set up Scott Rendell for the second, with Joe McNerney making the game safe with the third.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson (Mike Cestor 82), Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Gez Sole 88), Charles Banya (John Goddard 89)

Unused subs: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams

Goals: Jack Marriott 63, Scott Rendell 75, Joe McNerney 77

Dartford: Alan Julian, Lee Burns, Kenny Clark, Ryan Hayes (Tyrone Sterling 81), Lee Noble, Alex Woodyard (Danny Harris 73), Matt Fry, Max Cornhill, Mat Mitchel-King, Adam Birchall, Matty Godden (Jason Prior 81)

Unused subs: Nathan Collier, Tommy Forecast

Cautions: Lee Noble 76

Attendance: 1157


NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to Macclesfield Town on Saturday 22 February.


Come on, you Cards!

Dartford Stun Ten Man Woking

Marcus Vlassak
11:41am, Wed 19th Feb 2014
Dartford 5-1 Woking
The Skrill Premier
18th February 2014

Off the back of an excellent result away at play-off chasing Gateshead, Woking now turned their attention to Princes Park where they encountered relegation battling Dartford, who themselves entered this game after an impressive 2-1 win away at Wrexham. An overall disappointing performance from Garry Hill’s men, marred by the first-half sending off of Joey Jones, saw the Cards concede five despite leading the hosts early on.

An early Scott Rendell goal after four minutes was cancelled out by doubles from Luton loanee Alex Wall and midfielder Max Cornhill, before substitute Lee Noble completed the scoring with a stoppage time strike.

Woking lined up in a similar 4-4-2 formation to that on Saturday against Gateshead, Sole in for Marriott (a late arrival at the ground, apparently) being the only change. The visitors started brightly and opened the scoring after only four minutes as Rendell found the back of the net from a cleverly worked John Goddard pass to put the Cards one nil up. There was very little time for the Woking players to regroup as Dartford responded immediately.

After the restart it took Alex Wall, on an extended one-month loan from table toppers Luton, just thirty seconds to calmly slot the ball past a helpless Sam Beasant in the Woking goal to level the scores at one a piece.

Both teams began to find their feet after the hectic opening five minutes, John Goddard being allowed to carry the ball towards the Dartford penalty area before fashioning a well worked right footed shot that whistled narrowly wide of Julian’s right hand post. Josh Payne and Joey Jones soon established a foothold in the midfield and were able to start dictating possession.

Dartford too created a few half chances, looking particularly dangerous on the break down their left flank, although there was nothing too testing for the Woking goalkeeper. Woking were in the ascendancy, experiencing more of the possession, Betsy and Goddard, in particular, linking well with Rendell and Sole to create a number of chances, although a lack of end product kept the scores level.

However, just after the half-hour mark the tables began to turn with the dismissal of Joey Jones, after referee Paul Rees deemed Jones’ challenge on Jim Stevenson to be worthy of a straight red. Woking were now left with a mountain to climb.

To give credit to Garry Hill’s men, they kept playing and despite a soft penalty appeal from the home fans, Woking continued to create chances. A neat bit of interplay between Rendell and Goddard on the edge of the box allowed Kevin Betsy to scare the Dartford number one as his right footed shot flew narrowly wide of the target.

The fourth official indicated a minimum of two minutes added time with Woking approaching the break with the scores still level. However there was to be one further twist. On the stroke of half-time, a long cross field ball from the right hand side by Dartford’s Lee Burns to target man Alex Wall allowed the striker to roll his defender, take a touch and coolly bury his left footed strike in the bottom right corner for his and Dartford’s second.

Half-time: Dartford 2 Woking 1

After letting their early one-nil lead slip, Woking emerged from the dressing room searching for an early equaliser. Marriot and Murtagh on in place of Nutter and Sole soon after the break saw Woking line up with a back three, midfield four and strike duo Marriot and Rendell reunited upfront.

Moments after the double substitution, Josh Payne was caught napping on the ball, deep in his own half, when Dartford’s Max Cornhill dispossessed the Woking midfielder. He sprayed the ball out to the right hand side and then headed towards Woking’s penalty box. A cleverly cut back cross allowed Dartford’s MOTM, Cornhill to latch onto the move he had started and drill the ball past Beasant to put the Darts 3-1 up.

Dartford were now in control and started to create further chances as the visitors were firmly on the back foot and clearly struggling to get back into the game. Alex Wall had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick upon the hour mark when his free kick on the white line of the 18-yard box was rocketed inches wide.

Woking tried to regain a stranglehold in the match through a couple of long range Josh Payne efforts, but the extra man for Dartford was telling and they continued to press forward.

Twenty minutes before time Dartford increased their lead. Mark Ricketts’ poor clearance resulted in a corner to Dartford on the right. A right-footed out swinger was floated to the near post where Max Cornhill rose above McNerney to guide the ball beyond Beasant at the near post, for his second and Dartford’s fourth.

At 4-1 and a man down, a win surely seemed beyond the Cards now; a disallowed goal to make it 4-2 may have given the visitors a glimmer of hope although Betsy’s shot cum cross was adjudged to have been offside when poked in at the far corner.

In the concluding ten minutes, frustration began to set in. Betsy found himself in the referee’s book for dissent before a final Joe McNerney header went agonisingly close to a consolation goal.

However the home team weren’t finished and when two-goal Alex Wall was treated to a standing ovation with Mikel Suarez replacing the front man, the Spaniard rose to meet a Julian free kick. His flick-on fell to substitute Lee Noble to fire in Dartford’s fifth of the night from a few yards out.

Overall, this was a disappointing performance from the Cards which neither the players nor fans will remember with any great fondness. The final outcome may well have been different had it not been for Joey Jones’ first-half dismissal as the sending-off clearly took the wind completely out of Woking’s sails when the match was delicately poised. However, as we all know, it is a game of 'ifs' and 'buts' and the team must now dust itself down in readiness for an important home game against Macclesfield on Saturday.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Joey Jones, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, John Nutter (Jack Marriott -55’), Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne (Niall Wright - 80’), Mark Ricketts, John Goddard, Giuseppe Sole (Kieran Murtagh – 55’), Scott Rendell

Unused Subs: Aaron Howe, Anthony McNamee

Goal: Scott Rendell 4

Booked: Mark Ricketts 76, Kevin Betsy 80

Red Card: Joey Jones 33

MOTM: Scott Rendell – scored an early goal and was always involved in Woking attacks, unlucky maybe not to get another.

Dartford: Alan Julian, Rory McAuley, Tyrone Sterling, Mat Mitchell-King, Alex Woodyard (Lee Noble – 88’), Max Cornhill, James Stevenson, Lee Burns, Elliot Bradbrook, Alex Wall (Mikel Suarez - 83’), Danny Harris (Ben Swallow – 86’)

Unused Subs: Kenny Clark, Tom Wellham

Goal(s): Alex Wall 5, 46, Max Cornhill 55, 73, Lee Noble 90 (+2)

Booked: James Stevenson 62, Max Cornhill 83

Attendance: 1,002
Dartford LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
18Sam Beasant
4Mark Ricketts
3John Nutter ('55)
5Joe McNerney
6Brett Johnson
20Josh Payne ('80)
30Joe Jones
11Kevin Betsy
22John Goddard
21Scott Rendell
10Giuseppe Sole ('55)
BENCH
1Aaron Howe
17Niall Wright ('80)
26Keiran Murtagh ('55)
14Anthony McNamee
25Jack Marriott ('55)

Garry Hill Interview from Dartford

Nick Shaw
10:28pm, Tue 18th Feb 2014

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