The Cards Look to Get Back on Track
4:59pm, Fri 11th Apr 2014
Woking v Alfreton Town
3.07pm on Saturday 12 April 2014
While the Cards faint play-off hopes all but evaporated with their 3-0 defeat to Cambridge United on Thursday evening, Garry Hillâ€™s side will be keen to get back to winning ways and finish the season strongly.
Woking are just one point adrift of last seasonâ€™s points tally of 62, while they will also be keen on chasing down Braintree Town for the right to be the leagueâ€™s number one part-time team.
They face another challenging fixture tomorrow when Alfreton Town visit Kingfield. The Reds have been in the top five for much of the season, but now face a fight to hold on to a play-off spot, following a three point deduction for fielding an ineligible player.
After playing themselves into play-off contention with a fantastic run of six straight league victories, the Cards were undone by, essentially, an unfortunately busy schedule, as they faced promotion chasing duo Grimsby and Cambridge inside 48 hours.
There will be doubts over the fitness of Keiran Murtagh for tomorrowâ€™s game, after the midfielder limped off before half-time in the Cards match with Cambridge. John Goddard, Scott Rendell and John Nutter â€“ who were all understandably dropped to the bench on Thursday as Garry Hill and Steve Thompson rotated their squad â€“ could well be in line to return.
Goalkeeper Aaron Howe remains the only long-term absentee, with Andy Little or academy stopper Liam Allen likely to continue covering for Sam Beasant.
Alfreton have had an excellent season thus far, with their prospects boosted by some heavy investment last summer. They sat comfortably inside the play-off places between mid-December and the end of last month, when a pointâ€™s deduction and a downturn in form saw them drop to sixth place.
Nicky Lawâ€™s side are without a win in any of their last four games â€“ drawing twice against Nuneaton and Welling, and losing to Halifax and, most recently, Aldershot, who defeated them 4-1 on Tuesday evening. Alfreton are also traditionally stronger at home, having lost just three times at North Street compared to their eight defeats on the road.
Nonetheless, they still have an extremely talented squad more than capable of getting a result. The Cards will know all about the Reds 15-goal top scorer John Akinde, who was a triallist at Kingfield in pre-season. Other stand out players include Akindeâ€™s fellow striker Shaun Harrad, who scored 69 goals in over 200 games for Burton between 2005 and 2011, Mansfield Town loanee Godfrey Poku, and 24-year-old midfielder Josh Law, son of his teamâ€™s manager, who has already played well over 200 games for the club.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) Â£10
The Club has published a single programme, priced at the usual Â£3, to cover both Thursday nightâ€™s game against Cambridge United and this game against Alfreton Town. Highlights include an interview with Woking chairman, Mike Smith, who reflects on the season on and off the pitch and looks at the prospects for next season. Ian Nicholson interviews captain Mark Ricketts, who sets out his views on the season and also picks his â€˜best 11â€™ from the players heâ€™s played with at Woking. Glen Harrington looks at all the promotion and relegation issues affecting the Conference leagues: something which will be very much of interest to both visiting teams. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST TIME OUT
Alfreton Town 3 Woking 1
7 September 2014
It was a fairly familiar story of the Cards having at least their fair share of the game but frustrated by defensive errors and a lack of firepower. Woking conceded another early goal as Akinde, a summer triallist for the Cards, bypassed Joe McNerney, filling in at right back for the missing Adam Newton, and set up Tom Shaw to fire home in the 9th minute.
A minute later, however, the Cards equalised from the penalty spot as Gavin Williams took advantage of a slightly fortuitous handball decision.
Williams nearly registered again later in the half as his shot crashed against the underside of the bar but it was Alfreton who turned the screw towards the end of the half, penning Woking in, before Howe was only able to half-punch clear a long throw, with Shaw again firing home.
The Cards created half-chances in the second half, continuing to look the better side, but in added time the home side made the game safe with a breakaway goal, Akinde setting up Meadows.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson, Brett Johnson (John Nutter 19) Mike Cestor Mark Ricketts, Lee Sawyer, Josh Payne (Gavin McCallum 85) Kevin Betsy, Gavin Williams, Gez Sole (Tony McNamee 65)
Unused subs: Sam Beasant, George Frith
Booked: Josh Payne, Mike Cestor
Goals: Williams 10 (pen)
Alfreton Town: Ross Atkins, Dan Bradley Nick Fenton (c) Michael Wylde, Lathaniel Roweâ€“Turner, Tom Shaw, Dan Bradley, John McGrath, Josh Law, Paul Clayton (Daniel Meadows 87), Job Akinde.
Unused subs: Connor Franklin, Kristian Ramsey-Dickson, Danny Wishart, Alastair Taylor.
Booked: Job Akinde
Goals: Shaw 9 & 43, Meadows 90+3
The Cards travel to Forest Green Rovers on Saturday 19 April. On Monday 21 April the Cards entertain Aldershot Town in an eagerly awaited clash, which is also the last home game of the season. Donâ€™t forget that it is a 1pm kick-off.
Come on, you Cards!