Woking v AFC Telford
3pm on Saturday 18 October 2014
The Cards go into Saturdayâ€™s game seeking their fourth win in a row against lowly-placed teams. So far, maximum points have been gathered. Garry Hill will not want his side to slip up against bottom-of-the-table Telford, with the Cards facing a much tougher set of fixtures in November. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the Cards on to another victory!
A last-gasp home win against Nuneaton has been followed by more convincing victories over Southport and Altrincham, both away, taking the Cards to second place in the table, three points behind Barnet with a game in hand. Although Barnet have a tough away fixture at Gateshead this weekend, their superior goal difference (eight goals) makes it extremely unlikely that Garry Hillâ€™s side could top the table on Saturday evening even if results went in their favour.
But, as Garry has often said, no team in this league can take victory for granted. Telford, for example, defied their poor form recently to inflict a 4-3 defeat on Torquay United. Garry will be hoping that his side can grab the early goal that has often eluded them and then build on that with a convincing home display â€“ without, we hope, the alarums of two seasons ago (see below).
In spite of the unfortunate loss again of Mark Ricketts to injury, Garry is almost spoilt for choice in pondering his line-up: few other sides could contemplate leaving Gez Sole, with his excellent goalscoring record this season, on the bench, whilst Garry has been able to ease Kevin Betsy back into action. Cards fans will be hoping that Gez, a hugely popular player at Kingfield, will at least figure at some point and that he will manage to grab his 100th goal for the Club. Another amazing free-kick might be too much to hope for!
A factor that may need to be taken into account in team selection is that Keiran Murtagh, Josh Payne and Joe McNerney have all been abroad on international duty this week. Finally, with no disrespect to Jake Cole, who was unfortunate that injury in his debut game prevented him from showing what he could do, Cards fans will be hoping that Garry has been able to extend Ross Wornerâ€™s loan. Apart from one slip-up at Southport, Ross has been almost faultless since he returned to Woking.
The Bucks, who were relegated from the Conference Premier at the end of the 2012-13 season, made a quick return, finishing last season as Conference North champions. But itâ€™s been a torrid season so far. To date they have managed only one win (the surprising 4-3 victory over Torquay United a few weeks ago) and four draws (at home to Southport and Barnet and away to Welling and Kidderminster). In the process they have shipped 39 goals but scored a respectable 19 goals. On Saturday they lost 2-0 at Lincoln City, thus taking their away record to no wins, two draws and six defeats, with six goals scored and 19 conceded.
Watson has strengthened the side with the recent loan signing of Luton central defender Andy Parry, who played under him at Southport. Another signing is Bermudan international keeper Freddy Hall, who was released by Chester City at the beginning of the season and who has since been with Oxford City. Hall was on the bench on Saturday, with Jonathan Hedge continuing in goal. The Bucksâ€™ best-known player is probably Andy Todd, most recently with Tamworth. Other familiar names include midfielder Godfrey Poku, formerly with Mansfield and Luton, and Sean Clancy, who has turned out for a number of Conference sides, including Fleetwood in the Conference North.
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: Â£10
The Clubâ€™s stylish new matchday programme continues to attract compliments. Itâ€™s still only Â£3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality â€˜finishâ€™ and stunning photos. Saturdayâ€™s packed edition includes an interview with Chris Arthur; Liam Newtonâ€™s reflections on the ups and downs of life in the Conference Premier; Malcolm Wyattâ€™s â€˜Cardinal Northâ€™ report on the Cardsâ€™ recent trips to northern climes; Jon Woozleyâ€™s case that we should be celebrating next week the 127th anniversary of the Club, not the 125th; a celebration of Jane Spongâ€™s recent award for her community work; and some quick-fire answers from Adam Newton; plus a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference games and much more, including match reports, previews and news of the Clubâ€™s community work and commercial initiatives. Make sure you try it out! If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on email@example.com
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 5 AFC Telford 2
16 March 2013
The Bucks came to Kingfield bottom of the table and without a win in 24 games. The Cards had just gained a hard-fought point at Macclesfield, and a win would take them past Garryâ€™s 50 point initial target in their first season back in the Conference Premier.
The scoreline may suggest that it was an easy win but the Cards contrived to produce some nervous moments. Billy Knott returned for the suspended Lee Sawyer in midfield. Bradley Bubb drilled home in the 8th minute from an Adam Newton cross to set the ball rolling, followed by an excellent 13th minute strike from Jayden Stockley, benefiting from a rampaging run from Knott. Telford slowly re-grouped, with Steve Jones missing two good chances to pull a goal back before, just before half-time, Jack Parkinson slid Bubb in behind the defence to make it 3-0.
On 54 minutes Steve Jones flicked home a Ryan Valentine header to reduce the deficit. Bubb and Parkinson both missed gilt-edged chances to put the game beyond Telfordâ€™s reach as the Woking defence began to look increasingly nervy. Anxiety levels rose again when Aaron Williams glanced home a header in the 81st minute to make it 3-2.
However, Telfordâ€™s keeper, Ryan Young, came to Wokingâ€™s aid, inexplicably hauling down Parkinson in the box after a corner had been cleared. Bubb converted the penalty for his second hat-trick of the season before Kevin Betsy took advantage of a poor back pass to round the keeper and make it 5-2.
Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Kevin Betsy, Billy Knott (Gavin McCallum 63), Bradley Bubb (George Frith 90), Jayden Stockley (Adam Francis 68)
Unused subs: Elvijs Putnins, Mike Cestor
Goals: Bubb (4, 43, 89 pen), Stockley (13), Betsy (90)
AFC Telford United: Ryan Young, Will Salmon, Dan Preston (Michael Briscoe 33), Simon Ford, Ryan Valentine, Ian Craney (Jamie Spray 46), Phil Trainer, Nathan Rooney, Steve Leslie (Alex Meecham 57), Aaron Williams, Steve Jones
Unused subs: James O'Neil, Marco Adaggio
Goals: Jones (54), Williams (81)
Cautions: Young (88)
Next Saturday (25 October) the Cards are at home to Boreham Wood in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. The Wood are having a good season in the Conference South, so this should be a very competitive cup tie. On Saturday 1 November the Cards face a tough away trip to Braintree Town. We hope that Saturday 8 November will see the Cards in the 1st Round of the FA Cup. The next home league game at Kingfield, on Tuesday 11 November, is a very attractive fixture, with Woking looking to do the double over Wrexham. Make sure the date is in the diary!
Come on, you Cards!