Vital home game for Cards
9:40am, Thu 29th Jan 2015
Woking v Alfreton Town
3pm on Saturday 31 January 2015
This is a â€˜must winâ€™ game for the Cards if they want to stay up with the large group of teams chasing the play-off spots. Garry Hillâ€™s side have had some creditable draws in recent league games but have inevitably slipped down the pecking order, having failed to register a win in the league since playing Altrincham on 2 December. Make sure youâ€™re at Kingfield on Saturday to cheer the Cards on to victory!
The Cards will need to quickly overcome their disappointment at getting knocked out of the FA Trophy at Dover on Tuesday evening if they are not to let slip this vital chance to re-ignite their play-off challenge. While it may not be strictly true statistically, since there are fifteen games to play yet, itâ€™s hard not to regard Saturdayâ€™s home game against a team in the bottom four as a â€˜must winâ€™ game. That view is reinforced when you look at Wokingâ€™s upcoming games against Barnet, Kidderminster, Torquay, Lincoln and Grimsby.
But the Cards will have to play much better than they did at Crabble if they are to overcome a no doubt stubborn Alfreton side, who still have a good chance of avoiding the drop. While the Cards defended pretty well at Crabble, with Jake Cole outstanding, the midfield and attack created little, with the Dover keeper having barely a save to make.
The Redsâ€™ defeat to Woking on the opening day of the season proved to be the first of seven successive reverses in a dreadful start to the campaign. Alfreton picked up their first point in a 1-1 draw at home to Altrincham on 9 September: a result which was followed by three successive wins against Southport, AFC Telford and Nuneaton Town. However, the revival did not continue, with only one win, at home to Torquay United, in the following eight league and FA Cup games. The Reds then notched an away win at Altrincham before more defeats followed before a 1-0 win at Nuneaton Town in early December. This was followed by wins against Eastleigh and Lincoln City (in the FA Trophy). The Redsâ€™ last five league and Trophy games have ended as follows:
Alfreton Town 1 Macclesfield Town 5
Lincoln City 3 Alfreton Town 2
Torquay United 1 Alfreton Town 1
FC Halifax 5 Alfreton Town 3 (FA Trophy)
Welling United 2 Alfreton Town 3
The Redsâ€™ win at Welling was a crucial â€˜six pointerâ€™ and, at one stage, they were winning 3-0, with two penalties from Bradley Wood and a strike from Karl Hawley.
Alfretonâ€™s manager Nicky Law has been busy in the transfer window, bringing in six players so far: Jason Mooney, a 6â€™9â€� keeper from York City; Joe Ironside, a striker from Sheffield United, who was on loan to the Reds earlier this season; John Johnston, a pacy winger from Crewe Alexandra; Callum Howe, a defender on a three-month loan from Scunthorpe; Niall Heaton, an 18 year-old centre back from Bradford City, who represented England Schoolboys when at Liverpool; and Joe Leesley, a left-back recently released by Matlock Town. Already on loan at Alfreton is another keeper, George Willis, an England Youth international from Sheffield United. Among those heading out on loan have been Don Gray, Nathan Hicks and Massiah McDonald.
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: Â£10
The Clubâ€™s stylish matchday programme is the same price as last season (Â£3) but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, a high quality â€˜finishâ€™ and improved design. Saturdayâ€™s edition includes a look at how some ex-Cards have been making the news; an update on the Academy, including profiles of some of the promising young Cards; memories of Wokingâ€™s entry into floodlit competitions; a welcome to Sponsorâ€™s Lounge special guest, ex-Gunner Perry Groves; and much more, including match reports, previews, news of the Clubâ€™s commercial and community initiatives and of course stunning photos. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you canâ€™t get to the game BBC Radio Surrey will be providing an online commentary at:
LAST TIME OUT
Alfreton Town 1 Woking 3
9 August 2014
This away win, in the first fixture of the season, lent substance to Cards fansâ€™ hopes that this would turn out to be a successful season for Garry Hillâ€™s talented side. The Cards were immediately into their stride, creating several openings in the first few minutes, followed by John Goddardâ€™s strike rebounding off the crossbar.
But it was the home side who took the lead in the 14th minute in what was virtually their first attack, Stevenson firing home after some determined play by Clayton. The Cards struck back in the 27th minute after â€˜man of the matchâ€™ Theo Lewis had forced a corner, which was half-cleared to Dean Morgan, who converted crisply.
There were chances for both sides before the interval, although Woking had had more of the play, with Alfreton mainly threatening through set pieces.
Woking resumed control after the break. Scott Rendell wasnâ€™t able to connect with a great cross from Goddard but in the 60th minute he made no mistake as he latched onto a flick-on from Goddard. Eight minutes later it was 3-1 to the Cards. Lewis battled well to win the ball near the corner, back-heeled cleverly into Rendellâ€™s path, who then drew the keeper to slot home.
Woking had to survive heavy pressure in the last ten minutes, with Sheridan hitting the bar after a poor back header from Mike Cestor and with Aaron Howe having to repel several efforts on goal.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Joey Jones, John Nutter (Mike Cestor 62), Theo Lewis, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Giuseppe Sole 90), Dean Morgan (James Clarke 76), Scott Rendell
Unused subs: Jake Cole, Reece Beckles
Goals: Dean Morgan 27, Scott Rendell 60 and 68
Bookings: Joey Jones
Alfreton Town: Jon Harris-Stewart, Bradley Wood (Nathan Hicks 84), Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, Luke Graham, Chris Smith, Lee Stevenson (Massiah McDonald 80), Paul Clayton, Dan Bradley, Anthony Howell, Tom Shaw (Jake Sheridan 66), Dan Gray
Unused subs: Jay McFadzean, Jordan Keane
Goals: Lee Stevenson 14
The Cards are away to league leaders, Barnet, next Saturday (7 February), followed a week later by a trip to Kidderminster Harriers. Wokingâ€™s next scheduled home game is against Torquay United on Saturday 21 February, although this match would be postponed if Torquay reach the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.
Come on, you Cards!