Lovetts
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 31st JanuaryJan 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1526

Woking
Woking
3 - 0

Alfreton Town
Alfreton Town

Vital home game for Cards

Brian Caffarey
9:40am, Thu 29th Jan 2015
Woking v Alfreton Town
3pm on Saturday 31 January 2015

This is a ‘must win’ game for the Cards if they want to stay up with the large group of teams chasing the play-off spots. Garry Hill’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 you’re at Kingfield on Saturday to cheer the Cards on to victory!

WOKING

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, it’s hard not to regard Saturday’s home game against a team in the bottom four as a ‘must win’ game. That view is reinforced when you look at Woking’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.

ALFRETON TOWN

The Reds’ 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 Reds’ 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 Reds’ win at Welling was a crucial ‘six pointer’ and, at one stage, they were winning 3-0, with two penalties from Bradley Wood and a strike from Karl Hawley.

Alfreton’s manager Nicky Law has been busy in the transfer window, bringing in six players so far: Jason Mooney, a 6’9� 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.

ADMISSION

Adults: £15
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: £10
U16s: £3

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Club’s stylish matchday programme is the same price as last season (£3) but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, a high quality ‘finish’ and improved design. Saturday’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 Woking’s entry into floodlit competitions; a welcome to Sponsor’s Lounge special guest, ex-Gunner Perry Groves; and much more, including match reports, previews, news of the Club’s commercial and community initiatives and of course stunning photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

ONLINE COMMENTARY

If you can’t get to the game BBC Radio Surrey will be providing an online commentary at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/13629210

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 fans’ hopes that this would turn out to be a successful season for Garry Hill’s talented side. The Cards were immediately into their stride, creating several openings in the first few minutes, followed by John Goddard’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 ‘man of the match’ 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 wasn’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 Rendell’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

Bookings: None

Attendance: 613

COMING UP

The Cards are away to league leaders, Barnet, next Saturday (7 February), followed a week later by a trip to Kidderminster Harriers. Woking’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!

Winning feeling back on the Cards

Matt Goldsmith
9:19am, Sun 1st Feb 2015
Woking 3 Alfreton Town 0
Vanarama Conference
31st January 2015

Woking bounced back to winning ways as Alfreton Town were soundly beaten 3-0 in the Vanarama Conference at Kingfield on Saturday.

A first-half Scott Rendell penalty, plus a strike apiece from new recruits Ross Lafayette and 'man of the match' Charles Banya, meant that Garry’s men belatedly banked maximum points in 2015.

Three precious points were just the tonic after a Tuesday night to forget down at Dover: both on the pitch, as the Cards bowed out of the FA Trophy; and off it, with a number of supporters stationary on the M20 during the first half.

Garry has spoken publicly about freshening things up during the transfer window in a bid to turn five straight league draws into that elusive first win of the year. So the boss was no doubt delighted as his diminutive and direct winger Banya fully justified his inclusion in Saturday’s starting XI with an energetic display, capped by a neatly-taken goal with half an hour remaining.

A relieved Kingfield also welcomed back Mark Ricketts (pictured) with open arms after five frustrating months out with nagging calf and knee injuries – and the skipper looked like he had never been away.

A firm - and heavily-sanded - Kingfield surface provided a tough test for Ricketts’ recovering knee but, despite the challenging conditions, he put in a captain’s performance to marshal the midfield against admittedly unambitious opponents.

After the Alfreton team bus limped into the Kingfield car park, it may be unfair to suggest that Nicky Law proceeded to park the stricken coach in front of the Reds’ goal. But, given that Law’s strugglers have suffered defeat eleven times on the road this term, you could see why they chose to stick rigidly to a compact 4-4-1-1 formation for the majority of the 90 minutes.

Right-back for the day Joey Jones was the first to advance on Alfreton’s blue wall but saw his left-footed curler flash a few feet wide after ten minutes; four minutes later, Banya switched over to the right-hand side but sliced off target after Josh Payne’s superb outside-of-the-right-boot flick over the top.

Banya was involved in Woking’s opener shortly after, though, after his cross was headed half clear to fellow pacey wide man Chris Arthur. Like his strike against Dover last Saturday, Arthur drove the loose ball goalwards, but rather than hit the back of the net his strike ricocheted around the sea of blue shirts, and into the path of Lafayette. And with a nod to another of last week's goals against Dover, Lafayette was pulled down in the box – this time by Reds’ Lee Stevenson - and Rendell sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to coolly convert the spot-kick for the second week running in front of a jubilant KRE.

Apart from one counter-attack of note from Reds’ winger John Johnston, Woking continued to profit down the right-hand side, keeping young defenders Lathaniel Rowe-Turner and Bradford City teenage loanee, Callum Howe, on their toes at every opportunity.

And the Cards’ Rendell-Newton combination almost dealt a double five minutes from the break, after further pressure ended in a Rowe-Turner clearance finding the feet of Newton. Rendell then slipped in the marauding Payne, who shunned the first time strike, instead putting Mooney on the seat of his pants with a feint, before conspiring to chip the chance into the keeper’s grateful gloves from close range.

Half-Time: Woking 1 Alfreton Town 0

Five minutes after the change of ends, the previously profligate Payne was soon asking the linesman why he was unwilling to hand out a second home penalty as his curling centre struck an unspecified limb of fellow midfielder Tom Shaw.

With Rendell and Lafayette continuing to win more than their fair share of flicks and knock-downs, the latter drew another foul in a dangerous area, with Reds’ Bradley Wood penalised for climbing on the big Luton loanee. Wood appeared to have atoned for his ill-timed leap by repelling Payne’s resulting dead ball, but as with the Cards’ opener, the clearance fell to a red and white boot – this time Banya – whose shy at the stumps initially failed to find its intended target. But. as all good centre forwards do, Lafayette followed in the half-chance to roll in on the rebound for the first goal of his month’s loan spell.

Woking looked to kill the game off, and having notched his first Cards’ goal, Lafayette laid on a chance for Banya to follow suit four minutes later. Clearly on the same wavelength, Lafayette took Reds’ skipper Luke Graham and Andi Thanoj out of the game with a deft ball round the corner for Banya to breeze in on goal and clip past Mooney from six yards out.

Garry took the opportunity to give his excellent returning skipper Ricketts a standing ovation from the thankful terraces and introduced new forward Yemi Odubade with half an hour remaining – the lively Eastleigh loan man soon putting himself about to keep Town pegged back.

Three points all but safe, Woking never over-exerted themselves from that point onwards, with the only real late drama coming when Payne tried an audacious lob from the centre circle, which Mooney scrambled back to tip over his crossbar.

With a number of fellow play-off hopefuls being frozen out of action over the weekend, the Cards jumped up four places to sixth in the table. And as Garry pointed out afterwards, it is perhaps better to have the points on the board rather than hold games in hand during the climax to the season. It certainly proved that way for the Cards last term as multiple postponements dented their play-off push.

Up next for the Cards is a far sterner-looking test at leaders Barnet on Saturday, although Cards fans will travel to north London with fond memories of their first-ever trip to The Hive last season, which resulted in a thrilling 3-1 victory.

Woking: Jake Cole, Joey Jones, Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Mark Ricketts (Yemi Odubade 70), Josh Payne, Charles Banya, Ross Lafayette (Giuseppe Sole 77), Scott Rendell (Kevin Betsy 77).

Unused subs: Andy Little, John Goddard.

Goals: Scott Rendell (pen) 18, Ross Lafayette 59, Charles Banya 63

Cautions: Mark Ricketts, Ross Lafayette, Joey Jones

Alfreton Town: Jason Mooney, Bradley Wood, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, John Johnston, Luke Graham, Callum Howe, Andi Thanoj, Thomas Shaw (Niall Heaton 77), Anthony Howell, Lee Stevenson (Dan Bradley 66), Karl Hawley (Joe Leesley 66).

Unused subs: George Willis, Jordan Keane.

Sponsor’s MOTM: Charles Banya – opened his Cards' account to seal the points in the second half.

ATTENDANCE: 1,526
WOKING LINEUP
23Jake Cole
21Joey Jones
32Chris Arthur
6James Clarke
5Joe McNerney
4Mark Ricketts
7Josh Payne
2Adam Newton
12Charles Banya
9Scott Rendell
19Ross Lafayette
BENCH
31Andy Little
22John Goddard
11Kevin Betsy
17Yemi Odubade
10Giuseppe Sole
Alfreton Town LINEUP

Woking 3 - 0 Alfreton Town (Garry Hill Interview)

Woking 3 - 0 Alfreton Town (Charles Banya Interview)

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