Cards travel to Kidderminster on Valentine's Day
4:14pm, Thu 12th Feb 2015
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
3pm on Saturday 14 February 2015
The Cards face another crucial, difficult away trip on Saturday, this time against fellow play-off contenders Kidderminster Harriers. Garry Hillâ€™s side could really do with picking up some points after last weekendâ€™s defeat at Barnet but Harriers will be a tough nut to crack despite having to shed some star players in the last couple of months.
The Cards feel, with some justice, that they were the victim of some harsh refereeing at The Hive last Saturday, with Joe McNerney being unlucky to be red-carded. (Fortunately, his suspension turns out to be for one game only.) Garry Hillâ€™s side then had the misfortune of conceding an horrendous own goal before fighting back valiantly to reduce the deficit through Yemi Odubade and vainly piling on the pressure as they sought a late equaliser.
Gez Sole and James Clarke missed the Barnet game through illness, with Aswad Thomas making an accomplished return in the Cardinal red and white. Joe McNerney will miss Saturdayâ€™s game.
The Cards lie in 7th place after Tuesday nightâ€™s games, 5 points adrift of the play-off spots.
Harriers, who finished in seventh position last season, started this campaign strongly, with four wins and three draws in their opening seven games. Results thereafter were more mixed but December saw Harriers claim three league wins and suffer only one defeat. However, January saw four losses (including at home to Altrincham in the FA Trophy), with wins at Dartford and Aldershot. The Cards should take encouragement from the fact that Harriers have lost their last four home games: at home to Southport, Forest Green and Macclesfield in the league and the Trophy defeat by Altrincham. The Cards also have the advantage that Harriers havenâ€™t played since 24 January, when they lost away to Chester.
It is surprising in many ways that Kidderminster are still doing so well, given the number of quality players which financial constraints have forced them to release. Among those who have left are accomplished defender Chey Dunkley (signed by Oxford United), striker Nathan Blissett, who joined Bristol Rovers, Michael Gash, now with Barnet, Marvin Johnson, who has just joined Motherwell, and midfielder Kyle Storer, who is now with Wrexham. Reece Styche is out on loan.
But manager Gary Whild has reinforced his strike force with the signing of former Harrier, Lee Hughes, from Forest Green Rovers, Dominic Knowles, a promising young forward from Burton Albion, and the experienced Danny Wright from Gateshead. There have been a number of other squad changes in recent months as Kidderminster have sought to cut their expenditure. Experienced players remaining include defenders Josh Gowling, Jared Hodgkiss and Kevin Nicholson.
Official website: www.harriers.co.uk
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is Â£16 for members and Â£21 for non-members. Ring (01483 772470) or email the Club Shop (firstname.lastname@example.org) to book your place.
Leave M5 at junction 4 (signposted A491 Stourbridge). After approximately five miles, turn left onto A456 and follow towards Kidderminster. At roundabout on Kidderminster Ring Road, take first exit (signposted A451 Stourport). At next roundabout, take first exit (signposted A448 Bromsgrove), then take first turning on right into Hoo Road for the ground. There is a car park (charge Â£5) behind the away section of the ground (the South Stand) and also at the Stadium Close car park (free).
The ground is only a very short walk from Kidderminster Station. You would need to get a train up to Birmingham New Street, via Basingstoke or from Euston, and then walk across to Birmingham Moor Street to pick up a train to Kidderminster. Look up www.trainline.com or www.nationalrail.co.uk for some options.
Kidderminsterâ€™s website gives the following directions from the station: â€œWalk down Comberton Hill towards the town centre and take the left turning just before Motorway Tyres near the bottom of the hill. Walk up Hoo Road for approximately half a mile to the Aggborough Stadium.â€� But there is a shortcut if you take the first turning on the left after leaving the station entrance on Comberton Hill; this leads to the public car park in Stadium Close.
Over 60s, Under 18s & Students: Â£8
Under 16s: Â£5
Under 5s: Free (standing or sitting)
Â£3 extra to sit for all but Under 5s.
Away supporters can stand in the South Stand or sit in Blocks L and M in the East Stand.
Aggborough is renowned for its hearty food, so arrive with a good appetite!
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 2 Kidderminster Harriers 3
27 September 2014
The Cards went into this game on the back of two successive defeats at Torquay United and Bristol Rovers, which had brought an end to their excellent undefeated start to the season. Garry Hill had brought back Jack Marriott in another loan spell from Ipswich Town but his return was ruined by three goals in the first half an hour from Harriers.
The Cards made a bright start but fell behind in the 21st minute when Reece Styche volleyed home from a Michael Gash flick-on following a long throw from Kevin Nicholson: a move which almost brought a second goal a minute later. But the Harriers didnâ€™t have to wait long for goal number two, with Gash striking the ball past Ross Worner following a free-kick.
Three minutes later it was 0-3 as a Kyle Storer strike was unluckily deflected past Worner by Mike Cestor.
The Cards pulled a goal back shortly after half-time as Scott Rendell nodded in a Chris Arthur cross. Other chances came and went as both sides sought a possibly decisive fifth goal. Garry Hill threw on three substitutes with 15 minutes left. On 88 minutes Marriott headed home from an Adam Newton cross to make it 2-3. The Harriersâ€™ goal was then besieged as the Cards desperately sought an equaliser but it remained intact thanks to two outstanding saves from Danny Lewis to deny Marriott and Cestor.
Woking: Ross Worner, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney Joey Jones; Chris Arthur, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh (Adam Newton 83), John Goddard (Theo Lewis 83); Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 83); Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott
Unused subs: Jake Cole, Nicholas Arnold
Goals: Rendell 49, Marriott 88
Booked: McNerney, Rendell, Payne
Kidderminster Harriers: Danny Lewis, Kevin Nicholson, Chey Dunkley, Josh Gowling, Jared Hodgkiss; Jack Byrne, Kyle Storer, Marvin Johnson (Callum Gittings 77), Aman Verma, Michael Gash (Nathan Blissett 74), Reece Styche (Craig Reed 64)
Unused subs: Jake Green, Ahmed Obeng
Goals: Styche 21, Gash 26, Storer 29
Booked: Styche, Gash, Blissett
NEXT HOME GAME
The Cards were due to be at home to Torquay United on Saturday 21 February but this game has been postponed as a result of Torquayâ€™s progress to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. Subject to a re-arranged date for this game, the Cardsâ€™ next home game is against high-flying Grimsby Town on Saturday 7 March. Make sure the date is in your diary!
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Donâ€™t forget to get your tickets for the Cards Trust Race Night on Friday 6 March!