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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 14th FebruaryFeb 2015
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Cards travel to Kidderminster on Valentine's Day

Brian Caffarey
4:14pm, Thu 12th Feb 2015
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
Vanarama Conference
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 Hill’s side could really do with picking up some points after last weekend’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.

WOKING

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 Hill’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 Saturday’s game.

The Cards lie in 7th place after Tuesday night’s games, 5 points adrift of the play-off spots.

KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

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 haven’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.

GETTING THERE

Aggborough Stadium
Hoo Road
Kidderminster
Worcestershire
DY10 1NB

Official website: www.harriers.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is £16 for members and £21 for non-members. Ring (01483 772470) or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

By car
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 £5) behind the away section of the ground (the South Stand) and also at the Stadium Close car park (free).

By train
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.
Kidderminster’s website gives the following directions from the station: “Walk 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.� 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.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £14
Over 60s, Under 18s & Students: £8
Under 16s: £5
Under 5s: Free (standing or sitting)

£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 didn’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 Harriers’ 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

Attendance: 1,524

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 Torquay’s progress to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy. Subject to a re-arranged date for this game, the Cards’ 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. Don’t forget to get your tickets for the Cards Trust Race Night on Friday 6 March!

Odubade continues Cards' love-in on Valentine's Day

Haydn Cobb
9:52am, Sun 15th Feb 2015
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 1
Vanarama Conference
14th February 2015

Yemi Odubade scored for the second consecutive game to give Woking a share of the points with Kidderminster Harriers after Lee Hughes had put the home side ahead.

The experienced striker gave Kidderminster the lead at Aggborough with a right-footed strike just past the half-hour mark. Garry Hill’s half-time words stirred his men into action as they fought back into the match and Odubade’s poke-home from a Scott Rendell knockdown gave Woking the point they deserved.

Woking kicked off the Valentine’s Day fixture in their bright yellow away strip and were hunting a first away win in the league since November. Joey Jones filled in at centre back alongside James Clarke with Joe McNerney suspended and Mike Cestor out with a long-term knee injury.
Yemi Odubade partnered Woking top-scorer Scott Rendell up front with Giuseppe Sole, Kevin Betsy and Ross Lafayette on an attacking substitute bench.

Both sides eased into the game with Charles Banya having the only effort of note in the first ten minutes. A left-foot effort narrowly whistled past the foot of the far post after he cut inside the Harriers defence from Mark Ricketts’ through ball.

A lapse in concentration in the Woking backline saw Aaron Wildig break free for a one-on-one with Jake Cole. The Harriers forward hit his shot low at the left-hand corner but it lacked power which allowed Cole to palm the ball away. Lee Hughes chased the loose ball and clipped it back to WIldig who unselfishly knocked the ball down to Aman Verma. The midfielder had plenty of time to pick his spot but rushed his action and missed the ball completely.

Kidderminster’s miss sparked an immediate Woking counter-attack, with the tricky Banya again creating space in the box. The winger cut inside from the right wing and this time aimed at the near post, and his effort clipped the outside of the frame.

The home side had a series of half-chances but failed to call Cole into action in the opening half-hour. A Danny Wright header found its way into the Woking goal but it was disallowed after the forward was penalised for climbing on Clarke.

The corresponding home fixture in September saw the Cards three-nil down within the first 30 minutes but the Woking defence stood firm on this occasion against sustained Harriers pressure.

John Goddard (pictured) saw a freekick float over the crossbar just before the home side opened the scoring.

In the 39th minute Hughes controlled the ball on the left flank and ran at Newton before cutting inside and unleashing an effort on the edge of the penalty area. His low shot hit a divot on the badly cut-up pitch, which cruelly evaded Cole’s outstretched arms. The strike was the 38-year-old’s first goal on his return to the club for whom he had played 18 years ago, before moving to West Bromwich Albion for £380,000.

The Cards tried to grab an equaliser before half-time but were snuffed out by the home side.

Half-time: Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0

Woking started the second half with a fresh urgency which was exemplified by John Goddard, who struck an audacious volley from just outside the box that had the Harriers’ goalkeeper scrambling.

Goddard continued to cause the Harriers defence problems as he tore down the right flank, crossing smartly to Rendell, but his right-foot shot was straight at Danny Lewis in goal. The restart marked the Cards' best period of the match.

With just over an hour gone the Harriers goalkeeper made a superb save from a Joey Jones header. Woking were getting joy from Josh Payne’s corners and two minutes later the Cards drew level through Odubade.

Payne’s in-swinging corner to Rendell at the back post was deflected into his striker partner’s path and from seven yards out Odubade slammed the ball home for his second Woking goal of the season.

The equaliser had the home side on the ropes as Hill’s men began to dominate possession. Sole and Betsy gave Woking fresh energy in attack, coming on for Banya and goal-scorer Odubade.

Both sides were pushing for a winner as the game entered the final ten minutes and Jake Cole rescued his team from going behind for a second time with an outstanding save.

The home side’s striker Wright was sent through by Ahmed Obeng and had a simple one-on-one right in front of goal. His well-hit effort looked destined for the bottom right corner but Cole got down smartly and clawed the ball away.

In a full-blooded but fair encounter, Payne and Harriers’ Jack Byrne then had a tussle which referee Ross Joyce was quick to put a stop to.

Both sides hunted a winner in stoppage time but neither attack could produce a clear-cut chance as the points were shared. The result leaves both teams level on 50 points in the table, albeit with Kidderminster having played one game less than the Cards, who drop to eighth place by dint of Halifax's victory against Dover.


Kidderminster Harriers: Danny Lewis, Kevin Nicholson, Jamie Grimes, Josh Gowling (c), Jared Hodgkiss, Aaron Wildig (Keyon Reffell 72), Jack Byrne, Aman Verma, Dominic Knowles (Ahmed Obeng 64), Lee Hughes (Akwsi Asante 80), Danny Wright

Unused substitutes: Jake Green, Jordan Tunnicliffe

Goal: Hughes (39)

Booked: Grimes (90)

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur Joey Jones, James Clarke, Adam Newton, John Goddard, Josh Payne, Mark Ricketts (c), Charles Banya (Kevin Betsy 66), Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 72), Scott Rendell (Ross Lafayette 85)

Unused substitutes: Andy Little, Keiran Murtagh

Goal: Odubade (68)

Booked: Rendell (61), Ricketts (86)

Attendance: 1,646

My MOTM: John Goddard – characterised Woking’s second half resurgence and was a threat all game
Kidderminster Harriers LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
32Chris Arthur
6James Clarke
21Joey Jones
4Mark Ricketts
7Josh Payne
22John Goddard
17Yemi Odubade ('73)
12Charles Banya ('67)
9Scott Rendell ('86)
BENCH
31Andy Little
8Keiran Murtagh
11Kevin Betsy ('67)
10Giuseppe Sole ('73)
19Ross Lafayette ('86)

Kidderminster Harriers 1 - 1 Woking (Steve Thompson Interview)

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