Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
FCP
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 21st MarchMar 2015
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1436

Woking
Woking
1 - 0

Forest Green Rovers
Forest Green Rovers

Crucial home game for Cards

Brian Caffarey
9:52am, Thu 19th Mar 2015
Woking v Forest Green Rovers
3pm on Saturday 21 March 2015

The Cards take on fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers on Saturday in what looks like a ‘must win’ (or, at worst, ‘must not lose’) game for Garry Hill’s side as they seek to dislodge Rovers from the last play-off spot. At present Woking sit in eighth place, seven points behind Rovers with a game in hand, so a win on Saturday would narrow the gap to only four points. But the magnitude of the Cards’ task is evident from the fact that Rovers have not lost one of their last twelve league games. Come on down to Kingfield to cheer on the Cards in a vitally important match!

WOKING

Woking’s 3-1 win at AFC Telford last weekend kept them in the play-off race, although they lost some ground midweek when all their main rivals played with the exception of Forest Green Rovers themselves. Eastleigh and FC Halifax both drew, whilst Gateshead won. As a result the Cards have slipped to eighth place. Eastleigh, in sixth place, are best positioned to catch Rovers, being only two points behind with a game in hand. Next come Gateshead, six points behind Rovers but with two games in hand. Woking, in eighth, are ahead of ninth-place FC Halifax on goal difference, although the Shaymen have a game in hand. However, all the sides will be playing each other at some stage in the remaining weeks – for example, Halifax are at home to Gateshead on Tuesday, while Gateshead entertain Eastleigh the following Saturday and both Gateshead and Halifax have yet to visit Kingfield – so points are going to be dropped as well as won.

Garry Hill’s side have simply got to concentrate on their own affairs on Saturday, faced with the very difficult task of beating a side which has lost only three games away from home this season and which has been in excellent form in recent months.

Judging by Garry’s remarks after last Saturday’s game, Keiran Murtagh, who had an outstanding game at Telford replacing the suspended Josh Payne, can expect to remain in the starting line-up even though Josh will be available again.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS

Rovers started the season well, registering three wins and three draws in August, but form dipped a bit in September, with defeats to Wrexham and Barnet at home and Nuneaton away. Things picked up in October with two wins and two draws in league encounters as Rovers embarked on an 11-game unbeaten run, ended by defeat at Halifax on 2 December. Two more losses, against Kidderminster and Grimsby, followed in late December before Rovers embarked on their current run of 12 league games without defeat, which included, a fortnight ago, a 3-1 win at Barnet. Rovers’ position would be even stronger but for a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

Rovers, who are backed by Ecotricity owner and club chairman, Dale Vince, have a very strong squad. Jon Parkin is top scorer but manager Ady Pennock has a wealth of attacking options, including England C wingers James Norwood and Elliot Frear, Stuart Fleetwoood, who re-joined the club in January, Kurtis Guthrie, formerly with Welling, and James Marwood, the former Gateshead player, who left Scottish Premier club St Mirren during the transfer window to join Rovers. Other recent arrivals are Tom Bender, most recently with Dartford, midfielder Corby Moore, who came up through Southampton’s Academy and joined from a North American League club, and former Sutton defender Charlie Clough. Departures include strikers Lee Hughes and Magno Vieira and defender Eddie Oshodi. Keeper Sam Russell has recently completed 150 consecutive Conference appearances.

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 an interview with on-loan and in-form striker Yemi Odubade. If you can’t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

BOOST THE BUDGET

There will be a bucket collection on Saturday to support the Boost the Budget initiative. Please give as generously as you can to help boost Garry’s playing budget.

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

Forest Green Rovers 2 Woking1
9 December 2014

The Cards came into this game on the back of a last-minute defeat away at Macclesfield Town a few days previously and were keen to avoid going away empty-handed again. In difficult conditions, in driving wind and rain, they started quite well, Dean Morgan’s clever turn and shot giving them the lead midway through the first half.

But the home side, taking advantage of the wind, ramped up the pressure and the Cards conceded two goals before half-time. In the 35th minute Jon Parkin bundled home an Elliot Frear cross and, seven minutes later, the towering ex-Card Luke Oliver headed home a corner.

Try as they might in the second half the Cards could not really penetrate a solid Rovers defence and so what proved to be a poor run in December saw the second consecutive league defeat.

Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell, David Pipe, Luke Oliver, Danny Coles, Marcus Kelly, Robert Sinclair, Clovis Kamdjo, Sam Wedgbury, Elliot Frear (Chris Stokes 90)
Jon Parkin, Kurtis Guthrie

Unused Subs: Lee Hughes, Aarran Racine, Paul White, Louis McGrory

Booked: Robert Sinclair

Goal: Jon Parkin 35, Luke Oliver 42

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, Chris Arthur (John Goddard 77), Adam Newton (Keiran Murtagh 80), Josh Payne, Joey Jones, Kevin Betsy, Giuseppe Sole (Jack Marriott 63), Dean Morgan

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Theo Lewis 

Goal: Dean Morgan 22

Attendance: 970

COMING UP

The Cards are at home again on Tuesday evening when Torquay United visit Kingfield. Come along again and cheer the side on to three more points!

Come on, you Cards!

Woking overcome Forest Green Rovers to keep play-off dreams alive

Haydn Cobb
7:50pm, Sat 21st Mar 2015
Woking 1 Forest Green Rovers 0
Vanarama Conference
21st March 2015

Woking made it four wins from their last five games to maintain their play-off ambitions after beating Forest Green Rovers thanks to a 49th minute Scott Rendell penalty.

The Cards showed true grit and determination to beat a spirited Rovers and close the gap between the two teams to just four points, with the visitors currently occupying the final play-off place.

Woking also have a game in hand over their Gloucestershire rivals and enjoyed a near-perfect day as play-off hopefuls Eastleigh and Gateshead both lost while Halifax could only draw, which sees Woking jump up to seventh in the Vanarama Conference.

Three minutes into the second half Yemi Odubade fell under heavy pressure from Forest Green defender Charlie Clough and referee Nicholas Kinseley awarded Woking a penalty. Rendell confidently stepped up and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Steve Arnold for his 18th league goal of the season.

Woking’s victory ended the visitors' 12-game unbeaten run, the first time they had lost in the league in 2015. The result will be a massive confidence boost for Garry Hill’s team, who are well in the mix of the play-off chasers with seven games remaining.

The manager was forced into making one change to the starting line-up from last Saturday’s win against AFC Telford United with Chris Arthur returning to left back in place of the injured Aswad Thomas. Thomas has undergone surgery on a broken hand sustained against the Conference bottom club and is expected to be missing for the next four to six weeks.

The pre-match talk was focused on the game being make-or-break for Woking’s play-off ambitions. The Cards started the day seven points behind Forest Green Rovers, albeit with a game in hand, with Rovers occupying the final play-off position.

The home team started the brighter with Kevin Betsy and Odubade both testing Rovers goalkeeper Steve Arnold with early efforts from the edge of the penalty box.

The away side thought they had taken the lead against the run of play but Rovers striker Stuart Fleetwood was judged to be offside.

The home side were beginning to string a nice set of passes together which provided Mark Ricketts with a sight of goal from 20 yards out. The Cards captain, who was making his 200th league appearance in a Woking shirt, unleashed a fierce shot which was parried over the crossbar by Arnold.

Hill’s side continued to dominate the shots tally but were restricted to efforts from the edge of the penalty area by a side looking to extend its unbeaten run.

Some outstanding footwork from last week’s man-of-the-match Keiran Murtagh enabled him to wriggle free of his marker and whip an in-swinging cross to Cards’ top scorer Rendell but his header was well held by Arnold.

The opening 30 minutes were nearly all one-way traffic for Woking but Rovers looked content to attack on the counter, meaning the Cards backline had to maintain their concentration throughout.

Forest Green had their first sustained period of pressure but failed to test goalkeeper Jake Cole. Woking were then able to break away at the other end with Betsy threading a through ball to Odubade, who crossed from the left to Rendell, but the striker couldn’t direct his header on target.

As the game entered first half injury time, Rovers had the home fans' hearts in their mouths after right back Dale Bennett drifted unnoticed to the edge of the Cards' penalty box. The defender unleashed a good effort from 20 yards which clipped the top of Cole’s crossbar.

Half-time: Woking 0 Forest Green Rovers 0

Woking took the lead just four minutes after the restart with Rendell’s 18th league goal of the season. A mistake by Aarron Racine gifted the ball to Betsy, who floated a pass over the defence into the path of Odubade. The Woking striker went down under the challenge from Clough with his back to goal and referee Kinseley duly pointed to the spot.

Rendell, who spent time on loan at Forest Green whilst on Reading’s books earlier in his career, kept his composure and slotted home into the left of Arnold’s goal as the goalkeeper dived the opposite way.

The away side thought they’d equalised immediately after going behind but Fleetwood’s effort was ruled out, again because of an offside decision.

After conceding the opening goal, the visitors started to pose more of an attacking threat. Clough almost made amends for conceding the penalty with a header from a Marcus Kelly corner, but Cole was equal to it and pushed it on to the crossbar.

Just past the hour mark, Forest Green looked to refresh things up by making a double substitution, with Tom Bender and James Marwood coming on for Sam Wedgbury and Kurtis Guthrie.

The Cards also made a change with Giuseppe Sole replacing Odubade up front as the game began to stretch, which provided the ever-alert Sole with opportunities to get in behind the Rovers defence.

The home fans endured a tense end to the game as Rovers launched a series of aerial bombardments but the Woking defence stood firm.

Moans of anxiety rang around Kingfield as the fourth official indicated five minutes of injury time were to be played despite there being very few stoppages. Forest Green threw every outfield player forward in the hunt for an equaliser but Woking held out.

Substitute Charles Banya effectively ended the game as he broke away with the ball and smashed a shot at Arnold who could only parry it away for a corner, which used up all the remaining time and send the Woking fans into celebration at the full-time whistle.

Woking will hope to continue with their push for the play-offs on Tuesday night when they welcome Torquay United to Kingfield Stadium. If Garry Hill’s men can make it back-to-back home wins they would move just one point off the play-offs.

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Adam Newton, John Goddard (Charles Banya 88), Mark Ricketts (John Nutter 90), Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Scott Rendell, Yemi Odubade (Giuseppe Sole 64)

Unused subs: Andy Little, Lionel Stone

Goals: Rendell (49 pen)

Booked: Cole

Forest Green Rovers: Steve Arnold, Marcus Kelly, Aaron Racine, Charlie Clough, Dale Bennett, Elliott Frear, Clovis Kamdjo, Sam Wedgbury (Tom Bender 64), Kurtis Guthrie (James Marwood 64), Jon Parkin, Stuart Fleetwood (David Pipe 82)

Unused subs: Sam Russell, Danny Coles

Sponsors' MotM: Brian Saah

Attendance: 1,436
WOKING LINEUP
23Jake Cole
2Adam Newton
32Chris Arthur
21Joey Jones
24Brian Saah
4Mark Ricketts ('95)
8Keiran Murtagh
22John Goddard ('89)
11Kevin Betsy
17Yemi Odubade ('65)
9Scott Rendell
BENCH
31Andy Little
15John Nutter ('95)
28Lionel Stone
12Charles Banya ('89)
10Giuseppe Sole ('65)
Forest Green Rovers LINEUP

Woking 1 - 0 Forest Green Rovers (Joe McNerney Interview)

Woking 1 - 0 Forest Green Rovers (Brian Saah Interview)

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