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3:00pm - SaturdaySat 1st AugustAug 2015

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Woking
Woking

Cards take on Saints in final pre-season outing

Brian Caffarey
7:09am, Fri 31st Jul 2015
St Albans City v Woking
Pre-season friendly
3pm on Saturday 1 August 2015

The Cards travel to Clarence Park on Saturday afternoon to play St Albans City of the Conference South for their last pre-season friendly before the real thing starts the following weekend with a trip to Tranmere Rovers. The Cards’ last game saw them lose 0-4 to Leyton Orient midweek in a performance which fans will be hoping was just a pre-season ‘blip’.

WOKING

The Cards’ pre-season games have produced the following results so far:

Staines Town 3 Woking 2
Woking 1 Oxford United 0
Woking 0 Portsmouth 2
Woking 0 Leyton Orient 4

Of course, the results don’t matter much but the worrying aspect of Tuesday’s display against Leyton Orient was that some of the apparent strengths shown in earlier games – in particular, the pretty solid look of the defence – were not sustained against a rampant Orient front line, which notched four goals before half-time. Cards fans will be hoping that this was an ‘off’ day and that the likes of Mark Ricketts, Ismail Yakubu and Brian Saah (still to be signed) will fare better against Tranmere and subsequently. The Cards will also need to find some more penetration up front, with Scott Rendell and Gez Sole so far failing to make much impact.

Tuesday night’s game saw the appearance of two new trialists, Tobisho Silva and Dave Martin, plus further outings for Kouassi Evans, Charles Banya and Reece Beckles.

ST ALBANS CITY

The Saints have had a very busy pre-season, with the following games played:

St Albans City 0 Dagenham and Redbridge 4
St Albans City 0 Watford XI 4
Boreham Wood 0 St Albans City 0
St Albans City 2 Barnet 3
Billericay Town 0 St Albans City 0
St Albans City 1 Crystal Palace XI 1
Waltham Abbey 2 St Albans City 6
Biggleswade 1 St Albans City 1
Hitchin Town 0 St Albans City 2

City have lost the services of Omar Beckles, who has just joined Aldershot Town, but have brought back giant defender Ben Martin and also signed striker Louie Theophanous, who was the top scorer in the Conference South with Staines in 2013-14 before joining Farnborough Town. Theophanous scored in last night’s win at Hitchin, the other goal coming from Billy Medlock. Keeper Joe Welch was ‘player of the season’ last year, while James Comley was capped for England C side. A player to look out for is teenage prospect Jack Green, younger brother of captain Danny Green.

The Saints, under joint managers Graham Golds and Jimmy Gray, finished 13th in the Conference South last season, ending the campaign strongly.

GETTING THERE

St Albans City FC
Clarence Park Stadium
York Road
St Albans
AL1 4LP

By car

The following directions are given on the official St Albans City website www.stalbanscityfc.com :

“Exit M25 at J21A (A405). Follow signs to St. Albans from slip road. At Noke Hotel roundabout (Shell garage will be straight ahead), bear right on A405 and stay on A405 until London Colney rbt (traffic light controlled). Turn left onto A1081. Follow road for approx 1 mile until mini rbt (Great Northern pub on left). Turn right into Alma Road. At traffic lights turn right into Victoria Street and continue to junction with Crown pub. Go straight across into Clarence Road, ground is first on left about 50 yards past junction or take the next turning on the left into York Road, ground entrance is at the end of the road on the left.�

There is a small amount of parking at the Clarence Park entrance and a limited amount in local streets but beware of parking restrictions.

By train

There are frequent Thameslink trains from London St Pancras, taking 20-25 minutes. An alternative route is to take the train from Woking to Clapham Junction and then travel by Thameslink via West Hampstead. Look up www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.

The stadium is only a very short walk from the railway station. Turn left out of the station into Station Way and cross Hatfield Road into Clarence Park. Follow the path round to the right of the ground until you reach the main entrance.

COMING UP

The Cards start their league programme on Saturday 8 August with an away trip to newly-relegated Tranmere Rovers, followed by two home games: against Bromley on Tuesday 11 August and against Altrincham on Saturday 15 August. Make sure you’ve reserved your place on the Cards Trust coach for the trip to Tranmere. Ring the Club Shop on 01483 772470 to book.

There’s also a very attractive offer on hospitality in the Geoff Chapple Lounge covering the first four home games: see the news item dated 24 July.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards edge final warm-up match

Alan Barnes
10:05am, Sun 2nd Aug 2015
St Albans City 0 Woking 1
Pre-season friendly
1st August 2015

Woking played their fifth and final pre-season friendly away to Vanarama National South side St Albans City.

Playing conditions were good, the sky being overcast and the temperature nigh-on perfect for a game of football on the first day of August.

With a number of triallists on view again, Woking kicked up the slope in the first half. It was an even opening fifteen minutes with both sides struggling to find any cohesion. Woking were the first to threaten with a pass out of defence to Tobisho Silva, who had impressed on his first outing for the club at home to Leyton Orient the previous Tuesday night. His square pass was put over the bar by Keiran Murtagh from the edge of the penalty area.

It was Silva again who then worked his way into the box but he lost control of the ball before he could inflict any real damage on the home goal.

The best chance of the half, however, fell to the Saints. The ball was worked through midfield and eventually found Sam Corcoran totally in the clear, but he screwed his shot wide of the left-hand post.

Woking continued to have most of the ball but failed to carve out any clear chances as the half finished goalless.

Half-time: St Albans City 0 Woking 0

Giuseppe Sole replaced Silva at the break and with John Goddard playing a more central midfield role, it seemed to give the side a better balance.

Seven minutes into the half, the Cards took the lead with what turned out to be the only goal of the game. Triallist Bruno Andrade was brought down as he cut into the box and the ever reliable Scott Rendell stepped up for the spot kick. With the now familiar late stutter in his run-up, Woking's ace marksman calmly slotted home down the middle of the goal as the home 'keeper dived to his right.

Just past the hour mark, the home side made a multitude of substitutions, to keep the training match theme alive. Woking also made three changes and proceed to enjoy their best spell of the match, the pick of the action being when Goddard's shot dropped onto the bar with the 'keeper beaten.

Apart from the odd occasion, the Woking defence was rarely threatened as the visitors continued to look comfortable as they went in search of a second goal.
A good build-up from midfield and an incisive cross from Jake Caprice found Rendell but he was just offside.

Another cross from the marauding Caprice then found Sole in space but his flick-on was denied by a good save from Tom Coulton as the visitors continued to enjoy most of the possession in the dying embers of the match.

A good workout for Garry Hill and his players then, as they make final preparations for the long trip north next weekend for the opening league fixture at relegated Tranmere Rovers.

One piece of excellent news for Cards' fans yesterday was the confirmation that central defender Brian Saah had finally signed for the club.

Woking: Jake Cole (Nick Hamann 70) Jake Caprice, Dave Martin, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu, Keiran Murtagh, Godfrey Poku, (Mark Ricketts 70) John Goddard, Bruno Andrade (Charles Banya 70), Scott Rendell, Tobisho Silva (Giuseppe Sole 45)




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