Laithwaite Independent Financial Advisers
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 9th JanuaryJan 2016
Racecourse Ground | Att: 4030

Wrexham
Wrexham
1 - 3

Woking
Woking

Cards face big test

Brian Caffarey
6:42am, Thu 7th Jan 2016
Wrexham v Woking
3pm on Saturday 9 January 2016

The Cards face a difficult trip to Wrexham on Saturday in what could be an important test of their ability to sustain a play-off challenge now that Dan Holman won’t be around to create and score goals. The Dragons have a good home record and will be keen to give a push to their own hopes of promotion, which have suffered a serious setback recently with three defeats over the holiday period. Wrexham will certainly be ‘up’ for this match. With specially reduced prices on the coach and for admission, why not make the trip to support the Cards?

WOKING

After their Christmas/New Year ‘double’ over the Shots, which, combined with a draw against Boreham Wood, brought a very respectable seven points out of nine in the holiday games, the Cards sit in 7th place in the table, three points below fifth-placed Macclesfield Town. Last Saturday’s win made it seven wins, one draw and one defeat in the last nine league and Trophy games: a tremendous recovery from what Garry Hill himself calls a “disastrous� run in September/October which saw the Cards suffer eight defeats in ten league and FA Cup games.

A good deal of the credit for this turnaround must go to the contribution made by a number of loan players: Dan Holman, Joe Quigley, Cameron Norman and Matt Robinson, all of whom showed fantastic commitment to Woking’s cause, while clearly enjoying playing for the Club. Holman has definitely left the Club, signing for Cheltenham Town, while Robinson has presumably returned to Luton Town. Cards fans will be hoping that Quigley and Norman will be able to stay and that Garry will be able to bring in another striker to replace Holman – not an easy task. Keiran Murtagh will no doubt replace Robinson in midfield.

WREXHAM

This is the Dragons’ eighth season at this level and former Gateshead boss Gary Mills, appointed last summer and who guided York City to a play-off final win in 2012, is hoping to succeed where his predecessors, Brian Little, Dean Saunders, Andy Morrell and Kevin Wilkin, all failed, by leading them back into the League.

As in many previous seasons, however, the Dragons are finding it difficult to live up to the expectations befitting a club of their stature and history. They currently sit in 11th place in the table, three points below Woking but have played two fewer games. Their home record is their strength, with seven wins, three draws and three defeats, scoring 30 goals and conceding 16.

The season started promisingly with five wins and two draws in August but results have been mixed since then, including a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup. Christmas did not bring any cheer, with a 1-0 defeat at home to a vastly improved Southport side, a 2-0 defeat away to an improving FC Halifax Town outfit and then a 3-2 defeat away at Southport, who have now won six games in a row under Dino Maamria.

Mills made a lot of changes in the summer, releasing the experienced and popular skipper Dean Keates, Andy Bishop and Neil Ashton amongst others. Among the many new faces were returning midfielder Lee Fowler (who has just returned from a two-month loan spell at Tamworth), two recruits from Welling, Dominic Vose and Jamal Fyfield, keeper Cameron Belford from Swindon and striker James Gray from Accrington. Subsequent additions include keeper Rhys Taylor, signed on loan from Newport County, whose stay Wrexham are keen to extend, and winger Danny O’Brien from Wigan Athletic. A very recent addition is experienced midfielder Simon Heslop from Torquay United. Some other, familiar, names in the Wrexham squad include strikers Wes York, Adriano Moke and captain Connor Jennings, midfielders Mark Carrington and Manny Smith, central defender Blaine Hudson and full back Sean Newton.

GETTING THERE

The Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground
Mold Road
Wrexham
Wales
LL11 2AH

Official website: www.wrexhamafc.co.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust is offering members a specially-reduced price for this trip. The cost is just £22 for adult members and £11 for accompanied U16s (maximum of two per adult), with non-members at £33/£17. The coach leaves Kingfield at 8.00am. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place.

By car

Take the M54 from the M6 (Junction 10A Northbound). Follow the M54 to the end of the motorway and join the A5 towards Shrewsbury. Continue on the A5 past Shrewsbury and Oswestry and then join the A483 towards Wrexham. Stay on the A483 as you reach Wrexham (this is the Wrexham by-pass). Exit at the 'Mold' junction and then follow the signs for 'Town Centre'. The Racecourse will come quickly into view. There is parking at Glyndwr University, for a small fee, next to the ground or at Maesgwyn Hall opposite the University.

By train

Wrexham General station is next to the ground. The 11.10 from Euston would get you to Wrexham at 13.46 via a change at Chester. Cutting it fine, the 12.10 ought to get you in at 14.34 but there is only a six-minute gap between trains at Chester, so this looks a risky option.

Coming back, the 17.04 would get you to Euston at 20.05 via changes at Crewe and Chester. The 17.44 arrives at Euston at 21.17 via changes at Wolverhampton and Stafford.

ADMISSION PRICES

As a ‘thank you’ to their fans for their support, Wrexham have reduced their prices for this game.

Yale Stand prices are now:

£15.00 - Adults
£10.00 - Over 62s / Under 21s
£6.00 - Over 80s / Under 18s
£1.00 – Under 11s

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 0 Wrexham 1
17 October 2015

This match fell in the middle of the Cards’ dreadful loss of form in the autumn, although in the previous two games they had won away at Halifax and managed an unconvincing draw at home to Torquay United.

This was a disappointing display against a side who had not won in six games and who did not have to play particularly well to come away with all the points. Woking were reduced to ten men midway through the second half when already 1-0 down and appeared to be denied a clear penalty but the game was still only in the balance thanks to some profligate finishing by the visitors and several fine saves from sponsors’ ‘man of the match’, Jake Cole.

Garry Hill made two enforced changes from the side which rescued a point against Torquay midweek, with Godfrey Poku and Jimmy Keohane coming in for Mark Ricketts (injured) and Keiran Murtagh (suspended).

The crucial goal was created by the game’s outstanding player, Dominic Vose, in the 29th minute, setting up Connor Jennings for a smart finish. The introduction of Bruno Andrade at half-time produced more urgency and attacking flair but the Cards lacked cohesion, failing to get their passing game going and delivering little service to Dan Holman. (Ironically, the strike partner Dan needed and subsequently got, Joe Quigley, was sitting as an unused substitute on the Wrexham bench.)

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice (Ben Pattie 74), Chris Arthur, Brian Saah, Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, John Goddard, Jimmy Keohane, Godfrey Poku (Giuseppe Sole 68), Kadell Daniel (Bruno Andrade 46), Dan Holman

Unused subs: Nick Hamman, Craig Braham-Barrett

Sent off: Brian Saah

Wrexham: Cameron Belford, Javan Vidal, Sean Newton, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson, Jamal Fyfield, Dominic Vose, Connor Jennings, Mark Carrington, Kayden Jackson (Wes York 74), Rob Evans (Liam Walsh 44) (Jon Nolan 69)

Unused subs: Ross White, Joe Quigley

Goal: Connor Jennings 28

Attendance: 1778

NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to Maidenhead United next Saturday (16 January) in an FA Trophy 2nd Round tie. Garry Hill’s side will be keen to avenge their embarrassing and costly FA Cup exit at the Magpies’ hands in the autumn. Woking legend and former Maidenhead Assistant Manager, Dereck Brown, is the guest of honour in the Geoff Chapple Lounge and fans can join Dereck for only £15: see the home page of www.wokingfc.co.uk for full details. The following Saturday (23 January) Woking are at home to FC Halifax Town.

Come on, you Cards!






Red Dragons slain in heavy rain by committed Cards

Malcolm Wyatt
10:43am, Sun 10th Jan 2016
Wrexham 1 Woking 3
Vanarama National League
January 9th 2016

Ninety-plus minutes of rain on a pitch already saturated in parts could not deter Garry Hill’s Woking from a fine victory in North Wales, as the Surrey visitors moved within a point of the play-off zone.

While an early own goal from home 'keeper Rhys Taylor following a mighty Keiran Murtagh free-kick was quickly cancelled out, decisive second-half finishes from Joe Quigley and Bruno Andrade saw the Cards stretch their league record to seven wins from nine and push them up to sixth in the table.

The visitors didn't have the best of starts, a combative Giuseppe Sole – replacing departed loanee Dan Holman - in the book within two minutes, in a game where slippery conditions led to several cautions as referee Alan Young looked to keep a handle on things.

The resultant free-kick came to nothing, but Woking 'keeper Jake Cole soon had to scramble out to deny Wes York, while at the other end Murtagh put away Andrade but his fellow midfielder couldn't find a way through.

Cameron Norman (pictured), caked in mud from early on, was busy on the left flank, but the hosts proved difficult to break down until a neat volley from Sole – after good work by Joey Jones - had to be turned away by Taylor.

Taking that as a cue, Murtagh struck home from a set-piece, striking from outside the area after a John Goddard corner was half-cleared, the ball coming back off a post and taking an unfortunate bounce off Taylor to find the net on 13 minutes. The linesman’s flag was raised, but whatever he saw was ultimately over-ruled by the ref.

Gary Mills’ hosts were almost straight back in it, Rob Evans letting lose with a cracking shot of his own, Cole making a great save. Wrexham continued to press though, and the increasingly influential Dominic Vose levelled on 16 minutes, unleashing a mighty 30-yard effort after a foul on York by Jones.

Woking fought back, Goddard and Quigley exchanging passes on the left, and while that move came to nothing, the Cards continued to press as the conditions worsened and the rain continued to fall. But Brian Saah twice tidied up at the back as the hosts began to get on top, Garry Hill soon deciding to change things around, Jake Caprice making way for Chris Arthur on 29 minutes.

Another yellow card followed for Woking, Jones going into the book and conceding a free-kick from which Vose again came close from more or less the same spot, striking just wide of Cole's far post. Wrexham's Manny Smith was then booked for a foul on Andrade close to the halfway line, doubts growing as to whether or not the match could continue.

Visitors' skipper Mark Ricketts made an important step to deny the next North Walian raid, the hosts finishing the half on top, good work on their left wing leading to their first corner, while Vose made a great run and beat his marker before shooting on goal and won another, from which Jennings eventually tested Cole from distance, the Cards 'keeper collecting at the second attempt.

But Woking came back again, Simon Heslop heading behind as Quigley looked for a gap. And from the next visitors' attack, Goddard made space for himself before a mighty effort that Taylor did well to put behind.

Half-time: Wrexham 1 Woking 1

Woking were first back out in the rain and made the livelier start to the second half, 19-year-old Quigley forcing Taylor into an early stop while Andrade went on a fine run but his final shot, with few alternative options available, was lacking.

The Cards were back in front in the 49th minute after a corner on the left, the home defence failing to stop Goddard as he weaved his magic then fed Quigley, the big striker – on loan at The Racecourse Ground as recently as October – on hand in the six-yard box to find the left corner of the net.

Wrexham came back at their visitors, and Norman had to stand up well to deny Sean Newton at the far post, with the next attack similarly thwarted, Goddard back to lend a hand and Saah clearing.

As the Red Dragons continued to breathe fire, Vose made a commanding run and exchanged passes with York, but the latter's return ball was too long, while Cole palmed away a shot from distance by Ross White, and York was again kept out.

The sturdy Arthur was next to deny York after another Vose-led attack, intercepting then setting off on a counter-raid, while Quigley was not far off at the near-post after a defence-splitting cross from the left.

Wrexham pushed up again and Arthur further denied York, while home sub James Gray wasn't far off with a header from a left-wing delivery, the same combination leading to the home fans thinking they were level, Gray somehow finding the side-netting from the next cross.

Vose, tiring now, fired his next free-kick over the wall but also over the bar from 20 yards, while as Arthur countered, the final ball proved too long, the Yellows largely concerned with soaking up the Reds’ pressure and trying to catch out their hosts.

Lone striker Quigley beat his marker and went on a fine run only to shoot wide, the home fans increasingly frustrated at the way things were turning out. At the other end Evans drilled wide after a promising attack, while as Woking broke away, Quigley went close from a Goddard lay-off.

York couldn’t get enough of a touch to beat Cole as Wrexham tried again, while both Arthur and Norman made important touches to cut out the resultant corner, Cole punched away the follow-up centre, and Norman and Saah made the interceptions that stopped the hosts in their tracks the next time, Cole again punching away under pressure.

As Woking rode the storm, Ricketts denied sub Kayden Jackson and second Woking sub Godfrey Poku was working hard at the back, and on the next counter-raid, Taylor found himself stranded after a poor clearance on 83 minutes, Andrade taking advantage to make his way forward then supply a decisive left-footed strike, the 22-year-old roving midfielder keeping his cool where many may have blasted and lost their footing.

That was game over, Gray and Sean Newton soon finding their way into the referee’s book as Wrexham lost heart, their impressive attendance beginning to thin out. Andrade might even have sneaked in one more from there, the pocket of Cards' fans soon celebrating another great win on the road.

Wrexham: Rhys Taylor, Sean Newton, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson (James Gray 58), Jamal Fyfield, Dominic Vose (Kayden Jackson 73), Connor Jennings (c), Robbie Evans (Adriano Moke 81), Wes York, Ross White, Simon Heslop

Subs not used: Lee Fowler, Mark Carrington

Goal: Vose 16

Bookings: Smith 33, Evans 45, Gray 86, Newton 87

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice (Chris Arthur 29), Mark Ricketts (c), Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh, Giuseppe Sole (Godfrey Poku 64), John Goddard, Bruno Andrade (Andrew Mills 90), Joe Quigley, Cameron Norman

Subs not used: Nick Hamann, Gary Abisogun

Goals: Taylor (og) 13, Quigley 49, Andrade 83


Bookings: Sole 2, Jones 31

Attendance: 4,030 (83 from Woking)

My MOTM: Cameron Norman – it shouldn’t be about how much mud a player has on him, but the 20-year-old Norwich City loanee was covered from the opening minutes and seemed to personify the commitment put in by Woking to achieve this great result.
Wrexham LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice ('30)
26Cameron Norman
5Brian Saah
7Joey Jones
4Mark Ricketts
8Keiran Murtagh
15Bruno Andrade ('90)
11John Goddard
10Giuseppe Sole ('65)
19Joe Quigley
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
3Chris Arthur ('30)
21Andrew Mills ('90)
12Godfrey Poku ('65)
24Gary Abisogun

Wrexham 1 - 3 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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