Fitogether
FA Trophy (QF)
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 27th FebruaryFeb 2016
Blundell Park | Att: 1675

Grimsby
Grimsby Town
2 - 0

Woking
Woking

Cards look to turn the tables

Brian Caffarey
4:06pm, Thu 25th Feb 2016
Grimsby Town v Woking
FA Trophy Quarter-Final
3pm on Saturday 27 February 2016

The Cards travel to Cleethorpes again on Saturday hoping to reverse the outcome of Tuesday night’s league defeat at the hands of the Mariners. Garry Hill rested several players for that game whom we can expect to see on Saturday, while Grimsby Town, whose priority is cementing their play-off place, may be tempted to rest a few of Tuesday’s line-up.

WOKING

Keeper Jake Cole, top scorer John Goddard, captain Mark Ricketts and target man Joe Quigley were among those who didn’t start on Tuesday. Grimsby’s manager, Paul Hurst, says that he remarked to Garry Hill as the sides left the pitch that he knew Garry would play ‘a completely different team’ on Saturday. While that may be an exaggeration, Cards fans will be surprised if all four of the players mentioned aren’t in the starting line-up this time. But a ‘man of the match’ performance from Godfrey Poku – who has figured very infrequently this season – might just have given Garry an interesting selection dilemma.

Woking’s progress so far has been:

1st Round: Boreham Wood 1 Woking 2
2nd Round: Woking 6 Maidenhead United 1
3rd Round: Woking 1 Oxford City 0

The Cards have won the Trophy three times, in 1994, 1995 and 1997, and were runners-up in 2005.

The other quarter-final ties are:

Nantwich Town v Dover Athletic
FC Halifax Town v Gateshead
Bognor Regis Town v Torquay United

Woking go into this game on the back of poor league form, having failed to register a win in their last six outings. Their last league victory was a superb 3-1 away win at Wrexham: let’s hope that’s the standard they set themselves on Saturday.

GRIMSBY TOWN

The Mariners’ progress so far has been:

1st Round: Grimsby Town 1 Solihull 1
1st Round Replay: Solihull 2 Grimsby Town 3
2nd Round: Grimsby Town 3 Weston-super-Mare 1
3rd Round: Grimsby Town 3 Havant and Waterlooville 0

Grimsby lost on penalties to Wrexham in the 2013 Trophy Final.

The Mariners are now in their sixth season in the non-League’s top tier. They’ve reached the play-offs in the last three seasons, losing out to Newport County and Gateshead in the semi-final play-offs before, last season, losing on penalties to Bristol Rovers in the Final. They currently sit in 3rd place in the table, seven points clear of Tranmere Rovers and Gateshead, and look odds-on to make the play-offs once more. At home in the league they have won eleven, drawn five and lost two, scoring 41 goals and conceding 14.

Not surprisingly, Grimsby have a strong squad. Familiar names include keeper James McKeown, defenders Josh Gowling (ex-Kidderminster) and Toto Nsiala; midfielders Craig Disley and Nathan Arnold; and strikers Padraig Amond, Omar Bogle and Jon-Paul Pittman. Amond has already plundered 24 goals this season in the league, including two on Tuesday night.

Craig Disley, suspended on Tuesday, will be available for this game.

Recent signings are 20 year-old winger Ryan Jennings, on loan from Wigan Athletic; midfielder Anthony Straker, part of the Shots’ Conference-winning side, subsequently with Southend and York City; Evan Horwood, an experienced left back, joining on loan from Northampton Town; Jon Nolan, the former Lincoln City midfielder; and Conor Henderson, signing from Crawley Town after a previous loan spell. Jack Mackreth and Scott Brown both left by mutual consent.

GETTING THERE

Blundell Park
Cleethorpes
Lincolnshire
DN35 7PY

Official website: www.grimsby-townfc.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves The Laithwaite Community stadium at 8.30am, and costs £20 for members, £30 for non-members, and £10/£15 for under 16s (maximum of two per paying adult). Ring the Club Shop on 01483 772470 or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place.

By car
Follow the signs for Grimsby on the M180. Continue on this road when it becomes the A180 towards Cleethorpes. This road runs right past the ground, which is next to the McDonalds Drive-thru.

By train
Nearest station: Cleethorpes. All services involve a change at Doncaster. The 09.48 train from London KX would get you there at 12.51. The 10.48 would get you there at 13.49. Trains back are at 17.26, getting you to KX at 20.40, and the 18.26, with an arrival time of 22.53.

The station is just over 1 mile away from the stadium. Walking would take about 20 minutes. On leaving the station turn right down the High Street and follow the signs till you reach the ground on your right. Public transport is available: Stagecoach services 9, 13 and 46 run to the ground.

ADMISSION PRICES

There are reduced admission prices for this match:

Adults: £10
Over 65s & Young Adults (15-18): £5
Juniors (Under 15): £1

Away fans sit in the Osmond Stand in the south side of the ground. Entry to this stand is from Harrington Street.

LAST TIME OUT

Grimsby Town 3 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
23 February 2016

A much-changed Woking side, coming off the back of a poor display in their 2-1 defeat at Bromley, fought hard at Blundell Park but were undone by some poor defending.

Employing a 4-5-1 formation, only Jake Caprice, Matt Robinson and Bruno Andrade retained their places from the game at Hayes Lane. Nick Hamann started in goal for only the second time this season. New loan signing from Ipswich Town, 19 year-old central defender Joe Robinson, was given an immediate start by the manager and he was joined in the defence by Caprice, Joey Jones and Scott Griffiths. Godfrey Poku made a rare start and was accompanied in midfield by Andrade, Matt Robinson, Keiran Murtagh and Alex Smith. Giuseppe Sole was employed as a lone striker.

Garry Hill’s side were immediately aware of the tough task facing them as they conceded from the first attack of the game, with Amond nodding back for Pittman to open the scoring. Sole replied midway through the first half after leaping above his marker to head home a cross from Bruno Andrade.

However, Sole’s efforts were quickly undone by Amond, as two quick-fire finishes at the end of the first half put the Mariners firmly in control of the game. Despite no shortage of effort from the Cards in the second half, Grimsby held on to their two-goal lead to take the three points and enhance their play-off push.

Woking: Nick Hamann, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones (Cameron Norman 80), Keiran Murtagh, Giuseppe Sole (Joe Quigley 76), Godfrey Poku, Matt Robinson, Bruno Andrade (Chris Arthur 67), Alex Smith, Scott Griffiths, Joe Robinson

Unused subs: Jake Cole, John Goddard

Goal: Sole (34)

Grimsby: James McKeown, Richard Tait, Shaun Pearson, Jon Nolan, Josh Gowling, Craig Clay, Andy Monkhouse, Jon-Paul Pittman (Omar Bogle 74), Nathan Arnold, Evan Horwood, Padraig Amond (Ryan Jennings 84)

Unused subs: Gregor Robertson, Aristote Nsiala, Conor Henderson

Goals: Pittman (4), Amond (37), (42)

COMING UP

The Cards are away to Molesey on Tuesday 1 March in the Surrey Senior Cup, subject to there being no replay in the FA Trophy tie, before entertaining Dover Athletic on Saturday 5 March in the Vanarama National League.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’ve got 7pm on Thursday 10 March firmly in your diary, when a Celebs XI take on a Woking Legends XI. See the news item of 22 February for more details, including some of the great players who are lined up for both sides.



Cards make disappointing Trophy exit

Brian Caffarey
8:05am, Sun 28th Feb 2016
Grimsby Town 2 Woking 0
FA Trophy Quarter-Final
27 February 2016

The Cards’ hopes of reaching the Trophy Final were extinguished all too easily by a slick Grimsby side. Woking started brightly but faded after conceding in the 10th minute, thereafter rarely looking as though they could trouble the home side. The Mariners scored a second before half-time and cruised through the second half, with their keeper not having a save of note to make the whole game.

As expected, Garry Hill made a number of changes from the side which was beaten 3-1 in the league fixture earlier in the week at Blundell Park. Jake Cole returned in goal. Cameron Norman and Chris Arthur filled the right and left back positions. Mark Ricketts returned, but to partner Joey Jones at centre back, while Godfrey Poku, who had impressed in midweek, retained his place in the centre of midfield alongside Keiran Murtagh and Matt Butcher, making his debut on loan from Bournemouth. Bruno Andrade and John Goddard filled the wide positions, with Giuseppe Sole up front. Most fans had probably expected Joe Quigley to start but when he came on as a substitute in the second half he looked below par, perhaps not having fully recovered from his recent illness.

The postponement of Grimsby Town’s game against Aldershot Town, scheduled for Tuesday night, had perhaps encouraged Paul Hurst, Grimsby’s manager, to put out a full-strength side.

The Cards started well, with Butcher immediately impressing with a surge forward, feeding Murtagh, who in turn slipped the ball on to Goddard, but the Cards’ top scorer lost control of it on the edge of the area. More encouragement followed as Goddard and Sole combined sweetly. A corner ensued as Woking continued to apply some early pressure, with Sole shooting from distance but well over the bar.

But, in the 10th minute, in what was Grimsby’s first real attack, the Cards found themselves 1-0 down, conceding yet another poor goal. Norman was unable to cut out the initial deep cross or the low ball fired across the box, which went all the way through to the unmarked Nathan Arnold, who slotted home.

The Cards seemed to be visibly deflated by this goal, perhaps feeling ‘here we go again’ after midweek’s even earlier reverse, whilst the Mariners eased into a good rhythm, making space, using the ball intelligently and dealing almost nonchalantly with Woking’s attempted attacks. Gez Sole soon looked an isolated figure in an unequal battle with Grimsby’s central defenders, who had little difficulty in beating him in the air and in outmuscling him or crowding him out on the ground.

In the 22nd minute Woking gained a free-kick in the sort of position from which Sole has scored so many memorable goals but this effort flew high over the bar. A second free-kick was equally unproductive as the ball was chipped forward to Murtagh but, with the ball lacking any pace, he could do no more than help it on its way for a goal-kick.

Shaun Pearson headed wide after Woking had failed to clear their lines and then a quick ball forward from Arthur saw Sole go briefly clear of his markers. But with the ball coming down awkwardly over his shoulder there was time for two defenders to usher the ball to safety.

Grimsby returned to the attack as Arnold slid in to meet a cross from Woking’s right, stabbing the ball narrowly wide. However, the next attack produced the Mariners’ decisive second goal. Jon Nolan left Murtagh in his wake as he surged forward from midfield, sliding the ball to Arnold. Cole got a hand to his shot, which seemed to bobble in front of him, but he could not prevent it reaching its target.

At 2-0 down Woking had a mountain to climb and, for a short while, it looked as though Andrade might lead a fight back as he took on Grimsby’s defenders but without being able to put in a really telling cross. On the stroke of half-time Butcher, who looked skilful on the ball, worked a good opening on the left and crossed superbly but Sole, under the bar, could not get over the ball and his header went harmlessly over.

Half-time: Grimsby Town 2 Woking 0

As the second half started the Cards seemed to be enjoying more possession but without looking as though they could inflict any damage. Little progress was made in getting to the byline and the Grimsby defence dealt comfortably with any crosses launched from deep. A flurry in the box in the 52nd minute, after Jones had headed down to Murtagh, raised hopes but Sole was unable to bundle the ball goalwards. Quigley then came on to replace Murtagh.

Jones went perilously close to putting the ball in his own net as he lunged to cut out a dangerous cross from Jon Paul Pittman. Arthur then went on a powerful run – his first and last of the game – as he tore into the box but, perhaps unluckily, was adjudged to have fouled the covering defender. Butcher spread a fine ball wide to Goddard but he seemed to lose his footing and the chance was gone.

After that brief flurry Grimsby resumed their firm control of the game. Garry Hill tried to change things by bringing on the more attack-minded Matt Robinson for the busy Poku but, almost as soon as the change had been made, Ricketts went down injured with what looked like a badly gashed shin and had to be replaced by Joe Robinson.

Although there was no lack of effort from the Cards, no one seemed to be able to lift the side to a rousing finish, with the side looking pedestrian in comparison with the home side’s quick, incisive moves. There were, however, a couple of moments when it looked as though the Cards might just grab a goal back. In the 77th minute Arthur picked up an over-hit cross from Norman and fizzed a low cross right across the face of the Grimsby goal but no one could apply the finishing touch. And, in the 84th minute, Goddard, fed by Arthur, worked his way into the left of the area but passed up an opportunity to shoot and was then crowded out as he tried to beat another defender.

Grimsby should have added a third goal just before that as Andy Monkhouse had an air shot at Arnold’s cut-back, with Padraig Amond then curling the ball just wide.

In the 89th minute there were some, perhaps understandably ironic, cheers from the disappointed
away fans when the Grimsby keeper finally had a shot to save, albeit a fairly tame effort from Goddard on his weaker foot.

With five minutes added as a result of Ricketts’s injury, Woking pressed forward in search of a consolation goal but the final action saw Goddard’s free-kick blocked by a defensive wall.

This was a disappointing performance from the Cards even allowing for the fact that they were up against a very capable side away from home. The Grimsby keeper had virtually nothing to do all game, with Woking looking toothless and predictable going forward. At the back Jones and Ricketts did well to shackle the league’s top scorer, Amond, but the Cards looked vulnerable down the flanks. Butcher, clearly talented, shone on the ball but was not in the game enough to influence its course decisively. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was that there was not enough sense of a passionate desire to give it a real ‘go’ and to try to reach a Trophy Final even against the odds.

Grimsby Town: James McKeown, Richard Tait, Shaun Pearson, Josh Gowling, Craig Disley, Padraig Amond, Andy Monkhouse (Gregor Robertson 88), Jon Paul Pittman, Nathan Arnold, Jon Nolan, Evan Horwood

Unused subs: Omar Bogle, Craig Clay, Aristote Nsiala, Anthony Straker

Goals: Nathan Arnold, 10 and 35

Woking: Jake Cole, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones, Mark Ricketts (Joe Robinson 70), Chris Arthur, Bruno Andrade, Keiran Murtagh (Joe Quigley 54), Godfrey Poku (Matt Robinson 67), Matt Butcher, John Goddard, Giuseppe Sole

Unused subs: Jake Caprice, Nick Hamann

My MOTM: Joey Jones (pictured)

Attendance: 1675 (69 away fans)


Grimsby Town LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
26Cameron Norman
3Chris Arthur
4Mark Ricketts ('70)
7Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh ('54)
12Godfrey Poku ('67)
11John Goddard
15Bruno Andrade
28Matt Butcher
10Giuseppe Sole
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
2Jake Caprice
27Joe Robinson ('70)
14Matt Robinson ('67)
19Joe Quigley ('54)

Grimsby Town 2 - 0 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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