Boz's Fruit & Veg
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 26th MarchMar 2016
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1730

Woking
Woking
1 - 1

Kidderminster Harriers
Kidderminster Harriers

Cards hope for change in fortunes

Brian Caffarey
9:26am, Thu 24th Mar 2016
Woking v Kidderminster Harriers
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 26 March 2016

Cards fans will be hoping that the side’s week off from action will help to trigger a change in fortunes as Garry Hill’s team look to end a dreadful collapse in form which has seen them lose their last seven league games along with exits from the FA Trophy and Surrey Senior Cup. The Harriers may look doomed to relegation but they showed great spirit last week in winning away at Lincoln City and will fancy their chances of picking up another three points on Saturday. There are only four more home games left, so come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer the Cards on to a rousing end to the season! There is free admission for U16s.

Woking FC are grateful to Hugh Harris Menswear for sponsoring Saturday’s game.

WOKING

It’s hard to believe now that after the Cards’ excellent 3-1 away win at Wrexham on 9 January they stood in 6th place, only one point off the play-off spots. Since then they have picked up a mere two points out of a possible 24 and have slumped to mid-table, being closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what’s gone wrong but Dan Holman’s departure was certainly a major factor along with the lack of experience and a loss of form by a number of players.

Garry will be hoping fervently that a break from league action, coupled with a full return from injury of Brian Saah and Bruno Andrade, will help to bring this miserable run to an end.

KIDDERMINSTER HARRIERS

However, the Cards’ woes are few compared with the harrowing times which the Harriers have suffered this season, although there does now appear to be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Any football fan who wants to see what financial mismanagement of a club can lead to would be well advised to read the Harriers’ recent ‘state of the nation’ statement at http://www.harriers.co.uk/news/article/kidderminster-harriers-outlines-full-philosophy-for-long-term-future-2996070.aspx

Among other things, this statement reveals that only a few seasons ago the club was operating on a playing budget of over £800k and that for the current season this has fallen to £260k, rising to £380k. Even more staggering was the revelation that half of the £260k at the beginning of the current season was owed to just two players.

The Harriers do now seem to be set on a course for a sustainable future, but it looks as though the foundations may well have to be laid in the Conference North next season since, in spite of improved form, they are 11 points from safety with only eight games to go. But the form book at least suggests that they will start favourites on Saturday for they have picked up four wins, a draw and five defeats in their last ten games, including their 2-1 away win at Lincoln City last weekend.

Inevitably, the retrenchment at Aggborough has led to the departure, last season and this, of virtually all of Harriers’ better-known players, leaving a young and inexperienced squad. Perhaps the most familiar names are experienced defenders Jared Hodgkiss and Keith Lowe and midfielder Arthur Gnahoua. Recent additions include Lewis Kinsella, a full back on loan from Aston Villa, and Max O’Leary, a 19 year-old keeper from Bristol City. Zaine Francis-Angol will be missing as a result of international duty with Antigua and Barbuda.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults - £18
Over 65s, Students with NUS card, forces personnel and MOD civilian staff with recognised ID - £13
U16s – FREE

The game is not expected to be segregated.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Another packed, full colour, 64-page matchday programme includes a fascinating interview with Lounge Special Guest, Chris Dyke, who reflects on 40 years’ watching and reporting on the Cards, plus some interesting thoughts from Jon Woozley about matchday programmes and team sheets. In addition, there’s a summary of recent league results; and news from the Club Board and the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos. Great value at only £3!

400 CLUB

The first draw in the Cards Trust’s new fundraising venture will take place in the Cardinals Bar after the game.

LAST TIME WE MET

Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0
31 October 2015

The Cards gained the unenviable distinction of being the first side beaten by the Harriers this season.

The Cards went into this game on the back of a poor run, having lost six of their last eight league games and having been trounced in the FA Cup the previous weekend by Maidenhead United. Garry Hill brought in new loan signings Adam Cunnington up front for Giuseppe Sole and Cameron Norman at right back for Jake Caprice. Brian Saah returned from suspension to replace Terell Thomas at the heart of the defence whilst Nick Hamann came in for Jake Cole in goal.

The Cards generally had the better of the first half but without showing much penetration. Harriers were much more threatening in the second half but it looked as though the Cards would come away with a point till, in the 87th minute, Jordan Murphy deflected a header past Nick Hamann.

Kidderminster Harriers: Dean Snedker, Jared Hodgkiss (c), Kelvin Langmead, Kyle Howkins, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (Matt Young 46), Ben Whitfield, Luke Maxwell (Dino Fazlic 46), Jordan Jones, Jordan Murphy, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Zaine Francis-Angol (Jake Green 61)

Unused subs: Gurjit Singh, Jonathan Brown 

Goal: Jordan Murphy 87

Woking: Nick Hamann, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur (Kadell Daniel 78), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts (c), Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 80), Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 86), Adam Cunnington

Unused subs: Jake Cole, Jimmy Keohane

Attendance: 1,449

COMING UP

The Cards travel to Welling United on Easter Monday, with a 3pm kick-off. Book your place on the coach on Saturday. They then make the much longer trip to Southport on Saturday 2 April. Their next home game is on Saturday 9 April when they face Gateshead.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to book your tickets for the Comedy Night on Thursday 31 March – the event is free, though, for season ticket holders.

Cards' wait for a league win continues as Harriers hit back

Glen Harrington
9:48pm, Sat 26th Mar 2016
Woking 1 Kidderminster Harriers 1
The Vanarama National League
March 26th 2016

Woking ended a run of seven straight defeats in league and cup games, but missed out on a first league win since early January, despite an improved performance against bottom of the table Kidderminster Harriers.

For much of the game Daniel Carr’s opening goal, his first for the club since joining on loan from Cambridge United earlier this month, looked like it was going to be enough for the Cards – the youngster slotting the ball past Max O’Leary after an excellent cushioned header from Keiran Murtagh just before the 15 minute mark.

But the visitors claimed an equaliser ten minutes from time, when James McQuilkin fired a thunderous shot past Jake Cole from just outside the penalty area, which may have taken a slight deflection.

Both teams had chances to win it – with substitute Joe Quigley particularly guilty of squandering a golden opportunity with five minutes to play, while at the other end Ben Whitfield was a constant thorn in Woking’s side, but ultimately the draw was probably a fair result.

Garry Hill, who in his programme notes spoke of the need to finish a faltering season strongly, made three changes from the side which suffered a heavy defeat at Cheltenham two weeks earlier – with the previously suspended Murtagh replacing Matt Robinson in midfield, while Brian Saah returned from injury and joined Carr in the starting eleven. Quigley and Giuseppe Sole were the men to miss out.

That all meant that the Cards lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Bruno Andrade (pictured) and John Goddard playing off Carr up front; Elsewhere, Mark Ricketts returned to midfield while Saah partnered Joey Jones in central defence.

Despite coming into the game off the back of a humbling defeat to lowly Merstham in the Surrey Senior Cup, the home side started brightly, with Jake Caprice hitting the post from a tight angle after being released down the right by Andrade.

The opening goal for the home side came soon after, with Chris Arthur doing brilliantly to control a long ball on his chest out on the left-hand side, and then having the composure to look up and pick out Murtagh – who was lurking dangerously on the edge of the Harriers penalty area. His header fell perfectly into the path of Carr, who had all of the time in the world to pick his spot and fire the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Carr might have doubled his and Woking’s tally, a couple of minutes later. Caprice picked out the striker from the right-hand side, six yards from goal, only for Carr to scuff his effort wide. He looked to have been in an offside position, but the linesman’s flag stayed down, and the forward was left holding his head in his hands.

The rest of the half was a much more even contest, as two teams short on confidence settled into a more familiar midfield battle, with Arthur Gnahoua the only man to truly trouble the Woking goalkeeper – forcing Cole to palm away a stinging shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Half-time: Woking 1 Kidderminster Harriers 0

The visitors improved after the break, helped greatly by the introduction of substitutes Jordan Jones and Elton Ngwatala, whose presence in midfield allowed McQuilkin to push further forward in support of danger man Whitfield. Kidderminster centre-back Kelvin Langmead also became a makeshift centre-forward shortly after the changes, as the league’s bottom side chased a route back into the game.

Whitfield came close to the equaliser from, of all things, a corner – as his effort swirled in the wind and required a fine save from Cole to push the ball away, with the Woking defenders hacking the ball clear to ensure that there would be no follow-up effort. The Bournemouth loanee came close twice more as the half wore on, but every time found an in-form Cole blocking his way.

The Cards had plenty of chances of their own to finish the game and score their first home league win since a victory over local rivals Aldershot Town almost three months ago, but couldn’t take advantage. Caprice’s brilliant ball over the top put Carr clean through, only for the covering defender to get back and deny the Woking striker; Goddard saw his shot saved, while Matt Butcher skimmed the crossbar with his long-range effort.

However, it was the Harriers who were starting to look menacing and the equaliser eventually came ten minutes from time, when the Cards half-cleared the ball away from their penalty area – only for McQuilkin to meet the ball eighteen yards out and slam an unstoppable strike past the despairing dive of Cole into the Woking net, although the Woking manager was of the opinion that a deflection had taken the ball past his goalkeeper.

The hosts responded by immediately throwing on Quigley to partner Carr up front, and the young striker – who hasn’t scored since the FA Trophy win over Oxford City at the start of February – might have won it late on, but was denied by an excellent saving tackle. Poku, another Woking substitute, picked up the ball on the right and played an inch-perfect pass to dissect the Harriers defence. Quigley took the ball around the keeper but dallied too long in possession as he took the ball wide and couldn’t force his shot back past a sprawling O’Leary.

This was a result which won’t do either team any huge favours. For Woking, it did at least put an end to a depressing losing run and take them up to that important 50 point mark, while for the Harriers it’s a score that leaves them still well adrift at the bottom in their battle against relegation.

The Cards will no doubt be hoping to build on today’s improved performance when they travel to take on another relegation-threatened outfit – Welling United – on Easter Monday, as they aim for only a third league win in 2016.

Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Mark Ricketts (c) (Joe Quigley 81), Keiran Murtagh (Matt Robinson 66), Matt Butcher (Godfrey Poku 76), Bruno Andrade, John Goddard, Daniel Carr

Subs not used: Joe Robinson, Nick Hamann

Goal: Daniel Carr 14

Bookings: None

Kidderminster Harriers: Max O’Leary, Jared Hodgkiss (Jordan Jones 62), Keith Lowe, Kelvin Langmead, Luke Maxwell (Elton Ngwatala 64), Tyrone Williams, Ousmane Fane, Lewis Kinsella, James McQuilkin, Arthur Gnahoua (Evan Garnett 45), Ben Whitfield

Subs not used: Omari Patrick, Dean

Goal: James McQuilkin 79

Bookings: None

Attendance: 1,730

MOTM as nominated by match sponsors Hugh Harris Menswear: Bruno Andrade – once again the winger was the man the Cards looked to for a little bit of flair, magic and inspiration. There were only flashes of it today, but a solid performance nonetheless.
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice
3Chris Arthur
5Brian Saah
7Joey Jones
4Mark Ricketts ('80)
8Keiran Murtagh ('67)
28Matt Butcher ('77)
15Bruno Andrade
11John Goddard
23Daniel Carr
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
27Joe Robinson
12Godfrey Poku ('77)
14Matt Robinson ('67)
19Joe Quigley ('80)
Kidderminster Harriers LINEUP

Woking 1 - 1 Kidderminster Harriers (Garry Hill Interview)

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