MKJ Group
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 6th AugustAug 2016
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1592

1 - 3

Lincoln City
Lincoln City

New-look Cards ready for the off

Brian Caffarey
9:00am, Thu 4th Aug 2016
Woking v Lincoln City
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 6 August 2016

Make sure you’re at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon to see Garry Hill’s new-look Cards take on ambitious Lincoln City in an intriguing opening game of the season. Some familiar faces have gone but Garry Hill’s young squad has performed encouragingly in their friendly games, and several of the new signings look as though they could prove a handful. Let’s get behind them and cheer them on to an opening day win!


Garry Hill has a reputation for securing value for money, so Cards fans will be hoping that he’s pulled a few more rabbits out of the hat this summer as the Club looks to maintain its record of top half finishes since its return to the top flight of the non-League world. Budgetary restrictions, and the lure of full-time wage packets, undoubtedly contributed to the departure of experienced hands Scott Rendell and Mark Ricketts, along with Chris Arthur and Bruno Andrade, while Gez Sole bade a sad farewell to Kingfield after terrific service to the Club. But Garry has brought in some interesting replacements, with perhaps a bigger emphasis on youthful energy, pace and ambition than in some recent seasons.

Up front, Gozie Ugwu, the returning Delano Sam-Yorke (who will be familiar to Lincoln fans) and Zak Ansah could all pose problems for opposition defences with their pace and aggression, with Charlie Penny operating just behind them. Out wide the exciting Watford on-loan prospect Dennon Lewis and Nathan Ralph should both also provide an attacking threat, while Max Kretzschmar, Fabio Saraiva and Charlie Carter should all prove more than useful partners for Keiran Murtagh in midfield. Michael Poke in goal and Ben Gordon at left back are experienced additions in defence, with Brandon Hall hoping to push Poke for the keeper’s jersey. Some key players remain from last season in addition to Murtagh. Woking fans will be hoping in particular that Ismail Yakubu, returning from injury, Brian Saah and Joey Jones can form strong defensive partnerships, while ex-Imp Jake Caprice has already shown that he’s lost none of his ability to bomb forward and get in dangerous crosses.


The appointment of Danny Cowley as Manager, with his brother Nicky as Assistant, must give Imps fans renewed hope that their team can put in a strong bid for a play-off place this season after some disappointing campaigns. Cowley worked wonders with Braintree Town last season and his previous track record with Concord Rangers is also highly impressive.

The Imps look as though they have a very competitive squad, reinforced at the last minute by the eye-catching signing of Nathan Arnold, who proved a thorn in our side for Grimsby last season, and the capture of Dover defender Sean Raggett. Familiar names from last season include keeper Paul Farman, midfielders Alan Power and Craig Stanley and striker Matt Rhead, whom Barrow tried hard to lure away from Sincil Bank following his impressive goalscoring exploits. Among the new squad members Cowley has brought in a couple of players from Braintree: highly-rated midfielder Alex Woodyard and defender Sam Habergham. Other new arrivals include striker Jonny Margetts, who was with Tranmere Rovers last season but who also had loan spells at Southport and Altrincham, and striker Jack Muldoon, previously with Rochdale.

The Imps have enjoyed a very encouraging pre-season. Their last couple of games saw them draw 2-2 at home to Peterborough United and then, on Saturday, they beat Crewe Alexandra 3-0, with two goals from Adam Marriott. The formidable Matt Rhead is a particular threat in the air.


Adults £18
Over 65/Students with valid student card £13
U16s £5

The game will be segregated, with Lincoln City fans allocated the Chris Lane open terrace and part of the seated Leslie Gosden Stand.

Don’t forget the fantastic hospitality package on offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge for the August games: see the news item dated 23 July 2016 for more details. Season ticket holders should bear in mind, too, that they can purchase hospitality in the Lounge for only £30 plus VAT.


The Cards travel to newly-promoted Solihull Moors on Tuesday night (9 August). Book your place on the Cards Trust coach by emailing or , phoning 01483 772470 or calling in at the Club Shop on Saturday. The coach leaves at 4pm and costs £21 for members, £26 for non-members and £11/£13 for accompanied U16s (maximum of two per accompanying adult).

The Cards travel to Southport on Saturday 13 September. Please note that the Cards Trust is not running a coach to this match.

The Cards’ next home game is on Tuesday 16 September when they take on last season’s defeated play-off finalists, Forest Green Rovers.

Come on, you Cards!

Cards slip to opening day defeat

Brian Caffarey
9:07pm, Sat 6th Aug 2016
Woking 1 Lincoln City 3
Vanarama National League
6 August 2016

This always looked like a challenging opening fixture for a side containing so many new faces. Only four of the Cards’ starting eleven were with the Club last season, with only one more among the five substitutes. Lincoln City, on the other hand, are one of the bookies’ favourites for a play-off place and their seasoned side proved too strong for a team still finding its feet.

On a typically baking hot afternoon on the first day of the season, the Imps took the lead in the 28th minute from a smart turn and finish by Adam Marriott, only for the Cards to equalise immediately after the break from substitute Ismail Yakubu. Briefly, the Cards took the game to Lincoln before a poorly-defended counter-attack saw Matt Rhead slot home to restore the Imps’ lead. It then became 3-1 with another goal, from the penalty spot, before Rhead missed his chance of a hat-trick when Michael Poke saved another penalty.

The Cards lined up with Poke in goal; a defence of Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah and Ben Gordon; a midfield of Dennon Lewis and Nathan Ralph on the flanks and with Keiran Murtagh and Fabio Saraiva inside them; and an attacking duo of Gozie Ugwu and Zac Ansah. Delano Sam-Yorke was presumably injured since he was not even among the substitutes.

The opening exchanges were fairly even, although even then the visitors appeared to have the edge in terms of possession and were clearly looking to hit long balls to the back post. The Cards threatened to open the scoring, however, in the 10th minute when Ugwu cleverly dummied a Caprice cross, with Saraiva’s effort being blocked.

For the visitors Bradley Wood and Nathan Arnold both shot wide before Poke had to be alert to tip a back header from Joey Jones over his bar from one of Sam Habergham’s many long throws.

The Imps took the lead in the 28th minute when the Cards’ defence failed to cut out a long ball towards the back post, Rhead nodding down to the tricky Adam Marriott, who smartly turned a Woking defender and shot inside Poke’s near post.

Woking were finding it hard to mount much of a threat themselves at this stage, with the hard-working Ugwu not finding it easy to hold the ball up against a solid Lincoln back line and Ansah struggling to get into the game – with the same applying to Ralph and Lewis. But in the 35th minute an excellent flowing move saw Gordon’s effort blocked by keeper Farman. Shortly afterwards Ugwu had a decent effort with a header from Lewis’s cross, and Ansah made space for himself to shoot wide. The half ended with Farman comfortably saving a Gordon free-kick.

Half-time: Woking 0 Lincoln City 1

The matchday announcer hadn’t had time to note Garry Hill’s substitution of Yakubu for Saraiva, with Jones moving into midfield, before Yakubu stabbed home a low corner from Ralph which found its way to him through a crowd of players.

With their tails up, the Cards now enjoyed their best spell of the match, taking the game to a Lincoln side which was forced to concede several corners and free-kicks. Ugwu brought Farman into action but it was not all one way, with Marriott carving out a couple of half-chances at the other end.

In the 60th minute, however, Lincoln regained the lead with a goal which will have surely disappointed Garry Hill for it was a simple move, poorly defended. Muldoon surged down Woking’s left flank, crossing to the lurking, unmarked, Rhead at the far post, who side-footed home across Poke.

Although Lewis created a good opening for himself shortly afterwards, going behind once more seemed to knock some of the stuffing out of the Cards, who now brought on Charlie Penny for Lewis. Marriott shot wide from a promising position. A Saah foul on Rhead saw Poke make a fine save from the resulting free-kick but, in his eagerness to complete the clearance, Gordon seemed to clatter into the back of a Lincoln player and the referee awarded a penalty, which Rhead converted in the 73rd minute to make it 3-1 to the Imps.

Max Kretzschmar came on for Gordon in the 78th minute, with Ralph moving to left back. Disaster almost struck immediately as Murtagh and Jones got in each other’s way, allowing Bradley Wood to drive forward into the box, where he was adjudged to have been brought down. This time, however, Poke saved Rhead’s spot kick, denying the burly Lincoln striker an opening day hat-trick.

The visitors saw out the game fairly comfortably, with the only Woking threat coming from a glancing header from Penny, whilst substitute Miles Taylor passed up an opportunity to add a fourth goal for Lincoln.

It was not perhaps surprising to see a new side lacking cohesion, and one or two players looked as though they had not come to terms with the pace and physicality of the National League. But, with games coming thick and fast at the beginning of the season, the side will need to re-group and adapt quickly, starting at newly-promoted Solihull Moors on Tuesday evening.

Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Ben Gordon (Max Kretzschmar 78), Dennon Lewis (Charlie Penny 68), Keiran Murtagh, Fabio Saraiva (Ismail Yakubu 46), Nathan Ralph, Gozie Ugwu, Zac Ansah

Unused substitutes: Brandon Hall (gk), Chike Kandi

Scorer: Ismail Yakubu 46

Booked: Keiran Murtagh, Brian Saah

Lincoln City: Paul Farman, Bradley Wood, Sam Habergham, Luke Waterfall, Jack Muldoon, Matt Rhead, Adam Marriott (Jonathon Margetts 68), Lee Beevers, Jamie McCombe, Nathan Arnold (Miles Taylor 83) (Elliot Hodge 90 + 3), Alex Woodyard

Unused substitutes: Callum Howe, Sean Raggett

Booked: Jamie McCombe, Luke Waterfall, Sam Habergham, Miles Taylor

Scorers: Adam Marriott 28, Matt Rhead 60 and 73(pen)

Sponsors’ (The Travel Network Group) MOTM: Joey Jones (pictured)

Attendance: 1592
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice
3Ben Gordon ('78)
4Joey Jones
5Brian Saah
8Keiran Murtagh
14Fabio Saraiva ('46)
16Dennon Lewis ('68)
11Nathan Ralph
9Gozie Ugwu
10Zak Ansah
18Brandon Hall
6Ismail Yakubu ('46)
15Max Kretzschmar ('78)
7Charlie Penny ('68)
21Chike Kandi
Lincoln City LINEUP

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