Fitogether
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 25th MarchMar 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2088

Woking
Woking
2 - 4

Maidstone United
Maidstone United

Huge game for Cards on Saturday

Brian Caffarey
11:01am, Thu 23rd Mar 2017
Woking v Maidstone United
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 25 March 2017

It is hard to over-estimate the importance of this game to Woking’s chances of avoiding relegation. After Tuesday night’s tremendous 3-1 away win over Braintree Town the Cards now sit in 19th place in the table, ahead of the Stones only on goal difference and with the latter having two games in hand. Torquay United in the last relegation place are two points behind Woking with a game in hand, while all these sides will be looking nervously over their shoulders as York City’s revival continues. Maidstone are sure to bring plenty of fans to help to create a great atmosphere, so come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer on Garry Hill’s side!

WOKING

Just when the Cards really needed a big performance, they delivered it on Tuesday evening. Not only did they get the win they needed they played some fine football in the process. The combination of Delano Sam-Yorke and Jamie Lucas up front was a revelation. Playing like that it is no surprise that Delano was such a big hit with Stones fans during his loan spell there. It will no doubt be odd for him to line up against his recent team mates on Saturday but he can be sure to approach it professionally.

Joey Jones, another star performer, was hobbling towards the end of Tuesday’s game but wasn’t substituted, so will presumably be fine to start on Saturday. Keiran Murtagh, a late withdrawal at Gateshead and another key player at Braintree, was substituted before the end, no doubt to save him for this match.

Other key games on Saturday are: Dagenham and Redbridge v York City, Tranmere Rovers v Braintree Town and Wrexham v Torquay United.

MAIDSTONE UNITED

The Stones were promoted to the Vanarama National League at the end of last season, beating Kent rivals Ebbsfleet United 4-3 on penalties in the play-off final after the game had ended 2-2 after extra time. Thus the club reached the top tier of the non-League game 23 years after the demise of the former Maidstone United, who had spent three years in the Football League before going bankrupt. The new club has had to work its way up through Kent leagues and the Ryman League and led a nomadic existence before its impressive new stadium, by the River Medway in the town centre, was opened at the beginning of the 2012-13 season. That season the Stones won the Ryman South title, followed by the Ryman Premier title in 2014-15. On Tuesday evening a new 1700 capacity stand was opened, at a cost of £850k, bringing the ground capacity to over 4,200.

The Stones, averaging over 2,200 at home games, can be expected to become a force in the National League provided that they can survive a testing first season. Irrespective of the outcome they are keeping faith with manager Jay Saunders, who’s been given a new contract, and will be going full-time next season.

Maidstone started the season promisingly but lost their way in the autumn: a loss of form which has only recently ended with a run of seven games without defeat, including a fine 2-0 away win at Dagenham and Redbridge. This run enabled them to escape the bottom four, briefly leapfrogging Woking in the process. On Tuesday night they will have been disappointed to manage only a 1-1 draw at home to Sutton United, Jamar Loza equalising from the spot in front of a crowd of nearly 3,000.

The Stones have an experienced keeper in Lee Worgan. At the back they recruited two ex-Welling United players in the summer, Anthony Acheampong, who had most recently been with Ebbsfleet United, and Kevin Lokko. Other regular starters at the back include Seth-Nana Twuamasi, Jamie Coyle and Jake McCarthy (on loan from Bournemouth). Magnus Okuonghe signed from Dagenham and Redbridge last month. In midfield Saunders can call on Stuart Lewis, Reece Prestedge (on loan from Bromley), Jack Paxman, Bobby-Joe Taylor and Harry Phipps, signed from Margate in December. Following the return of Delano Sam-Yorke to Woking, Saunders has brought in George Oakley on loan from AFC Wimbledon to join Joe Pigott (on loan from Cambridge United), Jamaican international Jamar Loza, long-serving Alex Flisher and Yemi Odubade as attacking options.

ADMISSION PRICES

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

The game will be segregated, with Maidstone fans standing on the uncovered Chris Lane Terrace or seated in a separate section of the Leslie Gosden Stand.

400 CLUB

The draw for the 400 Club will take place after the game in the Cardinals Bar. Look up the news item of 7 March for more details and information on how to join the Club.

LAST TIME OUT

Maidstone United 0 Woking 3
Vanarama National League
19 November 2016

Cards fans have had few enjoyable away days this season but this was certainly one of them and all the more pleasurable since it was so unexpected, given that till that point the side had not won a single away game and the Cards had gone eight league games without a win.

After weathering the home team’s early pressure in wintery rain, Woking grew into the game with Keiran Murtagh making threatening runs into the Maidstone United box, given more freedom in midfield with Joey Jones playing the holding midfielder role.

Murtagh proved the inspiration for Woking’s opener, reaching the goal line and cutting back to an onrushing Fabio Saraiva, who had the presence of mind to slot his left-foot effort around the Maidstone bodies and into the bottom right corner.

With the Gallagher Stadium stunned into silence on the half-hour mark, Woking doubled their lead five minutes later through Gozie Ugwu. Jake Caprice carved out a yard of space on the right flank to whip in a delightful cross for Ugwu to attack from the back post and nod back across goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

The Cards had chances after the break to wrap up the game, with Saraiva blasting over the bar before Ugwu gave his team a three-goal cushion with less than 20 minutes remaining. In a virtual replay of Ugwu’s first of the afternoon, Caprice sprinted down the right wing to deliver a pinpoint cross for his striker to head home in front of the travelling supporters.

Maidstone United: Lee Worgan; Callum Driver, Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle, Kevin Lokko; James Rodgers, Bradley Hudson-Odoi (Yemi Odubade 72), Jack Paxman, Alex Flisher, Bobby-Joe Taylor (Ben Greenhalgh 79), Jamar Loza

Unused subs: Liam Enver-Marum, Dan Sweeney, Jack Evans

Woking: Brandon Hall; Jake Caprice, Brian Saah, Terrell Thomas, Frazer Shaw; Fabio Saraiva, Joey Jones (Frankie Sutherland 82), Charlie Carter, Keiran Murtagh, Chike Kandi (Delano Sam-Yorke 68); Gozie Ugwu (Anthony Edgar 84)

Unused subs: Andy Little, Ismail Yakubu

Goals: Saraiva (29), Ugwu (34, 72)

Attendance: 2147

COMING UP

The Cards are at home to Sutton United next Saturday (1 April). Make a note now that entry to the Cards’ home game against Macclesfield Town at 3pm on Good Friday (14 April) will be free for U16s and only £10 for adults. There will be lots of added attractions too.


Come on, you Cards!


Woking crumble to Maidstone United fightback

Haydn Cobb
12:00am, Sat 25th Mar 2017
Woking 2 Maidstone United 4
Vanarama National League
25th March 2017

Woking’s hopes in the Vanarama National League relegation battle took a bitter blow after losing a two-goal lead to fall to defeat against fellow strugglers Maidstone United at Kingfield.

Off the back of a confidence-building win away at Braintree Town on Tuesday night, Woking bolted into a two-goal lead thanks to early strikes from Delano Sam-Yorke and Jamie Lucas in a game considered vital in the relegation scrap.

A quick-fire response by Maidstone United’s Jamar Loza halved the deficit before the break and despite a spirited display the home side succumbed to a disappointing second half, conceding three goals without response as Loza grabbed two more to complete a hat-trick while former Cards player Yemi Odubade piled on the pain with a late fourth for the Stones.

With both sides starting the game level on points, Woking slip to 20th and with Torquay United drawing against Wrexham the Cards are now just one point above the drop zone with Torquay holding one game in hand, while York City remain five points behind Woking but have two games in hand.

Garry Hill was able to name an unchanged line-up from the midweek win against Braintree Town with Sam-Yorke facing up against the team he spent a brief loan spell at earlier in the season, in front of the biggest Kingfield crowd since the New Year’s Day fixture against Aldershot Town.

Both sides began the game with a feisty tempo, after the importance of the three points was underlined by both managers before kick-off, and it was the away side that had the first effort on target. Alex Flisher lobbed a dangerous long throw-in into the Cards box and Joe Pigott’s control and acrobatic shot was tipped over a firm left hand by Michael Poke.

Woking cleared the resulting corner and stormed up the other end to force a corner of their own after Kane Ferdinand’s low effort was tipped past the left post by goalkeeper Lee Worgan. The traveling side failed to clear their lines which saw the ball lobbed over the onrushing defence to see Sam-Yorke beat the offside trap and calmly slot the ball into the bottom right corner for his eighth Woking goal of the season.

With the opening goal and confidence high, Woking showed their mettle in defence as Maidstone United posed attacking questions. The dream start got better for Hill’s team when Bristol Rovers loanee Lucas grabbed his first goal for Woking after 25 minutes.

Lucas manufactured a yard of space on the edge of the Maidstone United box after controlling a long ball forward and his low left foot effort evaded Worgan’s outstretched arm to nestle into the far corner.

As the home team looked to press for a third, it left the defence over-exposed with Maidstone United capitalising on a two-versus-two breakaway, as Loza cut on to his right foot to curl his shot past Poke to grab one back for the Stones.

Despite conceding at home for the first time since the 2-1 win against Solihull Moors on Valentine’s Day, it didn’t appear to knock Woking’s momentum who continued to push forward throughout the first half. The tireless Lucas kept the home side on the front foot but a third Woking goal failed to come before the break.

Halftime score: Woking 2 Maidstone Untied 1

Maidstone United started the second half strongly with another long throw from Flisher causing havoc only for Poke to scramble the ball off the line and out of danger. With tensions rising, Woking regained their composure and with the fresh legs of Gozie Uwgu on for Lucas the home team had another good chance for a third with smart build-up work seeing Murtagh go inches wide.

Woking were made to pay for missing chances as Maidstone United found an equaliser from a hopeful ball forward. Flisher controlled to ball inside the Woking box a bundled it to the path of Loza who fired low between the legs of Poke.

It went from bad to worse for the home side when they went behind for the first time in the match as Loza completed his hat-trick. After a careless free kick was given away, Woking failed to clear their lines and Jake Caprice’s mishit fell kindly to Loza to smash home from close range.

Credit to Hill’s team, the Woking players kept their heads up in the hope of an equaliser with Zak Ansah going close with his first meaningful contribution after being subbed on for Caprice.

But with Woking pushing forward they were left exposed defensively as ex-Cards striker Obubade netted against his former club with a sweet left foot curler which gave Poke no chance in goal.

With hopes of victory effectively extinguished, Woking were reduced to long hopeful balls forward in the closing stages which allowed Maidstone United to see the game out and clinch the vital three points.

Woking must now dust themselves down for the visit of Sutton United next weekend at Kingfield and look to get their relegation fight back into action with six league games remaining.

Woking: Michael Poke; Chris Arthur, Terell Thomas, Ismail Yakubu (Fabio Saraiva 66), Jake Caprice (Zak Ansah 78); Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones, Kane Ferdinand; Jamie Lucas (Gozie Ugwu 57), Delano Sam-Yorke

Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter

Goals: Sam-Yorke 13, Lucas 25

Bookings: Caprice

Maidstone United: Lee Worgan; Tom Mills, Jamie Coyle, Kevin Lokko, Seth Nana Twumasi; Joe Pigott (George Oakley 90), Stuart Lewis, Jack Paxman (Yemi Odubade 66), Alex Flisher, Reece Prestedge, Jamar Loza (Harry Phipps 85)

Unused subs: Bobby-Joe Taylor, Magnus Okuonghae

Goals: Loza 29, 68, 75, Odubade 82

Bookings: Prestedge

Referee: Craig Hicks

Sponsors’ MOTM: Kane Ferdinand

Attendance: 2,088
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
2Jake Caprice ('79)
26Chris Arthur
3Terell Thomas
5Brian Saah
6Ismail Yakubu ('66)
4Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh
22Kane Ferdinand
17Delano Sam-Yorke
25Jamie Lucas ('57)
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
12Charlie Carter
14Fabio Saraiva ('66)
9Gozie Ugwu ('57)
10Zak Ansah ('79)
Maidstone United LINEUP

Woking 2 - 4 Maidstone United (Garry Hill Interview)

Shop Online

adidas 2022/23 Away Kit

adidas 2022/23 Away Kit

BUY NOW »
adidas Kitlocker Laithwaite Financial Services Boz's Fruit and Veg BCAS Jewson Lovetts Solicitors Mayford Motors MKJ Prince and Sons Rams FM Seymours Specsavers The National League Vanarama

Woking Football Club Limited
A company incorporated in England and Wales (company number: ‍03329172)
Registered office The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA

Click here to read our Data Protection Privacy Policy
Click here to read our Accessibility Statement