3:00pm - SaturdaySat 8th JulyJul 2017
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 1227

1 - 1


New Cards face Premier League test

Brian Caffarey
8:39am, Thu 6th Jul 2017
Woking v Watford
Pre-season friendly
3pm on Saturday 8 July 2017

It’s been all-change at Woking FC this summer, and Cards fans will be eager to have a first look at the interesting new young side that Anthony Limbrick – recently joined by Assistant Manager, Jason Goodliffe – has been assembling. The emphasis seems to be on youth and pace and it will be fascinating to see how it all works out. Obviously, it’s very early days yet, but why not come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium this Saturday and cast a (not too critical!) eye over the new Cards as they take on Premier League Watford, who also have a new manager in Marco Silva?


Only five players remain from last season’s squad: Joey Jones, Nathan Ralph, Fabio Saraiva, Kane Ferdinand and Charlie Carter. (We have yet to hear whether Brandon Hall will be returning to the Club.) Nine new signings have been lined up so far, nearly all of whom are youthful but with a good pedigree and some useful experience. One or two, like Joe Ward, a pacy winger who was well regarded on loan at Lincoln City last season, and defender Josh Staunton, who turned down a new contract at Dagenham, look genuinely exciting signings, while others, like Richard Orlu, a defensive stalwart at Dover, and Chez Isaac, a midfield anchor for Braintree Town for several seasons, look like the sort of seriously solid Conference National performers you need for the backbone of your side. Then we’ve also got a powerful, big striker in Inih Effiong, two more quick wide men in Bobson Bawling and Jason Banton and a versatile midfielder in Jordan Wynter. One of the most interesting signings is between the sticks: 18-year-old Nathan Baxter, on a season-long loan from Chelsea: a young player who is clearly keen to show that he can cut it in men’s football.

Interviews with the new arrivals suggest that a key factor in signing was Anthony Limbrick’s enthusiasm and his clear views about the way he wants the side to play: with energy, pace, mobility and with a high tempo, pressing, game. Several were clearly influenced, too, by the belief that his Premier League level coaching experience will help them improve.

It sounds as if Anthony will want to use the friendly games sparingly as far as trying out trialists is concerned, but we will presumably see one or two at least this weekend.


Marco Silva will also be making his managerial debut in this fixture, having joined the Hornets in the summer following Hull City’s relegation and Walter Mazzari’s dismissal. He is Watford’s seventh manager since the Pozzo family took over the club in 2012. He previously tasted success in Portugal and Greece but couldn’t quite save Hull from the drop.

Watford’s main signings this summer so far have been Kiko Femenia, a Spanish right back from Alaves; Will Hughes, an England U21 international midfielder signed from Derby County; and Daniel Bachmann, an Austrian U21 international keeper signed from Stoke City. Watford look as though they are bringing their big name players to the Laithwaite on Saturday, with the squad for the fixture being chosen from:

Heurelho Gomes
Giedrius Arlauskis
Daniel Bachmann
Kiko Femenia
Daryl Janmaat
Craig Cathcart
Younes Kaboul
Adrian Mariappa
Miguel Britos
Tommie Hoban
Jose Holebas
Brice Dja Djedje
Ben Watson
Abdoulaye Doucoure
Tom Cleverley
Etienne Capoue
Steven Berghuis
Jerome Sinclair
Troy Deeney
Isaac Success
Stefano Okaka
Roberto Pereyra
Obbi Oulare
Mauro Zarate

The Hornets, like Woking, returned to training this week. Their first league game, on 12 August, is at home to Liverpool.


Adults - £10
Concessions - £5
U12s - FREE

But why not take advantage of the very attractive offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge? For only £30 (inc VAT) per person you will receive:

Adults/Concessions/Under 16s:

• Admission to the game
• Fish & Chips / Sausage & Chips from Tremblays
• A complimentary pre-season programme
• Access to the leather seats in the Leslie Gosden Stand
• Hearing Anthony Limbrick’s first pre-match talk in the Lounge

Spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. For further details, and to book your place, please contact the Club.


Woking 1 Watford 1
Pre-season friendly
10 July 2016

Saturday’s game comes almost a year to the day since the Cards met the Hornets in last season’s opening pre-season friendly game. With only eight players signed up for the coming season prior to the match, it was very much a case of ‘Spot the Trialist’ in the Woking team. There were, however, a couple of familiar names amongst the 12 of them on the teamsheet.

Watford fielded a very strong first team squad for what was also their first PSF. With household names like Gomes, Capoue, Ighalo, Vydra and others in the starting line-up, there were only a couple of youngsters with limited first team experience and no trialists. Even Troy Deeney put in a non-playing appearance, before a dramatic exit from the car park after the game in his new £180k Lamborghini.

Watford opened the scoring in the 21st minute, with Berghuis' shot from about 6 yards out being deflected in.

In the 22nd minute, Ismail Yakubu came off and was replaced by Charlie Carter, with Joey Jones moving back into defence. Within two minutes, Carter got the last touch on the ball for Woking’s goal, after a melee in the Watford goalmouth following a Saraiva free-kick.

The second half saw the usual flurry of substitutes but, overall, this was a promising display from the Cards against a rusty-looking Watford outfit.

Woking: Michael Poke (Brandon Hall 45), Jake Caprice, Ben Gordon (Ryan Sellers 45), Joey Jones, Brian Saah (Jaydon Thorburn 76), Ismail Yakubu (Charlie Carter 23),Wilson Carvalho (Charles Banya 50), Keiran Murtagh, Delano Sam-Yorke (Chike Kandi 63), Max Kretzschmar (Aaron Smith-Joseph 74), Fabio Saraiva (Geoffrey Ghesquiere 69)

Subs not used: Harly Wise

Goals: Carter (23)

Watford: Heurelho Gomes (Giedrius Arlauskis 45), Allan Nyom, Ikechi Anya, Nordin Amrabat (José Holebas 60), Miguel Britos (Charlie Rowan 84), Tommie Hoban (Isaac Success 68), Étienne Capoue (Abdoulaye Doucouré 45), Mario Suarez (Ben Watson 45), Odion Ighalo (Jerome Sinclair 45), Steven Berghuis (Obbi Oularé 45), Matyj Vydra (Adlène Guedioura 45)

Subs not used: Rene Gilmartin, Connor Stevens

Goals: Steven Berghuis (21)

Attendance: 1,280


The Cards’ other pre-season friendlies are as follows:

Leatherhead v Woking - 7.45pm, Tuesday 11th July (River Lane, KT22 0AY)

Basingstoke Town v Woking - 7.45pm, Tuesday 18th July (The Camrose, RG22 6EZ)

Wingate & Finchley v Woking - 3pm, Saturday 22nd July (The Maurice Rebak Stadium, N12 0PD)

Woking v Cambridge United - 7.45pm, Tuesday 25th July (The Laithwaite Community Stadium)

Woking v Swindon Town - 3pm, Saturday 29th July (The Laithwaite Community Stadium)

The season kicks off on Saturday 5 August 2017 when Gateshead are the visitors.

Come on, you Cards!

Sense of déjà vu as Woking and Watford draw 1-1 in PSF

Nicholas Jones
12:00am, Sat 8th Jul 2017
Woking 1 Watford 1
Pre-season friendly
8th July 2017

On a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon with light cloud patches, a decent crowd turned out at the Laithwaite Community Stadium for Woking’s first Pre-season friendly – and new manager Anthony Limbrick’s first game. The pitch was in good condition after the recent excellent work by the groundsman, Colin Galliford, to re-lay the surface.

This first match saw debuts for eight of the new signings announced to date by Woking, including on-loan Chelsea Under-23 goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, centre half and captain Richard Orlu (from Dover Athletic) and Jordan Wynter, a midfielder at Bromley last season. Tall striker Inih Effiong – previously at Barrow - started up front for Woking, supported by wingers Bobson Bawling (ex Crawley Town) and Joe Ward, on loan at Lincoln City at the end of last season. There were two trialists – ex AFCW and Aldershot defender Sam Hatton, and Jamie Philpots, currently with Millwall – plus four Woking academy players on the bench.

Woking resisted attempts on goal by Watford in the first half, but found the Hornets to be very tough opponents, despite their last minute decision to field a Development squad instead of the anticipated first-team. Alex Jakubiak scored the opposition’s only goal of the game, but Bawling responded with a delicious right foot equaliser from just outside the centre line. After this, the game remained a stalemate.

Watford started as the stronger side with good early attempts on goal by Mike Folivi and Alex Jakubiak but they were easily stopped by Nathan Baxter on his Woking debut.

The early fast pace of Watford petered out and Woking managed to hold their ground against them. Joey Jones came close to opening the score in the 14th minute but his effort was prevented by Watford goalkeeper Sam Howe. A slight injury to Kane Ferdinand after 20 minutes slowed Woking’s progress and Watford took advantage of this when Alex Jakubiak opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Not to be denied, Woking levelled the game 90 seconds later when Bobson Bawling slammed the ball into the bottom corner of the net with a tremendous kick of the right foot.

Half-time: Woking 1 Watford 1

Woking made four changes at the start of the second half and nearly edged ahead early on, but the Watford defence held firm. Even after all of the Hornets’ substitutes were made, Woking just could not get past Watford’s substitute goalkeeper Nathan Gartside. An injury to former Hatton did not help matters either and Watford had more opportunities at goal, thanks to the brave efforts of Dion Perriera and Mike Folivi.

Anthony Limbrick’s first game as Woking manager was seen as satisfactory, even if the Cards did not provide many goal-scoring opportunities as they would have liked. Anthony is targeting at least a chance for promotion in the coming National League season.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Sam Hatton (Joe Thompson 88), Nathan Ralph, Jordan Wynter (Chez Isaac 45) , Joey Jones (Declan Appau 79), Richard Orlu ©, Bobson Bawling (Jamie Philpot 45), Kane Ferdinand (Josh Staunton 45), Inih Effiong (Ivan Nsimbi 66), Charlie Carter (Fabio Saraiva 45), Joe Ward

Unused subs: Sam Mason

Goals: Bawling 37

Bookings: None

Watford: Sam Howe (Nathan Gartside, 45), Andrew Eleftheriou © (Louis Rogers 64), Brandon Mason, Carl Stewart (Ash Charles 45), Charlie Rowan (Marian Huja 55), Joy Mukena, Dion Perriera, Max Ryan (Reece Stray 68), Alex Jakubiak (Jesus Cruz Cabera 68), Mike Folivi (Jibril Adejedi 64), Trialist (David Sesay 45)

Unused subs: None

Goals: Jakubiak 36

Bookings: None

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 1,227

My Man of the Match: Bobson Bawling gets my vote, because his long right foot shot on goal towards the end of the first half was spellbinding and to score with such an effort on his debut was amazing.

Woking 1 - 1 Watford (Anthony Limbrick Interview)

Woking 1 - 1 Watford (Bobson Bawling Interview)

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