Surrey rivals clash
6:48am, Thu 14th Sep 2017
Woking v Sutton United
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 16 September 2017
Saturdayâ€™s match has all the makings of a fine game, with a big crowd expected too. The Cards, buoyant from a fourth home win on Tuesday, take on league leaders and Surrey rivals, Sutton United, who have won four out of their five away games. Both sides like to play attractive football, but the Cards may need to show a more ruthless streak if they are to add to their Laithwaite Community Stadium tally.
Anthony Limbrickâ€™s side played some very patient, passing football in the first half on Tuesday night against Solihull Moors but ought to have had more to show for their dominance at half-time than a one-goal lead provided by the talented Jason Banton. Although initially under the cosh in the second half, and conceding a dubious penalty, it was good to see the side rally strongly to grab the winner through Charlie Carterâ€™s third goal of the season.
The win moved the Cards up to 14th place in the table, two points off the play-off places and seven points clear of the relegation zone.
With no sign of the injured players returning in time for Saturday, it would be surprising if, barring any more injuries, the line-up changes.
The Uâ€™s had a very memorable first season back in the top tier of non-League football. The highlight was undoubtedly a wonderful FA Cup run, which saw them reach the 5th Round, losing out to Arsenal, having beaten Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United along the way. In the league Sutton finished in a very respectable 12th position with 58 points, enjoying a particularly good home record on their new 3G pitch. But they won only two league games away from home.
Sutton had an excellent start to this campaign, winning four out of their five opening games, including beating Tranmere Rovers away, to move top of the table. They were then surprisingly beaten at home 3-1 by Maidstone before resuming pole position with a fine 1-0 win at Bromley, who have also started the season strongly. But they then suffered a second surprise reverse at home, losing 2-0 to Maidenhead United. On Saturday they drew 1-1 at home to Gateshead, Simon Waltonâ€™s penalty equalising an earlier one from the Tynesiders. On Tuesday night they went top of the table again with an impressive 2-1 win at Dagenham and Redbridge, with Craig Dundas equalising on the stroke of half-time and Kenny Davis heading the winner in added time.
Manager Paul Doswell made some notable signings in the summer, including bringing in two former Cards from Dover, Moses Emmanuel and Aswad Thomas, influential midfielder Kenny Davis, previously with Boreham Wood following six seasons at Braintree, and another Dover recruit in the shape of striker Ross Lafayette, who had a spell on loan with Woking. Other recruits included keeper Jamie Butler from Hemel Hempstead, very experienced defender Simon Walton from Guiseley but with over 300 League appearances on his cv, and strikers Josh Taylor, a former Crystal Palace Academy player, and Anthony Jeffrey, who was with Boreham Wood last season on loan from Forest Green Rovers, for whom he appeared in the 2016 Play-Off Final.
These recruits reinforced an already strong and sizeable squad. There is a great deal of experience at the back, with the trio of Dean Beckwith, Jamie Collins and Simon Downer plus full back Dan Spence and England C cap Louis John. There were already some formidable performers in midfield, too, including the ever-green Nicky Bailey and the talented former Arsenal player, Craig Eastmond. Team mates include winger Jeffrey Monakana and Jack Jebb, another former Arsenal graduate. Up front, in addition to his new signings, Doswell can also call on ex-Wealdstone winger Bradley Hudson-Odoi, former Welling striker Adam Coombes, Kieron Cadogan, the old warhorse Craig Dundas (over 400 appearances and 100 goals), Tommy Wright, who scored 50 goals for Salisbury while on dual registration, and Papa Gueye.
Former Woking keeper Ross Worner is recovering from injury. A recent change is the departure of full back Kevin Amankwaah and the arrival of 18-year-old defender Jordan Bentley on loan from Plymouth.
Over 65/Students with valid student card Â£13
The game will be segregated, with Sutton supporters allocated the uncovered Chris Lane Terrace (standing) and part of the Leslie Gosden Stand (seated).
Woking FC season ticket holders can take advantage of the enticing offer of Â£36 per head for a meal and all the extras in the Geoff Chapple Lounge.
Donâ€™t forget to grab a copy of â€˜Cardinalsâ€™. Only Â£3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos. Saturdayâ€™s edition features a piece by Jon Woozley reflecting on the rivalry between the two clubs.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 2 Sutton United 1
Vanarama National League
1 April 2017
The Cards, reeling from a 4-2 defeat at home by Maidstone United, desperately needed three points from this match. To make matters worse, Torquayâ€™s midweek win had pushed Woking back into the relegation places, with only six games to play.
Garry Hill opted again to leave Gozie Ugwu on the bench, keeping faith with Delano Sam-Yorke and Jamie Lucas up front. Delano quickly justified his inclusion, heading home in the 5th minute from a lovely cross from Nathan Ralph, his fourth goal in three games since his return from his loan spell at Maidstone.
Sutton looked the more dangerous side and Wokingâ€™s defence, including â€˜man of the matchâ€™ Terell Thomas, did well to repel a series of attacks. Jamie Collins went closest when his header hit the woodwork.
The second half started in similar fashion, with Woking looking to hit Sutton on the break. But it was the visitors who got on the scoresheet next, the ball ricocheting off Kieron Cadogan from an attempted clearance in the 62nd minute.
Garry Hill rang the changes and it was one of the newcomers, Gozie Ugwu, who grabbed what proved to be the winning goal in the 83rd minute following enterprising build-up play from Jake Caprice and Nathan Ralph.
Woking: Michael Poke, Charlie Carter (Connor Hall 72), Nathan Ralph, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu (c), Joey Jones (Jake Caprice 77), Keiran Murtagh, Kane Ferdinand, Delano Sam-Yorke, Jamie Lucas (Gozie Uwgu 72)
Unused Subs: Brandon Hall, Fabio Saraiva
Goals: Sam-Yorke 5, Ugwu 83
Sutton: Will Puddy, Ben Jefford, Louis John, Jamie Collins, Craig Eastmond, Nicky Bailey, Dan Spence, Roarie Deacon, Maxime Biamou, Adam Coombes (Bedsente Gomis 41), Kieron Cadogan.
Goal: Cadogan 62
Unused Subs: Adam May, Jack Jebb, Seb Brown, Simon Downer
The Cards are away to AFC Fylde next Saturday (23 September). The next home game is on Saturday 30 September when Hartlepool United are the visitors.
Come on, you Cards!