12:30pm - SaturdaySat 28th AprilApr 2018
The Laithwaite Community Stadium | Att: 2593

1 - 2

Dover Athletic
Dover Athletic

Cards hoping to pull off survival shock in front of the cameras

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Fri 27th Apr 2018
Woking vs Dover Athletic
Vanarama National League
Saturday 28th April 2018

The Cards take on play-off chasing Dover Athletic this weekend as part of the final round of matches of the regular National League season. Both sides still have plenty to play for in front of the BT Sport television cameras so make sure to come down and watch what will, hopefully, be an exciting and positive finish to a challenging campaign.

Richard Orlu’s first goal of the season could not have come at a better time. His header, seven minutes from time, gave the Cards a 2-1 win over AFC Guiseley last weekend, their first away from home in the league since mid-October, and brought them level on points with relegation rivals Barrow – who conceded a late equaliser to former Card, Aldershot Town striker Scott Rendell, who snatched a 1-1 draw for the Shots. The Bluebirds played their game in hand on Tuesday and picked up a valuable 0-0 draw with Bromley. It was a result which edged them a point ahead of Woking with one game left to play – at home to already relegated Chester – meaning a win for the Cumbria club on the final day will send the Cards down. Their far superior goal difference also means that anything other than a win for Woking, barring a mathematical miracle, will not be enough – the only hope for Geoff Chapple, Jason Goodliffe and co is that the Cards hold their nerve on home soil and win whilst Barrow – who have only won once at home since October – drop points.

Woking’s side of the equation is very simple and victory is essential to give the home side a sniff of survival this weekend. A win would also, ironically, take us past the 50-point target typically associated with safety. Dover are the side standing in the way of all three points and Joe Kinnear’s side promises to be, as always, tough opposition. They currently sit ninth in the league, with 70 points from their 45 games, and they have an outside shot at sneaking into the top seven if they win and other results go their way. Bromley, Boreham Wood, AFC Fylde and Ebbsfleet United are all within one win of the Whites and whilst they would need a lot of games to go their way they will no doubt be aiming to make it a second consecutive season in the play-offs – a remarkable achievement considering the number of key players they lost at the end of last season, including star player and top scorer, Ricky Miller – now at Mansfield Town, on loan from Peterborough.

Whatever the result proves to be the Cards would love to have your support this Saturday! Please remember that the game is kicking off at the earlier time of 12:30pm and that the bar will open two hours earlier.

Woking Team News

In arguably one of the club’s biggest one-off games since earning promotion back to the National League in 2012 it will be crucial for Chapple and Goodliffe to nail down the perfect team selection. They have plenty of options too after Orlu’s goal-scoring return last weekend and the commendable performances of Bobson Bawling, back from a desperately long injury lay-off, and Fabio Saraiva, who scored five goals between them in an 11-1 win for the Under-23s last weekend, the latter grabbing a hat-trick.

One area that is unlikely to cause too many dilemmas for the Woking management team is the defence where Louis Ramsay, Nathan Ralph, Josh Staunton and Jordan Wynter should continue ahead of Nathan Baxter. The midfield will be the crucial area with both Bawling and Saraiva having made their case for a late recall. Regan Charles-Cook was also only used as a substitute against the Lions after being a regular for most of his time with the Cards, whilst Charlie Carter, fresh from scoring his twelfth of the season last weekend, will be expecting to start in a potentially attacking line-up.

It will be interesting to see whether the Cards opt to go 4-4-2, with Reece Grego-Cox returning alongside Louie Theophanous, or whether they’ll prefer to stack the midfield and give one of the two forwards as much service as possible from an attacking trio playing in behind.

Dover Team News

Dover’s play-off challenge has stumbled in recent weeks with just seven points coming from seven games since beating eventual National League champions Macclesfield Town 2-0 at the Crabble in mid-March. You have to go even further back for their last win on the road which came against Chester at the start of the same month.

However, they did emerge as 3-2 winners over Gateshead in their last game, and certainly have a strong squad to choose from this weekend. Last time out they started with regular goalkeeper Mitch Walker; a back five which included towering Australian defender Giancarlo Gallifuoco, previously of Torquay, former Woking loanee Connor Essam, Kevin Lokko, who is on loan from Stevenage, Manny Parry and former Dagenham and York full-back Femi Ilesanmi; in midfield was captain Mitch Brundle, who was with Gateshead last season, and former Wrexham man Nortei Nortey; whilst the front three were England C international Mitchell Pinnock, Anthony Jeffrey and dangerman Ryan Bird.

Their choices from the bench include a couple of strong attacking options – former AFC Wimbledon man Ade Azeez and dynamic winger Keanu Marsh-Brown, previously of Barnet and Forest Green Rovers, both currently on loan; another wide-man, former Card Kadell Daniel, as well as midfielder Liam Bellamy and defender Josh Passley.

Last Time Out

Dover Athletic 3-1 Woking (Tuesday 24 October 2017 – Vanarama National League)

This marked the start of a bad run of form for the Cards – a run which they have arguably never fully emerged from. After losing just one game in 11 in all competitions, Anthony Limbrick’s side had lost at Bromley on the Saturday, and didn’t recover in time for their trip south, where they were well beaten for the second time in four days. Ryan Bird put the Whites ahead early on and doubled the home side’s lead after 20 minutes. Joe Ward did pull one back in the second-half only for Manny Parry to restore Dover’s two goal advantage less than two minutes later.

Admission Prices

• Adults £18
• Over 65s £13
• Disabled (Including carer) £13
• Students (U19) £5
• U16s £5

Our matchday programme, ‘Cardinals’, will be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll also be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Cards relegated after brave loss to Dover

Nathan Thomas
12:00am, Sat 28th Apr 2018
Woking 1 Dover Athletic 2
Vanarama National League
28th April 2018

Charlie Carter’s first half goal was not enough to keep Woking in the National League as they lost 2-1 to play-off contenders Dover Athletic on the final day of the season.

Woking hit the bar and came close through Jones and Cook in the first half but were ultimately made to pay as Dover scored a late winner as The Cards searched for an winner. Despite Barrow’s loss at home to already relegated Chester, a strong defensive performance from Dover frustrated the home side.

Woking welcomed Dover on a vital final day in the National League season. The Cards knew anything but a win would mean they would be relegated to sixth tier of English football and also knew a win may not have been enough if Barrow were to match their result against already relegated Chester FC. It was a season that had started with much promise for the home side but eventually unravelled with three league wins achieved throughout the whole of 2018 seeing The Cards slip down the table.

Woking were nearly given the perfect start through top-scorer Charlie Carter in the 3rd minute. Carter was unmarked at the back post from an attacking corner but couldn’t guide the ball past Mitch Walker. Carter nearly forced the ball in again from a corner in the 5th minute as Woking enjoyed a positive start. Joey Jones cut inside from the right and drove a comfortable shot to Walker’s bottom right-hand post. Nathan Ralph was then booked for a strong challenge as the visitors tried to break in the 13th minute.

Mitchell Pinnock fired an ambitious free-kick over from 30 yards as the visitors tried to reply to the home side’s early pressure. An early Chester goal at Barrow upped the stakes as Woking sniffed a slim chance of staying up.

Woking were typically undone from a set-piece as has been a common theme all season. Giancarlo Gallifuoco headed home unmarked from Dover’s first corner of the game. Baxter was routed to his spot as Gallifuoco’s powerful header flew into the bottom right-hand corner in the 26th minute - a sucker-punch after a positive start for the home side. Carter bent a shot wide from the edge of the box as The Cards searched for the elusive equaliser.

Carter finally finished with his fourth chance of the game to rejuvenate the Cards’ hope. Reece Grego-Cox was played through to the byline by Louis Ramsey. Grego-Cox played a composed cutback past the onrushing Dover keeper to Carter of the edge of the six-yard box; he took his first touch, swivelled and fired into the roof of the net to send Kingfield into raptures with ten minutes of the first half remaining.

Josh Staunton nearly gave the Cards the lead but Walker tipped over straight after the equaliser as a flurry of glorious chances then fell for the home side just before half time. Firstly, Anthony Cook was unmarked in the box but Walker made himself big and tipped behind for a corner as Cook fired his shot. From the resulting corner, Carter nearly doubled his tally for the afternoon; his header agonisingly crashed off the bar and was eventually cleared from the Dover defence as a sense of belief rippled around Kingfield.

This brought an end to a pulsating first half where Woking certainly had the chances to be leading. A lapse in concentration from a corner allowed Dover to take the lead through Gallifuoco but Woking fought back bravely and were level at the break thanks to Carter’s equaliser.

Half-time: Woking 1 Dover 2

The second half started in less frantic manner as both sides understandably had a lot to lose at different ends of the table. A raking cross field ball from Jones found the onrushing Louis Ramsey in the box, Ramsey drilled a powerful cross which Walker was once again equal too on the hour. Staunton agonisingly headed wide from a free header at a corner as the Cards desperately searched for a second. It was worth noting that Barrow had also equalised in their game on the hour mark against Chester.

Jones and Isaac lashed wildly over from long range as Woking’s search became increasingly desperate past the halfway point in second half. Pinnock fired over from long range for the visitors with 20 minutes remaining as they also needed a win. Carter was found again in the box by Ramsey but his looping header was well held by Walker again. Yet again, it was Carter who came close, in the 75th minute, as he stabbed agonisingly wide. Anthony Cook then made way for his brother Regan Charles-Cook.

Staunton then made a fantastic block from Pinnock to head over the bar as the game became increasingly frantic. To make things even more agonising, Chester had found the lead again at Barrow; it was certainly going to be a frantic final ten minutes.

Theophanous was then introduced in the final stages as the game suddenly became all or nothing. Azeez narrowly headed over for the visitors with five minutes remaining. Baxter saved well as Dover looked to spring a counter attack in the final stages.

Dover eventually sealed The Cards fate through Marsh-Brown as the home side threw the kitchen sink at Dover in search of a winner. Marsh-Brown fired home unmarked from a cutback.

Agonisingly, results had gone in Woking’s favour but an experienced second half from Dover meant that Woking’s fate was sealed. A flurry of missed chances in the first half at 1-1 was probably the turning point in the game. It was a brave display from the home side but was ultimately not enough on the day. The Cards will be back in The National League South next season after six seasons in the top flight of non-league football. Despite the relegation, the home supporters in the Laithwaite Community Stadium gave a generally sympathetic send-off following the whistle.

They will rebuild and comeback stronger.

Woking: Nathan Baxter, Louis Ramsey, Nathan Ralph, Jordan Wynter, Josh Staunton, Joey Jones (Louie Theophanous 83’), Chez Issac (Bobson Bawling 72’), Anthony Cook (Regan Charles-Cook 75’), Charlie Carter, Reece Grego-Cox

Unused Subs: Richard Orlu, Sam Mason

Bookings: Ralph 13’

Goals: Carter 38’

Dover: Mitch Walker, Giancarlo Gallifuoco, Manny Parry (Liam Bellamy 45’), Connor Essam, Kevin Lokko, Femi Ilesanmi, Mitch Brundle ©, Nortei Nortey (Keanu Marsh-Brown 67’), Mitchell Pinnock, Anthony Jeffrey, Ryan Bird (Ade Azeez 45’)

Unused subs: Kadell Daniel, Josh Passley

Goals: Gallifuoco 26’, Marsh-Brown 90’

Referee: Peter Gibbons

Attendance: 2,593

Sponsors’ MotM: Joey Jones, who screened the back four comfortably and played some eye-catching cross-field balls.
1Nathan Baxter
2Louis Ramsay
3Nathan Ralph
5Josh Staunton
15Jordan Wynter
8Chez Isaac ('80)
22Kane Ferdinand
4Joey Jones ('83)
23Anthony Cook ('75)
12Charlie Carter
20Reece Grego-Cox
18Sam Mason
6Richard Orlu
7Bobson Bawling ('80)
11Regan Charles-Cook ('75)
9Louie Theophanous ('83)
Dover Athletic LINEUP
1Mitch Walker
4Giancarlo Gallifuoco
3Femi Ilesanmi
5Manny Parry ('46)
6Connor Essam
26Kevin Lokko
8Mitch Brundle
18Nortei Nortey ('67)
25Anthony Jeffrey
11Mitchell Pinnock
17Ryan Bird ('46)
2Josh Passley
28Liam Bellamy ('46)
23Kadell Daniel
29Keanu Marsh-Brown ('67)
30Ade Azeez ('45)

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