1:40pm, Tue 24th Dec 2019
Woking vs Sutton United
Vanarama National League
Thursday 26th December 2019
Woking and Sutton United will renew their local rivalry on Boxing Day as these two Surrey sides go head to head at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
For the Cards, this will be a first league outing in almost three weeks, following the postponement of Saturdayâ€™s match at Ebbsfleet United. Alan Dowsonâ€™s side remain in fourth place in the National League table after results fell in their favour at the weekend, with only Barrow and Solihull Moors, out of the teams in the top half of the table, now holding a game in hand over Woking. Three points on Thursday lunchtime could see Dowse and co strengthen the clubâ€™s grip on a play-off place heading into the New Year, with a three-point gap currently back to eighth place FC Halifax Town. The Cards will be hoping to continue their recent Boxing Day form, following last yearâ€™s 3-1 win over Hampton & Richmond Borough, which was their first victory in the fixture since 2015 â€“ and only their second since a 1-0 win over Farnborough in 2011.
The Uâ€™s are in their fourth season in the National League following promotion from the National League South as champions in 2016. Former manager Paul Doswell enjoyed great success in his first two years at non-leagueâ€™s top table, finishing 12th in his first season whilst also reaching the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, before getting to the play-offs with a third-place finish in 2017/18, losing out to Boreham Wood in their semi-final. That would always prove a tough act to follow and so it proved in 2019 as Sutton endured a far more challenging year, culminating in a 10th place finish, as well as the departure of the long-serving Doswell who moved on to manage Havant & Waterlooville. Matt Gray, formerly part of Jason Goodliffeâ€™s team at Woking, was the man tasked with taking on the role and heâ€™s primarily found himself in a relegation battle this season. They lifted themselves clear of the bottom four with a 3-1 win over Wrexham last time out and they currently sit in 17th place with 30 points. They are unbeaten in their last five league games, taking 11 points, dating back to a 2-0 home loss to Bromley in November.
Remember, this yearâ€™s Boxing Day game is a 1pm kick-off, so please come along if you can, create a great Christmas atmosphere, and support the two teams.
Woking Team News
Dowse could have a full-strength squad to pick from for this game with Moussa Diarra the only ongoing injury concern â€“ other than long-term absentee Tyreke Johnson â€“ heâ€™s been out since the Surrey Senior Cup match with Chertsey Town at the start of the month.
Goalkeeper Sam Howes is also back from his loan spell at Chelmsford City, meaning Dowse has a whole host of options between the posts, should he be looking to rotate.
Sutton United Team News
Against Wrexham, Sutton lined up with Nik Tzanev in goal, an AFC Wimbledon loanee who is also a full New Zealand international. In defence was Louis John, a former academy player who has recently returned on loan from Cambridge United, Ben Goodliffe, a summer addition from Dagenham & Redbridge, Jonathan Barden, a recent signing from the American leagues, plus Ben Wyatt, who was with St Albans City last season.
In midfield was the familiar pairing of Kenny Davis and Craig Eastmond, both long-serving players, whilst out wide were David Ajiboye and the experienced Kyel Reid, who has Football League experience with the likes of Bradford City and Coventry City. He was also an England youth international. Up front was Tommy Wright and Omar Bugiel, the scorer of all three Sutton goals against Wrexham, he has previously been with Forest Green Rovers and Bromley.
Last Time Out
Sutton United 2-0 Woking â€“ National League (6th March 2018)
In the midst of the Cardsâ€™ miserable losing run which would eventually lead to relegation, Woking were well beaten at Garner Green Lane, as goals from Byron Harrison and Tom Bolarinwa consigned the visitors to defeat. Anthony Limbrickâ€™s side did far better in the reverse fixture back in September when two goals from Regan Charles-Cook and a superb goalkeeping performance from Nathan Baxter earned the Cards all three points.
â€¢ Adults Â£18
â€¢ Over 65s Â£13
â€¢ Disabled (Including carer) Â£13
â€¢ Students (Under 19) Â£5
â€¢ U16s Â£5
Tickets are available on the turnstiles or in advance online. Remember, our matchday programme will also be on sale for Â£3. Donâ€™t forget to grab your copy on the way in! Youâ€™ll then be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.
The Cards final game of the calendar year is away to Torquay United on Saturday. The Cards and the Gulls have struck up quite a rivalry over the last 18 months or so and this will be one not to miss.
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