9:45am, Thu 5th Oct 2023
Woking vs Southend United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 7th October 2023
Woking will hope to get back to winning ways when they host Southend United at the Laithwaite on Saturday.
Defeat to FC Halifax Town on Tuesday night was a cruel blow for the Cards, as another flurry of chances went begging before their opponents stole the game at the death. However, the returns of Rohan Ince and Reece Grego-Cox from injury were a positive sight for Woking fans, and they will both hope to be in and around the squad against a side in form on and off the pitch.
Darren Sarll will also hope that Gillingham loanee Lewis Walker, who scored at Fylde last Saturday, will be back in the squad, as well as club captain Josh Casey, who missed Tuesday night with illness.
Around the Ground
Ticket pricing and other details are available here
Luton Town vs. Tottenham will be live in Cardinals Bar from 12:30, with Happy Hour running until 13:30 on Carling, Madri and Cold River Cider.
Supporters should ensure that they have read the Ground Rules and Regulations
before coming to the match, as extra security measures will be taking place.
It would be hard to discuss Southend United on the pitch without talking about Kevin Maher. Appointed in October 2021, with the Shrimpers sitting perilously inside the National League drop zone, the former midfielder guided his side safely out of the relegation zone and gave Southend fans hope for the future.
His side have been competitive in the National League ever since, despite well known off-the-field issues. An 8th placed finish last season saw them narrowly miss out on the playoffs, despite being under a transfer embargo since September 2022. That embargo is still in place for now, but Southend this week agreed a takeover by a consortium led by Australian Justin Rees, who has wiped out their previously perilous HMRC debt and will officially take over from the start of next month. This news has been widely received and praised across football, and we wish the Shrimpers all the best in the future.
On the pitch, it's been yet another incredible season so far for Maher's side considering their issues, but due to a 10 point deduction enforced for their deferral of HMRC debts, the Shrimpers currently occupy the final relegation spot in 21st place, having won six, drawn three and lost five of their 14 games so far, scoring 23 and conceding 17. Harry Cardwell has scored 10 of those goals, putting him towards the top of the goalscoring charts, and he is one to watch, along with Afghanistan international Noor Husin, who has impressed in the middle of the park.
Do not be fooled in the slightest by Southend's misleading league position; the Shrimpers would occupy the last playoff place were it not for their deduction, and celebrated the news of their takeover in style with a comfortable 2-0 win over Oxford City at Roots Hall on Tuesday night.
Last Time Out
A Jack Bridge goal cancelled out former Southend loanee Marcus Dackers' opener as it finished 1-1 at the Laithwaite in April. This was the second 1-1 draw of the season in this fixture, with September 2022's fixture in Essex seeing Reece Grego-Cox's goal cancelled out by Dackers during his loan spell with the Shrimpers. Woking did get one over Southend in October 2022 in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round, with goals from Padraig Amond and Ricky Korboa enough after former Cardinal favourite Jake Hyde had levelled the tie.
In the previous season, following their relegation from League Two, Southend were beaten 2-0 by Woking at Roots Hall in October 2021; goals from Tahvon Campbell and Max Kretzschmar were enough to defeat Maher's side containing former Card Kacper Lopata. The reverse fixture in February 2022 went the Shrimpers' way, with a five goal thriller seeing Southend edge it 3-2 at the Laithwaite in front of the BT Sport cameras, with Harry Cardwell getting the winner.