10:37am, Thu 8th Feb 2024
Woking vs Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 10th February 2024
Woking end a week of three consecutive home games with the visit of Hartlepool United in front of the TNT Sports cameras.
Tuesday night’s home win against Oxford City ended a barren run of no home win in the league for the Cards since August, and saw two of Michael Doyle’s new signings in Lewis Walker and Jayden Luker both scoring their first goals since joining.
It was also Woking’s fourth clean sheet under Doyle, and another big positive was the return of Manny Oyeleke, who got some minutes near the end, as well as a first start for Curtis Edwards. Doyle will hope that the likes of Jim Kellermann and Rhys Browne are not too far away as well.
Since the last time these two sides met, Hartlepool have relieved John Askey of his duties, replacing him with former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips. After a wretched start to January saw Pools eliminated by Hampton & Richmond in the FA Trophy, Phillips has overseen two wins in his first three games as boss; wins over York and an impressive away win at Bromley an impressive response after defeat at home to Kidderminster to start his reign.
Key to their resurgence in form has been striker Mani Dieseruvwe’s return to the side. After missing most of December and the start of January with injury, the striker has scored three goals in Pools’ last two games to take his total up to 16 in 25 games; only three players have more goals this season.
Hartlepool have also been extremely busy in the transfer market, with a particular emphasis on ex-Grimsby players as Otis Khan and former Mariners captain Luke Waterfall have joined a long list of arrivals as Pools aim to make an unlikely push for the playoffs. They currently sit 11th, seven points off the top seven having accumulated 40 points from their 32 games, seven points ahead of the Cards having played a game more than their hosts on Saturday.
Last Time Out
Ricky Korboa’s second half double claimed all three points in a 2-0 win at Victoria Park in September, with Woking the first team to defeat Pools at home in the 2023/24 season.
Previously, the sides had last met twice in the COVID affected 2020/21 season where Pools would ultimately go up via the playoffs. Rhys Oates’ goal gave them all three points at Victoria Park, but arguably Woking’s best performance that season saw 700 socially distanced fans given a 3-0 win to celebrate in December 2020 courtesy of Matt Jarvis, Jack Cook and Slavi Spasov.
Around the Ground
Ticket pricing and other details are available here
Season Ticket Holders can bring a friend to this fixture, details are available here
Gates open at 15:30, with Happy Hour running in Cardinals Bar until kick-off of the Six Nations rugby match between England and Wales.
We would like to alert fans that there will be a charity bucket collection this Saturday at the Hartlepool game to support the invaluable work of Citizens Advice Woking. CAW has provided a vital service to Woking residents for nearly 80 years and last year alone supported 7000 clients, 10% of the adult population of Woking, with confidential advice and support. Demand for CAW services is increasing all the time through the cost-of-living crisis but sadly, at this critical time, Woking Borough Council have stopped their community grant which presents real challenges for CAW to continue to offer its services.
We would ask fans to support CAW as generously as they feel able to help ensure that services continue to be available for the vulnerable on a free and independent basis. You can help in several ways
• Buckets collectors will be present at the game to take cash donations – please come prepared to give if you are able.
• There will be leaflets at the game showing how you can contribute online
• Alternatively, donations can be given through the CAW website https://www.wokingcab.org/ - its very simple and convenient