Basingstoke Town v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 8 September 2009
A reunion with Frank Gray (pictured during his Woking tenure) beckons tomorrow (Tuesday) evening when the Cards travel to the Camrose to take on high-flying Basingstoke Town. The â€˜Stoke struggled last season, finishing in 18th place, but are unbeaten so far in this campaign and lie second in the table behind Newport County on goal difference. On the back of this fine start, Gray was voted as BSS Manager of the Month for August.
The Cards have had the best possible preparation for this game with a morale-boosting 2-0 away win at Hampton and Richmond Borough on Saturday, registering their fourth successive clean sheet in the process.
I spoke to Graham Baker (who will be at the FA Youth Cup game this evening) earlier this afternoon about our opponents. â€œWeâ€™ve seen them a couple of times this season. They are a good side at this level. Theyâ€™re like a few other teams weâ€™ve played so far: well-organised, donâ€™t give much away and are dangerous on the counter-attack. Basingstoke finished strongly last season, pulling away from trouble and Frank and Gerry have done well to build on that momentum this season. Theyâ€™ve strengthened the side up front, with new signings David Pratt and Jahson Downes both playing well. We know weâ€™re in for a tough game: it will all be about the performance on the night.â€�
Aswad Thomas is continuing to suffer from an ankle problem. Although he played on Saturday, a decision will be taken tomorrow on whether to start with him against Basingstoke. Moses Ademola has not shown any adverse reaction to the injury which made him doubtful for Saturday. Graham says that there are no other injury concerns apart from the continuing absence of Jon Boardman and Billy Hussey.
There are a few more Woking connections at the Camrose. Lewis Christon, who spent a spell on loan at Kingfield from Wycombe Wanderers in the 2007-08 season, signed for Frank Grayâ€™s side in the summer. Jidi Ogubote was formerly with the Academy and striker Phil Ruggles, who made a handful of first team appearances for Woking before moving on, in summer 2002, to Leatherhead and subsequently to Kingstonian, and various other clubs in the area. (Jerome Maledon will be returning to the club for whom he played last season.)
Some other players to note are imposing central defender Joe Dolan, originally with Millwall and whoâ€™s played against us before in Crawleyâ€™s colours; Sean Hankin, formerly with Farnborough and who has experience with a host of non-League clubs; midfielder Steve Laidler, on loan from Farnborough; and in-form striker Jahson Downes, who joined the club in the summer from Reading.
Basingstokeâ€™s league results so far are:
Sat 8th Aug Hampton & Richmond (a) W 0-1
Tue 11th Aug Weston-super-Mare (h) W 2-1
Sat 15th Aug Chelmsford City (h) W 2-1
Mon 17th Aug Worcester City (a) D 1-1
Sat 22nd Aug Maidenhead United (h) D 0-0
Sat 29th Aug Havant & W (a) W 0-2
Mon 31st Aug Dorchester Town (h) W 2-1
Sat 5th Sep Lewes (a) D 0-0
Itâ€™s interesting to note that both sides have an identical goal tally, scoring 10 and conceding only 4.
See earlier news item for details.
Children U16 Â£3
Transfer to seating in main stand Â£1
Car Park Â£1