Great game in prospect tomorrow
9:09am, Fri 18th Sep 2009
Woking v Newport County
3pm on Saturday 19 September 2009
The biggest game of the season so far without a doubt. Second-placed Newport County, the only unbeaten side in the Blue Square South, come to Kingfield tomorrow to take on third-placed Woking in what should be an exciting encounter. The Exiles enjoy good support and are expected to bring several hundred fans with them, so a lively atmosphere is in prospect. Donâ€™t miss this clash!
Aswad Thomas will definitely miss Saturdayâ€™s game. Graham Baker told me earlier this week that they were determined to sort out his ankle injury. In recent weeks Aswad has not been training and has been having injections before matches to enable him to play. Graham thinks that it is unacceptable to carry on in this vein, especially so early in the season, so it seems likely that Aswad will be laid up for several weeks to enable long-term treatment to take place. He is seeing another consultant next week.
Graham indicated after last Saturdayâ€™s game that he would be looking to bring in a left-sided player to provide cover. He told me this morning that it is possible that a signing will be made later today and, if so, the player concerned may be in contention for a place in the squad tomorrow.
There is good news of Harry Arter, stretchered off last Saturday. He trained yesterday and, unless there are any repercussions today, Graham expects him to be fit enough to play tomorrow.
Jon Boardman and Billy Hussey are both back in training but not yet ready for selection. Graham indicated that they would want to ease Jon back in very gradually in order to try to ensure that there is no aggravation of his previous injuries. â€œWe are in a fortunate positionâ€�, said Graham. â€œWeâ€™ve not been struggling in defence â€“ far from it â€“ so there is no need to rush Jon back into action, although he is of course desperate to play.â€�
Some other news is that Charlie Moone is going on a monthâ€™s loan today to Walton and Hersham to get some more first team football under his belt.
Graham saw Newport Countyâ€™s 1-1 draw with Weymouth on Wednesday night. He told me: â€œThe result was surprising but Newport showed their quality. They missed a penalty just before half-time, which would have put them 2-0 up, and on another night could have run out comfortable winners. That gave Weymouth a lift and they scored on one of their infrequent breakaway attacks and then held on well.â€� Graham added: â€œNewport have been strengthening their squad and are a good footballing side but Iâ€™m always confident that my team can get a result. If we approach the game with the right attitude and commitment, thereâ€™s absolutely no reason why we canâ€™t win this one. Itâ€™s all set up to be a good game of football and weâ€™re looking forward to it.â€�
Dean Holdsworthâ€™s side have fully justified their status as one of the bookiesâ€™ pre-season favourites, with only Dover Athletic attracting better odds at the beginning of the campaign. The Exiles had a slow-ish start, drawing three times in their opening four games but found their form with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelmsford City and then notched five wins on the trot, including an impressive 5-1 mauling of Eastleigh. The sequence only ended with Wednesday nightâ€™s surprising 1-1 home draw with bottom-of-the-table Weymouth.
Craig Reid (formerly with Grays Athletic) and Sam Foley (ex-Cheltenham and Kidderminster) are the in-form strikers. Read scored 21 goals in 33 games last season and has now notched five goals, with his strike partner grabbing four. Reid missed the penalty on Wednesday night, though. There is plenty of experience in the Exilesâ€™ side, including former Salisbury City duo Wayne Turk and Aaron Cook, and midfielder Kevin Cooper. Fellow midfielder Danny Rose was formerly captain of Manchester Unitedâ€™s reserve side before joining Oxford United.
Newportâ€™s results so far are:
8 Aug BSS Bishopâ€™s Stortford 0 Newport County 0
11 Aug BSS Newport County 3 Hampton and R 1
15 Aug BSS Newport County 2 Lewes 2
18 Aug BSS Dorchester Town 0 Newport County 0
22 Aug BSS Newport County 4 Chelmsford City 0
29 Aug BSS Maidenhead United 1 Newport County 3
31 Aug BSS Newport County 2 Weston-super-Mare 0
5 Sep BSS Welling United 0 Newport County 2
12 Sep BSS Newport County 5 Eastleigh 1
16 Sep BSS Newport County 1 Weymouth 1
Adults: Â£12 anywhere in the ground
Donâ€™t forget lovely Seafare fish and chips in the Leslie Gosden Stand! And why not join the players in the redecorated Cardinals Bar after the game?
MATCHDAY PROGRAMME â€“ INTERVIEW WITH ROB GREEN
Weâ€™ve got an especially interesting matchday programme lined up for you on Saturday, with an exclusive interview with England â€˜keeper, and Woking fan, Rob Green. See the earlier news item for a â€˜tasterâ€™ of Saturdayâ€™s offering.
Come on, you Cards!