Away win has to be the target
6:33am, Fri 7th Jan 2011
Basingstoke Town v Woking
3pm on Saturday 8 January 2011
The problem when youâ€™ve got ground to make up at this stage of the season is that every game is â€˜vitalâ€™, with very little scope for a poor result. If the Cards were sitting happily in the top five, they could probably view a draw at Basingstoke as a decent point but somewhere along the line Graham Bakerâ€™s side have got to garner some wins away from Kingfield as well as winning most of their home games. So, with difficult trips to the likes of Dover, Braintree, Farnborough and Ebbsfleet still to come, the Cards must view an encounter at 17th-placed Basingstoke as one of the more promising opportunities for a three-point haul.
Cards fans will be hoping that everyone has now recovered from the bug that laid low Mark Ricketts, Reiss Noel and Jerome Maledon at some point over the holiday period. Woking have looked much more threatening recently in a 3-5-2 formation, with Ricky Anane in particular enjoying the greater attacking licence heâ€™s been given. Although the Cards must target a win tomorrow, it would not be surprising to see Graham bring in Mark Ricketts or Jerome Maledon to stiffen up the midfield.
Frank Grayâ€™s and Gerry Murphyâ€™s side struggled in the league in October/November with three successive defeats but they have shared the points in their last three league games, gaining 1-1 draws at Farnborough and Maidenhead, followed, on Monday, by a 2-2 draw at home to Weston-super-Mare. The Town were 2-0 up at one stage, through goals by Nathan Smart and Ross Adams, but let the lead slip in the last quarter.
In the FA Cup Basingstoke had wins over Bristol Manor Farm and Didcot Town before bowing out narrowly away to AFC Wimbledon. In the Trophy they beat Havant and Waterlooville in a replay but then lost, disappointingly, 2-0 at home to Salisbury City.
Townâ€™s home record in the league reads won 3, drawn 2, lost 4, with 13 goals scored and 14 conceded.
The Woking connections donâ€™t stop with the managerial team. The Stoke squad includes Jay Gasson, Matt Pattison and Jide Ogunbote. Delano Sam-Yorke was on loan at The Camrose from AFC Wimbledon until just before Christmas and may well return there. David Pratt has usually been the danger man but New Zealand international Greg Draper currently heads the goalscoring table.
Last seasonâ€™s game at The Camrose, in early September 2009, was one of the most memorable of the campaign. Cards fans turned up in force to see Woking take the lead through a terrific opening goal from â€“ ironically â€“ Delano Sam-Yorke, getting on the end of a great cross from Sam Sloma. Disaster then struck with Ross Worner getting red-carded and, early in the second half, Sean Hankin equalised for the Stoke. But the ten-man Cards fought back strongly and took all three points through a superb long-range strike by Moses Ademola. All seemed set for a great season!
This season the Cards won 2-0 back in September thanks to a brace from substitute Craig Faulconbridge.
Basingstoke Town FC
Basingstoke RG22 6EZ
Leaves 1pm; Â£10 members, Â£15 non-members; ring the Club Shop or email firstname.lastname@example.org
From M3 (simple route): exit at Junction 7 - (A30) follow dual carriageway to mini-roundabout - over roundabout, up to a large roundabout, take the 2nd exit into Western Way and the ground car park is 50 yards on the right.
Trains leave Woking at 16, 35 and 46 minutes past the hour and take about 20 minutes. The ground, however, is a good half hourâ€™s walk from the station. If you donâ€™t fancy walking, you should be able to get a taxi at the station or catch the number 1 bus for Hatch Warren/Kempshott Park (not the Number 1 bus to Chineham) and ask the driver for The Camrose or Brighton Hill Retail Park. Trains back are at 19, 30 and 57 minutes past the hour.
If youâ€™re walking, come straight out of the station and down the steps towards the road. Cross the road and go into the Malls shopping centre, next to Sainsbury's. Continue straight ahead, passing Primark, Boots, WH Smith's, Pound Land and New Look. You will reach some doors that go into the Festival Place shopping centre. Go through these and continue straight ahead again, passing Marks & Spencers, Zara and Greggs Bakery. Continue straight ahead past Madhouse and Gamestation. You will reach another set of doors that lead out of Festival Place. Go through these and take the walkway on the right that passes Sony and Barclays Bank
Head all the way up the hill in front of you, passing The Haymarket Theatre. You will reach a square which contains McDonalds and the old town hall. Take the turning to your right (not back down the other side of the town hall) and go past The Bakers Arms pub, Maidenhead Inn (Weatherspoons) and Bar Rock. You should now meet a junction with some traffic lights. Go straight ahead at these towards Dominoâ€™s Pizza. Take Winchester Road that goes to the left of Dominoâ€™s and continue down the road passing Scottish & Southern Energy. After 600 yards you will pass the King Of Wessex Pub. Continue along Winchester Road until you reach Winchester Road Roundabout.
Go straight over at the Roundabout using the underpasses provided (Make sure you come up on the right hand side of Winchester Road). Carry on straight ahead and you should see B&Q on the opposite side of the road and The Camrose main stand straight ahead in the distance. Continue to follow the road straight ahead, eventually passing behind the main stand. There is a walkway and some steps through the fence on the right that go into The Camrose car park. The Clubhouse is straight ahead.
Come on, you Cards!