Cards face tough Crabble trip
7:19am, Mon 10th Jan 2011
Dover Athletic v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 11 January 2011
The Cards travel to Crabble tomorrow evening hoping they can repeat their excellent victory there in the FA Trophy back in November rather than suffer a second league defeat at the hands of the Whites. However, they will need to raise their game considerably from the very disappointing display at Basingstoke on Saturday. A play-off challenge is still not impossible but itâ€™s now going to take an exceptional run in the second half of the campaign to bridge the eight-point gap.
Saturdayâ€™s defeat at The Camrose ended a 13-match unbeaten run, although there were too many draws in that sequence to give the Cards the momentum they really needed to march up the league table. In prospect the game at Basingstoke, then lying 17th in the table, looked winnable but, after a lively opening five minutes or so, Graham Bakerâ€™s side never looked likely to make much impact, with no outfield player, apart possibly from Adam Doyle, who was substituted at half-time, playing well.
Tuesday evening provides the proverbial early opportunity to â€˜bounce backâ€™: a big call but not an impossible one if the players produce something like the performance we know that theyâ€™re capable of.
Graham Baker seems likely to recall Joe McNerney after resting him on Saturday.
The Cards had much the better of their encounters with the Whites last season, beating them twice in the league and then defeating them in the two-legged play-off semi-final. But Martin Hayesâ€™s side exacted some painful revenge this season with their 1-0 victory at Kingfield on the opening day of the season: a defeat which seemed to set the tone for some shaky home performances from the Cards thereafter. The Cards, however, turned the tables again in the FA Trophy in November, coming off the back of an exhausting midweek FA Cup replay against Brighton and HA to land a 2-1 win, with both goals coming from on-loan Jerome Federico.
Dover are going well in the league, currently sitting in 7th place, only one point off the play-off places and with a game or two in hand on most of the clubs above them. Their home record is unimpressive, though, with only three wins in ten games. (Theyâ€™ve won more games away than any other side in the league, including trouncing Thurrock 7-2 on their last league outing.) Adam Birchall is grabbing all the headlines with his goalscoring feats but Woking know from experience that they need to be very wary too of towering defender Olly Shulz.
The Cards will be hoping that the Whites will suffer a reaction to their FA Cup exit at Huddersfield on Saturday. Martin Hayesâ€™s side were unfortunate to ship two early goals, which made their task virtually impossible. But they dug in well to prevent any further goals against and might easily have reduced the deficit in the last ten minutes.
Crabble Athletic Ground
The Supportersâ€™ Club is not running a coach to this game.
Follow the M25 eastbound and then the M26 onto the M20. Leave the M20 at J7 for the A249 (signposted Sheerness/Sittingbourne) and then take the M2 (following signs for Canterbury and then Dover) as far as the Whitfield roundabout. Take the fourth exit at this roundabout, down Whitfield Hill. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and follow this road until the first set of traffic lights. At the lights turn right (180 degrees down the hill) and follow the road under the railway bridge. The ground is a little further up the road on the left.
Getting down to Dover by train would not be too difficult, if time-consuming, but getting back to Woking the same night would be much more taxing.
Getting down there, the best bet would be to catch either the 17.10 or 17.40 from St Pancras International to Dover Priory, changing there to arrive at Kearsney at 18.43 or 19.09. Alternatively, cutting it very fine, you could get the direct 17.27 from Victoria, arriving at Kearsney at 19.25.
Returning, youâ€™d have to get the 22.21 from Kearsney, via Dover Priory, arriving at St Pancras International at 23.51. Youâ€™d probably then have to wait around at Waterloo to catch the 01.05, arriving at Woking at 01.39. (Going back via Victoria, youâ€™d have to rush away from the ground to catch the 23.09 from Kearsney, changing at Faversham, to arrive back in London at 00.07.)
If you get off at Kearsney, turn right as you leave the station, go under the railway bridge and then take the first road on the left (Lower Road). Follow Lower Road all the way along, past a pond on your right and Crabble Corn Mill on your left. At the end you will see the Cricketers pub on the other side of the road. Turn right and you should see the entrance to the ground. If you get off at Dover Priory it is probably best to get a bus or taxi to the ground as it is a long walk.
Log on to www.thetrainline.com for further information about train times and fares.
The game is almost certain to be segregated. Woking fans should follow the signs for â€˜awayâ€™ fans.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. If youâ€™re not travelling to Dover, why not come down to Kingfield and watch the Youth Team play Hampton and Richmond Borough in the Ryman Youth League? Kick-off is at 7.30pm.