Cards need to show resolve
7:32am, Thu 8th Mar 2012
Havant and Waterlooville v Woking
3pm on Saturday 10 March 2012
The Cards canâ€™t be in any doubt now that they are in a fight for the title, with Dartford and Welling United only six points behind and with the Darts having a game in hand. Woking are still in a strong position but their form has largely deserted them in recent weeks, whilst the Darts in particular have been rampant. What better time for Garry Hillâ€™s side to show their determination to lift the BSBS championship!
Itâ€™s not easy to get the balance right when assessing the Cardsâ€™ present position. The â€˜glass half fullâ€™ fraternity will take comfort in the fact that this has been a very successful season so far, with the team top of the league and with the best chance the Club has had of promotion in the three seasons since it was relegated from the Conference Premier. But the â€˜glass half emptyâ€™ group will focus on the Cardsâ€™ recent loss of form, which threatens to â€˜throw awayâ€™ a title that had seemed all but sewn up a few weeks back.
Whatever view one takes, thereâ€™s no doubt that things are looking considerably less rosy than only a short while ago. Wokingâ€™s lead has suddenly been whittled down from 14 points to six. Since the start of the year theyâ€™ve won four league games, drawn one and lost three: not a disastrous slump but poor compared with form earlier in the season. Goals are proving harder to come by, the defence has made more errors and there has been a loss of discipline with a succession of red cards. Last Saturdayâ€™s 2-0 defeat at home to Maidenhead epitomised recent problems. Garry Hillâ€™s side had more than enough chances to have won comfortably but spurned a penalty and an open goal amongst other opportunities, then conceded two soft goals and, finally, had Dale Binns sent off for an â€˜off the ballâ€™ incident.
Garry will be very keen indeed to see his side get back on the winning track on Saturday. But Jack King will be starting his three-match suspension and, with Mark Ricketts and Jay Davies still on the injured list, Garry will be forced to re-shuffle his midfield. Dale Binnsâ€™s suspension doesnâ€™t start till the Welling home game, however, so he will be available on Saturday and for Wokingâ€™s home game on Tuesday against Dorchester Town. News is awaited of Joe McNerney, who hobbled off in the 1-0 win on Tuesday night against Carshalton Athletic in the Surrey Senior Cup semi-final.
HAVANT AND WATERLOOVILLE
The Hawksâ€™ recent form makes Wokingâ€™s look very respectable. Havant have lost five out of their last six league games, conceding 20 goals in the process. On Tuesday night they went down 2-0 at Sutton United, having lost at home 4-2 to Boreham Wood last Saturday. The only bright spot in recent weeks was their 6-3 away defeat of Dorchester Town on 25 February.
Recent signings include Eddie Hutchinson from Eastbourne Borough and central defender Joe Dolan from Staines Town, whilst Craig Braham-Barrett has left to join Sutton United for an undisclosed fee. Steven Ramsey has been amongst the goals, scoring four in the Hawksâ€™ win over Dorchester, with Ollie Palmer grabbing the other two. The Cards will need to be wary of Jon McDonaldâ€™s long throws, assuming he is playing: he was on the bench on Tuesday evening, along with Dolan.
The Cards Trust coach leaves at 12.30pm. Members Â£13; non-Members Â£18. Phone the Club Shop today to book your place (01483 772470) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave the A3 (M) at junction 2 towards Emsworth. At roundabout take 1st exit onto B2149 / Dell Piece East, and then 2nd exit at next roundabout. Continue on the B2149 for 3 miles, then turn left onto Bartons Road, and then right onto Martin Road, where the ground will be on your right.
There are direct trains from Woking to Havant, leaving at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour and taking about 50 minutes. The 12.55 arrives at 13.49 and the 13.25 at 14.15.
The ground is just over a mile from the station, and the walk should take around 25 minutes. The directions given on the Havant official site are as follows:
Leave the station by the north exit (i.e. the side that doesn't have the main ticket office).
Walk north up Leigh Road, directly ahead of you on leaving the station. After half a mile the road eventually comes to a dead end by a junction onto a dual carriageway.
Cross the road and walk along the right-hand side of the dual carriageway (there is a pavement here: the route runs along a housing estate).
Continue to the next set of traffic lights, just before a petrol station and opposite the Heron pub, and, looking right, you should see a dead end road and the ground's floodlights. Turn into the road and the ground entrance is 100 yards on the left.
There are trains back at 17.04, 17.26 and 17.40.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 3 Havant and Waterlooville 0
5 November 2011
This game recalls those halcyon days when everything was going the Cardsâ€™ way and the goals came easily. Garry Hillâ€™s side went into this match on the back of a run of seven wins and a draw in the league, having most recently disposed of Truro City away by a 4-1 margin.
Garry made two changes, bringing in Dale Binns and Wayne Gray for the injured Elvis Hammond and Nathan Koranteng. The visitorsâ€™ side included Ollie Palmer, whoâ€™d scored seven goals in five games for Havant since his transfer from Kingfield.
Ollie fluffed a good chance to put Havant in front in the 17th minute but Woking had much the better of the play and should have been one or two goals to the good by half-time. Wayne Gray was unlucky to see a shot blocked on the line following a delightful seven-man move.
The Cards came out in determined fashion after the break and immediately got their noses in front as Gray latched onto a fine Jack King through ball to slot home. It was 2-0 in the 52nd minute as Gray finished smartly from an excellent Moses Ademola cut-back.
Aaron Howe was forced into a good save, tipping Palmerâ€™s header over, before the Cards wrapped up the game in the 73rd minute with a brilliant 25-yard strike from Paris Cowan-Hall.
Letâ€™s hope the Cards strikers can rediscover that form on Saturday!
Come on, you Cards!
NB. Donâ€™t forget that the Cards are at home to Dorchester Town on Tuesday evening (13 March). Kick-off is at 7.45pm. Support the side in this vital home game!