Cards face tough away trip
7:15pm, Thu 24th Jan 2013
Kidderminster Harriers v Woking
3pm on Saturday 26 January 2013
The Harriers had a dreadful start to the season, but have now climbed to fifth place in the table. The two sides served up great entertainment at Kingfield in a 2-2 draw in early November. Another very interesting contest looks in store on Saturday as Garry Hillâ€™s side look to build on their own recent fine record.
Everyone at Kingfield was deeply frustrated by the last-minute postponement of the game against Newport County on Tuesday evening: the snow arrived just at the wrong moment to undo all the heroic work of staff and fans to get the pitch and ground ready for the match. With milder weather setting in, though, the prospects for Saturday must be good.
The Cards have won four out of their last five league games and, although their away record is relatively poor, it does include impressive wins over Stockport County, Newport County and Lincoln City and other performances which ought to have yielded more points, so Woking fans will be hopeful of a good display against their old Conference rivals.
Garry Hill should have everyone available for this game, including Lee Sawyer, who has now recovered from the injury he received at Lincoln in early December. Brett Williams and Jayden Stockley look likely to contest a place in the starting line-up following Loick Piresâ€™s move on loan to Boreham Wood.
Steve Burrâ€™s side lost their first five games and drew their next five before claiming their first three points. That was the beginning of a run, though, which has seen them win 12 league games, draw three and lose three. Interestingly, two of those three defeats have come this month: 1-0 defeats at home to Hereford on New Yearâ€™s Day and away to Macclesfield last Saturday.
Centre back Josh Gowling has helped to shore up the Harriersâ€™ defence since his signing in late August. Ryan Rowe and Anthony Malbon, both recruited from lower non-League sides after impressive goalscoring records, present a threat up front, and Steve Burr can also call on the vastly experienced Steve Guinan as well as Nathan Blissett, scorer of both the Harriersâ€™ goals at Kingfield. Three other familiar names in the Harriersâ€™ squad are former Burton Albion defender Ryan Austin, former Ebbsfleet midfielder Ricky Shakes and Kyle Storer, previously with Tamworth and Nuneaton.
Two new recruits are winger Sean Clancy, a member of Fleetwoodâ€™s title-winning side, and central defender Sam Smith from Stourbridge. Highly-rated striker Jamille Matt has joined Fleetwood in a reported Â£300k deal.
Official website: www.harriers.co.uk
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is Â£16 for members and Â£21 for non-members. Ring or email the Club Shop (email@example.com) to book your place.
Leave M5 at junction 4 (signposted A491 Stourbridge). After approximately 5 miles, turn left onto A456 and follow towards Kidderminster. At roundabout on Kidderminster Ring Road, take first exit (signposted A451 Stourport). At next roundabout, take first exit (signposted A448 Bromsgrove), then take first turning on right into Hoo Road for the ground. There is a car park (charge Â£5) behind the away section of the ground (the South Stand) and also at the Stadium Close car park (free.
The ground is only a very short walk from Kidderminster Station. You would need to get a train up to Birmingham New Street, via Basingstoke or travelling from Euston, and then walk across to Birmingham Moor Street to pick up a train to Kidderminster. Look up www.trainline.com or www.nationalrail.co.uk for some options.
Kidderminsterâ€™s website gives the following directions from the station: â€œWalk down Comberton Hill towards the town centre and take the left turning just before Motorway Tyres near the bottom of the hill. Walk up Hoo Road for approximately half a mile to the Aggborough Stadium.â€� If my memory serves me correctly, though, I recall a much quicker route via a footpath on your left as you come out of the station.
Over 60s, Under 18s & Students: Â£8
Under 16s: Â£5
Under 8s: Free (standing or sitting)
Â£3 extra to sit for all but Under 8s.
Away supporters can stand in the South Stand or sit in Blocks L and M in the East Stand.
Aggborough is renowned for its hearty food, so arrive with a good appetite!
The Cards are at home to high-flying Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday evening (29 January), with a 7.45pm kick-off. The following Saturday (2 February) they will be entertaining Hyde United.
Come on, you Cards!