Cards look to bounce back

Brian Caffarey
11:23pm, Thu 5th Sep 2013
Alfreton v Woking
3pm on Saturday 7 September 2013

The Cards go into this match on the back of three successive defeats, including two at home. Garry Hill knows that a good result at Alfreton would be important not just for any points gained but also to boost confidence. Alfreton, however, have a 100% home record so far, so the Cards are almost certainly going to have to perform considerably better than in recent games to achieve their aim.


Garry will at least have a full squad to choose from barring any injuries. Josh Payne has now served out his suspension and could be valuable in shoring up a midfield/defence which is still prone to conceding early goals.

It appears that the squad will include two new strikers, Brazilian Rodrigo Branco, whose most recent club was Floriana in the Maltese league, and Kema Darboe, who had a trial at Norwich City earlier this year.


Alfreton’s manager, Nicky Law, believes that he has strengthened the side with some summer signings that are mainly marked by plenty of experience. Perhaps the most interesting, from a Woking point of view, is that of striker John Akinde ( or Jo Bayo Akinde, as he is called on the Reds’ website), who was on trial here just before the season started. He has clearly made an excellent start at Alfreton, notching four goals so far, including a hat-trick. Akinde has played for Ebbsfleet, Bristol City, Crawley and Portsmouth amongst other clubs.

John McGrath, with over 200 appearances for Burton plus a good stint at Tamworth, is another experienced hand, as is central defender Nick Fenton with masses of League experience, most recently with Morecambe, and Chris Shaw, Wrexham’s ‘player of the year’ last season. Midfielder Tom Shaw looks a very good capture, with a full-time background at Rushden, Kidderminster and Cambridge United. Another new face is that of Danny Wishart, a young striker recently signed for an undisclosed fee from Hayes and Yeading. Keeper Ross Atkins is on a season-long loan from neighbours Derby County. The latest signing is that of full-back Lathaniel Rowe-Turner, signed on loan from Luton Town till 2 January 2014.

Among existing ‘old hands’ are long-serving full-back Josh Shaw, captain Darren Kempson and striker Paul Clayton.

The Reds’ results so far have been:

Dartford 1 Alfreton 0
Alfreton 3 Kidderminster Harriers 1
Alfreton 3 Salisbury 2
Grimsby 3 Alfreton 1
Alfreton 2 Hereford 1
Forest Green Rovers 3 Alfreton 1


The Impact Arena
North Street
DE55 7FZ

Official website: www.alfretontownfc.com

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 10.00am. The cost is £17 for members and £22 for non-members. Ring or email the Club Shop (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

By car
From M1: Turn off at junction 28 onto the A38 towards Derby. Follow for two miles then take the slip road onto the B600. Turn right at main road towards the town centre. After half-a-mile, immediately after Catholic Church on left, turn left into North Street. The ground is 150 yards down on the right.

By train
Alfreton Station is about 15 minutes’ walk from the ground. You’d need to take a train from St Pancras International to either Nottingham or Chesterfield and then catch a train to Alfreton. For example, the 11.15 to Nottingham arrives there at 12.58, with a train to Alfreton leaving at 13.15 and arriving at 13.39. Or you could catch the 11.55 to Chesterfield, arriving at 13.46, and then the 13.53 to Alfreton, getting in at 14.03. Look up www.trainline.com or www.nationalrail.co.uk for options and prices.


£18 for each adult (aged 16 upwards)
£12 for senior citizens (persons aged 65 and over) and children 15 and under who are non Junior Reds members
£12 for students upon production of a student card at the turnstile on the day of the game
£3 for Junior Reds members (up to and including 15 year olds) provided they are accompanied through the turnstile by a paying adult. 

Cheaper tickets can be purchased in advance by credit card by telephoning the Early Bird Match Ticket Administration Office on 01773 830277 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm each day.


It was the away side which was in the ascendancy last season when these two teams met. In November 2012 the Cards were defeated 1-2 at Kingfield in spite of being on top for much of the game. They went behind to a Paul Clayton header from a set piece, with Brett Williams equalising after the Reds’ keeper had spilled a shot. But Clayton netted a second after the break and the Cards couldn’t break down an obdurate Alfreton defence. John Nutter and Jayden Stockley made their debuts for the Cards.

In the away encounter in February this year, the Cards notched up a 0-3 win, their fourth win in a row. An ‘out of sorts’ Alfreton side could have taken an early lead as Kempson’s header smashed against the bar but it remained all square at the break, although Elvijs Putnins had had to come on to replace the injured Aaron Howe. Bradley Bubb put Woking ahead soon after the interval, poking a shot under the keeper, before setting up Kevin Betsy for Woking’s second. Billy Knott rounded off a pleasing afternoon, dispossessing a dawdling defender and firing home.


The Cards are at home to Tamworth next Friday evening. Make sure the date is in your diary!

Come on, you Cards!

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