Cards hoping to respond after Dartford set-back
10:15pm, Thu 20th Feb 2014
Woking v Macclesfield Town
3pm on Saturday 22 February 2014
The Cards return to Kingfield for the first time in almost three weeks on Saturday, when they entertain Macclesfield Town. Garry Hillâ€™s side produced arguably their best and worst performances of the year in last seasonâ€™s corresponding fixture: 5-0 up by half-time, Woking were in complete control, but the visitors came back with four second-half strikes of their own.
After a wonderful result at Gateshead last Saturday, it was a somewhat disheartening comedown for the Cards against a lowly Dartford side on Tuesday. However, the 5-1 scoreline told far from the whole story. Scott Rendell handed Woking an early lead, and although their hosts quickly struck back, they were right in the game until Joey Jonesâ€™ untimely red card.
Jones will now serve a three game suspension, and it will be interesting to see whether the Cards opt to bring back Adam Newton, who has been absent since the 3-0 win over Hereford at the start of the month, or move skipper Mark Ricketts back to right back. Kieran Murtagh, who came on off the substituteâ€™s bench on Tuesday, could well be recalled, although Mike Cestor remains side-lined.
The Silkmen are in fine form, winning six of their last eight games to leave them eleventh in the table with 44 points from 29 games. They are five points ahead of the Cards with two games in hand, and are nine points adrift of the playoff places, again with games to spare on many of the teams above them.
It was a season that started very differently for John Askeyâ€™s team, who needed until the 21st September to register their first league win â€“ at home against Woking â€“ which followed a run of three draws and six defeats from their opening nine games.
In fact, if it were not for the goals of Connor Jennings, who netted 14 in 15 league games on loan for Scunthorpe United, the Silkmen could easily have been cut adrift at the bottom of the table.
Despite a season-ending injury ending Jenningsâ€™ prolific run, Macclesfield have continued to improve ever since their early-season jitters, losing only five further games since September. In fact, they have only failed to win three league games since November â€“ losing out against Cambridge, Nuneaton and Luton â€“ who are all in the top five.
They have a squad packed with experienced players, including former Stevenage midfielder Peter Winn, long-time Chesterfield pair Scott Boden and Danny Whitaker, and forward Chris Holroyd. Recent arrivals include former player Waide Fairhurst, who has returned on loan from Lincoln City, defender George Pilkington (on loan from Mansfield), and journeyman striker Akpo Sodje, younger brother of assistant manager Efe Sodje, on loan from Tranmere.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) Â£10
LAST TIME OUT
Macclesfield Town 3 Woking 2
21 September 2013
Wokingâ€™s hopes of a Cheshire â€˜trebleâ€™ following away wins at Chester and Hyde were dashed by a lacklustre display at winless Macclesfield, an undeserved gloss being placed on the scoreline by two late Cards goals.
John Goddard made his first start for Woking but it was Macclesfieldâ€™s front two of Connor Jennings and Chris Holroyd who caught the eye, giving the nervy Woking defence a torrid afternoon. It only took 12 minutes for the home side to take the lead, a poor back pass letting in Holroyd, whose shot was blocked by the busy Sam Beasant, with the rebound being converted by Jennings.
In injury time it became 2-0 as Jennings headed home a fine cross from Peter Winn.
In the second half Anthony McNamee smacked a volley against the crossbar but it was no surprise when, with twelve minutes to go, Jack Mackreth made it 3-0 to the home side.
Woking rallied with two late goals: a fine strike from Gez Sole and a deflected effort from Joe McNerney, which signalled an anxious few minutes for home fans before the Silkmen deservedly claimed their first win of the season.
Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton (Lee Sawyer 43), John Nutter (Giuseppe Sole 59), Mark Ricketts (Joe McNerney 67), Kevin Betsy, Anthony McNamee, Mike Cestor, Jack Parkinson, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, John Goddard
Subs not used: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams
Cautions: Lee Sawyer
Macclesfield Town: Rhys Taylor, Joe Connor, Danny Andrew, Carl Martin, Paul Turnbull, Jack Mackreth, Connor Jennings, Chris Holroyd (Lewis Chalmers 86), Peter Winn, Danny Whitaker, Andy Halls
Subs not used: John Paul Kissock, Scott Boden, Daniel Rowe, Dan Cowan
Cautions: Andy Halls, Danny Whitaker, Chris Holroyd
Saturdayâ€™s 56-page programme includes plenty of interest for Cards and Silkmen fans alike, with James MacDonaldâ€™s reflections on former Macclesfield manager, Sammy McIlroy, and reminiscences of the days when the Silkmen occupied the same football world as Manchester City. Thereâ€™s also a piece focusing on the Clubâ€™s highly-lauded community programme. In addition, Richard Mason recalls another memorable Cards game from days past. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on email@example.com
The Cards are away to Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening (25 February) in a much-rearranged fixture. On Saturday 1 March they travel to Barnet. The following Saturday, 8 March, Woking are at home to Southport.
Come on, you Cards!