WOKING v SOUTHPORT
12:00am, Fri 23rd Mar 2007
3.00pm on Saturday 24th March
Woking welcome Southport to Kingfield this Saturday. The Sandgrounders were 24th and bottom of the league, following a 1-0 defeat at home to Weymouth last Saturday.
The 2005-06 season, resulted in a tumultuous return to the Nationwide Conference. After initially struggling to adapt to the Non-leagues? premiership, the togetherness and the character shone through and despite being bottom of the table for several months, the team hauled themselves clear with a game to spare. The end of season saw the club restructure. The Sandgrounders? returned to professional status after a 28 year absence, in order to compete in what is virtually a league comprised of full time teams. Changes were afoot with Paul Cook then Peter Davenport replacing Liam Watson to take the team into a full time era, Haydn Preece was appointed as the clubs? first ever Chief Executive and Trust in Yellow was formed, the clubs? first supporters trust.
THE SOUTHPORT SQUAD
The Southport squad includes defender Chris Lane, an ex Everton apprentice in his second spell at Haig Avenue who can play at right back or wing back. The centre back partnership is usually experienced defender Mark Birch, on loan from Gretna for the season, and Matthew Hocking, a recent signing from Fisher Athletic. Former Blackburn Rovers apprentice Liam Blakeman is a classy midfielder who has recently returned from injury and has 5 league goals so far this campaign. Former Stevenage striker Dino Maamria is the current top goal scorer with 6 goals.
RESULTS SO FAR
After drawing 0-0 with ourselves in the first game of the season, Southport then went 3 without a win before securing their first win of the campaign away at Burton Albion. They went through a run of 9 games without a victory mid season, and after Saturdays match had won 7 matches in the league to date. They haven?t won in 4, not counting Tuesday?s match, and away from home have only picked up 6 points. Home form is slightly better having won 5 and drawn 3Two weeks ago they drew 2-2 away at St Albans. Liam Blakeman put them ahead 10 minutes before half time, but Chris Watters equalised for the home side 10 minutes into the second half. Again the visitors went ahead, this time through mark Duffy, but Gary Elphick rescued a point for Colin Lippiatt?s side when he struck home 7 minutes before the whistle. Last Saturday they were defeated at home by Weymouth. Jason Matthews scored the only goal of the game a minute from time.
OUR RECENT RECORD AGAINST SOUTHPORT
Woking 1 Southport 0
Southport 1 Woking 0
Southport 0 Woking 0
On a bright and breezy day at Haig Avenue rather than the usual ?heat wave? opener, the Cards first game of the Nationwide Conference ended in a 0-0 draw. Around the half hour mark Woking created a couple of chances. First Craig McAllister shot narrowly wide and then Ryan Robinson in the home goal produced two good saves in quick succession from Stephen Evans and Liam Cockerill. In the 44th minute Southport were awarded a penalty, somewhat harshly in the visitor?s opinion, when Stephen Evans was adjudged to have brought Carl Baker down. The spot kick by captain Mark Boyd hit the post however and rebounded to safety to the delight of the Woking supporters behind that goal. The second half started in similar fashion with Southport pressing hard and creating a couple of chances, one of which was cleared off the line by Danny Bunce and another well saved by Jalal. Woking however always looked capable of scoring on the break, with Craig McAllister leading the line well and proving a constant threat. The match continued to go from end to end until the final whistle and although ending goalless, an entertaining game, a fair result and both sides probably reasonably satisfied with their first day?s work of the new league season.
Come on, you Cards!