Only a win will do
4:13pm, Thu 9th Apr 2015
Woking v Gateshead
3pm on Saturday 11 April 2015
With only one point gained from their two Easter games, the Cards have absolutely no margin for error in their remaining three games if they are to stand any chance of making the play-offs. Even three wins might not be enough. So, expect Garry Hillâ€™s side to go all out for maximum points as they take on the Heed on Saturday. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the side on to victory!
The Cards really needed to take at least four points from their two Easter games to put themselves in a favourable position in the play-off race but in both games they failed to take advantage when in front. Against Welling they did well to come back from a goal deficit to take a 2-1 lead but then allowed Welling to equalise. On Monday they were looking comfortable at 1-0 ahead against Dover at half-time but were then a poor second best as Dover grabbed two goals.
Garry Hillâ€™s task hasnâ€™t been helped by having virtually an entire defence out injured or, in Joey Jonesâ€™s case on Monday, suspended. While Joey will be available to play against Gateshead, Brian Saah will now be missing as a result of his red card at Crabble. Garry will be hoping, nevertheless, to improve on a defensive record which has seen the Cards ship two goals in each of their last four games.
Woking now sit in 7th place, three points behind fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers and one point behind Eastleigh, who, however, have a game in hand. With Forest Green playing fourth-placed Macclesfield Town, who are five points ahead of Woking, there is a chance for the Cards to make up some ground on one or more of their rivals if they can overcome Gateshead. Eastleigh are at home to Alfreton Town, while eighth-placed FC Halifax Town, three points behind Woking but with a game in hand, are at home to league leaders, Barnet.
Manager Gary Mills will be disappointed that his side, quite strongly fancied for the play-offs at the start of the season, are now effectively out of the race, lying in 10th place, three points behind Woking from the same number of games.
Gateshead started the season quite strongly, with only two defeats in August and September, although one of those was a 6-1 thrashing at home by Grimsby Town. But results took a nosedive from mid-October onwards, with only one win in seven league games till the end of November and have continued to be sufficiently mixed to keep the club only on the fringes of the play-off race. Over Easter Gateshead gained a creditable 2-2 draw at Grimsby Town, only being pegged back deep into injury time, and beat Altrincham 1-0 at home. Away from home their record reads won seven, drawn nine and lost five.
The Heedâ€™s final two games could have a big influence on promotion issues since they are at home to Forest Green Rovers and finish with an away trip to Barnet.
Well-known names in the squad include former Everton and Sunderland midfielder John Oster; winger Alex Rodman, formerly with Grimsby Town and York City; experienced midfielder Phil Turnbull; midfielder JJ Oâ€™Donnell, formerly with Luton; and strikers Jon Shaw and in-form Michael Rankine. Recent signings include mercurial French winger Kevin Sainte-Luce, who was with AFC Wimbledon and who has starred in recent games; and loan signing of striker Adam Campbell from Newcastle United, keeper Joel Dixon from Sunderland and midfielder Josh Gillies and defender Matty Robson, both from Carlisle. Forward Danny Wright left for Kidderminster Harries, whilst Lewis Guyâ€™s contract was cancelled by mutual consent.
The Heed have suffered a good number of injuries, with Oster, Oâ€™Donnell, Turnbull, defender Ben Clark and Robson among those missing the Heedâ€™s last match.
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: Â£10
Saturdayâ€™s 64-page matchday programme includes an â€˜end of seasonâ€™ interview with Club Chairman, Mike Smith, in which he speaks, among other things, about the Clubâ€™s financial position and possible redevelopment of the ground. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you canâ€™t get to the game BBC Radio Surrey will be providing an online commentary at:
LAST TIME OUT
Gateshead 0 Woking 0
7 January 2015
Both teams went into this match looking for a boost. Woking had suffered four defeats and, most recently, a draw at Eastleigh in their previous five league games, whilst the Heed had received a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of WBA in the FA Cup. During the week Jack Marriott had returned for another loan spell, Chris Arthur had joined on permanent terms and Theo Lewis had transferred to Ebbsfleet United.
On a blustery, wet night the Heed passed up an excellent early chance to take the lead in what proved to be a game of few opportunities. Marriott, playing behind Dean Morgan, had the ball in the net later in the half but his effort was ruled out, as was one for the home side.
Neither side was able to make the decisive breakthrough in the second half, with Jake Cole and the Woking back four doing well to hold firm.
Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, Kevin Betsy, Jack Marriott (John Goddard 80), Joey Jones, Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 65), Chris Arthur
Unused Subs: Andy Little, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter
Gateshead: Adam Bartlett, Andrai Jones, Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Ben Clark, John Oster (Michael Rankine 65), Phil Turnbull, Jon Shaw (Danny Wright 84), Rob Ramshaw, Matt Robson, Alex Rodman (Valentin Gjokaj 80)
Unused Subs: Craig Baxter, Matthew Pattison
The Cards are away at Nuneaton next Saturday, 18 April. Make sure you pop into the Club Shop on Saturday to book your place on the coach. The Cardsâ€™ final game of the league campaign is on Saturday 25 April when they play FC Halifax Town. Please note that this game kicks off at 5.15pm.
Come on, you Cards!