Cards face tough away test
9:08am, Thu 19th Nov 2015
Chester v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 21 November 2015
The Cards will need to play a lot better than they did against Macclesfield Town if they are to get anything out of this trip to Chester, who have a decent home record. Such are the vagaries of football, though, that you wouldnâ€™t put it past the side springing a surprise. Cards fans will be fervently hoping so!
A confident, well-balanced, organised Macclesfield side, with a striker in Kristian Dennis in superb form, were far too good for a poor-looking Woking side last Saturday. As Garry Hill made plain in his post-match interview, Wokingâ€™s midfield was outplayed by their counterparts, with the result that Macclesfieldâ€™s strikers had far too much space to practise some clinical finishing up against a shaky Woking defence. Up front, playing a front three of Dan Holman, Adam Cunnington and John Goddard in the first half clearly didnâ€™t work, although Goddard was once again almost the only player to shine. Things improved on the attacking front in the second half but the game was all but lost by the break.
Garry Hillâ€™s options are limited in the continuing absence of key players but he has somehow got to find a blend and a formation that stops the rot and provides a platform from which confidence can be re-built in the side, which in practice is not that different from the team which performed with such elan back in August at home to Chester (see below).
Steve Burrâ€™s side sit in 13th place in the table, four points ahead of 17th-placed Woking, having played one game more. They are particularly strong at home, having won five, drawn three and lost two games this season. The two defeats came against Forest Green Rovers and Lincoln City. Last Saturday the Blues drew 0-0 at Boreham Wood.
Chester have John Rooney, Ross Hannah and Oxford United loanee James Roberts to call on up front and they have recently been joined by 19 year-old Calum Dyson, on loan from Everton. Another recent loan signing is that of 19 year-old Sheffield United midfielder Jamie McDonagh.
Lookers Vauxhall Stadium
Official website: www.chesterfc.com
The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game.
Head for the M25 and then travel north by M40, M42 and M6 till J16, joining the A500 (Crewe/Nantwich), subsequently following the A51 (Chester/Wrexham), the A49 (Warrington/Chester) and the A51 again (Chester). Follow the signs for Chester City Centre. At the Bars roundabout take the first exit onto the A5268 (North Wales/Wrexham), stay in left-hand lane and continue through traffic signals and at the Grosvenor roundabout take the third exit (A5268 Motorways M53/M56 All through traffic). At Watergate junction take A548 (Queensferry) and then at traffic signals turn left onto Stendhal Road (Sealand Industrial Estate) and bear right onto Bumpers Lane.
Parking at the ground costs Â£2. There is also parking in the industrial estate near the ground.
Trains from Euston to Chester leave at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour, with the latter involving a change at Crewe, all taking just over two hours. The 11.10 would get you to Chester at 13.13, while the 11.40, with the change at Crewe, would get you there at 13.46. Trains on the way back are at 55 minutes past the hour and all involve a change at Crewe. The 17.55 would get you to Euston at 20.05.
The ground is about two miles from the station, so it would be best to take a taxi. Another option is to take the Railink bus to the bus exchange and then take the number 10 bus, which runs along Sealand Road.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 5 Chester 2
22 August 2015
The mood and weather at a carefree and baking Kingfield back in August were in stark contrast to the position three months on. The Cards, helped by the dismissal of Chesterâ€™s Heneghan midway through the first half, were in expansive mood, playing some delightful football as this win made it four victories in a row and moved them up to second place in the table.
Gez Sole, with a hamstring injury, was missing from the side which had won midweek at Torquay, replaced by the lively Kadell Daniel. After an even first quarter of an hour the skills of John Goddard, Keiran Murtagh and Joey Jones in midfield began to dominate and the first goal soon followed. Dan Holman was brought down in the box, recovered to put the ball in the net but the referee had already blown for a penalty, which Goddard duly converted. Heneghan meanwhile had trudged off.
The Cards continued to carve out chances but seemed reluctant to deliver the â€˜coup de graceâ€™, with the score remaining 1-0 at the break.
This was soon remedied as Goddard and Holman combined, with the latter sending in a superb shot to put the Cards 2-0 up in the 47th minute. Six minutes later Daniel added another goal from a magnificent free-kick out wide, picking out the top corner.
Chester fought back manfully and reduced the deficit in the 65th minute as Kay glanced a header past Jake Cole. But the three-goal margin was restored in the 74th minute as Jones surged into the box and let fly.
Chester came back again, scoring in the 89th minute with a tremendous free-kick from John Rooney but Ben Pattie had the last word in injury time, stroking the ball home after substitute Bruno Andrade had made the opening.
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts (Godfrey Poku 78), Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 56), Kadell Daniel (Ben Pattie 78), Dan Holman
Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Adam Newton
Goals: John Goddard (pen) 24, Dan Holman 47, Kadell Daniel 53, Joey Jones 76, Ben Pattie 90
Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Hunt, George, Sharps, Chapell (Kay 52), Rooney, Hobson, Hannah (Mahon), Shaw (Tonge 53), Heneghan
Unused subs: Forth, Thomson
Goals: Hay 65, Rooney 89
The Cards are at home to Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night (24 November). Your support is even more important as the side battles to get points in the bag. The following Saturday (28 November) they face the long trip to Barrow. A coach will only run to Barrow if 25 people put their name down by this Saturday.
Come on, you Cards!