Boz's Fruit & Veg

Cards chase Trophy success

Brian Caffarey
9:11am, Thu 4th Feb 2016
Woking v Oxford City
FA Trophy 3rd Round
3pm on Saturday 6 February 2016

Garry Hill’s side will be very keen to progress to the Quarter Finals of the FA Trophy on Saturday if they possibly can. However, their opponents, who include former Woking striker Bradley Bubb, are having an excellent season in the Vanarama National League South and are sure to give the Cards a fight. Come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer the side on to victory! And, while you’re at it, why not take advantage of the great offer to join Andy Ellis, twice a Trophy winner, in the Geoff Chapple Lounge? The bar will also be open till 6.30pm, so you can stay and watch the Six Nations Rugby.


Unlike Oxford City’s last Trophy opponents, Cheltenham Town, who fielded a very youthful side, the Cards are keen to get to Wembley if they possibly can and achieve a record fourth Trophy win. The side have stuttered a bit in their last three league games, with home draws against Halifax and Barrow, interspersed by defeat at Altrincham – which has prevented them from getting into the play-off places. So, Saturday’s game is a good opportunity to rediscover their previous excellent form. Presumably, new loan signing, striker Shaun Jeffers, will be eligible to play. If so, it will be particularly interesting to see how the Cards line up in attack. Chris Arthur is still suspended.

The Cards have reached this stage via a 2-1 win at Boreham Wood and a 6-1 home demolition of Maidenhead United.

The other ties are:

Dover Athletic v Guiseley
Gateshead v Fylde
Grimsby v Havant and Waterlooville
FC Halifax Town v Chester
Nantwich v Stourbridge
Sutton United v Bognor Regis Town
Torquay United v Macclesfield Town

Winners of ties receive £7k in prize money.


City have reached this stage with a 6-3 home win over Marlow, followed by a notable 3-1 home win over Vanarama National League South leaders Ebbsfleet United. Controversially, in the last round, Cheltenham Town fielded a youthful side, drawing 2-2 at Oxford’s Marston Ground before losing 3-0 at home in the replay.

City currently lie in 5th place in the Vanarama National League South with 39 points from 23 games. Their away record is impressive, with six wins, three draws and only one defeat in the league. Bubb is top scorer with 10 goals.

City, under manager Justin Merritt, have several players from Spain in their squad. Their most recent signings, however, are winger Matthew Whichelow from Boreham Wood and 20 year-old striker James Roberts, who made 26 appearances for Oxford United in League 2 last season. Wing back Luke Coulson has just been snapped up by Eastleigh.

City’s game at Whitehawk last Saturday was abandoned at half-time because of floodlight failure, with the Hawks winning 2-1. On Tuesday evening City beat Banbury United 1-0 at home in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup.


There are reduced admission prices for this match:

Adults - £15
Over 65s, Students with NUS card, forces personnel and MOD civilian staff with recognised ID - £10
U16s - £3

There is also another great offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge. For just £15 (excluding admission) you can enjoy Tremblays steak pie and chips, a premium leather seat in the Leslie Gosden Stand, an official matchday programme and team sheet – and of course the opportunity to hear one of Woking’s finest-ever midfielders, Andy Ellis.


Saturday’s matchday programme, at the reduced price of £2.50, includes a profile of ‘guest of the day’, Andy Ellis; a look at the subsequent very mixed fortunes of previous FA Trophy finalists; and more about the following Saturday’s Woking FC Bikeathon. In addition, there’s news from the Club Board and the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos.


The two sides met each other in Round 2 of the Trophy last season. The Cards sailed into a two-goal lead at City’s ground thanks to strikes from Kevin Betsy and substitute John Goddard but allowed the home side to pull two goals back through Greg Pearson and Declan Benjamin. In the replay the Cards came out on top 2-1 after having gone behind in Oxford’s first attack, with Greg Pearson on target again. However, the away side were reduced to ten men when Santiago was given a straight red for hauling back Dean Morgan, with Josh Payne scoring from the free-kick. The winning goal came with a superb strike from John Goddard from 25 yards in the 74th minute.

The two line-ups in the replay were:

Woking: Jake Cole, Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Adam Newton, Joey Jones (Keiran Murtagh 74), John Goddard, Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy, Jack Marriott, Dean Morgan (Giuseppe Sole 74)

Unused substitutes: Andy Little, Mark Ricketts, John Nutter

Goals: Payne (34), Goddard (74)

Oxford City: Salva De La Cruz; Declan Benjamin, Paul Stonehouse, Ader Del Alamo (Bidemi Afolabi 76), Darren Pond; Alejandro Adrian Santiago, Marlon Jackson, Lewis Wilson, Javier Rodriquez; Greg Pearson (Adi Yussuf 69), Tom Winters (Felipe Barcelos 63)

Unused substitute: Mark Scott

Goals: Pearson (3)

Attendance: 555


The Cards play Westfield at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick off) in the Surrey Senior Cup.

The Cards’ next league game is the following Saturday (13 February) when they entertain Guiseley.

Come on, you Cards!

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