Back to League action on Saturday
9:51am, Wed 19th Oct 2016
Woking v Barrow
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 22 October 2016
The Cards return to League action on Saturday after successfully moving into the FA Cup First Round. Their replay win against Torquay on Tuesday was a real confidence booster and much needed with the visit of fourth placed Barrow â€“ always tough opponents. Come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer on Garry Hillâ€™s side as they seek to pull themselves away from the danger zone.
The Cards have won three and drawn one of their last four home league games, so will be hoping that they can pull off another good result against a formidable-looking Barrow side. However Garry Hill will face a number of selection problems particularly in central defence. Both Brian Saah and Ismail Yakubu had to be substituted on Tuesday and Connor Essam has already returned to Eastleigh. Garry still has Michael Poke and Zak Ansah out injured but Matt Tubbs will hopefully be available for selection after missing the two cup games.
The Bluebirds, owned since November 2014 by ambitious Dallas-based businessman, Paul Casson, finished in 11th place last season after winning the Conference North title the previous season. Casson had targeted promotion to the Football League and manager Darren Edmondson paid the price in November 2015 for an unpromising beginning to the campaign. Former Mansfield manager Paul Cox was appointed the next day.
Predictably, there was a big turnover in playing staff in the summer at Holker Street. Among the players Cox brought in was Ross Hannah, the former Grimsby Town striker who scored 23 goals for Chester last season; Macclesfield Town captain and midfielder, Paul Turnbull; Luton midfielder Andy Parry, who had been on loan at Barrow; giant Hampton and Richmond central defender, Moussa Diara; former Chesterfield striker, Byron Harrison, who has also had spells more recently at AFC Wimbledon, Cheltenham Town and Stevenage; Liam Hughes, a 6â€™4â€™ central defender from Inverness Caledonian Thistle but better known as a Conference title winner with Cambridge United; and another Conference title winner, right back, Shaun Beeley, formerly with Fleetwood Town and more recently part of Morecambeâ€™s set-up.
The additions have continued with more recent arrivals including Harry Panayiotou, a St Kitts and Nevis striker who was with Leicester City and who was being chased by several Football League clubs. A loan player who has particularly impressed is 18 year-old midfielder Ryan Yates from Nottingham Forest.
Among those players remaining from last season were England C striker Jordan Williams and long-serving midfielder Alex-Ray Harvey. A regretted departure was that of top striker Andy Cook, who joined Tranmere Rovers.
The Bluebirds have started this season strongly, currently sitting in 4th place with 29 points from 15 games, four points behind leaders Forest Green Rovers. A ray of hope for the Cards is that their away form is less impressive than their home form, having picked up three wins, two draws and two defeats on their travels, with 9 goals scored and 8 conceded. On Saturday the Bluebirds had a very satisfying 2-1 home win over Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup and now play Taunton Town of the Evo-Stik League Southern Division in the next round.
Over 65/Students with valid student card Â£13
The Cards follow Saturdayâ€™s game with another crucial home fixture on Tuesday evening: at home to fellow strugglers, Braintree Town (7.45pm kick-off). This match is a â€˜kids freeâ€™ game, so please bring all the family along! The following Saturday (29 October) the Cards travel to Boreham Wood.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Itâ€™s not too late to book your ticket for the cabaret/ Rod Stewart Tribute evening this Friday. See http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/news/article/5632/a-cabaret-evening-with-rod-stewart-tribute/ for details.