A must win game on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey
1:05pm, Sun 19th Mar 2017
Braintree Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017

Garry Hill has said that this is a game the Cards must win to have any chance of staying up. Cressing Road is not usually a happy hunting ground for Woking sides but the Iron’s home record is fairly poor this season, so this is probably as good an opportunity as Woking are going to get to grab a win from their four remaining away games. Make the trip if you can to cheer on the team!


Once again on Saturday the Cards, playing away against a top five side, were pipped at the post, the Heed’s winner coming in injury time after Woking had taken a first-half lead through Terell Thomas. So, the Cards remain in the last relegation place with 38 points from 38 games. Torquay United, one place and one point above them, have a game in hand, while Maidstone, two points away, now have two games in hand. There’s a five-point gap between the Cards and York City in 22nd place but the Minstermen now have two games in hand. Other fixtures on Tuesday evening include Maidstone United v Sutton United, Torquay United v Eastleigh, York City v Southport and North Ferriby United v Tranmere Rovers.

On Saturday Garry Hill started with new loan signing Jamie Lucas up front instead of Delano Sam-Yorke. Nathan Ralph replaced Chris Arthur and Joey Jones was a last-minute replacement for Keiran Murtagh, who had been named on the team sheet.


The Cowley brothers’ capture by Lincoln City also sparked the departure of a good many of the Iron side which did so well to reach the play-offs last season. Only three of the players who formed the nucleus of the side remained in the summer: midfielder Chez Isaac and strikers Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola. Akinola has since been transferred to Barnet for an undisclosed fee.

Jamie Day, the former Welling manager, who had had an unhappy time subsequently at Ebbsfleet United, was appointed and looked a good fit for a club with limited resources. Among the players he brought in and who still remain at Cressing Road were Welling’s England C midfielder, Sam Corne; left back Jerome Okimo from Stevenage; right back Jake Goodman, previously with Margate and Millwall; experienced striker, former Don, Lee Barnard; midfielders Jack Midson and Harry Lee; defender Ian Gayle; and ex-Card, keeper Sam Beasant. Unfortunately for Day, the Braintree’s Chairman’s patience ran out after only two wins in twelve games and Hakan Hayrettin was appointed as his successor. Hayrettin helped John Still win promotion for Luton Town from the Conference and previously managed at Waltham Forest, Thurrock and Grays Athletic.

Hayrettin has steadied the ship, with the Iron managing to stay just out of trouble, largely thanks to a good away record. New arrivals have included Claudio Dias from Brackley Town; two young defenders on loan from Millwall, Frankie Musonda and Christian Mbulu; speedy Canadian international winger, Kris Tardek, also on loan from Millwall; midfielder Kyron Farrell, yet another loanee from The New Den; 6’4� central defender Manny Parry from Margate; midfielder Alex Henshall, also from Margate but with a pedigree that includes spells at Manchester City, Ipswich Town and Swindon Town; and midfielder Jordan Sanderson from Haringey and Waltham, previously with Colchester United.

Joe Maybanks, a young winger formerly with the Iron’s Academy, has impressed when he’s been given the chance. 

Michael Cheek, the ex-Chelmsford City striker, has continued to shine in attack, having notched 17 league goals. Ipswich Town loanee Monty Patterson will be missing on Tuesday on international duties, whilst Sam Beasant and defender Jake Goodman both missed the Iron’s game against Southport on Saturday through injury.

The Iron now sit in 17th place with 45 points from 38 games. Their home record is surprisingly poor, with only five league wins, four draws and ten defeats, with 19 goals scored and 29 conceded. On Saturday, though, they beat Southport at home 2-0 with both goals coming from Sam Corne.

The Ironmongery Stadium, 
Off Clockhouse Way, 

Website: www.braintreetownfc.org.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 4pm. £13 members, £18 non-members, with accompanied U16s (maximum two per adult) at £7/£9. Ring (01483 772470) or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to reserve your place or email Alan Barnes on a.barn1572@btinternet.com 
By car

Leave the M25 at J27 and head north on the M11. Leave at J8A and head east on the A120 for 16 miles until you reach the Galleys Corner roundabout, recognisable by the large McDonalds logo. Take the first exit towards Braintree College. This is Cressing Road and the ground is hidden behind new flats (called Iron View, as the higher ones get a free view of the ground) on the left-hand side, 0.7 miles from the roundabout. Look out for the Orange Tree pub on the right-hand side and then take the next turning on the left into Clockhouse Way. There is a small road sign pointing the way on the right-hand side of the road. 

By train

Trains take about an hour from Stratford (which can be reached via the Jubilee Line from Waterloo). Braintree Station is about a 15/20-minute walk from the ground, although there is a taxi rank outside the station. Possible trains and arrival times are: 16.42 (17.39), 17.29 (18.28) and 18.20 (19.19). On the way back you’d want to make a very quick getaway from the ground to catch the 22.00 train, which reaches Stratford at 22.52. The next train after that, at 22.56, wouldn’t get you to Stratford till 23.52.

Exit the station and turn right along the Station Approach. Cross Rose Hill at the pedestrian crossing into Railway Road. Turn right at the traffic lights into Trinovantian Way. This becomes Manor Street and then Lakes Road. After the 'Sportsmans' Snooker Club turn left into Chapel Hill. At triangular junction bear right into Cressing Road and then turn right into Clockhouse Way. Soon after the right-angled bend there is an unmarked road to the right. The ground is at the end of this cul de sac.


The Iron operate a differential pricing system for matches. On the assumption that this match is Category B, admission prices will be:

Adults (seats) £17
Concessions £12
Adult (ground) £16
OAP (ground) £11
U16 (ground) £6
U11 (ground) £4


Woking 2 Braintree Town 3
Vanarama National League
25 October 2016

This game will stick long in the memory of Cards fans since it contained a hugely contentious refereeing decision which could well prove very costly at the season’s end. The Cards had fallen behind early on to a deflected free-kick but had recovered well with goals from Joey Jones and a superb free-kick from Fabio Saraiva. As half-time approached Gozie Ugwu, though in an offside position, latched onto a back pass from a Braintree defender, rounded the keeper and slotted home. Unfortunately for Woking, the linesman had flagged and the referee had blown his whistle before the sequence ended, so the goal was rubbed out in spite of vociferous protests.

The fact that Woking were robbed of a probably decisive 3-1 half-time lead does not, however, excuse a poor second-half performance, which saw the visitors grab their first win under new manager Hakan Hayrettin with goals from Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola. To make matters worse, the on-loan Matt Tubbs missed an absolute ‘sitter’ for the Cards, striking the bar from only a couple of yards out.

Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones (c), Terell Thomas, Frankie Sutherland (Anthony Edgar 73), Charlie Carter, Dennon Lewis (Max Kretzschmar 85), Fabio Saraiva, Gozie Ugwu (Delano Sam-Yorke 78), Matt Tubbs.

Subs not used: Chike Kandi, Andy Little

Goals: Joey Jones 25, Fabio Saraiva 30

Braintree Town: Daniel Lincoln, Ian Gayle, Jerome Okimo, Jake Goodman, George Elokobi, Oliver Muldoon (Harry Lee 29), Chez Isaac, Sam Matthews (Monty Patterson 77), Lee Barnard, Simeon Akinola, Michael Cheek (Jack Midson 83).

Subs not used: Jon Ashton, Claudio Dias

Goals: Oliver Muldoon 2, Michael Cheek 52, Simeon Akinola 82.

Attendance: 1,362


The Cards have a crucial ‘six pointer’ home game against Maidstone United next Saturday (25 March). Turn up and support the side if you possibly can. Make a note now that entry to the Cards’ home game against Macclesfield Town at 3pm on Good Friday (14 April) will be free for U16s and only £10 for adults.

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