Cards ready for intriguing test against National League opposition
10:22am, Fri 14th Dec 2018
Woking vs Maidstone United
The Buildbase FA Trophy
Saturday 14th December
The Cards will have another opportunity to test the extent of the clubâ€™s recent progress on Saturday as they host National League strugglers Maidstone United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
Alan Dowsonâ€™s side are flying after winning seven consecutive games spanning four different competitions while the Cards have in fact only lost once in any fixture since mid-September. However, Dowse and his team will face a stern test if they are to progress past the first-round proper of this seasonâ€™s FA Trophy, with Maidstone likely to prove tough opposition despite their relative struggles in the division above.
The Stones, who finished 19th in the National League last season to narrowly avoid relegation, are having another tough year and currently sit in 23rd place â€“ four points adrift of safety and with just 19 points from their 23 games so far. Long-serving manager Jay Saunders was dismissed in August and replaced by former Billericay Town boss Harry Wheeler who has so far struggled to spark a major upturn in the clubâ€™s fortunes. In fact, theyâ€™ve lost their last four games in all competitions, suffering defeats at the hands of Barrow, Eastleigh and Havant and Waterlooville in the league whilst also going out of the FA Cup after a 2-0 home defeat to League 2 side Oldham Athletic.
Maidstone certainly arenâ€™t to be underestimated however, theyâ€™ve produced some fine cup results this season, beating Leyton Orient and Macclesfield Town, whilst theyâ€™ve scored four on each of their last two visits to Kingfield â€“ winning 4-2 with a Jamar Loza hat-trick in 2017 before an incredible 4-4 draw back in January.
We hope as many fans as possible will come along and support the team this weekend!
Woking Team News
Dowse will be forced into a minimum of two changes this weekend. Armani Littleâ€™s loan deal from Oxford United has ended after running for the maximum three-month term, although the midfielder could re-join the club during the January transfer window, should all parties agree to an extension. Jamar Loza, who scored a hat-trick against Weston-super-Mare last weekend, will also be unavailable against his parent club whilst Charlie Wassmer will likewise be unable to play for the Stones having recently joined them on a one-month loan deal.
The Cards could turn to youngster Charlie Hester-Cook to fill the gap in midfield alongside Toby Edser and Christian Jolley in midfield or, alternatively, Max Kretzschmar could drop into a deeper role with either Nicky Wheeler or Paul Hodges coming in further up the pitch. Greg Luer is another option for Dowse as he looks to replace Loza out wide, as is new signing Noel Leighton, who joined the Cards this week on a short-term loan deal from Dagenham & Redbridge.
Maidstone United Team News
There are a number of familiar names in the Maidstone squad. For their last game, a 1-0 defeat away to Barrow, they selected former Woking stopper Ross Worner, currently on loan from Sutton United, in goal; in defence was Cards-loanee Wassmer, George McLennan, another Sutton loanee in Dan Wishart, an England C international formerly with Forest Green Rovers, and Rob Swaine.
In midfield was another loan player in Ebbsfleet Unitedâ€™s Sean Shields, one of Wheelerâ€™s former Billericay players Simon Walton, Ollie Muldoon and Michael Phillips; while up front was ex-Billericay star Jake Robinson, who scored at the Laithwaite back in September, and Jake Cassidy who is on loan from Hartlepool United.
Their options from the bench included dangerous striker Elliott Romain, a regular scorer for Torquay and Dagenham in recent months, as well as midfielders Jack Paxman and Aryan Tajbakhsh, and former Aldershot Town defender Will de Havilland. Star player Blair Turgott is currently out injured. Former Woking defender Jordan Wynter is also on the clubâ€™s books but is currently on loan at Dartford.
â€¢ Adults Â£10
â€¢ Over 65s Â£5
â€¢ Disabled (Including carer) Â£5
â€¢ Students (U19) Â£5
â€¢ U16s Â£1
Our matchday programme will be on sale for Â£3. Donâ€™t forget to grab your copy on the way in! Youâ€™ll also be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.
The Cards busy festive schedule starts next Saturday with a trip to promotion rivals Billericay Town. Thatâ€™s followed by the home games against Dowseâ€™s former club Hampton & Richmond Borough on Boxing Day and Eastbourne Borough three days later.