Cards looking to return to winning ways after mid-season blip
9:14pm, Thu 31st Jan 2019
Oxford City vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 19th January 2019
The Cards will be looking to get their promotion challenge back on track on Saturday as they travel to Oxford City in the National League South.
Itâ€™s been a difficult couple of weeks all around for Alan Dowson and co with the Woking boss missing several key players, either due to injury or because of loan deals coming to an end, and seeing the clubâ€™s lengthy unbeaten run coming to an end at the hands of Wealdstone. The Cards, who despite a frustrating 1-1 draw with St Albans City the previous week, had gone into the game against the Stones unbeaten in the league since October, a run of 11 games, but were well beaten at the Laithwaite Community Stadium as Bobby Wilkinsonâ€™s side completed the double over their hosts with a comfortable 2-0 win. However, spirits were boosted by Tuesday nightâ€™s 5-0 Surrey Senior Cup win over Egham Town, and now Dowse will be hoping to see his team return to winning ways in the league.
Oxford have had a mixed season. They proved challenging opponents back in August when they led 1-0 and fought back to 2-2 before eventually succumbing to a late defeat at Kingfield. They also enjoyed an impressive FA Cup run, holding League 2 Tranmere Rovers to a 3-3 draw in the first-round proper, before eventually going out in the replay. Their form hasnâ€™t been great of late with four successive league defeats, including a 7-2 thrashing by Torquay United last weekend, but they remain within touching distance of the top seven â€“ seven points adrift with a game in hand on many of those around them. In Kabongo Tshimanga they also have one of the leagueâ€™s most dangerous players â€“ the young striker has 13 league goals so far this season.
We hope as many fans as possible will make the journey and get behind the team!
Woking Team News
Bradley Hudson-Odoi could make his debut after joining from Wealdstone â€“ as confirmed by Dowse in his post-match interview last week. Supporters will be hoping that they might have one or two more new signings to cheer on come Saturday afternoon. For now, however, it looks as if Dowse will need to find solutions from within his current squad. Several fringe players were given the opportunity to impress in mid-week including defenders Ian Gayle and Daniel Spence, striker Duane Ofori-Acheampong, as well as a number of academy prospects. However, it was winger Nicky Wheeler who particularly shone, scoring a second-half hat-trick to send the Cards through to round three.
It will be particularly interesting to see who Dowse goes with up front where top scorers Jake Hyde and Max Kretzschmar both continue to nurse injuries â€“ the latter making his comeback for just over an hour last weekend. Wheeler, along with Harvey Bradbury, Greg Luer, Paul Hodges and new signing Rhys Murrell-Williamson will be among those competing for a spot in the front three, whilst any late additions could add yet more options for the Woking boss.
Toby Edser is one player who definitely wonâ€™t be joining. Heâ€™s moved to Port Vale in League 2 and we wish him the best of luck after his great few months with us!
Oxford City Team News
You could forgive manager Mark Jones for making several changes from their big defeat at the hands of Torquay although a defensive injury crisis could restrict their options.
Against the Gulls they lined up with Craig King in goal; a back four of Ryan Case, Kyran Wiltshire, Tom Carter and former Torquay and Aldershot man Joe Oastler; in midfield was Josh Ashby, signed from city rivals Oxford United last summer, and Reece Fleet, while out wide were Zac McEachran and Jack Self; up front was top scorer Tshimanga supported by Craig Fasanmade.
There are a couple of former Woking players in the squad â€“ Bobson Bawling was a second-half substitute against Torquay, another of his former clubs, whilst Ben Jefford, sent-off at Kingfield earlier this season, is also part of the Oxford setup.
On the Day
Court Place Farm can be found on Marsh Lane; the postcode is OX3 0NQ â€“ a drive of around one hour from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Oxford which is around a 15-minute taxi journey from the ground.
Supporters can also book a place on the travelling club coach which departs at 11.30am. The cost for trust members is Â£10 adults and Â£5 for under-16s â€“ with a Â£5 increase for non-members. To book your place please contact Adam Bowyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the club shop.
Matchday ticket prices are Â£12 for adults, Â£6 for concessions and Â£3 for under-16s.
The Cards have four consecutive home games in the space of two weeks coming up, starting this coming Tuesday evening, when we host Dartford at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.