Top two clash as Cards look to slow Gullsâ€™ title march
8:10pm, Thu 4th Apr 2019
Woking vs Torquay United
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 6th April 2019
The top two teams in the National League South face-off this weekend as second-place Woking host runaway leaders Torquay United at the Laithwaite Community Stadium.
Itâ€™s been a tough few weeks for the Cards who have seen Saturdayâ€™s visitors pull clear at the top of the table for the first time this season after the two had remained neck and neck for much of the second-half of the campaign. Commendable draws at play-off chasing Welling and Bath, either side of a disappointing home defeat at the hands of Slough, have handed the Gulls the advantage at just the wrong time and with five games to go the Devon-based side now have a seven-point lead at the top of the table. Whilst a place in the end of season play-offs now looks to be the most likely outcome for Alan Dowsonâ€™s side, the Cards will be keen to ensure that the title race does go as close to the wire as possible, whilst at the same time looking to cement home advantage for throughout any potential play-off run â€“ second place guaranteeing that all of our matches will be played at Kingfield.
Gary Johnson has done a remarkable job at Torquay this season. After inheriting an underperforming side at its lowest ebb, having started the season slowly following relegation from the National League last season, he has transformed the Gulls into the near all-conquering outfit seen over the last six months. His team have lost just five times in all competitions since he took charge in September and have now amassed an impressive 81 points. Aided by a quartet of talented loanees from Bristol City, managed by son Lee, the Gulls have also put together both the best attacking and the second-best defensive records in the league â€“ with 83 goals scored and just 35 conceded. Only our opponents last weekend, Bath City, have conceded fewer. Their recent form is also as strong as is to be expected from the league leaders, with five consecutive victories chalked up since a shock loss at home to Weston-super-Mare at the start of last month, as well as an ominous 11 wins out of 14 since the turn of the year. The Cards have, at least, offered some resistance to Johnson and his team â€“ holding them to a 2-2 draw at Plainmoor in the league before winning 1-0 on the same ground in the FA Cup late last year.
This promises to be an exciting game between two great teams in front of a near capacity crowd. Please remember that this game is all ticket but we hope as many season ticket holders as possible will come down and support the team!
Woking Team News
James Ferry and Kieron Cadogan could make their home debuts after joining ahead of last weekâ€™s game against Bath City. Both new players impressed during the 1-1 draw as part of a new-look front six alongside Olu Durojaiye and Armani Little in midfield, as well as Jake Hyde and scorer Max Kretzschmar up front. Dowse also has plenty of options to choose between should he wish to rotate with the likes of Greg Luer, Paul Hodges, Kieran Glynn and Reise Allassani waiting in the wings.
In defence, it will be interesting to see if the Cards stick with Jack Cook playing in the slightly less natural position of right-back, after the centre-half took the place of Nathan Collier against Bath.
Torquay United Team News
During Wednesdayâ€™s 3-1 win over Chelmsford, Johnson lined up with Shaun MacDonald in goal; a back-four of Ben Wynter, Newcastle United academy graduate Kyle Cameron, Jean-Yves KouÃ© Niate, and former Southampton prospect Ryan Dickson, who played over 100 Football League games for Yeovil Town; in midfield was the experienced Liam Davis, who has played in the Football League for Northampton and Oxford United amongst others, along with Asa Hall, who was part of Barrowâ€™s team last season and was also with Johnson at Cheltenham Town, and the dangerous Connor Lemonheigh-Evans who is one of the four Bristol City players; the front three were Ruairi Keating, Kalvin Lumbombo Kalala and Jamie Reid, who has a league high 27 goals this season, including two against Woking.
Second-top scorer Saikou Janneh, also on loan from Bristol City and scorer of 16 league goals this season, missed the game through injury. Three former Woking players started the season with Torquay but all have since been moved on by Johnson â€“ Jason Banton joined Truro City on loan, after short-lived spells at St Albans and Dulwich Hamlet, Bobson Bawling moved to Oxford City, whilst Brett Williams made the switch to Sutton United.
This game is all ticket and tickets must have been purchased in advance. Woking season ticket holders are permitted to attend as normal. The game will be strictly segregated. Please see the pinned article on our homepage for more information.
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.
Remember, this is voucher number 19 for season ticket holders.
The Cards face another top side in the shape of Chelmsford City next weekend. Thatâ€™s followed by our penultimate regular season home game against Concord Rangers on Good Friday.