Cards looking to impress in front of the cameras
7:37pm, Thu 5th Sep 2019
Hartlepool United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 7th September
The Cards will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eight matches on Saturday evening when they make the trip to another in form side, Hartlepool United.
Wokingâ€™s six-game winning run might have come to an end at home to Torquay United on Tuesday, but Alan Dowsonâ€™s side were still more than good value for a point, which they earned courtesy of Dave Tarpeyâ€™s third goal of the season. Whilst results elsewhere saw them vacate top spot, taken by FC Halifax Town, victory in front of the BT Sport cameras this weekend could see the Cards make a swift return to the summit. It will however be a very tough test for Dowse and co in the shape of Hartlepool who, after a slow start, have won their last three matches and are now within touching distance of the play-off places.
This is Hartlepoolâ€™s third season in non-league football following their relegation in 2017. They have so far managed two underwhelming lower mid-table finishes â€“ placing 15th and then 16th over the last two years. Their form did improve during the second-half of last season under new manager Craig Hignett and the former Middlesbrough, Barnsley and Blackpool player will no doubt be expected to deliver a much more positive result this time around. Results so far this season have been mixed â€“ with only four points from their first five games â€“ but things have looked better for the Monkey Hangers since then with a goalless draw with Chorley followed by wins over Wrexham, Torquay United and Barrow.
We really hope that as many supporters as possible will make the trip up north to support the team as they strive to continue our fantastic start to the season. If you canâ€™t make it, remember to join us at Kingfield to watch along, and cheer on the team! The slightly different kick-off time is 7.30pm.
Woking Team News
Dowse made two changes on Tuesday as Moussa Diarra returned in the back four â€“ taking the place, somewhat surprisingly, of Manny Parry, rather than Ben Gerring who had limped off with an injury mid-way through the first-half against Barrow. Godfrey Poku then came in for the suspended Kane Ferdinand, who will be eligible to return on Saturday, putting in a man-of-the-match performance.
Ferdinandâ€™s return should come just in time for Dowse who is likely to be without Shaun Donnellan following his injury picked up against the Gulls. It will likely be a straight swap with Ferdinand partnering Poku in the middle of the park. Elsewhere, it will be intriguing to see which combination Dowse opts for in the back four, whilst new signing Jake Gray also continues to wait on his first chance in midfield.
Hartlepool United Team News
It was a narrow win for Hartlepool last time out as they beat Barrow 1-0 at Holker Street. Their team for that game included England C international Ben Killip, who impressed for relegated Braintree Town last season, in goal; in defence was Peter Kioso, Fraser Kerr, a former Scottish Premiership player with Motherwell and most recently at Gateshead, Aaron Cunningham, Michael Raynes, a recent addition from Crewe Alexandra who also has Football League experience with the likes of Oxford United and Carlisle United, and Middlesbrough academy graduate Mark Kitching.
In midfield was Gus Mafuta, Jason Kennedy, a summer addition from Carlisle United who also spent several years with Rochdale, former Forest Green Rovers and Notts County man Liam Noble, and ex-Newcastle United winger Ryan Donaldson who scored the gameâ€™s only goal. Up front was the dangerous Gime Toure who has five goals so far this season. One man to look out for from the bench is Nicke Kabamba, a striker formerly with Portsmouth, who also played under Dowse at Hampton and Richmond Borough with great success.
Last Time Out
Hartlepool United 3-2 Woking â€“ National League (17 February 2018)
The Cards had far from a happy visit on their last trip to Victoria Park. Goals from Devante Rodney, Jake Cassidy and Rhys Oates had the hosts three goals ahead before the half-time interval. To their credit, Anthony Limbrickâ€™s side fought back in the second-half and grabbed two late goals of their own thanks to Reece Grego-Cox and Jonny Edwards, but ultimately even a draw would have massively flattered the visitors. It was a different story at Kingfield back in September when Inih Effiong came within inches of scoring a late winner with almost the final kick of the game.
On the Day
The ground can be found on Clarence Road; the postcode is TS24 8BZ â€“ a drive of around five hour and 15 minutes from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest train station is Hartlepool which is a ten-minute walk from the ground.
There is a travelling club coach for supporters which departs at 10.30am. Please contact Adam Bowyer (email@example.com) or call the club shop for more information. If youâ€™re not planning to travel, then the game is being shown in the club bar at Kingfield â€“ with supporters also invited to come along and watch the Sheerwater and England games kicking-off earlier in the day.
At Victoria Park, away supporters are situated in the Smith & Graham Stand (also known as the Rink End). Tickets are priced at Â£18 for adults and Â£9 for concessions (Over 60s, Under 19s, Students, Armed Forces â€“ all with valid ID). Under 16s are just Â£5.
The Cards next game is next Saturday as we welcome Garry Hillâ€™s Ebbsfleet to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. We then travel to Chorley seven days later.