Cards looking for positive result against title favourites

Glen Harrington
8:00am, Sat 5th Dec 2020
Notts County vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 5th December 2020

Woking will look to go one better than last season and claim their first ever three points at Meadow Lane as they travel to take on Notts County in the National League.

The Cards will have considered themselves unlucky on Tuesday evening as they fell to a narrow 1-0 home defeat against Sutton United – their first home defeat of the season. Harry Beautyman’s controversial penalty in first-half stoppage time proved the difference, and whilst the hosts had a brilliant performance from goalkeeper Craig Ross to thank for keeping the deficit to just one going into the closing stages, late chances for substitutes Slavi Spasov and Jayden Wareham left Alan Dowson’s side reflecting on what might have been. They’ll be boosted on Saturday by the return of Charlie Cooper from suspension, an obvious miss on Tuesday, as they go into Saturday’s game close to full strength.

Notts County, who were last season’s beaten play-off finalists, were many people’s tip for automatic promotion this year after another summer of strengthening an already impressive squad full of Football League experience. But much like last season, they’ve had it far from their own way in a challenging and competitive division. After a shock opening day defeat against Dover Athletic, they have recovered to move into the play-off places, currently in sixth place, above the Cards on goal difference with a game in hand. They’ve taken eight points from their last four games, beating Wealdstone and Chesterfield, whilst drawing with FC Halifax Town and, last time out, Dagenham & Redbridge. Their last defeat came in a 1-0 loss away to our neighbours Aldershot Town at the start of November. They’ve won three of their four home matches – with the only defeat coming against Maidenhead United in mid-October.

Woking – Team News

Charlie Cooper will return to strengthen Woking’s midfield options, which have also been boosted by Tommy Block’s return from injury, with the youngster an unused substitute on Tuesday. The likes of Matt Jarvis and Slavi Spasov could also be pushing for a start after making an impact off the bench on Tuesday evening. At the back, defender Jack Cook is just one yellow card away from a suspension.

Notts County – The Boss

Neil Ardley has just gone past two years as County boss, following a six-year spell with AFC Wimbledon, which saw him manage the Dons on more than 300 occasions and lead them to promotion to League One. He was unable to prevent the Magpies dropping out of the Football League in 2019 but led the recovery effort last season, taking his side all the way to Wembley for the play-off final, where they were beaten by Harrogate Town. Ardley’s playing career saw him enjoy time at Wimbledon, Watford, Cardiff City, and Millwall, where he retired in 2007.

One to Watch

Dutch winger Enzio Boldewijn notched a brace at the Laithwaite Community Stadium and will be one of Notts’ main goal threats once again on Saturday. The 28-year-old is in his third season at Meadow Lane and has scored three times this campaign, including two in his last three games, against Wealdstone and Chesterfield. He previously enjoyed success at Crawley Town, where he scored 16 times in 100 appearances in all competitions, after joining from Dutch side Almere City.

Last Time Out

Notts County 1-1 Woking – National League (15th February 2020)

Woking fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst from this fixture after seeing their side beaten 4-0 in the reverse match-up and coming into the game off the back of three straight defeats in all competitions, but they more than held their own at Meadow Lane, taking the lead through Max Kretzschmar, and arguably deserved more than the point they got. Kristian Dennis scored County’s equaliser as the game finished all square.

Next Up

It’s a quick turnaround for Woking as they travel to Altrincham on Tuesday evening. That’s followed by a home game against Hartlepool United on Saturday afternoon.

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