Cards hoping for home comforts against promotion-chasing County

Glen Harrington
10:26pm, Sun 4th Apr 2021
Woking vs Notts County
Vanarama National League
Monday 5th April 2021

Woking will be hoping to continue an encouraging run of home form and extend a four-match unbeaten run at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, with Notts County the visitors on Easter Monday.

The Cards have played each of their last four games in all competitions away from home, with every fixture ending in a 1-0 scoreline, albeit sadly with only one of those in the visitor’s favour. But Alan Dowson’s side are traditionally stronger on home soil this season and so it has proved in recent weeks, with only a last minute Altrincham penalty preventing a run of four straight victories, since defeat by Stockport County back at the end of January. Saturday’s defeat at Torquay United, another side with play-off aspirations, leaves Woking still in 18th place in the league with 31 points, six clear of the bottom three, but with both promoted National League South sides, Wealdstone and Weymouth, now just a point behind them.

Notts County have, by their own high standards, endured a mixed season, exemplified by the reason departure of manager Neil Ardley. They currently sit in fifth place, with 49 points from 28 games, 13 points adrift of leaders Sutton United with two games in hand, and five points clear of eight place FC Halifax Town. Like Woking, they were beaten by lower league opposition in the FA Trophy last month, losing their semi-final to AFC Hornchurch on penalties after a dramatic 3-3 draw. Their recent league form has seen them win three, draw three, and lose two since the start of March, and they ended a run of three games without a win in all competitions by beaten Wrexham on Good Friday.

Woking – Team News

Dowse will likely remain without a host of players absent against Torquay due to injury, including Jamar Loza, Malachi Napa, Matt Jarvis, and Sam Ashford, whilst Jack Cook and Nathan Collier have also been sidelined in recent weeks. Dowse will at least be hoping that goalkeeper Craig Ross is available again, with Mark Smith filling in once again against the Gulls. Youngsters Sam Evans and Leo Hamblin will be hoping to make their first senior appearances for the club after being unused substitutes in Devon.

Notts County – The Boss

Leicester-born Ian Burchnall took charge at the County Ground last month after two years in charge at Swedish club Östersunds FK, where he succeeded Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter as head coach. The 38-year-old has also managed in Norway, where he was in charge at Viking FK. Before moving to Scandinavia, he was on the academy coaching staff at both Bradford City and Leeds United.

One to Watch

Notts County’s squad is littered with quality, as well as plenty of Football League experience. Star striker Kyle Wootton, matchwinner in the two club’s last meeting earlier in the season, will not be traveling, however. The 24-year-old is suspended after being sent off in the closing stages of the game against Wrexham. County will still carry plenty of attacking threat, including from Dutch winger Enzio Boldewijn. The 28-year-old former Crawley Town player has five goals this season.

Last Time Out

Notts County 1-0 Woking – National League (5th December 2020)

As has so often been the case this season, the Cards were edged out by a late goal, with Kyle Wootton’s strike 10 minutes from time the difference between the two sides at the County ground. Woking have had 12 games end in a 1-0 scoreline this season, winning four and losing eight, and no doubt the first goal will be crucial once again on Monday.

Next Up

Woking travel to Eastleigh on Saturday before three consecutive home games against Bromley, Wrexham, and Torquay United.

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