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CRAWLEY TOWN v WOKING

Brian Caffarey - 30th December 2008

CRAWLEY TOWN v WOKING

3pm on Thursday 1 January 2009

Steve Evans will no doubt be waiting at the gates of the Broadfield Stadium to wish a ?Happy New Year? to the Directors, players and fans from Woking on Thursday. After two more draws over the holiday period, though, our aim will be the uncharitable one of walking away from Crawley with three points. And who?s to say that we won?t do exactly that? Having been beaten only once on our travels in seven league games (and then only in injury time), we are not likely to take too much notice of Mr Evans?s typically unflattering views of our abilities. We didn?t see many signs either on Boxing Day of ? according to Mr Evans ? the ?best team in the BSP?.

WOKING

Paul Lorraine will be back in contention after serving out his three-match ban following his red card against Rushden and Diamonds. He has been the Cards? outstanding defender this season but will be well aware that, in his absence, we have secured a win and two draws ? so can ill afford to risk losing his place again. Colin Miles ? much under-rated in my humble opinion ? was also missing at Wrexham through injury. His positional sense is superb, so it is to be hoped that he is fit again to resume his place in the side. Tom Hutchinson, Paolo Vernazza and Gez Sole will be absent once more. Goma Lambu will be pressing for a starting place after coming on as a substitute at Wrexham.

CRAWLEY

The Red Devils were BSP pace-setters for quite a while before a poor run, compounded by a 3-0 defeat by Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Cup, saw them slip out of the top five. They came to Kingfield, though, on Boxing Day on the back of an impressive revival of form, which has saw them dispose of Northwich and Chesham (FA Trophy) away and Altrincham and Kidderminster at home.

The draw at Kingfield and a 1-0 home win on Saturday against Eastbourne Borough has seen them rise to 4th place in the table, with 45 points from 25 games. They have scored more goals (29) at home than any other side except league leaders Burton Albion. But the Cards, in spite of their lowly position, have conceded fewer games on their travels than everyone except Crawley, Kettering and Rushden and Diamonds, so expect another tough encounter between the Red Devils? forwards and the Cards? defence.

Whatever one thinks of Steve Evans ? and most followers of Conference football won?t readily forget his part in securing Boston?s ill-deserved promotion at the expense of the Daggers and his subsequent suspended prison sentence, quite apart from his subsequent disgraceful touchline antics ? he does seem to have the knack of gathering some very useful players around him. Up front Jon-Paul Pittman ? who has only made the bench in some games! ? gave us a hard time last season and was on the score sheet on Saturday. He?s had to play second fiddle recently to Michael Malcolm, imported from Weymouth. Jamie Cook, once with Stevenage Borough, is an accomplished midfielder and Thomas Pinault is also dangerous going forward. Evans can also call on the experienced Simon Weatherstone and another ex-Broadhall Way player in the impressive Dannie Bulman, plus ex-Shayman Lewis Killeen. The defence includes ex-Card Chris Giles and another ex-Shayman in Adam Quinn.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS

2006/07

Woking 1 Crawley Town 2

Crawley Town 0 Woking 0

Last season

Crawley Town 5 Woking 3

18 September 2007

This game was an eventful encounter! Paul Lorraine was sent off in the 9th minute for using his hand to prevent a certain goal. Guy Madjo converted the penalty. Woking replied with a penalty of their own, Joe Gatting scoring (his only league goal for the Cards in his loan spell), but Jon-Paul Pittman netted two to put Crawley 3-1 up at the break. Thomas Pinault made it 4-1 before Tom Hutchinson reduced the deficit. Madjo scored again to make it 5-2 before, at the death, on-loan Paul Hakim curled a superb left-footed shot past ex-Card Ashley Bayes to make the final score 5-3.

Woking 1 Crawley Town 1

26 January 2008

With three ex-Cards in the Red Devils? line-up it was almost inevitable that one of them, Kevin James, should put Crawley in the lead after Woking had lost the ball in midfield, exposing themselves to a quick counter-attack. James nonchalantly nodded in the cross at the far post. Deep into injury time (the third minute of two extra minutes according to Steve Evans!) Marvin Morgan rammed home the equaliser after Gez Sole had nodded down a Goma Lambu cross. Mr Evans had to be escorted from the field by stewards and eventually ended up sitting in the stand. Woking had the better of the second half, with Morgan in outstanding form and good support from Jason Norville, who had a header disallowed.

This season

Woking 0 Crawley Town 0

26 December 2008

This was a pretty dull affair, if truth be told, with neither side creating much in the way of chances. The Cards had Gez Sole sent off just before half-time for a fairly innocuous-looking tackle and, not surprisingly, spent most of the second half on the back foot. Crawley?s approach work sought to stretch the Cards? defence but petered out as it neared the box. The referee sent off Crawley?s Danny Forrest ? again dubiously ? seven minutes from time but too late to have any real impact on the game.

GETTING THERE

Broadfield Stadium

Brighton Road

Crawley,

West Sussex RH11 9RX
Tel: (01293) 410000
Website: http://www.crawleytownfc.net/

Coach

Leaves Kingfield 1pm; ?10 members; ?14 non-members. There are almost certain to be seats available, so just turn up in time.

Car

From the M25 take M23 southbound; exit J11. Follow signs for Crawley town centre. At bottom of hill turn left at roundabout.

Train

You can either go via Guildford and Redhill or via Clapham Junction: check out http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/. Turn left out of station. After about 300 yards turn left onto Brighton Road and cross railway crossing. Continue for approx 1000 yards and you will see the stadium on your right. Use underpass to get to the Broadfield Stadium. Or take Fastway No 10 bus service, which runs roughly every 10 minutes, or taxi.

Come on, you Cards!

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