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WOKING v KETTERING TOWN

Brian Caffarey - 12th February 2009

WOKING v KETTERING TOWN

3pm on Saturday 14 February 2009

It seems a long time since the Cards? last game, their 4-1 defeat of Northwich Victoria at Kingfield two weeks ago. No doubt Phil Gilchrist would have preferred to have built quickly on that win but games against Kidderminster and Salisbury had to be postponed. We can only hope the enforced lay-off will make his charges even more eager to impress against Mark Cooper?s side on Saturday. Cards fans will be keen to see new loan signing, Rob Elvins make his debut. At a mere 6?2?, though, he will concede several inches to the towering defenders who have been instrumental in giving the Poppies such an assured start back in the BSP.

WOKING

I spoke to Andy Cook on Tuesday about the injury situation in the course of an interview with him which will appear in a later matchday programme. Andy said that all the injured players had been making good progress but none is yet ready to return. Tom Hutchinson has started jogging and it sounds as though he may be ready to play in three weeks or so. Danny Bunce, recovering from a broken bone in his foot, has now taken off his ?boot? and is able to walk without pain but is clearly many weeks away from a return. Paolo Vernazza and Goma Lambu are both continuing to recover from hamstring injuries. There is still concern about Delano Sam-Yorke?s ?shin splints?, especially since this is something which he has experienced previously and which, if not treated properly, risks becoming a chronic problem. Another X-ray may be needed to check that there isn?t a problem with a bone.

There are no suspensions, so Phil Gilchrist should be able to choose from the rest of the squad, including our other two loan players, Oliver Bozanic and Simon Eastwood.

KETTERING TOWN

Kettering started the season in robust form in the league and topped the table at one point. They have slipped back somewhat in recent months, partly because their FA Cup and FA Trophy runs have left them many league games in arrears, having played only 24 compared with Woking?s 30. The Poppies currently lie in 15th place, with 39 points. Their away form is good: five wins, four draws and four defeats, with 17 goals scored and 13 against.

Mark Cooper too has been reinforcing his squad. New arrivals

include Jason Lee, veteran striker from Mansfield; Richard Graham, a winger from Dagenham and Redbridge, returning to one of his former clubs; Craig Barham-Barrett, a young full-back from Peterborough, whom the Posh signed in the autumn from Welling; and yet another giant central defender, the 6?4?? Luke Potter from Barnsley. Luke will feel at home in the company of Guy Branston, John Dempster and the wonderfully-named colossus, Exodus Geohaghon.

Going out of the door was ex-Card Mark Rawle.

Recent form

31 January: Kettering Town 0 AFC Telford 1 (FA Trophy)

27 January: Stevenage Borough 2 Kettering Town 1 (Lee)

24 January: Kettering Town 2 Fulham 4 (FA Cup) (Westcarr 2)

17 January: Kettering Town 1 Salisbury City 0 (Dempster)

14 January: Kettering Town 1 Tiverton Town 1 (Lee. FAT replay. Kettering won 4-3 on penalties.)

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

03-04 Kettering 0-0 Woking (FA Trophy)

Woking 2-3 Kettering (FA Trophy Replay)

(Nade 2)

02-03 Woking 2-1 Kettering

(Patmore pen 2)

Kettering 0-3 Woking

(Patmore, Banger 2)

This season

Kettering Town 1-0 Woking

Woking were once again cruelly denied any points as they succumbed to their fifth defeat out of six. Both Abdou El Kholti and Manny Williams had good chances inside the Kettering penalty area but neither of them proved to be a decisive opener.

Woking came out the strongest after the break and it seemed just a matter of time before they took the lead. Giuseppe Sole had three free-kicks, all missing narrowly, and Williams had further opportunities to open his account for the Cards.

Woking were made to pay for wasting their chances, however, and with 81 minutes on the clock, a missed tackle by Patrice Konan allowed a counter-attack down the left flank. Chris Beardsley?s cross found Marna in the penalty-area, who smashed the ball past Pidgeley in the Woking goal.

Come on, you Cards!

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