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Cards' cup hopes

Brian Caffarey - 4th November 2010

Cards' cup hopes Brighton and HA v Woking
FA Cup 1st Round Proper
3pm on Saturday 6 November 2010
(N.B. All tickets for this game must be bought in advance: no ticket sales on the day. Woking’s allocation is sold out.)

The Cards couldn’t have been dealt a tougher hand than this, with the Seagulls soaring high at the top of League Division 1. History, though, tells us not to abandon all hope. Last time we received a similar draw, against Millwall, the Cards, having drawn at home, ventured into the New Den and came away with a shock win. And, of course, last time we travelled to Brighton we came away with a 1-1 draw. Admittedly the Cards were in better shape then but there is still a chance, however slim, for Graham Baker’s side to write their own page in the Club’s proud FA Cup history. Woking fans will be there en masse to cheer them on.

BRIGHTON AND HA

The Seagulls are in tremendous form this season, already eight points clear of their nearest rivals and seemingly running away with League One. At home they have won six league games and drawn two, scoring 15 goals and conceding 5. Gus Poyet, Albion’s Manager, has indicated that he plans to play half a dozen or so fringe players, mentioning Tommy Elphick, Lewis Dunk, Liam Bridcott, Peter Brezovan, Cristian Baz and Agustin Battipiedi as possible participants. LuaLua, on loan from Newcastle, isn’t eligible to play, however. Just in case any Woking fan thinks that the Cards’ task will be any less difficult, Graham Baker, who has watched Brighton’s first and reserve teams, believes that Albion’s fringe players are as good as, if not better, than those currently holding down regular places. Poyet clearly rates them very highly too.

WOKING

The Cards will be playing in their all-yellow away strip.

Graham Baker has two main injury worries for Saturday. Ricky Anane, who collided with Hampton’s keeper last Saturday and had to be substituted late on, has a badly swollen knee. Ryan Blake is suffering from a hip injury. (There are no suspensions or cup-tied players.)

Graham accepts that, on paper, the Cards’ chances of getting a result on Saturday are very slim indeed but, as everyone knows, shocks do occasionally happen. Speaking this morning, he said: “Brighton are an exceptionally strong side and if they played Woking 20 times you’d expect them to win 20 times, but the beauty of football is that sometimes the unexpected happens. Our players have nothing to lose and are looking forward to playing in a big game on Saturday. They will have to give their all on the day and hope that lady luck shines on them too. The important thing is to make sure we give a good account of ourselves. If we play as well as we did at Swindon in this stage of the competition last year, I will be very satisfied.” Graham was not surprised that the Club has sold all of its 900 ticket allocation: “Woking has got a terrific fan base and the crowds always turn out for these big cup games. I’m sure everyone will enjoy their day out and I hope that they are all in good voice.”

I suggested to Graham that what we needed was a comparable performance to the Youth Team’s recent FA Youth Cup win at League One Colchester – which prompted Graham to heap praise on the Youth side for reaching the second round in successive seasons. Now rewarded with a home tie, Graham hopes that they can progress to the Third Round and draw one of the ‘big boys’.

But let’s get a result against Brighton first!

GETTING THERE

Please see the earlier news item for travel details.


Come on, you Cards!


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