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Garry takes the reins

Brian Caffarey - 21st January 2011

Garry takes the reins Weston-super-Mare v Woking
3pm on Saturday 22 January 2011

Garry Hill’s first game in charge sees him lead the Cards out tomorrow at Weston-super-Mare in a game Woking, now ten points adrift of fifth place, need to win to sustain their slim play-off hopes. Garry saw the side’s tremendous displays at Dover Athletic and AFC Wimbledon and will therefore know what they are capable of on their day. Let’s hope that the players are keen to impress their new manager!

WOKING

On the player front, the Cards have undoubtedly been weakened, though, by the departure of Lee Sawyer, who has been providing the midfield creativity and control that had been lacking all season. Garry Hill has said that he wants to see the ball played on the ground – a commitment which will be music to the ears of Woking fans and a style that is certainly suited to getting the best out of Elvis Hammond’s impressive skills. Moses Ademola, too, in a rich vein of form with three goals in two games, is always going to present a greater threat when the ball isn’t flying through the air.

On the injury front, news is awaited of Ricky Anane, who had to be substituted in the AFC Wimbledon game, and Anson Cousins, who was injured in Tuesday night’s defeat at Whyteleafe in the Surrey Senior Cup.

WESTON-SUPER-MARE

The Seagulls are doing better in the league than most people would have expected, currently lying in 9th place with 31 points from 25 games: two places and three points ahead of the Cards, although they’ve played four more games. Their home record is good, with seven wins, three draws and only three defeats and with 21 goals scored and 12 conceded. That record includes an astonishing 7-0 defeat of Bromley. Woking’s superior goal difference means that a win on Saturday would see the Cards leapfrog their opponents: another incentive for Garry Hill’s side.

The Seagulls have a reputation for playing attractive football this season under manager Craig Laird. They have a strong central defensive partnership in Craig Rand and Matt Villis. Up front Sahr Kabba is in good form, scoring the equaliser in their last home game, a 1-1 draw against Havant and Waterlooville. They have recently brought in Ryan Leonard, a teenager on loan from Plymouth Argyle and have made an approach to Swindon Supermarine for ex-Card Jamie Gosling.

LAST SEASON

Weston-super-Mare 1 Woking 1, 18 August 2009

In the heady, optimistic days of August 2009 the Cards travelled to Weston-super-Mare full of confidence but couldn’t turn all their pressure into goals. Shortly after half-time they found themselves a goal down after Ashan Holgate’s great strike but Harry Arter rescued a point. The game marked Craig Watkins’s debut for the Cards.

Woking 2 Weston-super-Mare 1, 28 December 2009

With Weston really struggling in the league, this should have been an easy three points for the Cards. They had a great start as Matthew Wright netted with a perfect header in the 2nd minute but then struggled, as so often at Kingfield, to turn superiority into goals in spite of creating numerous openings. Weston drew level in the second half as the ball zipped off a Woking defender’s header past Worner, but Wright eventually made sure of three points with another excellent header from a cross from his fellow Crystal Palace loanee, Nathaniel Pinney.

GETTING THERE

Woodspring Stadium
Winterstoke Rd
Weston-Super-Mare
North Somerset
BS24 9AA

By coach

Why not take it easy and go on the Supporters’ Club coach? Leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. £17 for members. £22 for non-members. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk today to book your place.

By car

Head for the M4, leaving at J20 to join the M5. Leave M5 at J21 (Weston-super-Mare) and make your way towards the town centre. Follow the dual carriageway through three roundabouts and into a long straight road. You should see some large DIY stores in front. Keep left. At the 4th roundabout turn left by Blockbusters and go straight (2nd exit) at the small roundabout. Carry on along the road and over the small railway bridge. Keep looking right as you are almost there. When entering the ground you will see the offices at the front with adequate free parking for cars and coaches.

The AA gives the journey as 124 miles, with an estimated journey time of just under two and a half hours.

By train

Not an easy journey and relies to an uncomfortable degree on all the connections working! The 11.16 from Woking would get you to Basingstoke at 11.36. Then take the 11.47 to Reading, arriving at 12.04. From there take the 12.11 to Bristol Parkway, arriving at 13.04. Then, finally, catch the 13.12 to Weston-super-Mare, arriving – if you’re lucky! – at 14.00.

Trains on the way back are at 17.10 and 17.40 arriving at Woking at 20.25 and 21.09 respectively. The first is via Bristol Temple Meads, Reading and Guildford. The second is via Bristol Temple Meads, Reading and Basingstoke.

The train station is about a 30-minute brisk walk from the ground. Come out of the station, using the exit and platform opposite the main entrance. Walk along till you come to a busy roundabout (you should see Aldi on your left). Walk across the roundabout and head towards Halfords. Walk to the right of it, following the road through the shopping area which includes Comet, Currys and Pets at Home. Keep walking till you go past the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-through and see a roundabout beyond it. Walk past that and up to a mini-roundabout. Turn right at the mini-roundabout and carry on walking over the railway bridge and the ground is on your right-hand side.

No doubt you can get a taxi from the station if you don’t fancy the walk or haven’t got the time.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’ve got the Cards’ next home game in your diary: 7.45pm on Tuesday 1 February v Thurrock. And, if you’re not travelling to Weston-super-Mare, why not pop down to Kingfield and watch the reserves play Three Bridges?

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