Ebbsfleet United v Woking
3pm on Saturday 30 April 2011
Garry Hill’s side need a point from this game to make sure of a play-off place against an Ebbsfleet team who’ve already secured their place. A win for the Cards would in fact enable them to displace Ebbsfleet in 3rd place but a defeat, combined with wins for Chelmsford City and Welling United, would see the Cards miss out on goal difference. So, it couldn’t be more nerve-wracking! Get down to Stonebridge Road if you possibly can to cheer the side on to victory!
Woking fans are still regaining their composure after Monday’s extraordinary match against Weston-super-Mare which saw the Cards finally triumph 4-3 thanks to a wonder strike from Andy Burgess. Woking now lie 4th in the table and the permutations for Saturday look like this:
• If Woking win they will displace Ebbsfleet in 3rd place
• If Woking draw they will end up in 4th or 5th place depending on Chelmsford’s result: a Chelmsford draw would see Woking remain in 4th place whilst a Chelmsford win would push the Cards into 5th place
• If Woking lose, their fate will turn on Chelmsford’s and Welling’s results. Welling have to win to displace the Cards but, combined with a Chelmsford win or draw, that would be enough to push the Cards into 6th place on goal difference.
So, a Woking win or draw – or Welling’s defeat – would secure a play-off place.
Dover are still in with a remote chance of making 5th place but both Chelmsford City and Welling would have to lose and Dover – who are at home to bottom club St Albans City – would have to overturn Chelmsford’s current four-goal advantage on goal difference.
The other relevant games on Saturday are:
Chelmsford City v Hampton and Richmond Borough
Dover Athletic v St Albans City
Welling United v Basingstoke Town
Garry Hill will have Adam Doyle and Reiss Noel back from suspension on Saturday. Although Alan Inns has done very well in the two games he played over Easter and provides welcome height, Garry will presumably be keen to restore the left-sided Doyle to the side to enable Joe McNerney to move back to the right side of central defence. Former Fleet favourite Mark Ricketts should have recovered from injury in time to lead the Cards but Michael Doughty will be missing since he will be with the Wales U19 side.
Liam Daish has done a great job in leading the Fleet to the play-offs amidst all the off-field financial problems following relegation from the BSP last season and the virtual collapse of MyFootballClub.com .
The Fleet have done particularly well away from home but their record at Stonebridge Road is less impressive, with nine wins, six draws and five defeats, scoring 33 goals and conceding 25. They’ve notched 74 league goals so far compared with Woking’s 61 but have conceded 50 compared with the Cards’ 41. Calum Willock is the top scorer with 17 goals but Michael West has notched 13, Tom Phipp 11 and Ashley Carew 10.
Ex-Card Paul Lorraine will be hoping that he and his colleagues in the Fleet defence have a less torrid time than they experienced at Kingfield.
Tel: 01474 533796
The Supporters’ Club coach is fully booked, leaving Kingfield at 12.30pm.
Exit the M25 at Junction 2 and take the A2 signposted for Canterbury. Leave the A2 at the Northfleet/Gravesend West junction. At the roundabout follow the signs for Ebbsfleet International/A226 which will take you on to Thamesway and past Ebbsfleet International Station. The stadium is at the end of the road. The journey should take just over an hour if the traffic is clear.
Ebbsfleet have advised that the club car park is not available to supporters so fans should park in Ebbsfleet International Car Park 'C'. They urge fans not to park in the road under the railway bridge near the ground as this is a Clearway and vehicles will be clamped.
It’s a pretty straightforward journey from Woking to Northfleet. Head up to Waterloo and then cross to Platform A at Waterloo East. Trains leave there at 29 and 59 minutes past the hour and take about 50 minutes. So, the 12.59 arrives at Northfleet at 13.50, and the 13.29 arrives at 14.20 . The ground is only 200 yards from the station. Just walk up the station approach road and then turn left at the main road. The ground is on the right at the bottom of the hill. Trains back from Northfleet are at 07 and 37 minutes past the hour.
The game will be segregated. Woking fans should use the turnstile at the Swanscombe end of the ground, opposite a main Ford dealers, then through the club car park.
Woking 3 Ebbsfleet United 0
1 March 2011
For many Woking fans the first half of this match, in which the Cards swept into a 3-0 lead in the first half an hour, represents the best football they’ve seen from Woking in years. The Fleet were blown away by some scintillating attacking play as Woking surged forward. Elvis Hammond opened the scoring after being put through by Kieran Murtagh, smashing the ball into the bottom corner. A fantastic flowing move nearly produced a second as Craig Dobson’s point-blank header drew a marvellous save from the Fleet’s keeper. But Joe McNerney soon added number two with a well-executed strike and then on 31 minutes Moses Ademola’s superb pass sent Dobson racing away to fire home emphatically. This victory made it seven wins on the trot for Garry Hill’s side – against a team who’d won their previous four games.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Not tempting fate, I hope, but please bear in mind that, if Woking reach the play-offs, the first leg is expected to be on Tuesday evening. If the play-offs follow the pattern of last year, the teams finishing 4th and 5th will be at home in the first leg. The second leg is expected to be a week Sunday, 8 May, with the play-off final the following Sunday, 15 May.