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Tough away trip for Cards

Brian Caffarey - 17th November 2011

Tough away trip for Cards Dover Athletic v Woking
3pm on Saturday 19 November 2011

Woking’s superb league run of eight wins and one draw seems likely to be tested severely at Perry’s Crabble on Saturday when old rivals Dover Athletic, unbeaten at home, will be anxious to boost their own promotion hopes and gain revenge for their defeat at Kingfield in September. With other tough fixtures to come, including games against Chelmsford City, Dartford and Sutton United, Garry will be very keen to keep the Cards’ winning habit going.

WOKING

Garry Hill has done his best to keep his players on their toes during their two-week break from league action, giving most of them a run-out, either in the reserve game against Tonbridge Angels last week or in Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Merstham in the Surrey Senior Cup. He will be hoping that they can immediately revert to the form which saw them defeat Havant and Waterlooville 3-0 in their last league match. Assuming everyone is fit, Garry has plenty of options if he feels the need to ‘tweak’ his line-up but it wouldn’t be surprising if he starts with the same eleven.

DOVER

The Whites started the season as one of the promotion favourites, with Martin Hayes making some impressive signings to replace those players who had left in the summer. The most notable departure was that of top scorer Adam Birchall but the Dover faithful must have been encouraged to see the arrival of ex-Braintree and Ebbsfleet striker George Purcell and the promising Billy Bricknell from Chelmsford City. Other arrivals included a midfield trio from Rushden and Diamonds, Michael Corcoran (now transfer listed), Shane Huke and Matt Johnson (since released), plus Glen Southam from Barnet, keeper Ross Kitteridge from Bishop’s Stortford,also now transfer listed, defender Ed Harris from AFC Wimbledon, centre-back Steven Watt (previously with Chelsea and Grimsby) and Phil Starkey from Braintree. James Walker, with Woking in the later stages of last season, was also a summer signing. A later addition was ex-Aldershot keeper Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz.

Two 4-0 wins in the Whites’ opening games suggested that pre-season optimism was fully justified. But they were followed by a defeat at Truro City and then a run of one win, six draws and one defeat (v Woking) in the following eight games. That was enough to bring about Hayes’s departure on 26 September and his replacement by Nicky Forster, formerly caretaker-manager at Brentford and notable striker with Brentford and Brighton amongst other clubs. Form since then has picked up with four wins, one draw and one defeat in the league, elevating Dover to sixth place in the table. The 4-2 defeat came last weekend at in-form Boreham Wood, who had been reduced to ten men as early as the 17th minute. Defensive errors were clearly the Whites’ downfall on that occasion.

At home Dover have won three league games and drawn five, so Woking will need to inflict a first home defeat if they are to come away with all three points.

In spite of Dover’s relatively disappointing start to the season, there is no doubt that they represent a real threat. In addition to the players already mentioned, they can call on new signings Agustin Battipiedi and Leon Redwood, both from Brighton, and Kyle Vassell from Brentford, who had a very brief loan spell with us last season. Defender Olly Shulz will need to be watched at set pieces and Donovan Simmonds is also a regular goalscorer.

GETTING THERE

Crabble Athletic Ground
Lewisham Road
River
Dover
Kent
CT17 0JB

By Coach

Departs: 11.30am
Members: £17
Non-Members: £22

To book phone the Club Shop on 01483 772470 or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk (Please use the rear car park if parking at Kingfield since Hayes and Yeading are playing.)

By Car

Take M20 and then A20 into Dover. Go past the port, then at the York Street roundabout take the 1st exit onto York Street. Take 2nd exit at next roundabout onto Priory Road. Road then changes names to London Road, and Crabble Hill. Take slight left turning onto Crabble Road, and the ground is then on the left.

By Train

Nearest station: Kearsney

The main railway station in Dover is Dover Priory, which is about two miles from Crabble. The closest station to Crabble is Kearsney, which is about a 15 minute walk from the ground.

Kearsney is the last stop before Dover Priory on the line from London Victoria (via Faversham and Canterbury East). Some trains on this line do not stop between Canterbury East and Dover Priory so if you are planning on getting off at Kearsney make sure that the train you are travelling on is a stopping service.

If you are travelling on the line from London Charring Cross (via Ashford) the train will not pass through Kearsney, so you will have to stop at Dover Priory, near the town centre.

If you get off at Kearsney, turn right as you leave the station, go under the railway bridge and then take the first road on the left (Lower Road). Follow Lower Road all the way along, past a pond on your right and Crabble Corn Mill on your left. At the end you will see the Cricketers pub on the other side of the road. Turn right and you should see the entrance to the ground. If you get off at Dover Priory it is probably best to get a bus or taxi to the ground as it is a long walk.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £12 / £13.50
Over 60s: £9 / £10
Under 16s: £6 / £7
Under 11s: £3

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 3 Dover Athletic 1
17 September 2011

Garry Hill sprang a surprise, bringing in Wayne Gray for Elvis Hammond. Dover, with the best defensive record in the league, presented Woking with an early lead, Moses Ademola blasting home after the Whites’ keeper had got in a muddle with one of his defenders. A closely-fought encounter saw Dover equalise shortly before half-time, with Steven Watt netting from a well-worked free-kick routine.

The turning point in the second half came with Garry Hill’s introduction of Hammond, Jay Davies and Gez Sole – his ‘bottles of lemonade’, as he subsequently termed them. But it was ‘man of the match’ Paris Cowan-Hall who grabbed the second goal, sliding the ball under the keeper from a decisive break. Jay Davies put the icing on the cake at the end, nodding home after Cowan-Hall’s shot had been blocked.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards have another vital game on Tuesday evening when Chelmsford City, unbeaten away from home in the league this season, visit Kingfield.
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