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Saturday's big game

Brian Caffarey - 8th December 2011

Saturday's big game Woking v Sutton United
3pm on Saturday 10 December 2011

In spite of the (dubious!) attractions of Christmas shopping the biggest crowd of the season to date is expected at Kingfield on Saturday for this keenly-anticipated clash with Surrey rivals and promotion challengers Sutton United. The Cards thrashed the U’s 5-0 on the opening day of the season at Gander Green Lane but since then Sutton have gone on a great run, losing only two more league matches. Make sure you’re at Kingfield to see what should be one of the best games of the season!

WOKING

The Cards lie twelve points ahead of fifth-placed Sutton but Paul Doswell’s side have two games in hand. It says something about expectations at Kingfield these days that the Cards’ recent results of a draw at home to Chelmsford in the league, a defeat away to Chelmsford in the FA Trophy and last Saturday’s 1-0 win at home to Eastleigh are seen as something of a ‘sticky patch’. It’s true, though, that the side hasn’t performed in those games with the élan seen in most of the Cards’ earlier matches. But no one can really complain about a record which has seen them notch 10 wins and 2 draws since their only league defeat at Welling United on 3 September.

Earlier this week Garry Hill was expecting to be able to choose from his full squad for this game. So, we can expect to see the return of Adam Doyle and, possibly, Derek Duncan to the defence, enabling Dale Binns to resume his role on the left wing. Mark Ricketts would then be free to take up his more familiar midfield role, possibly at the expense of Ben Smith. Up front, things haven’t quite come off for Paris Cowan-Hall and Moses Ademola in front of goal in recent games but you feel a change of fortune can’t be far off for two such talented players. And, in the main striking role, Garry has the luxury of playing either Wayne Gray or Elvis Hammond or he could even decide to start with both and bring Paris from the bench later in the game. And that’s not to mention Gez Sole, Ola Sogbanmu and Josh Griffiths. Almost too many choices!

SUTTON UNITED

Paul Doswell’s side reacted in the best possible way to their opening day hammering, notching three successive wins and then losing only two more league games, away at Bromley and at home to Tonbridge Angels. The distractions of a good FA Cup run, which ended on Sunday with a somewhat unlucky 2-0 reverse at home to Notts County, may explain some falling-off in form recently: in addition to the home defeat to Tonbridge, the U’s drew 0-0 at Dorchester and then lost 2-1 at home to Basingstoke Town in the FA Trophy.

Sutton have a large squad with plenty of depth. The experienced Kevin Scriven is the regular keeper. The defence has recently included player/coach and former Scottish international Paul Telfer and ex-Card Karim El-Salahi, although the latter went off injured in the Notts County tie. Another ex-Card Karl Murray, sent off towards the end of the Notts County game, usually figures in midfield. Tony Taggart is always a danger on the left, while up front you can generally perm two or three from yet another ex-Card, Craig Watkins, the burly Craig Dundas and Leroy Griffiths, with ex-Thurrock striker Fola Orilonishe providing another option. Another former Woking striker, Joel Ledgister, is on loan at Hampton and Richmond but Paul Doswell has recently recalled Neil Jenkins and Romone McRae from Kingstonian.

Doswell may have problems on the left of defence, with both Alan Bray and Neil Jenkins injured and El-Salahi too possibly unable to start.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £12
Concessions/Students £8
U16s £2

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Make sure you get a copy of Saturday’s packed matchday programme, which includes a mid-season review of Woking’s progress to date, a comprehensive look at other local football sides and an interview with leading scorer Moses Ademola.

LAST TIME OUT

Sutton United 0 Woking 5
13 August 2011

An opening day that dreams are made of if you are a Woking fan – or nightmares if you’re a Sutton fan! The Cards fully justified the bookies’ pre-season faith in them by annihilating the newly-promoted U’s with a scintillating display of attacking football.

With Jay Davies missing, Gez Sole started in the ‘hole’ behind Elvis Hammond, who was flanked by Moses Ademola and Dale Binns. With only one minute on the clock ‘man of the match’ Jack King slipped a ball through to Elvis Hammond, whose cross was met by Dale Binns at the far post to fire home. It could quickly have been two-nil but Dale fluffed a free header. The Cards proceeded to torment the Sutton defence but passed up a number of good chances, with both Mark Ricketts and Elvis Hammond hitting the woodwork. It was hard to believe it was only 1-0 at the interval but that was speedily remedied with a superbly-worked move which ended with Elvis chipping the ball into the net. The game was wrapped up in the 58th minute when the lively Sole finished one of several incisive runs, shooting from a narrow angle and seeing the ball ricochet off the far post and over the line.

The Cards finished with a flourish, Sole netting again in the 88th minute to make it 4-0 and then substitute Paris Cowan-Hall nudging the ball over the line after Wayne Gray, also summoned from the bench, had seen his header blocked.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to bring along your contributions – new toys and tins and packets of food – for the Woking FC Christmas Project Appeal. They can be left in the Club Shop. There will also be a bucket collection.


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