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A win to clinch the title

Brian Caffarey - 12th April 2012

 A win to clinch the title Maidenhead United v Woking
3pm on Saturday 14 April 2012

As all Cards fans will be well aware, Garry Hill’s side need just three more points to clinch the BSBS championship and automatic promotion to the Blue Square Premier. The Cards have three games in which to achieve this target but no one can be in any doubt that Garry will be doing his utmost to get over that much-quoted ‘finishing line’ at York Road. The Cards also have a score to settle with the Magpies, who have beaten them twice this season, at Kingfield in the league and by a 4-1 margin in the FA Cup at York Road. Maidenhead themselves will not lack incentive on Saturday: they’ve slipped into the bottom three and desperately need points to avoid relegation. Make the trip if you possibly can and cheer the Cards on to the title!

WOKING

Once again, the Cards will be without Adam Doyle and Kevin Betsy, both completing their suspensions, and presumably Mark Ricketts and Jay Davies, though both played in Wednesday evening’s reserve game following long-term injuries. Garry has plenty of options, however, if he wants to shuffle Monday’s starting line-up, with the bench that day including Jack King, Elvis Hammond, Mike Cestor and Glenn Wilson.

All eyes will be on Gez Sole, who has scored in eight consecutive league matches to equal the Club record. (In fact, he’s scored in nine consecutive games if you include the Surrey Senior Cup semi-final against Carshalton Athletic.) Can he claim the record outright on Saturday?

MAIDENHEAD UNITED

The Magpies suffered a dreadful start to the season, being walloped 4-0 in both their opening games, by Tonbridge Angels at home and Dorchester Town away. But they then went on a fine run, winning four and drawing one of their following five league games but it’s been downhill most of the way since then. Their last win, ironically, was their 2-0 league victory at Kingfield on 3 March, following which they’ve lost five games and drawn three. On Easter Monday they were dealt a huge blow, losing 3-4 at home to Farnborough after enjoying a two-goal lead.

There are Woking connections in the form of the legendary Dereck Brown, Magpies’ Assistant Manager, and striker Manny Williams, who can be expected to partner Ashan Holgate up front. Holgate scored twice in the Magpies’ FA Cup win. The Cards will need to be wary of the pace of Reece Tison-Lascaris, who also scored two in that match. But striker Alex Wall is suspended.

GETTING THERE

Maidenhead United FC
York Road
Maidenhead
Berkshire
SL6 1SF

Tel: 01628636314
Website: www.maidenheadunitedfc.co.uk

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 1pm. Members £12. Non-members £17. Phone or email the Club Shop (01483 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to check if there are any places left.

By car

From Woking head to the M25, which you then leave at junction 15 to join the M4 (signposted The West, Reading, Slough). Leave the M4 at junction 8/9 and follow signs for Maidenhead town centre. Carry on till the first roundabout on the one-way system and take the fourth exit, thereafter taking a left at the cinema. Go down the hill and the ground is the second exit on the right.

The Maidenhead website advises that there is no parking at the ground and that street parking in the area is very limited. It recommends that you use the municipal car parks on Grove Road, Park Street or The Broadway, which are all within five minutes’ walk of the ground.

By train

You can either go via Guildford or Basingstoke, in each case then via Reading, or head up to London and travel from Paddington. The Guildford or Basingstoke routes are probably quicker and cheaper, though more reliant on connections. A possible journey on the Guildford route is to take the 12.55 from Woking to Guildford, arriving at 13.03. Then take the 13.09 to Reading, getting in at 13.54. Finally, take the 14.03 to Maidenhead, arriving at 14.17. There’s a similar journey via Basingstoke and Reading, starting with the 13.16 from Woking to Basingstoke, eventually arriving at Maidenhead at 14.32. There are comparable journeys half an hour earlier. If you prefer going via Paddington, there are trains from there at 13.27 (arriving at 14.04), 13.42 (14.25), 13.50 (14.25 after changing at Slough) and 13.57 (14.34). York Road is a very short walk from Maidenhead station. Cross the one-way system at the end of the station approach road and then walk to the end of Bell Street.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £10
Concessions £6
Under 18s £3

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 0 Maidenhead United 2
3 February 2012

This was a classic example of what can happen if you don’t take your chances. The Cards had plenty of attacking play but were not clinical enough in front of goal, and then got hit by two late strikes from the Magpies.

Joe McNerney came in to partner Alan Inns at centre back, with Adam Doyle moving to left back to replace the suspended Mike Cestor.

Paris Cowan-Hall missed a great opportunity to put Woking ahead when a close-range header, from an excellent chip by Moses Ademola, flew over the bar. But the best chance of all fell to Jack King from the penalty spot after Cowan-Hall had been brought down by keeper Aaron Lennox. Unfortunately, the normally reliable King presented Lennox with an easy save.

The Cards mounted attack after attack after the break, with substitute Gez Sole, just returned from his loan spell at Basingstoke, rounding the keeper but then putting the ball wide from a narrow angle.

The Magpies brought on substitute Charlie Strutton, on loan from AFC Wimbledon, and he almost immediately won a ‘soft’ penalty following a clash with Inns. Behzadi converted. Two minutes later Strutton added a second, evading McNerney and slotting under Howe.

The defeat reduced the Cards’ lead over Dartford to six points, with the Darts having a game in hand.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’re at Kingfield the following Saturday (21 April) for the Cards’ final home game of the league campaign. It’s going to be a Kingfield Carnival day, with free admission for children and lots of activities. Come along and celebrate a great season!

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