Brian Caffarey - 16th July 2012
7.45pm on Tuesday 17 July 2012
The Cards continue their pre-season programme tomorrow (Tuesday) evening with a visit from League 1 side Crawley Town, who should provide a tough test for Garry Hill’s team. It doesn’t seem long ago since the Cards and the Reds were battling it out in the Conference Premier but an infusion of funds enabled the since-departed Steve Evans to propel Crawley to the Conference title and, last season, their debut in the Football League, they emulated Stevenage in achieving promotion at the first attempt.
The Cards’ first pre-season friendly on Saturday resulted in a 2-0 defeat at Windsor of the Combined Counties League. Garry Hill won’t be too bothered about the result – the Cards had plenty of possession but failed to break down the Windsor defence, while being punished for a couple of defensive lapses – but he will no doubt be looking for signs of more penetration on Tuesday evening.
Brett Johnson, Garry’s latest signing, made his debut in central defence on Saturday, while a number of trialists, including Mike Cestor, also figured. It will be interesting to see how many take the field again on Tuesday. Steve Thompson has already indicated that he and Garry want to whittle down quickly the number who have been training with the Club.
Following their promotion last summer Steve Evans’s side set the pace at the top of League 2 and, in spite of Evans leaving for Rotherham mid-season, caretaker manager and Head Coach Craig Brewster was able to secure promotion with a third-place finish. Sean O’Driscoll, formerly a successful manager of Doncaster Rovers and with a reputation for playing attractive football, has now taken over the reins at the Broadfield Stadium and has had two encouraging wins in their pre-season games so far, with a 4-0 defeat of Tonbridge Angels last Wednesday and a 3-2 win over Bromley on Saturday.
The Reds have a strong-looking squad, with the likes of Sergio Torres and Dannie Bulman in midfield and Billy Clarke (scorer of three goals already), Gary Alexander and John Akinde up front. O’Driscoll has been experimenting with a fluid formation which often sees four attackers backed up by two holding midfielders.
Adults £10. Concessions £5. U16s free.
PRE-SEASON MATCHDAY PROGRAMME
A pre-season matchday programme, covering all the home friendly games, will be on sale on Tuesday evening, priced at £2.
REMAINING FRIENDLY FIXTURES
The Cards are at home again on Saturday, when a QPR XI visit Kingfield.
The remaining friendly games are:
21 July – Woking v QPR XI
24 July – Woking v AFC Wimbledon (Phil Ledger Memorial Cup)
28 July – Carshalton Athletic v Woking
4 August – Woking v Aldershot Town
The Cards start their league campaign on 11 August with a visit to last season’s BSP runners-up Wrexham, and their first home game is on Tuesday 14 August when they are at home to Dartford.
Come on, you Cards!