Brian Caffarey - 12th August 2012
7.45pm on Tuesday 14 August 2012
Garry Hill’s side will be hoping to get their season underway with a home win against fellow promotees Dartford on Tuesday evening. Both sides suffered an opening day defeat, with Dartford surprisingly beaten at home by unfancied Tamworth. But the Darts are a tough outfit, as we saw last season, and will undoubtedly give the Cards a run for their money in this fixture. Come down to Kingfield and cheer on Garry Hill’s side!
Saturday’s reverse at Wrexham, though obviously disappointing, was no great surprise, given the Welsh side’s fine record last season and the general view that they will be vying again for automatic promotion in this campaign. There were clearly some signs of nerves in the first half but Garry took encouragement from a stronger second half display, which will have given the players confidence that they can do more than survive at this level once the side has gelled and found its feet. It will be interesting to see if Garry makes one or two changes in his line-up: Bradley Bubb in particular must have strengthened his case for a starting place with the goal he scored soon after he came on.
The Darts, with an excellent home record at Princes Park last season, will have been very disappointed to have been beaten 3-2 by Tamworth on Saturday. They have not made many changes to their squad over the summer, believing, not unreasonably, that they had the foundations to survive at this level. Familiar names from last season include captain Elliot Bradbrook, midfielder Jon Wallis, strikers Jacob Erskine and Danny Harris, and ex-Card Adam Green. The most notable arrival was the hugely-experienced central defender Mark Arber, formerly with Barnet, Stevenage and Dagenham and Redbridge. Another Dagenham import was right back Richard Rose, whilst Nathan Collier, a right-sided attacking player, has made the step up from Hampton and Richmond Borough. A last-minute signing was that of Harry Crawford, a young striker from Southend. Both Rose and Collier were unused substitutes, though, on Saturday.
It sounds as though costly defensive errors were the Darts’ undoing on Saturday since they seem to have had more than their fair share of the play. Like Woking, though, they are finding that, at the higher level, mistakes are more likely to be punished than in the BSBS.
Over 65s/Students £10
Tuesday’s packed 56-page programme includes Garry Hill’s pre-season thoughts; all the news of the comings and goings at Kingfield; and a look at all our BSP rivals; plus match reports, previews and some great action photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on firstname.lastname@example.org
BOOST THE BUDGET
Saturday’s game against Wrexham demonstrated what a big step-up the Cards have taken in re-joining the Blue Square Premier. Cards fans can help Garry and Steve ensure that we enjoy a successful first season by supporting the Cards Trust’s Boost the Budget initiative. Look out for details on Tuesday evening.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 1 Dartford 0
18 February 2012
This vital win, which also saw the first start for Kevin Betsy since his return to Kingfield, took the Cards 14 points clear of second-placed Dartford, who continued to have two games in hand. As in the reverse encounter at Princes Park, the Darts’ defence conceded early on from a set piece, Alan Inns heading in Keiran Murtagh’s corner in the third minute. Thereafter, though, the visitors had more than their fair share of the play and, but for some wayward finishing and a certain amount of misfortune, ought really to have gained at least a share of the points. Elvis Hammond, though, could have extended the Cards’ lead in the first half as he crashed the ball against the bar in a one-on-one with the Darts’ keeper, Louis Wells. But Lee Noble also hit the bar before the break, with the woodwork also coming to the Cards’ aid in the second half. Shortly before full-time Mike Cestor picked up a second yellow card but Garry Hill’s side held on for seven minutes of added time to seal the win.
The Cards are at home again on Saturday 18 August, when Barrow are the visitors. This is another great opportunity to get some points on the board, so make your way to Kingfield again to cheer the side on.
Come on, you Cards!