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Cards seek another away scalp

Brian Caffarey - 1st November 2012

Cards seek another away scalp Gateshead v Woking
3pm on Saturday 3 November 2012

The Cards make this rescheduled trip to the north-east on Saturday hoping to build on their terrific away win at league leaders Newport County last weekend and, in the process, get halfway to Garry’s ‘safety’ target of 50 points. But Gateshead will be a tough nut to crack, being unbeaten in their last five Conference outings.

WOKING

Last Saturday’s result vindicated the views of those who believed that the Cards’ points tally from away trips didn’t properly reflect the quality of the football they’ve frequently displayed on their travels. The question now is whether they can develop a bit more consistency and, in particular, let in fewer goals. Woking’s 16 league games so far have produced an astonishing 61 goals: averaging nearly four goals a game. No side has scored more than Woking’s 30 goals but, equally, only two sides have shipped more than their 31 goals. While the statistics point to great entertainment, Woking fans would no doubt prefer it if the side didn’t live quite so dangerously, especially when in winning positions.

Kevin Betsy’s two goals at Newport underlined just how valuable his contribution has been this season, both in creating goals for others and putting them away himself. Lee Sawyer too has put in a huge amount of work in midfield, both in covering and tackling and in driving the side forward. If these two players are on song, the Cards are a threat to anyone in this league.

GATESHEAD

The Heed finished in 8th place last season and, in spite of losing top scorer Jon Shaw to Luton in the summer, were viewed as an outside bet for a play-off place. They started the season well, winning three and drawing two of their games in August but have faltered since and have now gone nine games since their last win, a 2-0 victory at home over Dartford on 8 September. More positively, from their perspective, they have been beaten only once in their last six games: a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Alfreton Town in the FA Cup. They currently sit in 13th place in the table, two points and three places behind the Cards.

There are several familiar faces in the Gateshead squad, including defender Chris Bush, who made such a good impression when on loan from AFC Wimbledon: he was – perhaps surprisingly – released by the Dons in the summer and made his way north to Gateshead, where he has already become a fans’ favourite. Another player who had a loan spell with us was defender Glenn Wilson, who left Crawley at the end of last season. Two other well-known non-League players are the speedy Yemi Odubade, who’s played against us for Stevenage and Oxford United, and striker Liam Hatch, who has turned out for Barnet, Luton and Darlington amongst other clubs. Hatch is just returning after a long injury lay-off. Midfielder Lee Bullock has just joined on loan from York City, making his debut in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Kidderminster Harriers.

GETTING THERE

The International Stadium
Neilson Road
Gateshead
Tyne and Wear
NE10 0EF

Official website: www.gateshead-fc.com

By coach
Thanks to Peter Jordan’s very generous subsidy, a full Cards Trust coach will be going to the International Stadium, with fans paying only £10 each for the return trip. The coach leaves Kingfield at 7.30am.

By car
Take the A1(M) to its junction with the A194(M), just north of Washington Services. Take the A194(M) to the end of the motorway. At the roundabout turn left onto the A184 towards Gateshead. The International Stadium is on the right after about three miles. Car parking is available at the ground.

By train
There are frequent trains from London KX to Newcastle, from where you can take the Metro to Gateshead. Look up www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com for details of train times and prices.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £14
Over 60s and Students: £9
Under 16s: £2

Woking fans will be seated in the north-west corner of the Tyne and Wear Stand.

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 2 Gateshead 1
22 September 2012

The Cards notched their third win in a row with this victory over Gateshead but they had to withstand some heavy pressure from the Heed after the break as they sought to defend a 2-0 half-time lead.

Jack Parkinson gave Woking an encouraging start as his fifth-minute shot from the edge of the area took a deflection and sailed past the visitors’ keeper. Some fine play from Kevin Betsy and Bradley Bubb a quarter of an hour later provided a chance for Gavin McCallum, which he converted with a crisp left-footed shot into the far corner.

The Cards had several chances to put the game beyond Gateshead’s reach early in the second half, with Brett Johnson heading against the post. However, a spirited Gateshead side fought hard to reduce the deficit and did so after a clever Yemi Odubade backheel opened the way for Phil Turnbull to finish. Ex-Card Chris Bush didn’t help the Heed’s search for an equaliser, getting himself sent off for two bookings, and the Cards defence managed to see the game out successfully.

NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to old friends and foes Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening. There is only one other scheduled home match this month, so take the chance to come on down to Kingfield and cheer on Garry Hill’s entertaining side. The following Saturday the Cards make another long away trip, this time to Grimsby Town.


Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to book your tickets for ‘Elvis and friends’ on Friday 9 November in the Cardinals’ Bar!




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