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Cards face tough challenge on Wednesday

Brian Caffarey - 5th March 2013

Cards face tough challenge on Wednesday Woking v Mansfield Town
7.45pm on Wednesday 6 March 2013 (N.B. The game has been switched from Tuesday night)

The Club is once again appealing to fans to bring along a friend to boost the gate for this very attractive fixture against a side which is third in the league and with a good chance of achieving the automatic promotion berth. The Cards were unlucky not to grab all three points against Lincoln City on Saturday and will no doubt be keen to make amends by toppling another former League club at Kingfield. However, the Stags’ recent form has been superb, so it promises to be quite a contest!

WOKING

The Cards lie 10th in the table with 48 points: only two points adrift of Garry Hill’s initial target of 50 points with 13 games to play. Woking have won eight and drawn one of their last 12 league fixtures and are unbeaten in their last three league games. With the club’s place in the Conference Premier already virtually assured for next season, Garry has made it clear that he wants to press on and achieve a top ten finish. No doubt he’d like to see the Club finish as the top part-time club in the league – which would be a tremendous achievement in Woking’s first year back at this level and in a division which is far more competitive than the one the Cards left only three seasons ago.

Lee Sawyer will still be serving his four-match suspension but it sounded from Garry’s post-match comments as though there might be a chance that Billy Knott would be available following his injury. But the Cards’ midfield, with tremendous harrying by Mark Ricketts and Jack Parkinson in particular, plus some sublime moments of skill from the ever-youthful Kevin Betsy, has looked strong in recent games, so Garry will not want to risk Billy unnecessarily.

MANSFIELD TOWN

The Stags were one of the bookies’ pre-season favourites after finishing third last season and being defeated in the play-offs by York City. But they had a slow start, losing to Newport County, Gateshead and Grimsby Town in August, and it is only recently that they have surged into the play-off places. Their excellent FA Cup run, which saw them lose controversially to Liverpool, seems to have given them added confidence rather than distracting them. The Stags have now won eight out of their last nine league games, including at Luton away, and their only defeat came at Newport County. They now lie in third position in the table, three points behind Wrexham and Kidderminster. This may of course change as a result of the games being played this (Tuesday) evening.

The Stags signalled their intent in the summer with over a dozen new signings, including Wrexham’s Jake Speight, former Kidderminster Harriers’ top scorer Nick Wright, defender John Dempster from Kettering, giant defender Exodus Geohaghon from Kidderminster and former Card Jamie Hand. A very strong squad also includes top non-League striker Matt Green, formerly with Oxford United.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £15
Over 65s/Students £10
U16s £5

Check with Elliot Machin to see if there are any matchday hospitality places left at the bargain price of £40. (elliot.machin@wokingfc.co.uk)

The game will be segregated.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Wednesday’s excellent programme includes an interview with ‘man of the moment’ Jayden Stockley, Malcolm Wyatt’s amusing account of another Woking ‘away day’ and an opposing view from a confident Stags fan. And, of course, there are all the usual match reports, previews, splendid photos and news of the BSP and beyond. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

LAST TIME OUT

Mansfield Town 3 Woking 1
1 September 2012

After defeats on their travels to Wrexham and Forest Green Rovers the Cards continued their difficult opening sequence of away games with another loss to a much-fancied side.

Both sides came into the game on the back of 4-1 defeats, the Cards having surprisingly been well beaten by Braintree Town in midweek. But it was Mansfield who started more decisively, Briscoe giving the Stags the lead after only ten minutes from one of Exodus Geohaghon’s troublesome long throws.

Woking continued to look second best but it seemed as if they might reach half-time only a goal down when – as was beginning to become a pattern in Woking games – they conceded a second just before the break, Rhead slotting home from an incisive pass.

Gavin McCallum had a shot turned onto the post as the Cards tried to get back into the game after the interval but it wasn’t until six minutes from the end that Joe McNerney, thrown up front, turned in Lee Sawyer’s pass. Kevin Betsy almost grabbed an equaliser but, in extra time, the Cards showed their fallibility once more as Speight calmed the home fans’ nerves to make it 3-1.

Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson (Adam Doyle 85), Mark Ricketts (Brett Williams 65), Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Loick Pires (Dean Sinclair 79), Gavin McCallum.

Unused subs: Sam Beasant, George Frith

Cautions: Lee Sawyer 19

Mansfield Town: Alan Marriott, Ritchie Sutton, Luke Jones, Lindon Meikle, Matt Green (Nick Wright 89), Louis Briscoe (Jake Speight 75), Anthony Howell, Matt Rhead (Chris Clements 75), Adam Murray, Colin Daniel, Exodus Geohaghon

Unused subs: John Thompson, Lee Stevenson

Cautions: Anthony Howell 33

Attendance: 2061

NEXT GAME

The Cards are away at Cambridge United on Saturday (the Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am), followed by a trip to Macclesfield Town on Tuesday 12 March. The next home game is against AFC Telford on Saturday 16 March.

Come on, you Cards!





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