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Cards look to end goal drought

Brian Caffarey - 31st October 2013

Cards look to end goal drought Woking v Grimsby Town
3pm on Saturday 2 November 2013

Come on down to Kingfield on Saturday to cheer the Cards on to a much-needed home win! Garry Hill’s side have won one and drawn two of their last three league games at Kingfield but really need another three points to start moving away from the danger zone. High-flying Grimsby Town will be equally keen to grab the points, though, as they look for another top five finish.

WOKING

The Cards have now gone four games without scoring in spite of creating some very decent chances in all the games concerned. Garry will be hoping that the return of Scott Rendell, who was ineligible to play against Luton Town in last week’s 1-0 defeat to Luton Town, plus the arrival of Craig Sutherland, will help to end the goal drought.

Mike Cestor has served his one-match suspension, so, subject to any new injuries (Brett Johnson being the only long-term absentee), Garry will have a full squad to choose from. Garry has hinted at changes as he seeks to turn Woking’s fortunes round.

With the postponement of next Saturday’s away game at Kidderminster Harriers, the Cards are now beginning a crucial sequence of three home games, with fellow-strugglers Dartford and Hyde to follow. A good points haul from these home games looks to be vital if the Cards are to avoid a prolonged relegation battle.

GRIMSBY TOWN

At one stage last season the Mariners looked an excellent bet for the automatic promotion place before they fell away badly, eventually ending in 5th place and going out tamely to Newport County in the play-off semi-final.

The then management duo of Paul Hurst and Rob Scott shuffled the pack in the summer but, although the Mariners now lie in 5th place (subject to Salisbury’s result on Friday evening), their form has been somewhat inconsistent. Away from home the Mariners’ record is respectable but not outstanding: they have won three (at Gateshead, Hyde and Aldershot), drawn two (at Luton and Chester) and lost three (at Welling, Halifax and Salisbury).

Rob Scott was dismissed for disciplinary reasons earlier this season, leaving Paul Hurst in sole charge.

Among the summer arrivals were several recruits from York City: midfielders Scott Kerr and Alex Rodman, experienced defender Chris Doig and midfielder and Northern Ireland U21 international defender/midfielder Patrick McLaughlin. Back-up keeper Jonathan Hedge was signed from Cambridge United. Defender Paul Bignot, once of Crewe and Kidderminster Harriers, last appeared for Plymouth Argyle. 6’6” defender Clayton McDonald was most recently with Port Vale and Bristol Rovers. A strong squad also includes ex-Card Aswad Thomas, strikers Liam Hearn and Ross Hannah, ex-Don Sam Hatton and the influential Craig Disley.

Last Saturday, in the FA Cup, Grimsby beat Rushall Olympic 3-0 at home and they now have a Lincolnshire ‘derby’ with Scunthorpe United in the next round.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £15
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) £10
U16s £3

The Club has asked fans to use the Heathside car park on Saturday since the Woking Leisure car parking areas will be particularly busy, with priority being given to the events being held there and in Woking Park. The Heathside car park is signposted from the town centre.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The 56-page matchday programme this Saturday features a piece by Mike Smith, recently re-appointed as Chairman of the Club, updating us on the latest developments at Board level and reflecting on Woking’s place in a tough league. In a ‘where are they now?’ feature Liam Newman looks at the careers of four former Woking favourites, while Richard Mason recalls a classy Cards performance. Grimsby fan Chris Parker tells us about the Mariners’ season so far and discusses their promotion prospects. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

LAST SEASON

In the away fixture in November 2012 the Cards played some fine football but were overwhelmed by Grimsby’s clinical finishing, with the final score running out at 5-1 to the home side. The Cards took a second-minute lead when ex-Mariner Dean Sinclair netted from a Gavin McCallum cross. But Grimsby equalised after 10 minutes when Sam Hatton scored the first of his two goals from free-kicks. A galvanised Grimsby notched two more goals before half-time through Craig Disley and Ross Hannah, although the Cards continued to have a good share of the game. The nail in Woking’s coffin came five minutes after the break when Lee Sawyer was sent off for a reckless challenge on Aswad Thomas. On 75 minutes Hatton scored with a stunning free-kick and Andy Cook grabbed the fifth goal right at the end.

In Woking’s final home game of the season in April the Mariners gained a 1-0 win against the run of play, with John-Lewis heading home midway through the second half after Billy Knott had earlier struck the post. Greg Fleming in the Mariners’ goal pulled off a number of fine saves as the Grimsby defence held out against a late Woking onslaught. This match was the only occasion when Woking failed to score in a league game at Kingfield last season.

NEXT UP

The Cards’ away fixture next Saturday at Kidderminster Harriers has been postponed because the Harriers are in FA Cup action. Woking’s next game is at home to Dartford on Tuesday 12 November, followed by another home game against Hyde on Saturday 16 November. Make sure you’ve got the dates firmly in your diary!

Come on, you Cards!
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