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Cards look to move clear of the bottom four

Glen Harrington - 17th February 2014

Cards look to move clear of the bottom four Dartford v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 18 February 2014

The Cards play in their third away match in seven days on Tuesday night when they make the relatively short trip to old rivals Dartford. If the Cards can produce a repeat of their excellent performance against Tony Burman’s side at Kingfield back in November, they will have taken a very respectable six points out of nine from three consecutive away games, while they will inch ever closer to their initial safety target of 50 points.


WOKING

Saturday’s superb performance and result against play-off chasing Gateshead means Garry Hill’s side are now nine points clear of the relegation zone, as well as 13 ahead of the Darts. Now in 16th place in the table, the Cards are not quite in the position to stop glancing over their shoulders, but victory on Tuesday will certainly have them starting to look up rather than down.

Mike Cestor remains Woking’s only long term absentee, although both Adam Newton and Kieran Murtagh were missing at Gateshead. It seems unlikely that there will be many changes from Saturday’s team, although one or more of those players could return to the bench.


DARTFORD

The Darts hit a dreadful run of poor form, towards the end of last year, losing 10 league games in a row during November and December. When the two teams met in mid-November (see below) the Darts lay in 18th place, four points and four places above the Cards but soon plummeted down the table. The last few weeks, though, have seen a recovery, with a fighting draw at home to Cambridge United and superb away wins at Kidderminster and Wrexham.

Earlier in the season the Darts seem to have suffered from the loss of a couple of key defenders during the summer, with both Tom Champion and Tom Bonner joining Cambridge United, and they were also hit by injury problems. But they still have some fine players in their squad, including the sharp-shooting Ryan Hayes, the influential midfielder Elliott Bradbrook, experienced defender Lee Burns and goalscorer Lee Noble. Among the summer arrivals were keeper Alan Julian from Newport County, defender Tyrone Sterling from Dover Athletic, defender Mat Mitchel-King from AFC Wimbledon, and defender Kenny Clark and midfielder Max Cornhill, both from Chelmsford City. A much-trumpeted capture was the long-term loan signing of striker Adam Birchall from Gillingham, who has since returned to his parent club.

Tony Burman has strengthened his squad during the transfer window with the arrival of striker Mikel Suarez from Tonbridge Angels, winger Ben Swallow from Bromley, plus the loan signings of strikers Andy Pugh from Cambridge United and Alex Wall from Luton. The loans of Rory McAuley and Jim Stevenson from Cambridge and Luton have also been extended.


GETTING THERE

Princes Park
Grassbanks
Darenth Road
Dartford
Kent DA1 1RT

www.dartfordfconline.com

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 5.30pm. The cost is £12 for members and £17 for non-members. Email or ring the Club Shop (01483 772470 or shop@wokingfc.co.uk) to book your place.

By car

Take the M25 eastbound. Exit at J2 (towards A2(E)/Canterbury/M2/Dartford). Then at roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the ramp to Dartford/A225. At the Princes Road interchange roundabout take the 1st exit onto Princes Road/A296, heading towards Dartford/Crayford/A225. Continue to follow Princes Road, then turn left at Darenth Road traffic lights and second left into Grassbanks. Journey time is around 60 minutes according to the AA.

By train

You’ll need to head up to London to Waterloo East. Trains to Dartford leave at 05, 12, 35, 43 and 59 minutes past the hour, with the journey taking about 40 minutes. Returning, trains are at 18, 22, 29, 48 and 59 minutes past the hour.
The Dartford FC website gives the following directions for getting from the station to the ground. Exit station straight ahead towards the Orchard Theatre/Shopping Centre. Do NOT cross the bridge but take the steps/ramp down to the bus stops. Then take the Fastrack B service towards Bluewater/Gravesend and alight at the Princes Park stop. Buses run every 10 minutes during the day.
It’s a 10-15 minute walk from Dartford town centre largely alongside the Fastrack busway.


ADMISSION PRICES

Adults: £15
Concessions (Over 65s and age 12-17): £8
Juniors (aged 5-11): £3
Under 5s: Free


LAST TIME OUT

Woking 3 Dartford 0
12 November 2013

This seemed, in prospect, a vital game for the Cards, who had gone five games without a win and, in retrospect, that view was absolutely right for this decisive victory against Dartford marked the beginning of Woking’s climb out of the relegation places and into at least temporarily safer territory.

The game also marked the debut of loan signing Jack Marriott, who soon convinced the Kingfield faithful that he could provide the goalscoring touch which had been missing. Jack nabbed the opening goal in the second half and set up Scott Rendell for the second, with Joe McNerney making the game safe with the third.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson (Mike Cestor 82), Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott (Gez Sole 88), Charles Banya (John Goddard 89)

Unused subs: Aaron Howe, Gavin Williams

Goals: Jack Marriott 63, Scott Rendell 75, Joe McNerney 77

Dartford: Alan Julian, Lee Burns, Kenny Clark, Ryan Hayes (Tyrone Sterling 81), Lee Noble, Alex Woodyard (Danny Harris 73), Matt Fry, Max Cornhill, Mat Mitchel-King, Adam Birchall, Matty Godden (Jason Prior 81)

Unused subs: Nathan Collier, Tommy Forecast

Cautions: Lee Noble 76

Attendance: 1157


NEXT GAME

The Cards are at home to Macclesfield Town on Saturday 22 February.


Come on, you Cards!
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