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Cards must make home advantage count

Brian Caffarey - 27th November 2014

Cards must make home advantage count Woking v Braintree Town
3pm on Saturday 29 November 2014

The Cards need to take maximum advantage of two successive home games, starting with Saturday’s match against Alan Devonshire’s Iron side, if they are to maintain their place in the play-off zone. Garry Hill’s side’s form has been a bit unpredictable in recent matches and the resilience and ambition of the team will be tested as they cope with the loss of key players. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the team on in this crucial game!

Remember that a road closure near the ground may lead to delays if you’re travelling by car: see the news item of 12 November for more details.

WOKING

The fixture list always suggested that November would be a testing month for the Cards and so it has proved. However, a record of draws away at Braintree and at home to Wrexham, followed by an excellent win at FC Halifax Town, a draw at home to league leaders Barnet and a defeat at Grimsby Town is respectable, although Garry was clearly frustrated by the last result, believing that Woking could have got something from that game but for some bad errors. The record could be made even more respectable if the Cards could fashion a home win on Saturday against Braintree – and, ideally, start December off with three points at home to Altrincham.

But, demonstrating the thinness of the Cards’ squad, Garry is now facing the loss of the unlucky Jake Cole again and Scott Rendell, both of whom had to be substituted in the first half at Wrexham. Joe McNerney will also miss both of these home games following his three-match suspension imposed after the Barnet game. If Scott’s absence turns out to be lengthy, that would be a huge blow to Woking’s play-off aspirations, not merely because of the goals he scores but also because of his leadership of the line and the chances he creates for others. It sounds as if Garry will be seeing if he can bring in reinforcements.

One piece of good news from the Grimsby match was the return from injury of Dean Morgan, who scored and played well after he came on for Scott.

BRAINTREE TOWN

When the Cards visited Cressing Road at the beginning of the month for a 1-1 draw Braintree had been going through a difficult spell, having failed to win in their previous seven games. The picture since then has been mixed. At home in the league they have lost to Grimsby, beaten Wrexham and, on Tuesday, lost at home to Welling United. They also suffered a 6-0 thumping at the hands of Chesterfield in the First Round of the FA Cup. The Iron now sit in 16th place in the table with 27 points from 23 games.

The Braintree side has a very familiar look to it, with a good many players featuring from last season, including inspirational skipper Kenny Davis, prolific striker Sean Marks, ex-Dons James Mulley and Charlie Strutton and promising striker Jordan Cox. Simeon Akinola was signed from Harrow Borough earlier this season with an impressive goalscoring record.

ADMISSION

Adults: £15
Over 65s and Students with a valid NUS card: £10
U16s: £3

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Club’s classy new programme is still only £3 but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, high quality ‘finish’ and stunning photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

Saturday’s edition includes Mark Ricketts’s thoughts on the last few weeks; a half-term report as we approach the mid-point of the league campaign; a welcome to Geoff Chapple Lounge special guest James Beattie; and memories of a game in which the Cards almost suffered humiliation at the hands of close neighbours. And, of course, there is a round-up of all the recent Vanarama Conference games and much more, including match reports, previews and news of the Club’s community work and commercial initiatives.

LAST SEASON

Woking 1 Braintree Town 0
11 January 2014

Joe McNerney scrambled in the only goal of the game, as Woking deservedly saw off play-off chasing Braintree Town, and ended their miserable run of results against Alan Devonshire’s side. The result marked a long-awaited success for the Cards, as they recorded their first win over the Iron in eight meetings, dating back to when the two teams first met in the Conference South in 2009.

The Cards’ victory, their sixth in eight games, lifted them eight points clear of the bottom four, with games in hand on many of the teams around them.

Garry Hill made four changes from the team that lost 3-1 at home to Salisbury City on Boxing Day. Scott Rendell, Jack Marriott and Charles Banya, all of whom had finished their loan spells and returned to their parent clubs, dropped out along with Brett Johnson. In their place came Giuseppe Sole, John Goddard, Adam Newton and Mike Cestor.

The Cards started brightly and dominated the first half, with ‘man of the match’ Josh Payne bossing the midfield. But for some excellent saves by Hamann in the Braintree goal the Cards could have been well ahead by half-time. As it happened, the only goal came from Joe McNerney, seizing on a chance after Keiran Murtagh’s shot had rebounded off a post. The Iron came to life when Jordan Cox came onto the pitch and he had a goal disallowed for a push on a defender. But the Cards were not made to pay for missing a number of decent chances to kill off the game.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, Mark Ricketts, Josh Payne, John Goddard (Brett Johnson 90), Keiran Murtagh (Niall Wright 89), Kevin Betsy, Giuseppe Sole.

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Anthony McNamee, Reece Beckles.

Goal: McNerney 60

Braintree Town: Nick Hamann, Ryan Peters, Dean Wells, Alan Massey, Sam Habergham, Chez Isaac (Luke Daley 73), Matt Paine, Kenny Davis (Bernard Mensah 64), James Mulley, Sean Marks, Dan Holman (Jordan Cox 61).

Unused Subs: Nathan McDonald, Exodus Geohaghon.

Attendance: 1,270

COMING UP

The Cards are at home again on Tuesday evening when Altrincham Town are the visitors.

Come on, you Cards!

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