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Crucial home game for Cards

Brian Caffarey - 19th March 2015

Crucial home game for Cards Woking v Forest Green Rovers
3pm on Saturday 21 March 2015

The Cards take on fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers on Saturday in what looks like a ‘must win’ (or, at worst, ‘must not lose’) game for Garry Hill’s side as they seek to dislodge Rovers from the last play-off spot. At present Woking sit in eighth place, seven points behind Rovers with a game in hand, so a win on Saturday would narrow the gap to only four points. But the magnitude of the Cards’ task is evident from the fact that Rovers have not lost one of their last twelve league games. Come on down to Kingfield to cheer on the Cards in a vitally important match!

WOKING

Woking’s 3-1 win at AFC Telford last weekend kept them in the play-off race, although they lost some ground midweek when all their main rivals played with the exception of Forest Green Rovers themselves. Eastleigh and FC Halifax both drew, whilst Gateshead won. As a result the Cards have slipped to eighth place. Eastleigh, in sixth place, are best positioned to catch Rovers, being only two points behind with a game in hand. Next come Gateshead, six points behind Rovers but with two games in hand. Woking, in eighth, are ahead of ninth-place FC Halifax on goal difference, although the Shaymen have a game in hand. However, all the sides will be playing each other at some stage in the remaining weeks – for example, Halifax are at home to Gateshead on Tuesday, while Gateshead entertain Eastleigh the following Saturday and both Gateshead and Halifax have yet to visit Kingfield – so points are going to be dropped as well as won.

Garry Hill’s side have simply got to concentrate on their own affairs on Saturday, faced with the very difficult task of beating a side which has lost only three games away from home this season and which has been in excellent form in recent months.

Judging by Garry’s remarks after last Saturday’s game, Keiran Murtagh, who had an outstanding game at Telford replacing the suspended Josh Payne, can expect to remain in the starting line-up even though Josh will be available again.

FOREST GREEN ROVERS

Rovers started the season well, registering three wins and three draws in August, but form dipped a bit in September, with defeats to Wrexham and Barnet at home and Nuneaton away. Things picked up in October with two wins and two draws in league encounters as Rovers embarked on an 11-game unbeaten run, ended by defeat at Halifax on 2 December. Two more losses, against Kidderminster and Grimsby, followed in late December before Rovers embarked on their current run of 12 league games without defeat, which included, a fortnight ago, a 3-1 win at Barnet. Rovers’ position would be even stronger but for a three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

Rovers, who are backed by Ecotricity owner and club chairman, Dale Vince, have a very strong squad. Jon Parkin is top scorer but manager Ady Pennock has a wealth of attacking options, including England C wingers James Norwood and Elliot Frear, Stuart Fleetwoood, who re-joined the club in January, Kurtis Guthrie, formerly with Welling, and James Marwood, the former Gateshead player, who left Scottish Premier club St Mirren during the transfer window to join Rovers. Other recent arrivals are Tom Bender, most recently with Dartford, midfielder Corby Moore, who came up through Southampton’s Academy and joined from a North American League club, and former Sutton defender Charlie Clough. Departures include strikers Lee Hughes and Magno Vieira and defender Eddie Oshodi. Keeper Sam Russell has recently completed 150 consecutive Conference appearances.

ADMISSION

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

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

The Club’s stylish matchday programme is the same price as last season (£3) but now has 64 pages, with a soft laminate cover, a high quality ‘finish’ and improved design. Saturday’s edition includes an interview with on-loan and in-form striker Yemi Odubade. If you can’t get to the game, you can pre-order a copy from the Club Shop on shop@wokingfc.co.uk

BOOST THE BUDGET

There will be a bucket collection on Saturday to support the Boost the Budget initiative. Please give as generously as you can to help boost Garry’s playing budget.

ONLINE COMMENTARY

If you can’t get to the game BBC Radio Surrey will be providing an online commentary at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/13629210

LAST TIME OUT

Forest Green Rovers 2 Woking1
9 December 2014

The Cards came into this game on the back of a last-minute defeat away at Macclesfield Town a few days previously and were keen to avoid going away empty-handed again. In difficult conditions, in driving wind and rain, they started quite well, Dean Morgan’s clever turn and shot giving them the lead midway through the first half.

But the home side, taking advantage of the wind, ramped up the pressure and the Cards conceded two goals before half-time. In the 35th minute Jon Parkin bundled home an Elliot Frear cross and, seven minutes later, the towering ex-Card Luke Oliver headed home a corner.

Try as they might in the second half the Cards could not really penetrate a solid Rovers defence and so what proved to be a poor run in December saw the second consecutive league defeat.

Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell, David Pipe, Luke Oliver, Danny Coles, Marcus Kelly, Robert Sinclair, Clovis Kamdjo, Sam Wedgbury, Elliot Frear (Chris Stokes 90)
Jon Parkin, Kurtis Guthrie

Unused Subs: Lee Hughes, Aarran Racine, Paul White, Louis McGrory

Booked: Robert Sinclair

Goal: Jon Parkin 35, Luke Oliver 42

Woking: Ross Worner, James Clarke, Joe McNerney, Mike Cestor, Chris Arthur (John Goddard 77), Adam Newton (Keiran Murtagh 80), Josh Payne, Joey Jones, Kevin Betsy, Giuseppe Sole (Jack Marriott 63), Dean Morgan

Unused Subs: Andy Little, Theo Lewis 

Goal: Dean Morgan 22

Attendance: 970

COMING UP

The Cards are at home again on Tuesday evening when Torquay United visit Kingfield. Come along again and cheer the side on to three more points!

Come on, you Cards!

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