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Cards face Iron resolve on Tuesday

Brian Caffarey - 8th November 2015

Cards face Iron resolve on Tuesday Woking v Braintree Town
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 10 November 2015

Garry Hill will be hoping that at least a little of the confidence displayed in the 10-0 drubbing of Sutton Common Rovers in the Surrey Senior Cup last Tuesday will carry forward into this tough-looking fixture against the Iron, who are having a fine season under new manager, Dan Cowley. The Cards could desperately do with even a point to end their four-match losing streak in the league, part of a dismal sequence of seven defeats in the last nine league and FA Cup games. Come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer on the side!

WOKING

Garry Hill took some comfort from the 1-0 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers a week ago, being encouraged by the commitment and effort on show and feeling that his side were unlucky not to come away with a point.

He will no doubt be hoping that this relative improvement, followed by the ruthless demolition of Sutton Common Rovers, will be carried through into this match. It would be good, in particular, to see some synergy between the front pairing of Dan Holman, playing against his former club, and recent arrival, Adam Cunnington, but they will be up against the tightest defence in the league.

The Cards’ injury list has grown again, with the news that Keiran Murtagh is out for several games following an operation.

The Cards will at least have had the benefit of a longer rest since their last game than their opponents have enjoyed. The Iron were in action earlier today, achieving a commendable 1-1 draw at home against Oxford United in the First Round of the FA Cup, skipper Kenny Davis equalising after Oxford had taken the lead. Let’s hope that their mind is on the replay!

BRAINTREE TOWN

Danny Cowley, who took Concord Rangers up three levels in his time in charge there, assumed the reins at Cressing Road following Alan Devonshire’s move to Maidenhead United in the summer. He has had a remarkably successful start at his new club, with the Iron now sitting in fifth place in the table with 32 points from 19 games, eight points ahead of Woking, having played one game more. The Iron’s promising start is mainly due to effective defending, with only 14 goals conceded altogether. Away from home – and here is another danger signal for the Cards – Braintree have won five, drawn two and lost two. Scalps include Eastleigh, while the Iron drew at Cheltenham Town and Dover Athletic.

Cowley was content to retain a substantial nucleus of players from last season’s squad, including Kenny Davis, striker Sean Marks and others such as Sam Habergham, Simeon Akinola, Mitch Brundle, Jordan Cox, Chez Isaac and winger Dan Sparkes. Additions included centre back Matt Fry, following Cowley from Concord Rangers, and his defensive partner Mark Phillips; midfielders Alex Woodyard and Matt Paine; and striker Michael Cheek, a top goalscorer with Chelmsford City last season in the Conference South. Anthony Edgar is a promising youngster on loan from West Ham.

The Iron’s last league game saw them inflict a 1-0 defeat on Macclesfield Town at Cressing Road, with 20 year-old Sammie Szmodics, on loan from Colchester, grabbing the winner.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £18
Over 65s and Students with NUS card £13
U16s £5

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

A packed 64-page matchday programme on Tuesday evening includes profiles of Geoff Chapple Lounge ‘guest of honour’, former Liverpool, Brighton and Southampton star, Jimmy Case, and new loan signing Adam Cunnington. Glen Harrington picks Garry Hill’s five best home wins – see if you agree. Malcolm Wyatt gives his ‘take’ on the Cards’ recent games and there’s a report on the successful fundraising evening held for Scott Rendell and Ismail Yakubu, plus news from Woking’s Development Centre. In addition, there’s a look at what’s been going at other National League clubs; and news from the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos. Great value at only £3!

LAST TIME WE MET

Braintree Town 2 Woking 1
22 September 2015

This game can perhaps be viewed as the beginning of the current lean spell. The Cards had played superbly to defeat unbeaten league leaders Forest Green Rovers and it was then a bit of a dent in confidence to lose narrowly 1-0 at home to high-flying Cheltenham Town a few days later. But if there were two away fixtures which were likely to test the side’s resolve, it was the following trips to Braintree and Dover Athletic – where the downward slide seemed to accelerate with each fixture.

The Cards made three changes to their starting line-up, with Joey Jones, Godfrey Poku and Giuseppe Sole replacing Jake Caprice, Jimmy Keohane and Harry Cardwell.

In a fairly even opening half, Woking had the better of the exchanges and played some attractive football but without ever looking as though they would break the deadlock. The home side came into their own after the interval, however, and although Keiran Murtagh equalised with a fine header midway through the half following the dangerous Sim Akinola's opener five minutes earlier, the Iron ran out worthy winners as a result of Michael Cheek's strike with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Woking: Jake Cole, Craig Braham-Barrett, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Joey Jones (Ben Pattie 81), Bruno Andrade (Jimmy Keohane 74), Godfrey Poku (Kadell Daniel 73), John Goddard, Keiran Murtagh (c), Giuseppe Sole, Dan Holman

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Jake Caprice

Goal: Keiran Murtagh (67)

Braintree Town: Will Norris, Mitch Brundle, Sam Habergham (Daniel O'Shaughnessy 46), Chez Isaac, Matt Paine, Kenny Davis (c), Taylor Miles (Dan Sparkes 46), Sim Akinola, Mark Phillips, Michael Cheek (Sean Marks 83), Alex Woodyard

Unused subs: Jordan Cox, Anthony Edgar

Goals: Sim Akinola (62), Michael Cheek (74)

Attendance: 652

COMING UP

The Cards have another vital home game on Saturday, against Macclesfield Town. If you are interested in going on the Cards Trust coach to the next away game, at Chester, the following Saturday, please put your name down at the Club Shop: the coach will only run if there are 25 people signed up seven days in advance.

Come on, you Cards!

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