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Cards look for pre-Christmas points haul

Brian Caffarey - 17th December 2015

Cards look for pre-Christmas points haul Gateshead v Woking
3pm on Saturday 19 December 2015

The Cards travel to Gateshead on Saturday in good spirits on the back of three wins in their last four games and with the side looking more stable than it has done for some while. Woking have a decent record at the International Stadium and Cards fans will be hoping that the side will be able to get something from this game to set them up nicely for the Christmas/New Year encounters with the Shots and Boreham Wood.


The Cards were perhaps fortunate to come away with a win at Boreham Wood last Saturday in the FA Trophy, with Gez Sole’s deflected free-kick securing victory in added time. But they had staged enough of a revival in the second half to deserve at least a draw and Garry Hill took understandable pleasure in the fact that for the first time this season they had recovered from being a goal down.

With Keiran Murtagh and Chris Arthur returning from injuries, Garry has an unusually long list of names to choose from but might well be tempted to stick with the same side that started against Lincoln City and Boreham Wood.


The Tynesiders lost highly-rated manager Gary Mills to Wrexham over the summer, appointing Malcolm Crosby in his place. Their season started promisingly with five wins, one draw and one defeat in August, became less comfortable in September and reached crisis point in October when the Heed won only one of seven league and cup games, with defeats including a 2-1 loss at home to Worcester City in the FA Cup. Matters got even worse in November, the Tynesiders being beaten 4-0 at Wrexham and then losing 4-1 at home to FC Halifax Town on 21 November. Crosby was then sacked and, ironically, Neil Aspin, who had only recently been dismissed by FC Halifax Town, was appointed a few days later. Since then Gateshead have beaten Chester at home and Kidderminster away (the latter being Aspin’s first game in charge) but have also lost at home to improving Southport. On Tuesday night they beat Stocksbridge Park Steels 4-1 at home in a postponed FA Trophy tie.

Rather like Woking, the Heed’s early season form means that, even after a very poor run, they are not far off the play-off places, sitting in 10th position, one place and three points ahead of the Cards and only five points behind Grimsby Town in fifth spot. The Heed’s home form has been their biggest weakness: they have won four, drawn three and lost five in the league at the International Stadium, scoring 16 goals and conceding 20.

The Heed have a capable keeper in Sam Russell and two very experienced defenders in Ben Clark and Craig Baxter, with the latter a real threat with his long throws into the penalty box. Wingers Adam Wrightson and CJ Hamilton, who is on loan from Sheffield United, provide pace on the flanks, while ex-Torquay United’s Ryan Bowman is the best known striker.


The International Stadium
Neilson Road
Tyne and Wear
NE10 0EF

Official website: www.gateshead-fc.com

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game.

By car

Take the A1(M) to its junction with the A194(M), just north of Washington Services. Take the A194(M) to the end of the motorway. At the roundabout turn left onto the A184 towards Gateshead. The International Stadium is on the right after about three miles. Car parking is available at the ground.

By train

There are frequent trains from London KX to Newcastle, from where you can take the Metro to Gateshead. The 11.00 would get you to Newcastle at 13.49. Trains back are approximately on the hour and half-hour. The stadium has its own Metro stop, which is only five minutes’ walk away. Look up www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com for details of train times and prices.


Tickets purchased on the day are priced at:

Adults: £15
Concessions: £10
16-17/Students: £8
U16: £3

There is a reduction of £1 (apart from the U16 price) if purchased online in advance (www.gateshead-fc.com/buytickets), with tickets being picked up on the day.

Woking fans will be in the all-seater, covered East Stand.


Woking 3 Gateshead 0
11 April 2015

The Cards, sitting in 7th place in the table, went into this match knowing that, following a disappointing draw at home to Welling and defeat at Dover over Easter, they now had only an outside chance of making the play-offs with three games to go. The Tynesiders, losing play-off finalists the previous season, travelled with even fewer hopes of bridging the gap and this comprehensive defeat put those to bed.

The Cards took the lead in spectacular fashion in the 7th minute with another wonder strike from Josh Payne, profiting from a knock-down by Scott Rendell after a flowing move. The Cards generally dominated the game, benefitting too from some uncertain goalkeeping from the young Joel Dixon on loan from Sunderland, and added a second in the 23rd minute when Rendell prodded home after Joe McNerney had managed to get on the end of a cross. The Heed, though, playing some nice passing football to match Woking’s, came back into the game and were awarded a penalty for handball just before half-time. Fortunately for the Cards, Jake Cole produced a superb save to foil Alex Rodman.

Yemi Odubade continued to cause problems for the Heed defence in the second half and was up-ended by Ben Clarke after another mistake by keeper Dixon. With Scott Rendell off the field, Josh Payne stepped up to make it 3-0, whilst Clarke departed. The Cards might have gained another penalty in added time when Kevin Betsy was taken out but the referee perhaps decided the Heed defence had suffered enough for one afternoon.

Woking : Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts(c), Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Manny Oyeleke 81), Kevin Betsy, Scott Rendell (James Clarke 56), Yemi Odubade (Charles Banya 84)

Unused subs: Michael Crowe, Giuseppe Sole

Goals: Josh Payne 7, 67 (pen), Scott Rendell 20

Gateshead: Joel Dixon, Jamie Chandler, James Curtis, Jon Shaw(c), Josh Gillies (Ben Clark 46), Rob Ramshaw, Craig Baxter, Michael Rankine, Alex Rodman (Carl Finnigan 52), Matty Pattison, Kevin Sainte-Luce (Tom Allan 65)

Unused subs: Adam Bartlett, Jake Orrell

Sent off: Ben Clark

Attendance: 1,889


The Cards make the short trip to local rivals Aldershot Town on Boxing Day. Ring or email (shop@wokingfc.co.uk) the Club Shop to check if there are any places left on the Cards Trust coach. On Monday 28 December the Cards entertain Boreham Wood and on Saturday 2 January the Cards stage the return game against the Shots. All games have a 3pm kick-off.

Come on, you Cards!

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