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Cards look to get back on track

Brian Caffarey - 3rd March 2016

Cards look to get back on track Woking v Dover Athletic
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 5 March 2016

The Cards face old rivals Dover Athletic on Saturday, hoping to end a miserable run of league form, which has seen them fail to register a win in their last six fixtures, as well as suffering defeat in the FA Trophy last Saturday at Grimsby Town. The Whites will be feeling a bit ‘down’, too, following their Trophy exit at the hands of Nantwich Town and midweek defeat at home by Southport. However, they still have a good chance of making the play-offs, so expect another fiercely-contested encounter between the two sides. Come along early to the Laithwaite Community Stadium and see the ‘supporting’ fixture, Spurs v Arsenal, live on the big screen in the Cardinals Bar at 12.45pm.

WOKING

Garry Hill will be hoping that his side can rediscover their form in time for a tough run-in to the end of the season which sees the Cards play nearly all the top sides.

The Cards now sit in 11th place with 49 points from 35 games, eight points off the play-off places, having played more games than most of the teams above them. While a play-off place is still possible mathematically, it is highly improbable and the realistic aim must be to try to ensure a respectable top ten finish – which will be a tough objective in itself.

Cards fans can expect Garry’s latest loan signing, 18 year-old midfielder Matt Butcher from Bournemouth, to make his home debut.

DOVER ATHLETIC

The Whites are enjoying another successful season in spite of their disappointment in slipping up for the second season running at the Quarter-Final stage of the Trophy and being knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Stourbridge.

The Whites slipped to 9th place following their very disappointing 2-1 defeat midweek but are still only five points off Tranmere Rovers in 5th place with three games in hand.

Away from home, Dover have won six, drawn four and lost six, with 26 goals scored and conceded.

Manager Chris Kinnear strengthened his squad in January with the signings of strikers Tyrone Marsh from Torquay United and Harry Crawford, who had a previous loan spell at Crabble in 2010 and who has most recently played for Boreham Wood and St Albans City.

Ricky Miller is top scorer with 15 goals, while Stefan Payne and Nick Deverdics have 12 apiece.

Jamie Grimes and ex-Card Aswad Thomas are expected to be unavailable.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults - £18
Over 65s, Students with NUS card, forces personnel and MOD civilian staff with recognised ID - £13
U16s - £5

Gates open at 12.30pm. There are currently no plans to segregate the game, so away fans will be welcome in the Cardinals Bar.

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Another packed, full colour, 64-page matchday programme includes an interview with new Board Director, Dave Curtis, an update from Club captain Mark Ricketts and news from the Development Centre/Academy. In addition, there’s a summary of recent league and Trophy results; and news from the Club Board and the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos. Great value at only £3!

LAST TIME WE MET

Dover Athletic 2 Woking 0
Vanarama National League
25 September 2015

The two sides came into the match in front of the live BT cameras on the back of contrasting fortunes. The home side was on a run of three unbeaten games, including a 5-2 trouncing of promotion hopefuls and big spenders Eastleigh on their own ground. The victory had moved them up to tenth place in the table. Woking, however, were looking to avoid a third successive defeat which had seen them slip to sixth.

The Cards got off to the worst possible start, conceding a penalty in the 2nd minute when on-loan Craig Braham-Barrett tugged back Toby Ajala. Jake Cole saved the penalty kick but then the Cards immediately went behind anyway, Stefan Payne slotting home after a through ball had easily bisected the Woking defence.

Woking just about survived further Dover attacks before gradually coming more into the game but without looking as though they would threaten an equaliser. The Cards looked a little livelier after the break but were soon second best to the home side again, with Stefan Payne wrapping the game up with his second goal in the 75th minute.

Dover Athletic: Mitch Walker, Sam Magri, Sean Raggett, Liam Bellamy (Tom Murphy 54), Jamie Grimes, Richard Orlu, Aswad Thomas, Toby Ajala (Nabi Diallo 82), Nicky Deverdics, Ricky Miller (Duane Ofori-Acheampong 70), Stefan Payne

Unused subs: Andy Rafferty, Jaydon Gibbs

Goals: Stefan Payne (3 and 75)

Woking: Jake Cole, Craig Braham-Barrett, Terell Thomas (Joey Jones 58), Brian Saah, Jake Caprice, Bruno Andrade, Mark Ricketts (c) (Harry Cardwell 77), John Goddard (Giuseppe Sole 77), Keiran Murtagh, Jimmy Keohane, Dan Holman

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Godfrey Poku

COMING UP

The Cards travel to Eastleigh on Tuesday evening (8 March) and then to Cheltenham Town the following Saturday (12 March). The Cards’ home game against Grimsby Town on Saturday 19 March has been postponed because of the Mariners’ involvement in the FA Trophy semi-finals, so their next home game is against Kidderminster Harriers on Easter Saturday, 26 March. (The match against Grimsby has now been re-arranged for Tuesday 19 April.)

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’ve got the evening of Thursday 10 March in your diary, when a Celeb X1 take on a Woking Legends XI in the Knights Cup. Among those parading their skills will be Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Tim Buzaglo.

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