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Cards in vital points battle

Brian Caffarey - 23rd October 2016

Cards in vital points battle Woking v Braintree Town
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 25 October 2016

With only three points separating the Cards in 20th position from Braintree Town one place behind, this is a vital game for both clubs. A win for the Cards would go a long way towards pulling the Club clear of the danger zone, whilst a defeat would leave them very much in the mire. Come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer Garry Hill’s side on to victory. And make sure you round up the kids for a free, half-term treat!


The Cards’ 1-1 draw against high-flying Barrow on Saturday was a decent result, especially considering the threat which the powerful Bluebirds presented to a new Woking central defensive partnership, which saw Joey Jones paired with Terell Thomas, returning from Charlton Athletic for a second loan spell at the Club. Both players acquitted themselves well, although Thomas had to give way, with a cramp-like injury, to Keiran Murtagh during the second half.

Unfortunately, ‘man of the match’ Murtagh picked up another yellow cards, which means that he will miss Tuesday’s game.


Predictably, clubs with bigger budgets came calling for many members of the Iron side which did so well to reach the play-offs last season, leaving only three players, midfielder Chez Isaac and strikers Michael Cheek and Simeon Akinola, to form the nucleus of this season’s squad. And, of course, they also lost their manager, Danny Cowley, to Lincoln City.

Jamie Day, the former Welling manager, who had an unhappy time subsequently at Ebbsfleet United, was appointed and looked a good fit for a club with limited resources. Among the players he brought in were two from Welling, right back Barney Williams and England C midfielder, Sam Corne. Other new arrivals included defender Craig Braham-Barrett, who had a loan spell with Woking from Ebbsfleet last season, left back Jerome Okimo from Stevenage, experienced striker Lee Barnard, former Don, midfielders Jack Midson and Harry Lee and defenders Jon Ashton and Ian Gayle. Unfortunately for Day, the Braintree’s Chairman’s patience ran out after two wins in twelve games and Hakan Hayrettin was appointed as his successor. Hayrettin helped John Still win promotion for Luton Town from the Conference and has previously managed at Waltham Forest, Thurrock and Grays Athletic.

Hayrettin’s first game in charge was a difficult trip to Lincoln City, which the Iron lost 3-0. Since then he has presided over a 2-1 defeat at home to Boreham Wood, a 1-1 draw at home to York City and an encouraging 4-2 defeat of Bromley at home in the FA Cup. On Saturday, though, the Iron found themselves on the end of a heavy defeat at the hands of Dover Athletic, being 5-1 down at half-time, with Ricky Miller scoring four goals, and eventually ending up on the wrong side of a 6-1 scoreline.

Braintree have been particularly unlucky with goalkeeping injuries. Ex-Card Sam Beasant was brought in to replace the young Jamie Butler but broke a finger against Chester and then his replacement, the experienced Will Puddy from Bristol Rovers, also became injured. The game at Dover marked the – testing! – debut of another young keeper, Joe Taylor, on loan from Dartford.

Hayrettin has also recently brought in Claudio Dias from Brackley Town and promoted Luke Mallett from the Academy. The Iron have a number of players on loan, including midfielder Sam Matthews and Brandon Goodship, both from Bournemouth, George Elokobi, an experienced centre back from Colchester, Ollie Muldoon from Charlton Athletic and Jack Cowgill, a centre back from Barnsley. Joe Maybanks, a young winger formerly with the Iron’s Academy, has impressed when he’s been given the chance.


Tuesday night’s game is free for U16s.

Adults £18
Over 65/Students with valid student card £13


The Cards are away at Boreham Wood next Saturday (29 October) and the following Saturday (5 November) are away to Stockport County in the First Round Proper of the FA Cup. Book your place now on the Cards Trust coach!

Come on, you Cards!

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