Forest Green Rovers v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 25 February 2017
The Cards continue their tough sequence of away games with this trip to play-off chasing Forest Green Rovers on Saturday. However, the Cards have a good record historically against Rovers and may just fancy their chances of getting something out of this game after recent improved away performances. A coach is running, so why not sign up for what is usually one of the most enjoyable away trips?
It was a pretty ‘flat’ performance at home to a hard-working Southport side, on a tiring pitch, last Saturday and Garry Hill had to be content with just a point against fellow relegation strugglers. On Tuesday evening a much-changed Cards side defeated Knaphill 3-1 in the Surrey Senior Cup Quarter-Finals, with two goals from Connor Hall and one from Charlie Carter.
Last weekend’s draw against Southport, plus Guiseley’s surprising win at Dagenham and Redbridge, saw the Cards drop from 19th to 20th in the table, only one place and one point above the relegation spots. But it was not entirely bad news in that a defeat for North Ferriby United and a draw for York City resulted in a gap between the Cards and the bottom two teams of seven and six points respectively: a gap that was maintained on Tuesday evening when both of those sides lost. The Cards now need to set their sights on scrambling above Guiseley, Torquay, Sutton and Braintree, who are all only three points or fewer above them, while trying to keep Maidstone and Southport in their rearview mirror.
Last Saturday Garry started with Max Kretzschmar up front, partnering Gozie Ugwu. It will be interesting to see if he perseveres with that tactic, gives the nod instead to one of Connor Hall, Macauley Bonne or even Dennon Lewis or plays with just Gozie up front.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS
Tranmere’s midweek win over Boreham Wood saw Rovers slip to 4th in the table, seven points behind league leaders, Lincoln City. At home they have won seven games, drawn eight and lost only one.
Rovers, beaten 3-1 by Grimsby Town in last year’s play-off final, were expected to be strong challengers again this season under new manager Mark Cooper, and they currently sit in 4th place in the table, seven points behind league leaders, Lincoln City. With their financial backing from Ecotricity owner, Dale Vince, Rovers strengthened an already impressive squad in the summer. A few of those players have already departed, including Matt Tubbs, now with Sutton United, but those remaining include keepers Sam Russell, returning to the club, and Simon Lefebrve from Birmingham City; Ethan Pinnock, a central defender from Dulwich Hamlet; Liam Noble, an attacking midfielder from Notts County; Fabien Robert, another attacking midfielder, from Swindon; and striker Christian Doidge from Dagenham and Redbridge.
Among players retained from the previous season were Aaran Racine, Elliot Frear, Darren Carter, Sam Wedgbury, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Charlie Clough, Rob Sinclair, Dale Bennett and Marcus Kelly.
Rovers saw several players move on to League clubs in the January transfer window, including striker Rhys Murphy going on loan to Crawley Town; Elliot Frear heading off to Motherwell; Charlie Clough, sold for an undisclosed fee to Barnet; and striker Kieffer Moore joining Ipswich Town.
Arrivals have included striker Kaiyne Woolery, on loan from Wigan Athletic; Mark Ellis, a defender from Carlisle United returning for a second loan spell; midfielder Jake Gosling, on loan from Bristol Rovers; Omar Bugiel, a German striker recently signed for an undisclosed fee from Worthing; Dan Wishart, a forward brought in from Sutton United; Shamir Mullings, a highly-rated 6’5” striker signed from Chelmsford City; and Manny Monthe, an imposing central defender brought in from Bath City.
Aaron Racine, who had gone on loan to Torquay United, is out injured for a year or more, while Fabien Robert, Rob Sinclair and Marcus Kelly also missed Rovers’ last game, a 3-1 defeat at Gateshead.
The New Lawn
GL6 0FG (Satnav: GL6 0ET)
Official website: www.forestgreenrovers.com
The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 11am and costs £19 for members and £24 for non-members, with U16s at £10/£12. Ring (01483 772470) or email the Club Shop (email@example.com) to book your place or email Alan Barnes on firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the M4 west-bound towards Bristol and exit at J18. Then head north on the A46 to Nailsworth. At the mini-roundabout turn left onto Spring Hill and The New Lawn is at the top of the road on the left. There is parking at the ground, although this is often taken early, and in
It’s a complicated trip by train to the nearest station, Stroud, which is four miles from the ground. Look up www.nationalrail.com or www.thetrainline.com for details. If you do get there by train, walk three minutes from the station to the bus stop outside Merrywalks Shopping Centre and catch the 63 bus to Forest Green, which takes about 30 minutes. Alternatively, take a taxi.
Main Stand Seating*
Centre: Adults £19, Over 65's £15, Under 22's/Students £11, Under 16's £7, Under 11's Free
Wings (including away section): Adults £17, Over 65's £13, Under 22's/Students £9, Under 16's £6, Under 11's Free
Adults £15, Over 65's £11, Under 22's/Students £7, Under 16's £4, Under 11's Free
* These prices are for tickets purchased in advance of matchday. (You can buy online.) Tickets bought on the day of the match can cost up to £1 more per Adult ticket and 50p per young person/child ticket. Under 11's are still admitted free.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 0 Forest Green Rovers 1
Vanarama National League
18 August 2016
This defeat at the hands of a very capable Forest Green Rovers side came after a decisive loss at home to Lincoln City and a draw and defeat away at Solihull Moors and Southport respectively, reinforcing the suspicion that it was going to be a tough season for the Cards.
Rovers enjoyed much more possession from the outset and scored in the 19th minute through a powerful volley from Keanu Marsh-Brown at the end of a fine move.
The Cards worked hard, with Jake Caprice looking the most likely to inspire any comeback, but Rovers passed the ball around comfortably enough to secure all three points.
Woking: Michael Poke, Ben Gordon, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh, Gozie Ugwu (Anthony Edgar 76), Zac Ansah, Nathan Ralph, Dennon Lewis (Charlie Penny 70), Fabio Saraiva (Max Kretzschmar 82)
Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter.
Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell, Ben Jefford, Drissa Traore, Dale Bennett, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Christian Doidge (Kieffer Moore 82), Ethan Pinnock, Liam Noble, Rob Sinclair (Darren Carter 39), Aarran Racine, Rhys Murphy (Matt Tubbs 68)
Unused subs: Jonny Maxted, Mohamed Chemlal.
The Cards are at home to high-flying Dover Athletic on Tuesday 28 February, followed by a trip to basement side North Ferriby United on Saturday 4 March.
Come on, you Cards!