Woking v Sutton United
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 1 April 2017
The loss at home to Maidstone United last Saturday was a bitter blow in the fight against relegation but, with 18 points still to play for, the battle isn’t over yet. Needless to say, a win this Saturday would be a huge boost to survival hopes. Come down to Kingfield to cheer on Garry Hill’s side!
Other results on Saturday could have been more painful but the chickens came home to roost on Tuesday evening when the two teams immediately below Woking, Torquay United and York City, both had fine away wins. In consequence, Torquay, now on 43 points, moved above Woking by two points, pushing the Cards down into the final relegation place. York City, meanwhile, moved within two points of Woking, with a game in hand. Braintree Town must also be considered to be in the relegation ‘mix’, with 45 points, one place and one point above Maidstone, who, however, have two games in hand.
Garry Hill was very critical of the way in which the Cards’ defence “melted” under the second-half pressure from Maidstone on Saturday but his options for changing things around look limited.
He can at least take comfort from the fact that his side still seem to be capable of scoring goals, with a rejuvenated Delano Sam-Yorke on target again and the impressive Jamie Lucas also getting on the score sheet.
Other critical games on Saturday include: Maidstone United v Barrow, Torquay United v Chester and York City v Braintree Town. On Tuesday night York City play their game in hand, at home to Bromley.
The U’s have had a very memorable first season back in the top tier of non-League football. The highlight has undoubtedly been a wonderful FA Cup run, which saw them reach the 5th Round, losing out to Arsenal, having beaten Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United along the way. In the league Sutton sit in 14th place after Tuesday night’s commendable 1-1 home draw with league leaders Lincoln City, with 49 points from 39 games: virtually safe from any lingering relegation worries. A glimmer of hope for the Cards is that Sutton have a poor away record, winning only two league games, drawing five and losing 12, scoring 15 goals and conceding 31.
Manager Paul Doswell has assembled a very useful squad, including ex-Woking favourite, keeper Ross Worner, who won several league and club awards last season. A well-tested defence includes the highly-experienced Dean Beckwith, captain Jamie Collins, Louis John, capped for England C last season, Simon Downer, with over 200 appearances for the U’s under his belt and Kevin Amankwaah. In midfield Doswell can call on Nicky Bailey, back at Sutton this season after a career which has included big money transfers to Southend and Middlesbrough as well as his spells at Barnet, Craig Eastmond and Portsmouth loanee Adam May. New arrivals last summer included wide men Bradley Hudson-Oboi, Wealdstone’s player of the year last season with 15 league and cup goals,and FA Cup star Roarie Deacon, a former Arsenal youngster signed from Crawley and with three England U19 caps to his credit, and Max Biamou, who join the long-serving Craig Dundas up front.
Recent arrivals include Guyana captain and midfielder, Chris Nurse, who had a brief spell at Gander Green Lane in 2003 before playing for a number of other non-League clubs, followed by a successful spell in the North American Soccer League; goalkeeper Will Puddy, brought in from Bristol Rovers on loan to cover for the injured Ross Worner; 26 year-old winger Kieron Cadogan, returning from playing in Sweden but who has also turned out for Aldershot and Barnet; highly-rated striker Adam Coombes, signed from Welling in the face of interest from several Football League clubs; and Jack Jebb, a midfielder who graduated from the Arsenal Academy and has since played for Stevenage and Newport County. Dan Fitchett has left to join Wealdstone. Sean Downer and Dean Beckwith both missed the game against Lincoln through injury.
Over 65/Students with valid student card £13
The game will not be segregated, so Sutton United fans will be welcome to use the Cardinals’ Bar.
LAST TIME OUT
Sutton United 4 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
8 October 2016
The Cards were well beaten by newly-promoted Sutton United, being second best all over the pitch on a very disappointing afternoon for Cards fans. After the agonising last-gasp defeat at Bromley in midweek, Garry Hill made two changes, bringing in Brandon Hall in goal for his first game of the season, whilst Jake Caprice returned from injury, displacing Frankie Sutherland.
The game started openly but it was soon evident that Sutton, especially in the shape of tricky winger Roarie Deacon, looked the more dangerous and it was Deacon who gave the home side the lead in the 21st minute, cutting in to shoot low past Hall. The Cards looked as though they might survive till half-time, although Caprice had been forced to deflect one effort onto the woodwork, but up popped Ross Stearn to grab Sutton’s second in the 41st minute.
With a mountain to climb, it was essential that Woking made a good start to the second half, but it could not have been worse. With only a minute played Nicky Bailey got on the end of a corner to slide home at the far post and then, in the 52nd minute, ex-Card Craig McAllister powered a header home from a Deacon cross.
Sutton might have added several more goals before Matt Tubbs scored a consolation effort for the Cards, cleverly lifting the ball over keeper Ross Worner before heading home.
Sutton United: Ross Worner, Kevin Amankwaah, Dean Beckwith (Shaun Cooper 55), Jamie Collins (c), Craig McAllister (Dan Fitchett 73), Ross Stearn, Craig Eastmond, Nicky Bailey, Dan Spence, Chris Dickson (Maxime Biamou 68), Roarie Deacon
Unused subs: Bradley Hudson-Odoi, Bedsente Gomis
Goals: Roarie Deacon 21, Ross Stearn 41, Nicky Bailey 46, Craig McAllister 52
Woking: Brandon Hall, Jake Caprice (Anthony Edgar 63), Connor Essam, Joey Jones (Max Kretzschmar 57), Nathan Ralph, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh (c) (Charlie Carter 57), Fabio Saraiva, Dennon Lewis, Delano Sam-Yorke, Matt Tubbs
Unused subs: Michael Poke, Chike Kandi
Goal: Matt Tubbs 74
The Cards are away to Barrow next Saturday (8 April). Make a note now that entry to the Cards’ next home game, against Macclesfield Town at 3pm on Good Friday (14 April), will be free for U16s and only £10 for adults. There will be lots of added attractions too.
Come on, you Cards!