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Cards prepare for testing friendly

Brian Caffarey - 23rd July 2017

Cards prepare for testing friendly Woking v Cambridge United
Pre-season friendly
7.45pm on Tuesday 25 July 2017

The Cards’ penultimate friendly game is against League 2 side, Cambridge United, who can certainly be expected to provide tough opposition for Anthony Limbrick’s young outfit. With the start of the season fast approaching, Cards fans will be looking for signs that the team appears solid enough to withstand a testing opening programme.

WOKING

After midweek’s abandoned game at Basingstoke the Cards achieved a 1-1 draw at Wingate and Finchley on Saturday, with Inih Effiong scoring his second goal for the Club. Three trialists started, including ex-Chelmsford right back Matt Young, who was the sole trialist to get onto the pitch at the Camrose. The others were ex-Maidstone winger, Joe N’Guessan, and James Demetriou, an Australian striker of Cypriot descent who was playing in Cyprus last season. In the second half young Spurs keeper, Luke Sheldrick, former Brentwood Town full back, Ben Sampayo, and QPR centre-back, Jake Eales, also appeared. There were further shows, too, for Woking Academy players, Ivan Nsimbi and Declan Appau.

With only one more friendly game – at home to Swindon Town next Saturday – before the season starts, Anthony Limbrick will no doubt be close to making final decisions on additions to his squad.

CAMBRIDGE UNITED

The U’s finally made it back to League 2 at the end of the 2013-14 season, finishing in second place in the Conference table and beating Gateshead in the Play-Off final. The following season they finished in 19th place in League 2, 10 points above the relegation places, but also achieved a money-spinning draw against Manchester United in the FA Cup. Richard Money was sacked after a poor start in 2014-15, with Shaun Derry taking over in November 2015. He steered the club to an impressive 9th place finish and followed that last season with an 11th place finish.

Off the pitch, the U’s long-held plans to move from the Abbey Stadium – which they no longer own – to a new ground have had to be shelved and the emphasis now is in developing the Abbey Stadium into a community stadium with much-improved facilities.

The U’s have made some promising-looking signings this summer. Highly-experienced keeper David Forde has arrived to replace Will Norris, who has moved to Wolves. Forde made over 300 appearances for Millwall and has 40 caps for the Republic of Ireland. He will be understudied by another new signing, Bulgarian youth international, Dimitov Mitov, signed from Charlton Athletic. There are also two interesting arrivals from Partick Thistle. Ade Azeez is a very quick striker, who played over 80 games for AFC Wimbledon, whilst David Amoo is a nifty winger, who started his career at Liverpool and, after taking in stints at Preston North End and Tranmere Rovers amongst other clubs, made over 60 appearances for Carlisle before making a similar number of appearances for Thistle. There is a Carlisle connection too in the shape of 34-year-old striker Jabo Ibehre, who joins having netted 31 goals in 84 appearances for the Cumbrians after playing for a host of other League clubs. Gary Deegan is a tough-tackling midfielder who has joined from Shrewsbury Town, having played in Ireland as well as for Coventry City, Hibs, Northampton and Southend. Arriving from Gillingham is young midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe, who started out with Spurs before making over 50 appearances for the Gills.

Other, well-known, players include Josh Coulson, Harrison Dunk, captain Leon Legge, Luke Berry and Adam McGurk.

The U’s’ pre-season games so far have ended:

St Neots Town 0 Cambridge United 1
St Albans 0 Cambridge United 1
Royston Town 1 Cambridge United 4
Cambridge United 0 Norwich City 2/Cambridge United 0 Norwich City 0 (Two games of an hour each)
Ebbsfleet United 0 Cambridge United 2
Cambridge United 2 Tottenham Hotspur U23 3
Dartford 1 Cambridge United 1

Adam McGurk scored United’s equaliser at Dartford on Saturday.

The U’s begin their season on 5 August with an away trip to Exeter City.

ADMISSION

Adults - £10
Concessions - £5
U12s - FREE

LAST TIME OUT

Woking 0 Cambridge United 3
Vanarama National Conference
10 April 2014

For the Cards, this was simply a case of a game too far, against a confident Cambridge side destined for the play-offs. Despite three changes from the team which drew 2-2 with Grimsby Town in midweek, the signs of fatigue were clearly evident, as Garry Hill’s men lined-up for their third match in just five days. 

The hosts actually started the game brightly, with Josh Payne, Joey Jones and Kevin Betsy all squandering half-chances, only for a mistake from goalkeeper Sam Beasant to allow ex-Card Sam-Yorke to slot the visitors ahead. 

An error from Keiran Murtagh allowed Chadwick to double the U’s advantage, and with only 25 minutes gone the game looked all but over. The Cards battled hard in the second half, and were unlucky not to pull a goal back through substitute Scott Rendell before Liam Hughes smashed in a spectacular third goal. 

Woking: Sam Beasant, Adam Newton, Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts (Brett Johnson 69), Kevin Betsy, Keiran Murtagh (John Goddard 37), Josh Payne, Joey Jones, Giuseppe Sole, Jack Marriott (Scott Rendell 69)

Unused Subs: Andy Little, John Nutter

Cambridge United: Will Norris, Richard Tait, Greg Taylor, Ian Miller, Josh Coulson, Liam Hughes, Tom Champion, Luke Chadwick (Nathan Arnold 86), Ryan Donaldson, Delano Sam-Yorke (Ashley Chambers 71), Matthew Barnes-Homer (Andy Pugh 65)

Unused Subs: Kevin Roberts, Luke Berry

Goals: Sam-Yorke 17, Chadwick 25, Hughes 85

Attendance: 1,805

COMING UP

The Cards’ remaining pre-season friendly is:

Woking v Swindon Town - 3pm, Saturday 29th July (The Laithwaite Community Stadium)

The season kicks off on Saturday 5 August 2017 when Gateshead are the visitors.


Come on, you Cards!
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