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WOKING v CRAWLEY TOWN

Brian Caffarey - 25th January 2008

WOKING v CRAWLEY TOWN
3pm on Saturday 26 January 2008

We can expect to see some familiar faces when the in-form Red Devils travel to Kingfield this Saturday. Among the Crawley squad are ex-Cards Ashley Bayes, Kevin James and Paul Watson. The Red Devils are a real force at home, scoring freely, as we found to our cost in our 5-3 defeat there in September, but their away record isn?t quite as impressive, so we need to make home advantage pay. Our defence will have their work cut out, however, dealing with the pace and mobility of the likes of Jon-Paul Pittman, Jamie Cook, Magno Vieira and Mustapha Carayol even though Crawley can no longer call on the services of Guy Madjo, recently sold to Shrewsbury Town. There is the added attraction, for Cards? fans, of seeing again the new partnership of Marvin Morgan and Jason Norville in action, so head on down to Kingfield on Saturday afternoon for what should be one of the best home games of the season!

WOKING

The Cards will be in good heart following two league wins in a row, against Halifax Town and Weymouth. It will be interesting to see what Frank Gray decides to do about the right back position now that Paul Lorraine is back from suspension and Lewis Christon has shown that he is perfectly capable of playing there too. Will he nevertheless continue to use Matt Gray there instead of in midfield, where he might well force Bradley Quamina onto the bench? Of course, another possibility is that Frank might sign Andy Sambrook or Damian Batt before the weekend! Subject to that conundrum and any new injury worries, the line-up seems likely to be the same as at Weymouth last Saturday.

CRAWLEY SQUAD

Only seven of last season?s squad were signed up for this campaign, including former Card Steve Evans, who has recently left to join Llanelli, but after the transfer embargo was lifted in the summer the other Steve Evans (?the gaffer?) was able to add thirteen players he had lined up. The most important signing ? and how Stafford Rangers missed him! ? was striker Guy Madjo. Madjo, though, went on loan to Cheltenham Town in November and has now been sold to Shrewsbury. Other signings included another ex-Card, keeper Ashley Bayes, released by Grays Athletic; striker Magno Vieira, who played for Carlisle in the Conference before joining Barnet; two full-backs from Rushden and Diamonds, James Krause and Glenn Wilson; winger Jamie Cook, formerly with Stevenage; French midfielder Thomas Pinault, from Brentford; Tyrone Thompson, from Halifax; Jon-Paul Pittman, a striker formerly with Doncaster and Nottingham Forest; and Pierre Joseph-Dubois, originally with Reading. Another new signing, defender Bradley Thomas, hailing from Boston and Yeovil, was unfortunate enough to break his leg. Ex-Card Paul Watson subsequently joined on loan and his move has recently been made permanent. Exciting winger Mustapha Carayol has been on loan from MK Dons, as has defender Kieran Murphy, while Tony Scully was released after suffering injury problems.

SEASON SO FAR

Had it not been for the six point deduction imposed on them, the Red Devils would be lying just outside the play-off places. That gives a better indication of their prowess than their actual league position of 14th, two places above us. Their home record is superb, but their away record reads: Won 4, Drawn 3, Lost 6, Goals For 15, Goals Against 19. However, they have won their last two away games, 5-1 at Farsley Celtic and 2-1 a fortnight ago at Droylsden and are very much on song at present. Their other away wins comprised the notable scalp of Aldershot, plus Weymouth. They have shared the points at Rushden, Kidderminster and York, but were defeated at Exeter, Salisbury, Cambridge, Ebbsfleet, Halifax and Oxford. Jamie Cook has been in great form since switching from the wing to a central striking position, hitting eight goals in recent games, including a hat-trick in Crawley?s 4-1 demolition of Rushden and Diamonds last Saturday in what by all accounts was an outstanding performance.

In the FA Cup the Red Devils were unlucky enough to draw Aldershot Town in the Fourth Qualifying Round. They drew 1-1 at home but lost the replay 1-0. In the FA Trophy Crawley have beaten Bromley and Eastleigh and are at home to Droylsden in Round 3. In the Setanta Shield the Red Devils beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 away and are now at home to Grays or Welling in the next round.

Steve Evans is busy gee-ing up his players for the visit to Kingfield. He told Crawley?s website: ?I have a mountain of respect for [Woking] as a football club and in particular Colin Lippiatt and Phil Ledger. They also have some superb supporters, so we will need to be at our very best if we are to get a points return.?

?They had an outstanding result at Weymouth on Saturday so that should serve everyone notice how difficult our task will be.?


PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

2004/05
Crawley Town 2 Woking 1
Woking 2 Crawley Town 0

2005/06
Crawley Town 0 Woking 0
Woking 2 Crawley Town 2

2006/07
Woking 1 Crawley Town 2
Crawley Town 0 Woking 0

2007/08
Crawley Town 5 Woking 3

Our first league match against Crawley, at the Broadfield Stadium, in the 2004/05 season resulted in a 2-1 win for the Red Devils. Amos Foyewa equalised Allan Tait?s first-minute goal but the on-loan Joe Dolan headed home the winner six minutes from time. The return game is probably best remembered for the fact that Crawley manager Francis Vines was arrested after the game and taken to the police station! He was incensed by the fact that Crawley had had both Sacha Opinel and Sean Hankin sent off early in the second half. As if to rub salt into the wounds, the Cards were then awarded a somewhat dubious penalty, Ian Selley converting. Steve Evans then swept home a Chris Sharpling cross to make it 2-0. The following season, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw on Boxing Day and drew again, 2-2, in the return encounter. Justin Richards scored a superb goal to give us the lead but Daryl Clare?s penalty and then a header edged Crawley in front, only for a brilliant Ian Selley free-kick to even up the scores late on. Tom Hutchinson made his debut as a substitute in that game, coming on for the injured Stuart Nethercott. Last season Tom Hutchinson was sent off early on in the opening home game of the season for a professional foul, Ben Strevens slotting home the resulting penalty. Craig McAllister equalised just before half-time but David Woozley restored the Red Devils? lead and the game ended in a disappointing 2-1 defeat. A dour game in March at the Broadfield Stadium produced a 0-0 draw.

This season, our away game was a disaster for the Cards. Paul Lorraine was sent off in the 9th minute for using his hand to prevent a certain goal. Guy Madjo converted the penalty. Woking replied with a penalty of their own, Joe Gatting scoring, but Jon-Paul Pittman netted two to put Crawley 3-1 up at the break. Thomas Pinault made it 4-1 before Tom Hutchinson reduced the deficit. Madjo scored again to make it 5-2 before, at the death, on-loan Paul Hakim curled a superb left-footed shot past Ashley Bayes to make the final score 5-3.


Come on, you Cards!
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