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WOKING v BURTON ALBION

Brian Caffarey - 9th February 2008

WOKING v BURTON ALBION
3pm on Saturday 9 February 2008

This looks set to be one of our toughest home games of the campaign. Nigel Clough?s side have a formidable away record: they have lost only one league game on their travels all season. The Brewers have been gradually edging closer to a play-off place in recent seasons and now look destined to achieve that goal. Can Frank Gray?s side nevertheless defy the odds and pull off a shock result? Make your way to Kingfield on Saturday for an intriguing encounter.

BURTON SQUAD

Nigel Clough has got a very experienced squad. There are some familiar names from previous seasons, with the likes of Darren Stride, Aaron Webster, Daryl Clare, Shaun Harrad, Kevin Poole (44 year-old keeper!) and Keith Gilroy signing new contracts. But he has also favoured older hands in his transfer dealings, bringing in the former Boston United duo of utility man Mark Greaves (32), the Pilgrims? ?Player of the Year? last season, and David Farrell, a 35 year-old left back. Another double signing was the acquisition from relegated Tamworth of striker Jake Edwards (31) and winger John McGrath (27). At the back to replace central defender Darren Tinson, who joined Altrincham, Clough brought in Tony James (30), well known from his stints with Weymouth and especially Hereford United. A departure, for an undisclosed fee, was that of striker Jon Shaw, who joined Halifax Town. Clough has since brought in Michael Simpson, an experienced midfielder formerly with Wycombe and Leyton Orient, on non-contract terms and Saul Deeney as back-up keeper. Deeney had a loan spell last season with the Brewers from Notts County. A player to watch is the impressive young defender John Brayford, a youth team graduate.

SEASON SO FAR

The Brewers finished in sixth place last season, just missing the play-offs. They sat in fourth place prior to the weekend?s games and look destined for a top five finish. Their impressive away record reads won 6, drawn 7, lost 1. They have scored 24 goals on their travels and conceded just 13. Wins have come against Weymouth, Northwich, Droylsden, Exeter, Stafford and Torquay. They have drawn against Histon, Crawley, Rushden, Halifax, Altrincham, Stevenage and Cambridge. Their only defeat was on 26 January when they lost 2-1 away to Ebbsfleet United. In the FA Cup the Brewers beat Tamworth and Halifax (4-0 away) before going down 1-0 to Barnet in a Second Round replay. In the Trophy Burton have beaten Colwyn Bay and Vauxhall Motors, both away, and it took a replay for them to beat Histon in the Third Round. They will face Ebbsfleet at home in the Quarter Final. In the Setanta Shield Burton beat Tamworth in the last round and now await Droylsden in the Fifth Round after their delayed Fourth Round tie against Farsley Celtic.

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

2002/03
Woking 2 Burton Albion 2
Burton Albion 0 Woking 2

2003/04
Burton Albion 2 Woking 0
Woking 1 Burton Albion 0

2004/05
Woking 1 Burton Albion 0
Burton Albion 0 Woking 1

2005/06
Woking 2 Burton Albion 2
Burton Albion 1 Woking 1

2006/07
Woking 0 Burton Albion 0
Burton Albion 2 Woking 1

2007/08
Burton Albion 2 Woking 0


In their first season in the Conference, Burton came to Kingfield and earned a 2-2 draw but the Cards won the away fixture 2-0, with Warren Patmore scoring both goals. The following season?s away game saw one of the Cards? worst performances of the season: not even the presence on loan of Jefferson Louis could provide any sparkle as the Cards slipped to a 2-0 defeat. The return game didn?t provide much better by way of entertainment but Davis Haule grabbed all three points for Woking with a last-minute winner. The Cards won both league encounters 1-0 in the 2004-05 season, with Luke Oliver scoring at home and Steve Evans away. But the Brewers got their revenge in the Quarter-Final of the Trophy shortly afterwards, winning at home 1-0.

Both matches against the Brewers ended up as draws the following year. Burton took a two goal lead at Kingfield through Jon Shaw and Shaun Harrad. The Cards hit back late in the second half. Steve Evans was fouled just outside the area. Ian Selley?s kick was deflected to Craig McAllister, who reacted sharply to stab the ball home. Woking?s equaliser came after Craig?s shot hit a Burton defender?s hand. Ian Selley?s penalty kick ricocheted off the post and across the goal but, thankfully, into the net on the opposite side. We drew 1-1 away, a week after Manchester United had been held to a 0-0 draw at the Pirelli Stadium in the FA Cup. Karl Murray gave the Cards a deserved lead in the first half but Chris Hall equalised just before half-time and Stuart Nethercott and co had a lot of defending to do in the second half to preserve the point.

Last season our home fixture ended in a 0-0 draw and we lost 2-1 away. Darren Stride gave the Brewers the lead as he stole in at the back post to poke the ball past James Bittner. Craig McAllister equalised with a header just before half-time but John Brayford bundled the ball past Bittner ten minutes into the second half and the Cards weren?t really in contention after that. Earlier this season, at the Pirelli Stadium, we had a player (Matt Ruby) sent off for the second game running and, in spite of a decent second-half performance by the remaining ten men, couldn?t make a dent in the Brewers? 2-0 lead.

Come on, you Cards!


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