Woking v York City
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 22 April 2017
What a match is in prospect on Saturday! The Cards’ two superb wins over Easter have given their survival hopes a massive boost. A win over York City would certainly see them safe, and a point might be enough. But the Minstermen, three points below Woking and on a hot streak away from home, will have other ideas and definitely need to go for a win themselves to try to secure their own safety. This is surely the biggest game of the season so far for both clubs, so make sure you’re at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday for this hugely important match. And don’t forget to bring your completed season ticket application forms to take advantage of the Club’s astonishing offer for the next campaign!
Enormous credit must go to Garry Hill, Steve Thompson and the players for holding their nerve in the closing stages of the season and pulling off some great results, including the crucial wins over Macclefield Town and Chester over Easter. The Cards now sit in 17th place with 51 points but are by no means safe. Braintree Town in the last relegation place are only three points behind, so, with six points still to play for, Woking cannot afford to be complacent.
The remaining fixtures for the clubs in the fight to avoid joining Southport and North Ferriby United in the ‘drop’ are:
Chester (52 points) (GD: -3): Sutton United (a), Boreham Wood (h)
Woking (51 points) (GD: -14): York City (h), Dagenham and Redbridge (a)
Solihull Moors (51 points) (GD: -15): Eastleigh (h), Guiseley (a)
Guiseley (49 points) (GD: - 17): Bromley (a), Solihull Moors (h)
York City (48 points) (GD: -15): Woking (a), Forest Green Rovers (h)
Braintree Town (48 points) (GD: -21): Barrow (h), Aldershot Town (a)
Torquay United (47 points) (GD: -10): Dover Athletic (a), North Ferriby United (h)
Defeats for Braintree Town and Torquay United would effectively see the Cards safe, irrespective of the outcome of the game against York City. Even if Braintree were to win and Woking were to lose on Saturday, it is highly probable that the Cards would still be ahead of the Iron on Saturday evening, given Woking’s present seven goal advantage in goal difference. But Garry will be very keen to avoid having to get a result at Dagenham and Redbridge on the final day to secure safety. Woking must aim for a win over York but, at worst, ensure that they are not beaten. If York do win, however, they will go above Woking on goal difference.
Garry Hill will no doubt be hoping that Ismail Yakubu will be fit enough to return in central defence and will have to decide whether to start with Jamie Lucas or Gozie Ugwu up front, partnering the battling Delano Sam-Yorke.
The Minstermen were relegated from League 2 at the end of last season after a four-year spell back in the Football League, having previously been relegated to the Conference at the end of the 2003-04 season. With parachute money at their disposal, they were expected to challenge for an immediate return under new manager Jackie McNamara but a poor start saw McNamara replaced in October by Gary Mills, returning to the club he successfully managed from 2010-13 before leaving for Gateshead and then Wrexham.
At one stage the Minstermen were rock bottom of the table but have staged a remarkable recovery in recent weeks and now lie just above the relegation places on goal difference. Their last three away games have seen them gain consecutive wins over Macclesfield, Chester and Solihull Moors. But they were disappointed to lose their last two home games, against Bromley and, last Monday, Wrexham. Remarkably, in addition to this recovery, York City have also made it to the final of the Buildbase FA Trophy, beating Lincoln City in the semi-final, and will play Macclesfield Town.
McNamara made over 20 signings in the summer. Among those remaining are captain Simon Heslop; midfielder Yan Klukowski signed from Newport County and formerly with Forest Green Rovers; midfielder Clovis Kamdjo, previously with Salisbury, Forest Green Rovers and Boreham Wood; central defender Matt Fry, one of many players lured away from Braintree; winger Aidan Connolly, who played briefly under McNamara at Dundee United; defender Alex Whittle, who was previously at Dunfermline Athletic but who has played since for AFC Telford and Southport; right back Shaun Rooney, another recruit from Dunfermline; and keeper Scott Loach, on a season-long loan from Notts County.
Gary Mills, on arrival, immediately set about strengthening an already sizeable squad. A key signing was that of 6’ 4” striker Jon “The Beast” Parkin, who had left Forest Green Rovers in the summer to join Newport County. Other arrivals in the autumn included defender Sean Newton from Wrexham, striker Adriano Moke from Boreham Wood and Danny Holmes, a defender from AFC Fylde.
More recent arrivals include defender Hamza Bencherif, on loan from Wrexham; defender Dan Parslow, returning to Bootham Crescent from Cheltenham Town; striker Amari Morgan-Smith, also from Cheltenham Town; midfielder Asa Hall, yet another recruit from Whaddon Road; and Sam Muggleton, a left-back who has previously played for Barnet and Eastleigh.
The main goal threat is likely to come from Jon Parkin and the ex-Lincoln and Crewe Alexandra striker, Vadaine Oliver.
Over 65/Students with valid student card £13
The game will be segregated, with York fans allocated the uncovered Chris Lane Terrace and part of the seated Leslie Gosden Stand.
SEASON TICKETS FOR 2017-18
The Club has made a fantastic offer to fans for season tickets for the next campaign but you need to get your application in by 15 May to take advantage. Adult season tickets will cost only £99, while students aged 20 and over can buy one for £75 and for those aged 19 and below the cost is only £20. Even if you go to only a few games a season, this is an offer not to be missed. And how about buying a season ticket or two for the kids, nephews, nieces, grandchildren….? You can download the application form from the news item dated 13 April http://www.wokingfc.co.uk/news/article/5826/cards-launch-unbelievable-99-season-ticket-offer-/
BOOST THE BUDGET
There will be a Boost the Budget collection on Saturday, with all proceeds going to the playing budget via shares bought by the Cards Trust. Please give as generously as you can: the funds raised in recent seasons have provided vital support to Garry Hill and Steve Thompson.
LAST TIME OUT
York City 4 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
27 August 2016
Not a game Cards fans will remember at all fondly! This was the Cards’ fifth defeat in the opening six games of the season. Woking took an early lead, Gozie Ugwu latching onto a Zak Ansah pass to coolly fire past keeper Letheren. But it was very short-lived, with war horse Richard Brodie equalising a minute later as he was allowed too much time on the edge of the box. Worse was to follow as the Minstermen rattled in three more goals in the following quarter of an hour through Yan Klukowski, Jake Wright and Aidan Connolly.
York City: Kyle Letheren, Shaun Rooney, Alex Whittle, Clovis Kamdjo (Daniel Nti 62), Matt Fry ©, Richard Brodie (Scott Fenwick 69), Yan Klukowski, Aidan Connolly, Ben Clappison, Matty Dixon, Jake Wright (Reece Thompson 69).
Unused subs: Jack Higgins, Luke Simpson.
Goals: Brodie 9, Klukowski 13, Wright 20, Connolly 26.
Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Keiran Murtagh ©, Gozie Ugwu (Charlie Penny 16), Zak Ansah (Chike Kandi 72), Nathan Ralph, Charlie Carter, Fabio Saraiva, Anthony Edgar (Max Kretzschmar 46).
Unused subs: Dennon Lewis, Brandon Hall.
Goal: Ugwu 8.
Attendance: 1,972 (56 from Woking)
The Cards’ final league game of the season is away to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday 29 April. Please note that it is a 12.15pm kick-off. Why not book yourself on the Cards Trust coach when you’re at the York game?
Don’t forget that the Cards play Merstham in the Final of the Surrey Senior Cup at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Wednesday 3 May (kick-off 7.45pm).
Come on, you Cards!
A game not to be missed
Brian Caffarey - 19th April 2017