12:00am, Mon 23rd Feb 2009
STEVENAGE BOROUGH v WOKING
7.45pm on Tuesday 24 February 2009
However bad our season has been ? and it?s hard to think of one worse than this in all our Conference years ? we have usually managed to pull out all the stops on our visits to Broadhall Way, frequently putting a spoke in the wheel of our ambitious friends from Hertfordshire. We?ve been helped in the past by a leavening of ex-Boro players eager to make their mark on their return. That particular element will be missing tomorrow night but the rivalry should still be as intense as ever ? and an against-the-odds result would taste even sweeter. Don?t miss it!
See David Holmes?s earlier posting for an injury update from Andy Cook, the Cards? busy sports therapist. In addition to the crocked, we have the suspended: Joel Ledgister and Patrice Konan. (Abdou El Kholti will be available, though, having served his one-match suspension for his dismissal at Salisbury a week ago. It seems probable, though, that Joe Anderson will continue at left-back after an encouraging debut on Saturday.)
Let?s hope that Colin Miles ? who wins a surprising amount in the air, given that he?s not the tallest of central defenders ? is fit enough to return in place of Konan. He will be needed to combat the aerial threat of Boro?s top scorer, Steve Morison.
Searching around for positives, we did play much better in the second half at Altrincham and should have got at least a point for our endeavours. But of course we didn?t put the ball in the net! Second-half substitute Kelvin Bossman certainly added some pace and directness to our attacking play and must be a candidate for a starting place, perhaps replacing Joel Ledgister or Charlie Moone, depending on whether Rob Elvins passes a fitness test.
In contrast to our dire state, Boro approach this game oozing confidence on the back of eight successive league and cup wins, including a 4-0 thrashing of BSP champions-elect Burton Albion. Their victory by the same scoreline over Forest Green Rovers on Saturday saw them through too to the semi-final of the FA Trophy.
They now sit in fourth place in the BSP table, with 53 points from 23 games, having scored 54 goals compared with Woking?s 28.
Graham Westley was busy strengthening his squad during the transfer window. Defender Jon Ashton arrived from Grays Athletic, midfielder Darren Murphy signed from Cork City and Mark Roberts made the move permanent from Northwich Victoria. John Martin has gone on loan to Ebbsfleet, Daryl McMahon has transferred to Cambridge United and ex-Card Luke Oliver has moved to Wycombe Wanderers.
Among the familiar faces at Broadhall Way are ex-Card Ashley Bayes between the sticks, Ronnie Henry and Mark Albrighton in defence and Lee Boylan and Mitchell Cole in attack, alongside the prolific Morison.
21 Feb: Stevenage Borough 4 Forest Green Rovers 0 (FA Trophy)
14 Feb: Weymouth 0 Stevenage Borough 3
31 Jan: Stevenage 4 Burton Albion 0 (FA Trophy)
27 Jan: Stevenage Borough 2 Kettering Town 1
24 Jan: Salisbury City 2 Stevenage Borough 4
17 Jan: Stevenage Borough 3 Barrow 0
08-09 Woking 0 Stevenage Borough 1
07-08 Woking 0 Stevenage Borough 2
Stevenage Borough 1 Woking 1
06-07 Woking 0 Stevenage Borough 1
Stevenage Borough 3 Woking 2
(Karl Murray, Ollie Berquez)
05-06 Stevenage Borough 1 Woking 1
Woking 3 Stevenage Borough 2
(Ian Selley, Gary MacDonald, Steve Ferguson)
Leaving Kingfield at 4.30pm; just ?12 for Members and ?16 for non-Members. Phone the Club Shop tomorrow or take a chance and just turn up.
Approach Stevenage on the A1(M). Take the Stevenage South (A602) exit off the A1(M), and Broadhall Way is on the right at the second roundabout. There is a large car park opposite the ground.
Stevenage Station is 20 minutes from King?s Cross and the 16:59 from Woking gets you into Waterloo in plenty of time to get the tube. It?s about a 25 minute walk from Stevenage Station or you can get a bus or a taxi. (For the Number 4 bus, take the station footbridge past the Gordon Craig Theatre to the town centre.) If you are walking, go down the first flight of stairs on the right as you go along the footbridge, go right at the bottom, follow the main road along past the police station, go down the steps into the underpass, turn right, go left up from the underpass past Roaring Meg and keep going down the main road until you reach the retail park on your left. Head diagonally across through the stores until you reach the footpaths leading to the ground: there are signs for away supporters.
Come on, you Cards!