Stevenage come to town
10:37am, Fri 31st Jul 2009
Woking v Stevenage Borough
3pm on Saturday 1 August 2009
Some Woking fans were a bit surprised that the Club arranged this friendly, with the chance it gives Boro fans to gloat over our misfortunes, but, as with the visit of Aldershot Town the other evening, it gives a welcome â€˜edgeâ€™ to a game at a stage of the pre-season friendly campaign when you want a competitive match. Cards fans may be able to welcome back Ashley Bayes and Charlie Griffin. Itâ€™s not yet clear if Boroâ€™s Peter Vincenti will be able to join Woking in time to play in this match.
Graham Baker will be hoping that his side can continue the promising form shown in the games against AFC Totton and Aldershot Town â€“ games in which we saw the majority of the side who are expected to start at Welling United on 8 August. There seems little doubt that, subject to the doubts about Aswad Thomasâ€™s fitness, we will see Ross Worner in goal and a back four of Ricky Anane, Tom Hutchinson, Tony Sinclair and Aswad, who seem to be gelling nicely. The central midfield partnership of the solid, defensively-minded Mark Ricketts and the skilful, combative Harry Arter looks very promising indeed. The greatest area of doubt centres on the strikers. So far, weâ€™ve seen Luke Medley, usually on the right flank, Delano Sam-Yorke through the middle, and Gez Sole, usually playing just behind Delano. Now that Peter Vincenti and Moses Ademola, the two new loan signings, are joining Graham will have other possible permutations but he hasnâ€™t got long to experiment before the season starts.
Once again, Boro will be one of the favourites for a play-off place and will be hoping that they can make a strong start to the season. Indifferent early results have often been their undoing in the past. Graham Westley did a good job last season in propelling the Boro to the play-off places but saw his side defeated by Cambridge United.
Boro lost their top striker, Steve Morison, to Millwall in the summer for a Â£150k fee. Charlie Griffin has been brought in from Salisbury City but he and his fellow strikers will have a tough task in compensating for Morisonâ€™s goals. Morison rubbed that in by grabbing both Millwallâ€™s goals in their 2-1 win at the Lamex Stadium in a pre-season friendly.
Other new signings include Yemi Odubade, a familiar figure from clashes with Oxford United; Stacy Long, one of many enforced departures from Ebbsfleet United this summer; Chris Beardsley, experienced striker with a number of BSP clubs; and Joel Byrom, a midfielder from Northwich Victoria who cost Boro Â£15k. Departures included John Martin, Gary Mills and Callum Willock.
Boroâ€™s pre-season results so far have been:
Chelmsford City 2 Stevenage Borough 1
Stevenage Borough 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 1
Cambridge City 1 Stevenage Borough 1
Stevenage Borough 1 Millwall 2
Stevenage Borough 0 Peterborough United 2
Boro have a home friendly against Southend United this (Friday) evening but, with the size and depth of their first team squad, can nevertheless be expected to field a strong side on Saturday afternoon. (Later: Boro beat Southend United 2-1, with goals from Joel Byrom and Darren Murphy)
Come on, you Cards!
Log on to www.wokingfc.co.uk later on Saturday for a match report.