More Cup action on Saturday!
6:13am, Fri 9th Oct 2009
Woking v Maidstone United
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round
3pm on Saturday 10 October 2009
The Cards take on Ryman Premier side, Maidstone United, at Kingfield tomorrow afternoon in what should be a hard-fought and interesting encounter as both sides battle to get their hands on the Â£7,500 prize money and a passage to the Fourth Qualifying Round. The Stones have had a good start to the season, being unbeaten in their last seven games, and have a number of experienced players who should provide a stiff test for Graham Bakerâ€™s exciting young side. Come down to Kingfield and see the action!
Graham Baker will be hoping that the panache â€“ and ability to put the ball in the net! â€“ shown at home against Hythe Town in the FA Cup replay will carry over to this cup game. The Cards should be full of confidence, boosted by an excellent 2-0 away win at Chelmsford City last Saturday and with the return of Wilfried Domoraud and Luke Medley to boost our attacking options up front.
Of Wilfâ€™s return, Graham told me that it came about following a telephone call from Wilf: â€œWilf rang me up and we took things from there. We made him an offer in the summer, clearly indicating that we wanted to keep him. I think Wilfâ€™s agent painted a rosy picture of what might be available elsewhere â€“ and of course I donâ€™t blame Wilf for wanting to get the best deal for himself. But, although heâ€™s had trials at a number of other clubs, nothing firm materialised. Although Wilf hasnâ€™t been playing regularly, heâ€™s kept himself very fit, using a personal trainer: I could see when he trained with us before the Chelmsford game that he was probably fit enough to be pitched immediately into that game â€“ and, as we saw, he did the business straightaway. As Iâ€™ve said before, heâ€™s returned in a very positive frame of mind and Iâ€™m delighted to have him back. Heâ€™s got pace, power and a good leap, so I think heâ€™ll give us another important option up front. Iâ€™m expecting him to score plenty of goals at this level.â€�
On the injury front, the situation as of yesterday morning was as follows. Graham wasnâ€™t sure whether Tony Sinclair would be fit enough to be selected: a final decision was going to be made today. Although Jon Boardman came very well through his appearance in the reserves on Tuesday night, playing for longer than Graham had originally anticipated, Graham wasnâ€™t planning to use him in this game, especially if Tony Sinclair is available for selection. Luke Medley had flu symptoms, so was a doubt for the game. Moses Ademola is expected to be out for a further two to three weeks as he recovers from serious ankle ligament injuries. Nicky Nicolau hasnâ€™t recovered sufficiently from his hamstring injury to be in the reckoning, and Billy Hussey is continuing his recuperation. There are no suspensions.
Graham has had Maidstone watched and clearly expects them to be a tough proposition. â€œTheyâ€™re playing well and have got a number of experienced players who will enjoy coming to Kingfield for this match. We will need to be at our best to ensure we get through to the next round.â€�
The Stones are a club on the rise. Following the demise of the League club in 1992 the re-formed club has clawed its way back up the football pyramid, reaching the Ryman League Division One South for the 2006-07 season and becoming champions at the first attempt. After a difficult first season at Ryman Premier level the Stones have now consolidated their position and will be looking to make the next step up to the Conference South.
Joint Managers Alan Walker and Lloyd Hume have put together a strong squad, with quite a few players having experience with Gillingham and Gravesend/Ebbsfleet at a higher level. These include keeper Jamie Turner, defenders Roland Edge and Peter Hawkins and central midfielder Jay Saunders. Theyâ€™re backed up by a number of useful younger players whoâ€™ve come through the Stonesâ€™ youth and reserve sides. The main goal threat comes from in-form James Pinnock.
Their progress in the Cup so far has been:
1st Qualifying Round: Maidstone United 2 Bedfont 1 (Saunders, Bottle)
2nd Qualifying Round: Harefield United 0 Maidstone United 2 (Edge, Pinnock)
Admission prices are the same as those for a league game i.e.
Â£8.00 Concessions (over 60 and Students with a valid NUS Card)
This is of course an â€˜all payâ€™ game.
The match will be segregated.
See yesterdayâ€™s news item for a â€˜tasterâ€™ of the excellent matchday programme.
Come on, you Cards!