Tough trip for Cards
6:53am, Fri 29th Jan 2010
Braintree Town v Woking
3pm on Saturday 30 January 2010
The Cards continue their sequence of games against other top sides with a visit to Braintree Town tomorrow. The Iron currently lie in 8th place, six points behind Woking, but they have three games in hand, so Saturdayâ€™s result will be significant for both sidesâ€™ play-off aspirations.
Graham Baker has confirmed that he has a full squad to choose from apart from Daniel Sintim, who is on loan to Croydon Athletic. Jamie Hand has now served out his suspension, and both he and Jamie Slabber appeared in Wednesday nightâ€™s reserve game at Merstham.
Graham is conscious that the Club has got an opportunity over the next couple of weeks, with games against Braintree Town and Thurrock, to do some damage to play-off rivals and is very keen to get a result tomorrow against what he regards as a â€˜very goodâ€™ side.
The Iron will be a tough nut to crack. Theyâ€™ve lost fewer games than any side in the BSS apart from runaway leaders, Newport County, with a record of 10 wins, 9 draws and only 3 defeats in their 22 games. It will be interesting to see, however, what effect their long lay-off has had: theyâ€™ve not played a competitive game since New Yearâ€™s Day, when they defeated Bishopâ€™s Stortford 2-0. Their recent record reads:
BSS 8 Dec Braintree 2 Bath 0
BSS 26 Dec Bishopâ€™s Stortford 0 Braintree 0
BSS 28 Dec Braintree 1 Hampton & RB 1
BSS 1 Jan Braintree 2 Bishopâ€™s Stortford 0
In the reverse fixture at Kingfield, on 31 October, the two sides drew 0-0 at a time when the Cards were struggling to find the net at home.
A recent signing is centre-half Tom Champion from Bishopâ€™s Stortford, who was formerly with Barnet. He will be playing in front of Craig Holloway, the ex-Farnborough keeper who re-signed for the Iron after joining Chelmsford City in the summer. The Braintree midfield is highly experienced, with both Mark Jones and captain Brad Quinton having notched over 400 games for the club. Fellow midfielder Jacob Mingle has been in good form, while Jon Keeling is well known from his stints at Canvey Island and Chelmsford City among other clubs. Up front George Purcell came through the ranks at Gillingham before joining Ebbsfleet United. Alex Rhodes, who had a loan spell at Woking last season before joining Oxford United in the summer, was signed in the autumn.
Braintree Town FC
The Cressing Road Stadium,
Leaves 11.30am; Â£14 members, Â£17 non-members; phone the Club Shop today or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
Use the Braintree by-pass, A120, until the Galleys Corner roundabout, recognisable by the large McDonalds logo. Take the exit towards Braintree College. This is Cressing Road and the ground is hidden behind new flats (called Iron View, as the higher ones get a free view of the ground) on the left-hand side, 0.7 miles from the roundabout. Look out for the Orange Tree pub on the right-hand side and then take the next turning on the left into Clockhouse Way. There is a small road sign pointing the way on the right-hand side of the road.
Braintree Station is about a 15 minute walk from the ground, although there is a taxi rank outside the station. Trains take about one hour from Stratford (which can be reached on the Jubilee Line from Waterloo) and leave at five minutes to each hour. Return trains also leave at five minutes to each hour.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Donâ€™t forget that the Cards are at home to Merstham on Tuesday evening in the Surrey Senior Cup and then play Thurrock on Saturday 6 February on a day which will be dedicated to celebrating Phil Ledgerâ€™s life, with a special matchday programme being produced.