Chelmsford City V Woking
3:03pm, Sun 15th Aug 2010
On Monday night the Cards travel to Melbourne stadium, home of Chelmsford City, where they will be looking to make amends after their home defeat to Dover Athletic on Saturday. Since gaining promotion from the Isthmian Premier Division in 2007/08, Chelmsford have become one of the teams to beat in the Conference South. They finished their first season in fifth, and improved on that last season to finish third. Woking could only finish fifth last season. However, both sides have seen a number of comings and goings over the summer and will be hoping their new arrivals can help them to promotion this time around. Woking lost their home fixture against Chelmsford City 2-1 last season, but managed to beat them on the return fixture at Melbourne Stadium, a result which bodes well for Monday night.
Woking have seen a lot of players come and go over the summer, and the effects were obvious during their first game loss to Dover at the weekend. The team were unfortunate to lose in the manner they did, but it was clear that the team were still trying to gel as they get used to individual playing styles.
Graham Baker may look to make one or two changes on Monday night, given that the players have only been given two days' rest since their weekend fixture. New signing Adam Doyle should be available on the night, and could partner Joe McNerney in central defence, allowing Alan Inns an important rest as he continues to gain full match fitness.
The manager will also have an important decision to make in terms of the formation he wishes to play. The Cards appeared to struggle playing 4-4-2 on the weekend, and looked more threatening after switching to a more versatile 4-3-3. With that in mind, Dave Gilroy may be given another chance upfront, and could be supported by Moses Ademola and Sam Hurrell, who also impressed on Saturday.
More importantly, however, Graham Baker will be looking for a more energetic and confident performance from his side on Monday night. They failed to pack a punch on their opening fixture, but rest assured they will be looking to right their wrongs when they meet Chelmsford tomorrow night.
Chelmsford got their season underway in perfect fashion over the weekend, winning a five goal thriller 3-2 against Basingstoke Town. Their away win will no doubt give them a strong mental advantage over Woking on the night, as will their home support. Like Woking, Chelmsford have also seen some new faces join the club over the summer, some of whom were involved on Saturday afternoon.
New signing Billy Bricknell scored on his debut to help provide his side with an important victory, and at the other end, new keeper James Pullen made some very impressive saves throughout the match to ensure the Clarets retained their lead.
Chelmsford are priced at 9/2 to gain promotion this season, after reaching the play-offs in each of the last two seasons. There can be no doubt that Woking face a tough task tomorrow night as they travel to Melbourne Park, but there are signs that the Clarets' defence is prone to the odd lapse in concentration.
Against Basingstoke they conceded a penalty and a late goal, as well as being caught in possession on a number of occasions. All are mistakes that they will no doubt be looking to rectify, but if Woking can take advantage of these weaknesses then they stand a great chance of snatching all three points on the night.
Leaves 4.30pm. Members £14. Non-Members £19. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book your place.
From M25 take J28, A12 Brentwood. Leave at J15 onto A414 to Chelmsford. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Three Mile Hill, A414. Next roundabout take 1st exit onto A138, Waterhouse Lane. Left at A138 / Park Way. Left at A1060 / Rainsford Road, turn right onto Melbourne Ave, then 3rd left onto Salerno Way. Multimap says that it will take 1 hour 30 minutes, so leave at least 2 hours to be sure! There are a small number of parking spaces on matchday located at the centre, and limited street parking is available.
Take the train to Waterloo and then take the Jubilee Line to Stratford. There are frequent trains from there to Chelmsford, taking about 25 minutes, e.g. the 18.20 arrives at 18.43. Then get a taxi from the rank or a bus. The number 54 and 56 buses leave initially from outside the site of the old bus station, opposite the train station in Duke Street. The journey takes about 15 minutes. Trains back to Stratford include the following times: 21.58, 22.11, 22.27 and 22.40.
Come on, you Cards!