Big Trophy test for Cards
8:14am, Fri 19th Nov 2010
Dover Athletic v Woking
FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
3pm on Saturday 20 November 2010
Graham Baker may be having a hard task in bringing his players back down to earth after their tremendous FA Cup performance on Tuesday night, but the Cards have now got to concentrate on the ‘bread and butter’ of the Blue Square Bet South and the FA Trophy. The latter competition, as all Cards fans know, is one which has brought the Club great success in the past, and a good run can bring substantial financial benefits, so it’s important that the chance of making progress isn’t just passed up in the aftermath of the FA Cup. The Whites have already beaten us once this season and have been in fine form – witness their superb 2-0 win at Gillingham in the Cup – so Woking can’t afford a ‘post-Cup reaction’ day. Surely, the prospect of a possible trip to Wembley should be motivation enough for any non-League player?
Woking fans must hope that the players’ main reaction to the Brighton cup tie is not one of deflation but a realisation that they are – or can be – a better team than their results so far this season suggest and that, accordingly, they now need to go out and impose themselves more on teams at their own level. We have seen that the Cards can defend superbly; that they can launch swift counter-attacks; and that in Elvis Hammond they now have a player who can shield the ball on the ground expertly and whose trickery in the box can cause problems for the opposition.
A boost in confidence might just compensate for the downside of aggravated niggling injuries and the immense physical exertion of Tuesday’s display.
The Cards had much the better of their encounters with the Whites last season, beating them twice in the league and then defeating them in the two-legged play-off semi-final. But Martin Hayes’s side have already exacted some revenge this season, with their opening 1-0 victory at Kingfield on the opening day of the season: a defeat which seemed to set the tone for some shaky home performances from the Cards thereafter. Dover are going well in the league, currently sitting in 6th place, but, like Woking, their home record is unimpressive with only two wins. In the FA Cup they had a memorably sweet victory over former Manager Andy Hessenthaler’s Gillingham in the First Round of the FA Cup and now face Aldershot Town. Adam Birchall, who has already scored 10 goals this season, is grabbing all the headlines but Woking know from experience that they need to be very wary too of towering defender Olly Shulz. The Dover squad includes two ex-Cards in Nicky Nicolau and Jason Norville, the latter scoring the Whites’ winner in their recent 3-2 win at Boreham Wood.
Crabble Athletic Ground
Leaves 11.30am; £15 members, £20 non-members; ring the Club Shop today (01483 772470) or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Follow the M25 eastbound and then the M26 onto the M20. Leave the M20 at J7 for the A249 (signposted Sheerness/Sittingbourne) and then take the M2 (following signs for Canterbury and then Dover) as far as the Whitfield roundabout. Take the fourth exit at this roundabout, down Whitfield Hill. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and follow this road until the first set of traffic lights. At the lights turn right (180 degrees down the hill) and follow the road under the railway bridge. The ground is a little further up the road on the left.
Direct trains leave London St Pancras for Dover Priory station at 12 minutes past the hour and take about 70 minutes. This is Dover’s main station but is about 2 miles from the ground. A better bet may be to catch the service at 42 minutes past the hour and change at Ashford International onto the service to Dover Priory, which then connects with a train to Kearsney, which is about 15 minutes’ walk from the ground. For example, the 12.42 from St Pancras arrives at Ashford International at 13.20. You can then catch the 13.30 to Dover Priory, which arrives at 14.01. From there you can take the 14.05 to Kearsney, which arrives at 14.09. (Trains from Dover Priory to Kearsney only run at 05 past the hour, so you’d have a much longer wait at Dover Priory if you catch the 12 minutes past train from St Pancras.)
An alternative route is to catch a train from Victoria to Faversham and change there. Trains leave at 22 minutes past the hour. The 12.22 would get you to Faversham at 13.39, from where you can take the 13.45 to Kearsney, arriving at 14.21.
If you get off at Kearsney, turn right as you leave the station, go under the railway bridge and then take the first road on the left (Lower Road). Follow Lower Road all the way along, past a pond on your right and Crabble Corn Mill on your left. At the end you will see the Cricketers pub on the other side of the road. Turn right and you should see the entrance to the ground. If you get off at Dover Priory it is probably best to get a bus or taxi to the ground as it is a long walk.
Log on to www.thetrainline.com for further information about train times and fares.
The game will be segregated. Woking fans should follow the signs for ‘away’ fans.
Come on, you Cards!