Cards aim to make home advantage pay
9:52am, Thu 5th Jan 2012
Woking v Staines Town
3pm on Saturday 7 January 2012
Garry Hill’s target is now 10 wins out of the remaining 18 games and he’ll certainly be hoping that the Cards’ next two matches, both of which are at home to struggling sides, will produce maximum points. But Woking have not found the going easy against Staines in recent years and the Swans will be fighting hard to avoid relegation. So, it should be a keenly-contested game on Saturday. Make sure you are there! And, if you can, please support the Cards Trust’s Boost the Budget bucket collection or, better still, sign up for regular contributions so that we can all help Garry build an even stronger side next season!
The Cards lead second-placed Chelmsford City by 14 points, although the Clarets have a game in hand. To coin a phrase, it’s really Woking’s to lose now even though Chelmsford are in very good form.
Garry Hill has moved to strengthen the side by bringing in Keiran Murtagh on loan for his second spell at Kingfield and he showed at Farnborough on New Year’s Day the quality on the ball which made his previous loan spell so memorable. Another bonus was the return from injury of Paris Cowan-Hall, who gives the side some lightning pace through the middle. His usual assured finishing was awry at the Rushmoor Stadium but he looked very keen to get his name on the score sheet again.
It’s hard to believe Garry will make many unforced changes to the side which played so well on New Year’s Day but he’s got Wayne Gray and Paris to call on if he wants to ramp up the attacking options for a home game.
The Swans have struggled all season and now lie one off the bottom of the table with 17 points from 22 games. Away from home they’ve won two, drawn three and lost six, scoring 12 goals and conceding 16. The goals for and against totals confirm that nearly all of their games have been tight, with the odd goal almost invariably being decisive. The two away wins came at Thurrock in early December and at Hampton and Richmond Borough on Boxing Day. But that encouraging 2-1 win was undermined by the Beavers’ demoralising 4-1 win at Wheatsheaf Park on New Year’s Day.
On paper Staines have a useful-looking squad and ought not to be struggling. Captain Danny Gordon leads a generally strong defence. In midfield Andre Scarlett, Howard Newton and Gareth Risbridger are all very capable. Up front, Mark Nwokeji has caused us problems in the past playing for Staines and AFC Wimbledon, whilst Marc Charles-Smith, Ali Chaaban and Richard Butler are all experienced strikers. The Staines’ attack, though, will be hampered by the absence of the talismanic Scott Taylor, who has cracked ribs, but they have just brought in Aiden O’Brien, a young 6’2” striker from Millwall.
Make sure you get a copy of Saturday’s packed matchday programme, which includes a ‘question and answer’ session with Garry Hill about the season so far and future prospects. There is also a profile of Adam Doyle and a look at the success or otherwise of clubs which have been promoted to the Football League. And Ian Nicholson explains how fans can help the club through supporting the Boost the Budget initiative. Plus all the usual previews, reports, fascinating stats and great photos.
LAST TIME OUT
Staines Town 0 Woking 1
22 October 2011
This was one of the least impressive Woking performances to date. The Cards, with Alan Inns making his first appearance of the season, dominated play from early on in the first half and took the lead in the 26th minute when Dale Binns, Woking’s best player on the day, turned ex-Card Simon Jackson inside out and delivered a superb cross which was diverted into the net by some part of Elvis Hammond’s body. The Cards proceeded to create a number of half-chances before the interval but some slack finishing meant that the second goal eluded them.
Woking didn’t get going in the second half in spite of being handed a man advantage in the 52nd minute when Adam Everitt was sent off for an ugly tackle on Jay Davies. It was Staines who made the running and by the end the Cards were grimly hanging on, with Aaron Howe having to make a vital save in injury time from Scott Taylor.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Don’t forget that the Cards are at home again the following Saturday, 14 January, when Bromley are the visitors.