Chance to extend lead at top
6:43am, Thu 2nd Feb 2012
Woking v Dorchester Town
3pm on Saturday 4 February 2012
Garry Hill sees the next three games as crucial to the Cardsâ€™ pursuit of the BSBS title: a good points tally from these games and he believes that Woking will be very hard to catch. Of course, those three games include an eagerly-awaited home clash in a fortnightâ€™s time against second-placed Dartford â€“ now the only team with a realistic chance of catching the Cards. But his calculations must surely include gaining three points this Saturday against seventh-placed Dorchester â€“ certainly not to be taken for granted, given the Magpiesâ€™ impressive away record and Wokingâ€™s recent inconsistent form. Come down to Kingfield and cheer the Cards on to another vital win!
Adam Doyle has now completed his two-match suspension and will be available for selection but Aaron Howe faces a one-match ban this Saturday following his sending-off at Salisbury, so Andy Little will be in goal. Mark Ricketts is now back in training but is presumably still a couple of weeks at least away from a return and Paris Cowan-Hall is recovering from the recurrence of his hamstring injury. Garry has been reticent about the outlook for Dale Binns, who has been suffering from a groin strain.
Garry will have been encouraged, though, by the contribution made by recent loan signings, with Keiran Murtagh and Mike Cestor arguably the two most influential players in the crucial win last week at Boreham Wood and Luke Medley coming off the bench to make a vital assist for the winning goal. Wokingâ€™s latest signing, Mo Shariff, had not even had time to train with the squad before his debut at Boreham Wood, so it was not surprising that he did not show up strongly but there were one or two nice touches and Cards fans will look forward to seeing him in action at Kingfield.
With Dartford engaged in the FA Trophy this weekend, the Cards have the opportunity to restore their lead to 14 points, if perhaps only briefly: the Darts are away at Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday evening.
The Magpies are on a very fine run at present, being unbeaten in their last 14 league games. That sequence includes some impressive away performances â€“ most recently a 4-1 win at Eastbourne Borough and, prior to that, a 1-0 win at Salisbury City and a 1-1 draw at Dartford. They now sit in seventh place in the table, having played two or three more games than most of the sides around them. They have 42 points from 29 games, with 39 goals scored and the same number conceded.
Alan Knight, the former Portsmouth legend, was appointed the Magpiesâ€™ manager in early December. Transfer activity since then has included the lucrative sale of 18 year-old striker Ben Dickenson to Brighton and Hove Albion, Steve Devlinâ€™s move to Poole Town and the return of loanee Andrew White to Eastleigh. Replacing Dickenson up front has been 19 year-old Tom Nichols, on loan from Exeter City, who has scored in the Magpiesâ€™ last three games. Knight is hoping to bring in ex-Card Stephen Reed and Sam Malsom, both from Weymouth.
The Magpies should provide a stern test, especially in midfield where they have some very experienced players in the shape of club captain Mark Jermyn (over 500 appearances) and Jamie Gleeson (over 200), both playing alongside Nick Crittenden.
David Holmes says that being the Club Photographer isnâ€™t all about taking action shots! Find out more in this Saturdayâ€™s matchday programme. Also included is an interesting profile of Keiran Murtagh, plus all the usual previews, reports, fascinating stats and â€“ of course! â€“ great photos. Make sure you get a copy!
LAST TIME OUT
Dorchester Town 0 Woking 1
24 September 2011
Wokingâ€™s fourth victory on the trot was a dour affair but it was the kind of win you need to be able to grind out on occasions if you have realistic promotion aspirations.
The home side started slightly more brightly, with Moss missing possibly their best chance of the game in the 8th minute when he scooped over the bar. Devlin subsequently tried a quick, clever 60-yard lob from a free-kick which had Aaron Howe scrambling. Woking didnâ€™t get a shot on target till the 39th minute when Paris Cowan-Hall let fly.
The Cards gradually got on top in the second half, with the breakthrough coming from in-form Moses Ademola, notching his seventh goal of the season as he shot powerfully from the edge of the box from a Derek Duncan pass. Ademola was later to hit the post as the Cards proceeded fairly comfortably to garner three more vital points.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Donâ€™t forget to put the Woking v Dartford clash firmly in your diary: 3pm on Saturday 18 February.