Crunch game on Friday
10:28am, Wed 4th Apr 2012
Basingstoke Town v Woking
3pm on Friday 6 April 2012
This should be a cracker! The Cards are now only five points clear of Dartford and will want to target nothing less than a win at the Camrose. Basingstoke are on a great run, having won their last four games, and have a play-off place in sight â€“ but canâ€™t afford to drop points. Add local rivalry and a host of ex-Cards in the â€˜Stoke squad and youâ€™ve got all the ingredients for a terrific contest. N.B. Remember that this game has been switched from Saturday to Good Friday!
Dartfordâ€™s 1-0 win at Eastbourne Borough on Tuesday evening has intensified the pressure on Garry Hillâ€™s side, with only five games to go. Wokingâ€™s lead, which was 14 points at one stage, has been gradually whittled down by the Darts as theyâ€™ve taken full advantage of their games in hand and continued their superb form. The Cards will be desperate not to see their lead eroded even further and must target a full six points from their two Easter games, with difficult trips to Maidenhead United and â€“ on the last day of the season â€“ Chelmsford City to follow. If the Cards can reproduce the form they showed against Thurrock last Saturday, a win at the Camrose, though a tough call, will not be beyond them. It would also put pressure on Dartford, who have a potentially difficult home game against Chelmsford City on Saturday.
Woking will be missing Adam Doyle, who begins a three-match suspension after having picked up 15 bookings. (Kevin Betsyâ€™s two-match suspension starts on Monday.) Garry has already reinforced his defensive options by bringing in Mike Cestor and Glenn Wilson on loan but the latter will presumably have to cover again for Adam Newton at right back.
Cards fans will be hoping that Gez Sole can continue the wonderful form heâ€™s shown in recent games â€“ which, ironically, started on his return from a loan spell at the Camrose â€“ and which has won him the Blue Square South â€˜player of the monthâ€™ award for March. It would be a boost too if Paris Cowan-Hall has recovered from his injury, although Garry has quite a few options up front now that Dale Binns has returned from injury and suspension.
Basingstoke parted company with Frank Gray and Gerry Murphy in late February, with long-serving Jason Bristow taking over the reins. An upturn in form has resulted, with the side now having registered four wins in a row, which has moved them to within four points of fifth-placed Chelmsford City with a game in hand and which also won Bristow the â€˜Manager of the Monthâ€™ award for March.
There are some very familiar names in the â€˜Stoke squad, including ex-Cards Ashley Bayes, Jay Gasson, Toby Little, Delano Sam-Yorke and Jide Ogunbote. Delano, however, is suspended. Another well-known striker is the highly-experienced Tim Sills, whose ability in the air will no doubt test the Woking defence, as will Wes Dalyâ€™s pace. Top scorer is Shaun McAuley.
Bristow has been busy signing up key players for next season, with Bayes, Ogunbote, Stuart Lake, Rob Rice and Nathan Smart already having put pen to paper.
Cards Trust Members: Â£12
Phone or email the Club Shop on 01483 772470 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place. Places are limited so donâ€™t delay.
Exit junction 6 of M3 towards Alton / Basingstoke, turn left at roundabout onto A30 / Ringway South. Keep on the A30 until you get to the Retail Park on Winchester Road, which is opposite the stadium.
If running late you can park in the Retail Park or carry on to the Brighton Hill roundabout and take the 5th exit, and then the entrance to the stadium car park should be 2nd on the right. There is a Â£1 charge to use the clubâ€™s car park.
Itâ€™s a quick train journey to Basingstoke but a long walk (or bus or taxi ride) to the ground. Trains leave Woking on the hour and at 29 and 46 minutes past the hour. Possible trains include 13.00 (13.18), 13.29 (13.53), 13.46 (14.05) and 14.00 (14.18).
Trains back are at 17.12 (17.31), 17.24 (17.58), 17.35 (18.03) and 17.59 (18.17).
The Basingstoke Town website gives the following directions if you are walking or going by bus. Allow 30-40 minutes to walk. Come straight out of the station and down the steps towards the road. Cross the road and go into the Malls shopping centre, next to Sainsbury's. Continue straight ahead, passing Primark, Boots, WH Smith's, Pound Land and New Look. You will reach some doors that go into the Festival Place shopping centre. Go through these and continue straight ahead again, passing Marks & Spencers, Zara and Greggs Bakery. Continue straight ahead past Madhouse. You will reach another set of doors that lead out of Festival Place. Go through these and take the walkway on the right that passes Sony and Barclays Bank
Head all the way up the hill in front of you, passing The Haymarket Theatre. You will reach a square which contains McDonalds and the old town hall. Take the turning to your right (not back down the other side of the town hall) and go past The Bakers Arms pub, Maidenhead Inn (Weatherspoons) and Bar Rock. You should now meet a junction with some traffic lights. Go straight ahead at these towards Dominoâ€™s Pizza. Take Winchester Road that goes to the left of Dominoâ€™s and continue down the road passing Scottish & Southern Energy. After 600 yards you will pass the King Of Wessex Pub. Continue along Winchester Road until you reach Winchester Road Roundabout.
Go straight over at the Roundabout using the underpasses provided (Make sure you come up on the right hand side of Winchester Road). Carry on straight ahead and you should see B&Q on the opposite side of the road and The Camrose main stand straight ahead in the distance. Continue to follow the road straight ahead, eventually passing behind the main stand. There is a walkway and some steps through the fence on the right that go into The Camrose car park. The Clubhouse is straight ahead.
There is a bus stop at the bottom of the steps outside the train station. Catch the Number 1 bus to Hatch Warren/ Kempshott Park (Not the Number 1 to Chineham!) and ask the driver for The Camrose or Brighton Hill Retail Park. It is easiest to get off at the Bus Stop before the Camrose at B&Q as it is easier and quicker to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing. Press the stop bell at Winchester Road Roundabout to alert the driver to stop. If returning to the train station from The Camrose then get the Number 1 to Chineham from the stop just outside the ground on Winchester Road. The bus stops outside the station. The bus runs every 15 minutes at peak times (Weekdays and Saturdays).
Stand Transfer: Â£1
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 1 Basingstoke Town 0
27 August 2011
This hard-fought win maintained the Cardsâ€™ unbeaten start to the season and moved them up to second in the table. Garry Hillâ€™s side were clearly intent on getting a quick goal and achieved their aim in the 4th minute. A ball forward to Gez Sole broke to Moses Ademola on the edge of the box. He smashed a shot against the woodwork but Elvis Hammond was there to coolly slot home past Ashley Bayes.
The Cards continued to have most of the attacking play in the first half but without creating many clear opportunities to extend their lead, whilst Basingstoke relied on long balls forward, with only an overhead kick by Matt Warner causing concern.
It was a different story in the second half, though, as Basingstoke gradually gained control, with Woking having to fight hard to hold onto their lead. Garry Hill had brought on Nathan Koranteng for Dale Binns at half-time and later substituted Gez Sole and Elvis Hammond in favour of Wayne Gray and Jay Davies. Towards the end the Cards had a couple of chances to make the game safe but failed to take them, producing an anxious finish as Toby Littleâ€™s free-kick was saved by Andy Little.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Donâ€™t forget that the Cards are at home at 3pm on Easter Monday to Tonbridge Angels. A big crowd is expected for the Cardsâ€™ penultimate home league game. Make sure you are there to cheer on Garry Hillâ€™s side!