Big Boxing Day test for Cards
8:00am, Mon 24th Dec 2012
Luton Town v Woking
3pm on 26 December 2012
A holiday â€˜double headerâ€™ against Conference giants Luton Town has to be the highlight of the Cardsâ€™ league campaign. On the face of it, Wokingâ€™s chances of pulling off a result at Kenilworth Road look slim, given their generally poor away record and the fact that they will be missing two key strikers, but Garry Hillâ€™s sideâ€™s three victories on their travels have all been at the expense of â€˜big nameâ€™ sides (Stockport, Newport and Lincoln), so the occasion may just bring out the best in a team that is talented enough to cause a surprise.
The postponement of the Cardsâ€™ home game against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday didnâ€™t do Garry Hill any favours in terms of putting out his best side at Kenilworth Road. Had that game gone ahead top scorer Bradley Bubb would have served the suspension which he foolishly picked up against Welling United in the FA Trophy. So,with Brett Williams also serving the first of his three-game suspension, Garry will have to look to one or both of Loick Pires and Jayden Stockley to lead the front line. Gavin McCallum, who has rather disappeared from view of late after a very promising start to the season, might also come into the reckoning.
Garry will be hoping that the talented, if somewhat combustible, Lee Sawyer is fit since his midfield partnership with the excellent Kevin Betsy is such an important part of the Cardsâ€™ play. Above all, Woking will need to keep their discipline in what is likely to be a lively atmosphere in front of a huge crowd by Conference standards. Hattersâ€™ â€˜old boyâ€™ Adam Newton at least will know what to expect.
The Hatters, now in their third season in the Conference Premier, are once again struggling to live up to their â€˜big nameâ€™ billing. They currently lie fifth in the table with 36 points from 21 games. At home theyâ€™ve won five, drawn two and lost three, scoring 19 goals and conceding 12. Their defeats, interestingly, have come against supposedly lesser sides: Telford, Braintree and Dartford. Their last league game saw them suffer a 5-2 setback at Newport County but they subsequently registered an injury-time 2-1 win at Matlock Town in the FA Trophy.
In the FA Cup the Hatters are looking forward to a home tie against Wolves on 5 January: letâ€™s hope that their minds are partly on that game too!
Not surprisingly, Paul Buckle has assembled a strong squad with plenty of competition for places. Mark Tyler is a highly experienced keeper, having spent some 15 years in the League with Peterborough. Ronnie Henry, once with Stevenage, is a familiar name at full back. Up front the Hatters have some well-known non-League strikers in Jon Shaw, formerly with Gateshead; Stuart Fleetwood, a prolific scorer with Hereford and Forest Green Rovers, who earned a big money transfer to Charlton Athletic; and Scott Rendell, who has played for Wycombe, Torquay, Cambridge United and Crawley as well as Peterborough United. There is also a goodly number of players with substantial League experience, including central defender Garry Richards, who, like John Nutter, was released by Gillingham in the summer, and Dean Beckwith, another central defender, formerly with Northampton Town.
Kenilworth Road Stadium
1 Maple Road
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 12 noon. No further bookings can be taken.
Exit the M1 at Junction 11, and join the A505 towards Luton. Follow the A505 for approximately 1.5 miles and Kenilworth Road is on your right as you leave the one-way system along Dunstable Road.
Parking near the ground is likely to be in very short supply, so it might be better to head for a city centre car park and walk to Kenilworth Road.
There are no train services on Boxing Day.
Over 65s & Under 21s: Â£13
Over 75s: Â£10
Under 16s: Â£8
Under 10s: Â£5
Woking fans will be seated in the Oak Road Stand at one end of the ground.
The Cards travel to Braintree Town on Saturday. Donâ€™t forget that the return game against Luton Town on New Yearâ€™s Day kicks off at 1pm. There will be a big crowd, so donâ€™t leave it till the last minute to arrive at the ground!
Happy Christmas and â€˜Come on, you Cards!â€™