Points at a premium on Saturday
10:22am, Thu 29th Aug 2013
Woking v Gateshead
3pm on Saturday 31 August 2013
Itâ€™s too early in the season to start talking of â€˜six pointersâ€™ but both sides, after disappointing results, will be keen to haul themselves up the table with a win from this game. Garry Hill will certainly have impressed on his players the need to put in a far more convincing performance than those we saw in last weekendâ€™s two defeats at the hands of Welling United and Aldershot Town. Now is the time for fans to get behind the team, so come down to Kingfield and roar them on to victory!
Garry didnâ€™t mince his words after the Welling and Aldershot games: sloppy defending and a lack of any real threat up front was his verdict. Having tried several combinations of defenders, it will be interesting to see who lines up on Saturday. Jack Parkinson will be available again but there will surely be a place for Mike Cestor, one of the few players to impress at Aldershot.
It will be equally intriguing to see who plays up front. George Bowerman has not so far been able to make much impression but, in fairness, he doesnâ€™t look ideally suited to a lone front man role â€“ which seems to have been largely his fate so far. Once again, at Aldershot, it was only when Joe McNerney was thrown forward that we looked as though we might score. Garry will also have Gez Sole available after his three-game suspension, but Josh Payne will be serving out the final match of his ban.
Itâ€™s been a disastrous start to the season for the Heed, losing their manager in very odd circumstances after only three games, and picking up just one point from their five opening games. That point, though, came on Monday as Gateshead fought back from 0-2 down to draw 2-2 at home to Macclesfield â€“ so the Cards need to be warned! The equalising goal came from Liam Hatch, coming on as a substitute for Richard Brodie â€“ and the Cards will certainly need to be alert on Saturday to counter the tall strikerâ€™s renowned ability in the air.
To be fair, Gateshead (unlike Woking?) look as though they were handed some particularly testing opening fixtures, although itâ€™s clear from the reports that they did not perform well for the most part. Their results so far have been:
Kidderminster Harriers 3 Gateshead 1
Gateshead 1 Grimsby Town 2
Gateshead 1 Barnet 2
Southport 2 Gateshead 1
Gateshead 2 Macclesfield Town 2
It sounds as though manager Anth Smith realised that he had been over-hasty in tendering his resignation after the first three games but the Board felt that heâ€™d compromised his position and handed the reins, temporarily at least, to David Rush.
There were nine new additions to the Heed squad in the summer. They were Brodie, arriving from Crawley Town, who paid York City Â£275k for his services; Colin Larkin, another striker, who turned out for Lincoln City and Harrogate Town last season; Adam Boyes, yet another striker, who notched 40 goals for Barrow in 99 games; defenders Craig Baxter and Dan Smith, both rejoining the club after earlier spells; Josh Walker, a midfielder from Scunthorpe; Luke Oâ€™Brien, a defender with Oxford United last term; Joe Tait, a defender from Darlington; and Marcus Maddison, a midfielder from Newcastle United.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) Â£10
Donâ€™t miss out on the Clubâ€™s excellent matchday programme! In a packed edition Ian Nicholson interviews our new physio, Paul Smith. Damian Buxton looks at the rivalry between BT Sport and SKY. And Richard Mason recalls the day the lights arrived at Kingfield. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. If you canâ€™t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on email@example.com
LAST TIME OUT
The clubs shared the points last season, both sides winning their home games 2-1. The Cardsâ€™ victory on 22 September 2012 was their third in a row. Jack Parkinson, playing in midfield, saw a 25-yard effort deflected into the net in the fifth minute. That was followed by a second in the 23rd minute, this time from Gavin McCallum, with a fine left-footed strike. Brett Johnson struck the post in the second half before Gateshead reduced the deficit, Phil Turnbull netting after some clever approach play, including a back-heel from Yemi Odubade. Gatesheadâ€™s Chris Bush picked up a second yellow card eight minutes from the end and the Cardsâ€™ defence withstood some late pressure to hold onto the three points.
In the away match, brought forward to 3 November 2012, the Cards travelled north on the back of a stunning victory at Newport County. Again, it was Jack Parkinson who put the Cards in front. Josh Gillies equalised for Gateshead and the decisive goal came, a minute before the break, from the dangerous Liam Hatch, with a back-post header.
The Cards travel to Alfreton Town next Saturday (7 September). The following Friday (13 September) Woking entertain Tamworth.
Come on, you Cards!