Cards travel to league leaders

Brian Caffarey
4:35pm, Thu 21st Nov 2013
Cambridge United v Woking
3pm on Saturday 23 November 2013

A few weeks ago Cards fans wouldn’t have dared even dream that Garry Hill’s side could get anything from this trip but a couple of wins, greatly aided by the loan signing of Jack Marriott, have instilled a belief that Woking are capable of at least giving the league leaders something to think about. But, make no mistake, even a point would be a very tall order against a side which has won every home league game this season. Make the trip to the Abbey Stadium if you possibly can to cheer the team on.


The Cards’ 3-0 and 3-2 wins over Dartford and Hyde respectively in successive home games have lifted them out of the bottom four and will no doubt have greatly boosted morale and, crucially, confidence. Garry Hill’s side had been creating a reasonable number of chances before those games but were lacking someone to put the ball in the net. Jack Marriott’s arrival seems to have solved that problem, at least temporarily, and brought the best out of the players around him, especially strike partner Scott Rendell. But Jack will no doubt find the going much harder against a very mean U’s defence, who have conceded only nine goals in 19 games. It will be an excellent test for the promising young forward.

The Cards will need to defend better, however, than they did in the early stages of the match against Hyde, when the previously familiar pattern of conceding an early goal (or two in this case) reared its ugly head again.

Just as crucial as the displays up front and at the back will be the midfield combination of Josh Payne and Mark Ricketts. Josh seems to be growing in influence in every game and barely put a foot wrong in an impressive debut as a substitute in the England C v Czech U21 game on Tuesday evening at Kingfield.


Quite a few people, including Garry Hill, tipped the U’s as ‘dark horse’ contenders this season and they’ve proved to be right so far, with United making a storming start to the season. They top the table by six points, having won 12 games, drawn six and lost only one (1-0 away to Southport on 2 November). At home the U’s have a 100% record, with eight wins, scoring 18 goals and conceding only two.

Richard Money rang the changes over the summer. The U’s defensive solidity seems to owe a lot to raiding Dartford for centre back Tom Bonner and bringing in Ian Miller from Grimsby, Greg Taylor from Luton and former Tamworth captain Richard Tait. Regular keeper Chris Maxwell is on loan from Fleetwood Town, whom he joined from Wrexham. Other summer captures included Adam Cunnington, a prolific scorer for Tamworth last season; midfielder Nathan Arnold from Stalybridge; midfielder/defender Tom Champion from Dartford; and former Card Delano Sam-Yorke from Basingstoke Town. Delano has mainly been restricted to substitute appearances so far. Striker Kwesi Appiah is on loan from Crystal Palace.

On Tuesday night the U’s drew 0-0 at Bury in a 1st Round FA Cup tie.


The R Costings Abbey Stadium
Newmarket Road

Official website: www.cambridge-united.co.uk

By coach
The Cards Trust coach leaves Kingfield at 11.00am. The cost is £15 for members and £20 for non-members. Phone the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place.

By car
Take the M11 to Junction 14 and then join the A14 towards Newmarket. Turn off onto the B1047 sign-posted for Cambridge Airport. At the top of the slip road turn right towards Fen Ditton. Go through Fen Ditton until you reach a T Junction, where at the traffic lights you turn right into Newmarket Road. Go straight across the roundabout (McDonalds on one corner) and you will come to the Abbey Stadium on your left-hand side.

By train
Trains run from KX and Liverpool Street. Generally, the former are quicker but not always so. Check www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.thetrainline.com for times and prices.
It’s about a 25/30-minute brisk walk to the ground or you can take a bus or taxi from the station. If you’re walking, head away from the station along Station Road. Take first right (Tenison Road). Take first right again (Devonshire Road) and follow round to the left up to next T-junction. Turn right again onto Mill Road. Walk over railway bridge. Take third left (Sedgewick Street). Follow past set of traffic-calming barriers and shops (in Cromwell Road) to T-junction (Coldham’s Lane). Go into large field ahead of you and follow path under bridge to away turnstiles.

The C3 Citibus runs from the station every 10 minutes through the city centre to a stop (Ditton Walk) a few yards from the ground.


Woking 2 Cambridge United 1
9 October 2012

A hard-fought, high-quality game saw the Cards just edge home after surviving some heavy pressure from the U’s. Bradley Bubb’s header in the 19th minute, from a clever cross by ‘man of the match’ Kevin Betsy, gave Woking a first-half lead, to which Betsy himself added in the 59th minute with a superbly-worked goal. But Cambridge almost immediately pulled a goal back through Robbie Willmott’s header from a corner and the Cards had to defend stoutly to hang onto three valuable points.

The game was also notable for Billy Knott’s debut, which was unfortunately cut short by an injury which resulted in his temporary return to his parent club, Sunderland.

Woking: Sam Beasant, Mark Ricketts, Mike Cestor, Brett Johnson, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Billy Knott (Dean Sinclair 69), Kevin Betsy, Gavin McCallum (Adam Doyle 88), Bradley Bubb (Brett Williams 76)

Unused subs: Loick Pires, Andy Little

Cambridge United 1 Woking 0
9 March 2013

The Cards felt decidedly hard done by at the end of this rather dull game. Arguably, neither side deserved to win but it was Woking who applied most of the pressure at the end, being denied a ‘stonewall’ penalty when Jayden Stockley was hauled to the ground. Then, in injury time, Seb Brown, disappointingly, managed only to ‘bat’ away a deflected cross and Jon Shaw stooped to head home to gain the U’s all three points and delay the Cards’ achievement of Garry’s 50-point initial target.

Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton (George Frith 67), John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Bradley Bubb (Gavin McCallum 76), Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Lee Sawyer, Kevin Betsy, Jayden Stockley

Unused subs: Andy Little, Mike Cestor, Adam Francis


The Cards’ forthcoming games are:

Saturday 30 November – Hereford United v Woking (FA Trophy)
Saturday 7 December – FC Halifax Town v Woking
Saturday 14 December – Woking v Chester

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Cards Trust members – don’t forget the AGM at 7.30pm on Monday evening. This is an important meeting, with the agenda including voting for the Cards Trust’s nominee to sit on the Club Board as well as selecting a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer for the Trust.

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