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Natalie Kaye - 20th February 2007

7.45pm on Tuesday 20th February
Nationwide Conference

This evening Woking entertain Gravesend & Northfleet at Kingfield. Gravesend have enjoyed a great season so far. They sit 4th in the league despite losing to Oxford at the weekend. The Kent side have a decent record against us; we?ve only beaten them once in the past 5 attempts.


The 2005/2006 season started were the previous season left off and at one time the Fleet sat 4th in the table, however, a run of 14 matches without a win saw the team fall down the league. This season also saw the end of the Andy Ford era. Probably the most successful manager the club has had, resigned on a cold January night. He was replaced by Irish international defender Liam Daish, who kept the club in the Conference and also took the side to the quarter final of the FA Trophy, where last minute goals in both the first match and the replay saw the side go out to Bishop's Stortford. It was during the period that the Board of Directors decided that the time was right for the side to again go full-time and the team started its seventh season in the Conference with about half the side being full-time professionals.

Former Crawley and Stevenage striker Charlie MacDonald has been in the goals again this season. He usually plays up front with youngster Luke Moore, who has scored 5 goals this season. Another name to look out for is former Charlton Athletic and Chesterfield player Mark DeBolla, who joined the Fleet after a successful summer trial. He scored 5 goals in 45 games at Saltergate before falling down the pecking order and has 6 goals so far this campaign. Highly rated centre back James Smith has been in sound form this season, as has his namesake and fellow centre back Ross Smith.

There were some mixed results for manager Liam Daish to mull over at the start of the season. Fleet lost 2 of their first 3 games, but then went on a 9 game unbeaten run, which ended with defeat at Weymouth. They?ve lost 3 times at home, having picked up 9 victories at Stonebridge Road. Away form has been better lately, having won 6, drawn 4, and lost 5. Last Saturday they lost 1-0 away at Oxford United. Rob Duffy scored the only goal of the game, but Gravesend?s hopes of an equaliser were dashed when Peter Hawkins was sent off for a second bookable offence.. The previous Saturday they beat Morecambe 2-1 at home. Leading goal scorer Charlie MacDonald gave them the lead with a 10th minute penalty, but Craig Stanley hit back for Morecambe 4 minutes later. Joel Ledgister hit a 56th minute winner for the Fleet.


Gravesend and Northfleet 1 Woking 0

The short journey round the M25 to North Kent proved ultimately to be fruitless for the Cards back in October. Gravesend had the better of the early exchanges and came closest to scoring in what was a fairly scrappy half, with the ball frequently in the air. After the interval the visitors played much better without quite being able to create clear cut openings. It became increasingly likely that one goal would settle the match and it fell to the then Conference leading goal scorer Charlie MacDonald to find the net in the 75th minute, converting a half chance after some "ping-pong" around the visitors penalty area. Despite using all of their subs and pressing up to the final whistle Woking could not find a way through.

Come on, you Cards!
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