The Cards search for back-to-back victories
8:48pm, Thu 6th Mar 2014
Woking v Southport
The Skrill Premier
3pm on Saturday 8 March 2014
The Cards have now won four, and lost three, of their last seven games. But in a bizarre run of form, Garry Hillâ€™s side havenâ€™t registered consecutive results of any kind since back-to-back league defeats in mid-January. And, despite many a fine result, Woking havenâ€™t managed two successive league victories since early December, a record theyâ€™ll no doubt be eager to put right this weekend.
An outstanding performance and result at Barnet â€“ the first defeat for the Bees under their new management team of Ulrich Landvreugd and Dick Schreuder, who had won their first five games in charge â€“ moved the Cards to 45 points, 12 clear of the relegation zone and five short of the renowned â€™50 point safety targetâ€™.
In fact, Woking are only nine points adrift of the play-off places, and while a late charge on the top five seems unlikely, the players, management team, and fans alike will no doubt be eager to see a surge upwards in a congested mid-table.
Garry Hill was given a huge boost last Saturday when vice-captain Adam Newton returned, after almost a month out with injury, to ease the pressure on a defence that has been short on numbers in recent weeks. Joey Jones is also due to return from his three-match suspension this weekend, following his red card at Dartford. There is no word yet however on the injured Mike Cestor, or Brett Johnson. Josh Payne, who was in Jordan on England C duty in mid-week, should be fit to start.
The Sandgrounders currently sit in 19th place, with 37 points from 34 games â€“ eight points behind the Cards with a game in hand.
Despite being only four points clear of the relegation zone, they have hit something of a rich vein of form, winning three of their last four games â€“ including victories over play-off chasing Salisbury City and Grimsby Town. They also brought to an end Dartfordâ€™s six match unbeaten run last time out, winning 3-0.
They started the season in fine form, and were third in mid-August, but have slid steadily down the table, spending much of early 2014 in the relegation zone. Their main issue this season has been scoring goals â€“ with only 33 netted all term â€“ only Tamworth and Hyde have managed less.
Top scorer Danny Hattersley has managed eight this season. His support up front will come in the form of Richard Brodie, on loan from Gateshead, and Jason Walker, a recent loan acquisition from Forest Green Rovers. Other stand-out players include captain Scott Brown, a midfielder who made his name with Bristol City, defender James Smith â€“ who began his career at Liverpool â€“ and Blackburn loan pair John Oâ€™Sullivan and Kellen Daly.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) Â£10
Saturdayâ€™s 56-page matchday programme includes the launch of â€˜Fans Matter, a new initiative by the Cards Trust; another piece by our Cardinal North correspondent, Malcolm Wyatt; and a look at a game from the Clubâ€™s past. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST TIME OUT
Southport 1 Woking 1
5 October 2013
This was a frenetic encounter which could easily have been won by either side. The Cards took a very early lead, Scott Rendell latching onto Darren Murphyâ€™s defence-splitting pass in the third minute and slotting home. But the Cardsâ€™ defence was soon under great pressure and, in the 19th minute, Jamie Milligan equalised, following up his own free-kick to fire in a shot which evaded everyone.
Both sides came close to grabbing a winner right up until the final whistle, with the woodwork coming to the aid of both teams, but a draw was probably a fair result.
Woking: Sam Beasant, Mike Cestor (Giuseppe Sole 84), John Nutter, Joe McNerney, Jack Parkinson, Mark Ricketts, Kevin Betsy, Josh Payne, Darren Murphy (Adam Newton 51), Gavin Williams (Anthony McNamee 78), Scott Rendell
Subs not used: Aaron Howe, John Goddard.
Booking: Jack Parkinson 90
Southport: Danny Hurst, Matty Challoner, Jay Smith, Luke George, David Fitzpatrick, Scott Brown, Jamie Milligan (Aaron Chalmers 81), Brice Irie-Bi (Karl Ledsham 70), Paul Rutherford, Yamen Osawe, Danny Hattersley (Steven Tames 70)
Subs not used: David Stevenson, Steve Akrigg.
The Cards are away to Luton Town on Monday 17 March and then have a 12 day break due to Cambridge United's involvement in the FA Trophy Final, with Wrexham the next visitors to Kingfield on Saturday 29 March.
Come on, you Cards!