Can the Cards make it five in a row?
8:53pm, Sun 30th Mar 2014
Woking v Forest Green Rovers
7.45pm on Tuesday 1 April 2014
The Cards have been in great form and will be hoping to make it five league wins on the trot on Tuesday evening. However, this is likely to be a tough test for Garry Hill’s side since Forest Green Rovers will be desperate for points to advance their play-off ambitions and certainly have some talented players in their squad. Come down to Kingfield and cheer on the Cards!
In the first 20 minutes or so of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wrexham it looked as though the Cards were going to blow their visitors away as they attacked almost non-stop, creating some excellent chances with their attractive play. But a deserved lead was quickly cancelled out by a poorly-defended free-kick and thereafter Wrexham were much more in the game. Joey Jones, in for the suspended Josh Payne and winning the ‘man of the match’ award, restored Woking’s lead in the second half and the side held out reasonably comfortably after that and indeed might well have added to their lead.
Aaron Howe had to be replaced by Sam Beasant towards the end of the first half on Saturday and will presumably be a doubt for Tuesday evening. Josh Payne will once again be missing, with Joey Jones no doubt replacing him again.
A win on Tuesday evening could take the Cards up as high as 12th place in the table and only seven points off the play-off places.
FOREST GREEN ROVERS
Rovers started the season as one of the promotion favourites, a judgment that seemed to be borne out by their 8-0 thrashing of Hyde on the opening day. But subsequent results were modest at best, with September and October proving disastrous, the latter seeing five straight defeats in the league and FA Cup. Things began to pick up from November onwards following Ady Pennock’s arrival in place of Dave Hockaday. But the weather put paid to any games for almost a month from late January, with the result that they had an extremely busy March, playing eight league games. Four wins, two draws and two defeats weren’t quite good enough to take them into the play-off places, with their last game seeing a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Southport last Thursday in front of the BT cameras. Rovers presently sit in 11th place in the table, only five points off the play-off places and with a game or two in hand on several of the clubs above them.
Rovers have invested heavily in a very strong squad and were active in the transfer window. The most high profile arrival was that of 37 year-old Lee Hughes, described as a ‘fantastic kid’ (!) by his former manager, Micky Adams. Hughes originally made his name with Kidderminster Harriers many moons ago but arrived from Port Vale, for whom he scored 10 goals in 18 starts last season.
A very familiar name to Woking fans will be that of defender Luke Oliver, who recently signed a contract to stay at Rovers till the end of the season, having played over 100 games for Bradford City.
Rovers had a major change in their strikers midway through the season. Ex-Barrow, Luton and York City hitman Jason Walker, who had been signed in the summer, went on loan to Southport. Matthew Barnes-Homer joined Cambridge United; Reece Styche went on loan to Wycombe Wanderers with a view to a permanent transfer; and Matty Taylor joined Chester on loan. Luke Rodgers, a very experienced striker with 136 goals in 460 appearances here and abroad, has joined Rovers, playing his first game at Southport. He boosts a strike force which also contains James Norwood, Danny Wright and Magno Vieira in addition to Lee Hughes. The most recent arrival is Bradley Jordan, a young midfielder on loan from Charlton Athletic.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) £10
The 56-page programme printed for the postponed fixture will be sold at a bargain price of £2 and will include an extra update from Garry Hill following the Wrexham game and new team sheets. The programme includes an interview with new Club Director and Club Chaplain Ian Nicholson, a profile of FGR’s ‘green’ chairman, Dale Vince, and another ‘where are they now?’ feature, looking at the subsequent careers of some former Woking favourites. And of course there are all the usual match reports, previews, news and great photos. If you can’t get to the game, you can order a copy from the Club Shop on firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 2 Forest Green Rovers 0
26 February 2013
This was a superb all-round team performance by the Cards against a team challenging for promotion. Garry Hill started with the same side that had secured an away win at Southport, which meant a home debut for on-loan keeper Seb Brown.
The first half was fairly even, with Rovers perhaps playing the ‘prettier’ football, but Woking’s confidence grew as the game progressed and they took the lead in the 51st minute with an excellent strike from the hugely impressive Kevin Betsy, smashing the ball into the top right-hand corner of the goal.
It was no great surprise when the Cards increased their lead in the 78th minute, Jack Parkinson swivelling and firing home after a massive scramble in the Rovers box.
The Cards held out comfortably enough for a win that took them to 9th place in the table and only three points short of their initial 50-point target.
Woking: Seb Brown, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, Brett Johnson, Mike Cestor (Gavin McCallum 89) Mark Ricketts, Jack Parkinson, Kevin Betsy, John Nutter, Bradley Bubb (George Frith 90), Jayden Stockley (Brett Williams 84)
Unused subs: Elvijs Putnins, Loick Pires
Goals: Kevin Betsy (51), Jack Parkinson (78)
Forest Green Rovers: Sam Russell, Jared Hodgkiss, Chris Stokes, Jamie Turley, Yan Klukowski, Magno Vieira, Matt Taylor, Eddie Oshodi (Lee Fowler 46), Ed Asafu-Adjaye, James Norwood (Yemi Odubade 57), Paul Green (Ben Wright 74)
Unused subs: Omar Koroma, Aaran Racine
Cautions: Eddie Oshodi (43)
The Cards travel to Hereford next Saturday (5 April) and then to Grimsby Town the following Tuesday (8 April). Their next home game is on Thursday 10 April when they take on high-flying Cambridge United, quickly followed by another home game on Saturday 12 April when Alfreton Town are the visitors.
Come on, you Cards!