Monday's big game
11:02am, Sun 20th Apr 2014
Woking v Aldershot Town
1pm on Monday 21 April 2014
The Cardsâ€™ last home league game of the season could hardly provide a better climax, as close neighbours and rivals, the Shots, come to Kingfield determined to gain all three points in order to secure their Conference Premier status. Garry Hillâ€™s side will want to avenge a disappointing display at the Rec early in the season and also target a top 10 finish. A big crowd is expected for this eagerly-awaited fixture, so get down to Kingfield early.
The Cards remain in 11th place following their very creditable 2-2 draw at Forest Green Rovers yesterday afternoon. It was so nearly three points gained but, as at Grimsby, they were pegged back by an injury-time equaliser. But they had shown great character to turn the game around after skipper Mark Rickettsâ€™ dismissal and going a goal down.
It is a pity that the Cards will go into Mondayâ€™s game missing players who have played a big part in Wokingâ€™s resurgence. Mark Ricketts, always an inspirational figure, will be sorely missed. Absent from yesterdayâ€™s squad were Keiran Murtagh, Joey Jones and Aaron Howe. Jones will definitely be missing again, having just had an appendix operation. And of course the Cards can no longer look to Jack Marriott, who was on the bench for Ipswich yesterday, to terrorise defences.
Ex-Shot Josh Payne, who missed the game at the Rec, will be looking to continue his outstanding form this season.
The Shots started the season with a 10-point deduction as a result of going into administration following their relegation from League 2. Initially, it looked as though that deficit would soon be forgotten as they started the campaign in fine form, drawing away at Grimsby and beating Dartford 3-0 at the Rec. But subsequent form was never quite good enough, especially away from home, to lift the club clear of the relegation area, although, but for the 10-point deduction, a comfortable mid-table place would now be theirs.
The Shots have had some good results in recent games, however, notably a 4-1 away win at Alfreton Town and, on Friday, a crucial 3-2 home win over Salisbury City. Their cause was helped the same day by Herefordâ€™s defeat at already-relegated Tamworth. The Shots will have every incentive to go all out for a win on Monday since this would secure their Conference Premier status, irrespective of Herefordâ€™s results in their last two games, the last of which happens to be a visit to the Rec.
Frustratingly for Woking fans, the Shotsâ€™ star player has been striker Brett Williams, who has fully demonstrated the talent of which we saw only brief glimpses at Kingfield last season. Williams has netted 23 goals, including two against Salisbury. Bradley Bubb, another ex-Card, was an unused substitute in that game.
Manager Andy Scott strengthened the Shotsâ€™ squad with three loan signings on deadline day: midfielder Manny Oyeleke, returning from Brentford; young striker Harry Cornick from Bournemouth; and experienced centre-back Mark Phillips from Southend. Matt Paterson has also returned from a loan spell at Havant and Waterlooville, while Portsmouth defender Dan Butler has also joined the club on loan.
Over 65s and students (with valid student card) Â£10
The gates open at 10.30am and the Cardinals Bar will be open (to Woking fans only) from 11.00am.
The game will be segregated.
An added attraction will be a display by Professional Football Freestyler and FIVE - TIME Guinness World Record Holder, Daniel Cutting.
Make sure you grab a copy of the last matchday programme of the season. The 56-page programme includes an â€˜end of seasonâ€™ interview with Garry Hill and a look at previous encounters between the Cards and the Shots. 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
BOOST THE BUDGET
The Cards Trust will be holding a â€˜Boost the Budgetâ€™ collection, with every Â£ given matched by the Trust. So, please give generously and help Garry and Steve assemble another fine squad for next season.
LAST TIME OUT
Aldershot Town 2 Woking 1
26 August 2013
The Cards came into this game on the back of a disappointing home defeat by Welling United and suffering from early-season indiscipline, with Josh Payne, Jack Parkinson and Giuseppe Sole all suspended. Garry Hill started with a new central defensive partnership of Joe McNerney and Mike Cestor, with Gavin McCallum replacing Anthony McNamee. George Bowerman continued up front.
It was a disastrous starts for the short-of-confidence Cards. With only 22 seconds on the clock, Matt Paterson brushed aside a challenge from Joe McNerney and strode on to plant a shot inside Aaron Howeâ€™s far post.
The Shots doubled their lead in the 19th minute, Manny Oyeleke bursting through the Cardsâ€™ midfield to release Paterson on the left. His fine cross was met by Brett Williams at the far post, who guided the ball home. A few minutes later the Shots were denied a third goal by a hotly-disputed offside decision.
Woking offered little by way of response, with only Gavin McCallum looking at all threatening.
Woking reduced the deficit in the second half with a possibly fortuitous penalty, the Shotsâ€™ keeper being adjudged to have brought down Gavin Williams, who converted from the spot. But the Shots had ample opportunities to make the game safe, with substitute Aaron Wickham spurning three great chances.
Woking: Aaron Howe, Adam Newton, John Nutter (George Frith 70), Mark Ricketts, Joe McNerney, Lee Sawyer, Gavin Williams, Kevin Betsy, Mike Cestor, George Bowerman (Freddie Ladapo 65), Gavin McCallum (Anthony McNamee 65)
Unused subs: Brett Johnson, Sam Beasant
Booked: Mike Cestor
Aldershot Town: Glen Morris, Joe Oastler, Craig Stanley, Jake Goodman, Adam Webster, Martin Rowlands, Brett Williams, Matt Paterson (Aaron Wickham 61), Manny Oyeleke, Chris Barker, Mark Molesley
Unused subs: Jordan Roberts, Jack Maloney, Cameron Brown, Luke Williams
Booked: Joe Oastler, Manny Oyeleke
Attendance: 3138 (652 away fans)
The Cardsâ€™ final league game of the season is away at Tamworth next Saturday, 26 April, with a 5.30pm kick-off. Donâ€™t forget, though, that Woking will play the Met Police in the Surrey Senior Cup Final at Kingfield on Wednesday 30 April.
Three other important dates for your diary:
Thursday 24 April â€“ Fansâ€™ Forum
Friday 25 April â€“ Race Night
Saturday 3 May â€“ End of Season Dinner and Presentation Evening
And donâ€™t forget to pick up a season ticket form for the 2014-15 campaign!
Come on, you Cards!