Cards face Orient on Tuesday
2:09pm, Sun 26th Jul 2015
Woking v Leyton Orient
7.45pm on Tuesday 28 July 2015
The Cards have another attractive home friendly game on Tuesday evening when a third League 2 side, Leyton Orient, visit Kingfield. The Orient squad includes former Card Ollie Palmer, who joined the club from Mansfield after impressing on loan at Grimsby Town towards the end of last season. With only one more friendly game to go after Orient’s visit, Garry Hill will be looking for a strong performance both from the players already signed on and from the remaining trialists.
Woking’s pre-season friendlies so far have been:
Staines Town 3 Woking 2
Woking 1 Oxford United 0
Woking 0 Portsmouth 2
The Cards’ performance against Oxford United was impressive but, in the first half at least on Friday evening, Portsmouth looked a side from a league above, stretching the Woking defence with their intelligent running and passing. The situation might have been different, however, if Garry had started with the influential Keiran Murtagh and John Goddard in midfield since, once they came on at half-time, the Cards had, if anything, the better of the game from then on.
Cards fans can take encouragement, in particular, from the displays of the central defensive trio of Ismail Yakubu, Mark Ricketts and Brian Saah, although fans will be happier if and when the last-named is signed on. The 3-5-2 formation that has mainly been deployed has also allowed Chris Arthur and Jake Caprice more licence to attack down the flanks, with both demonstrating that they have the pace to show defenders a clean pair of heels. The midfield looks potentially strong, too, with Joey Jones adding his versatility and athleticism to the creativity of Murtagh and Goddard, while Godfrey Poku will clearly harry and chase constantly. Up front, the displays of Scott Rendell and Gez Sole have been more muted so far but Garry will be well aware that this is an area where, as usual in pre-season, some strengthening is definitely required. We will have to see whether any of Alex Smith, Charles Banya, Reece Beckles and Kouassi Evans have done enough to earn a contract. Kouassi, with his determined running, crossing and shots on goal, caught the eye most in the game against Portsmouth.
Orient should provide another stiff test for Garry Hill’s squad. They will be full of confidence following a 3-0 win at League One side Colchester United, where summer signing Paul McCallum scored with two headers, followed by a late goal from young striker Scott Kashket. The O’s pre-season started with a 2-1 defeat at Braintree Town before they travelled to Spain for a training camp. Out there they were beaten 3-1 by Middlesbrough and 2-0 by Huddersfield Town before beating Los Iberos 5-0, with Ollie Palmer scoring a hat-trick.
New signings this summer apart from strikers Palmer and McCallum include ex-Don Sammy Moore, defender Sean Clohessy and Blair Turgott. Trialists in the game against Colchester included Welsh international Danny Gabbidon and last season’s Dover captain, ex-Gill Connor Essam.
The remaining pre-season friendly is:
Saturday 1 August (3pm) – St Albans City v Woking
The Cards start their league programme on Saturday 8 August with an away trip to newly-relegated Tranmere Rovers, followed by two home games: against Bromley on Tuesday 11 August and against Altrincham on Saturday 15 August. Make sure you’ve booked your place on the Cards Trust coach for the trip to Tranmere.
There’s also a very attractive offer on hospitality in the Geoff Chapple Lounge covering the first four home games: see the news item dated 24 July.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Don’t forget the fans’ forum this Thursday (30 July) at 7.30pm in the Cardinals Bar.