Cards face big test
6:42am, Thu 7th Jan 2016
Wrexham v Woking
3pm on Saturday 9 January 2016
The Cards face a difficult trip to Wrexham on Saturday in what could be an important test of their ability to sustain a play-off challenge now that Dan Holman won’t be around to create and score goals. The Dragons have a good home record and will be keen to give a push to their own hopes of promotion, which have suffered a serious setback recently with three defeats over the holiday period. Wrexham will certainly be ‘up’ for this match. With specially reduced prices on the coach and for admission, why not make the trip to support the Cards?
After their Christmas/New Year ‘double’ over the Shots, which, combined with a draw against Boreham Wood, brought a very respectable seven points out of nine in the holiday games, the Cards sit in 7th place in the table, three points below fifth-placed Macclesfield Town. Last Saturday’s win made it seven wins, one draw and one defeat in the last nine league and Trophy games: a tremendous recovery from what Garry Hill himself calls a “disastrous” run in September/October which saw the Cards suffer eight defeats in ten league and FA Cup games.
A good deal of the credit for this turnaround must go to the contribution made by a number of loan players: Dan Holman, Joe Quigley, Cameron Norman and Matt Robinson, all of whom showed fantastic commitment to Woking’s cause, while clearly enjoying playing for the Club. Holman has definitely left the Club, signing for Cheltenham Town, while Robinson has presumably returned to Luton Town. Cards fans will be hoping that Quigley and Norman will be able to stay and that Garry will be able to bring in another striker to replace Holman – not an easy task. Keiran Murtagh will no doubt replace Robinson in midfield.
This is the Dragons’ eighth season at this level and former Gateshead boss Gary Mills, appointed last summer and who guided York City to a play-off final win in 2012, is hoping to succeed where his predecessors, Brian Little, Dean Saunders, Andy Morrell and Kevin Wilkin, all failed, by leading them back into the League.
As in many previous seasons, however, the Dragons are finding it difficult to live up to the expectations befitting a club of their stature and history. They currently sit in 11th place in the table, three points below Woking but have played two fewer games. Their home record is their strength, with seven wins, three draws and three defeats, scoring 30 goals and conceding 16.
The season started promisingly with five wins and two draws in August but results have been mixed since then, including a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Gainsborough Trinity in the FA Cup. Christmas did not bring any cheer, with a 1-0 defeat at home to a vastly improved Southport side, a 2-0 defeat away to an improving FC Halifax Town outfit and then a 3-2 defeat away at Southport, who have now won six games in a row under Dino Maamria.
Mills made a lot of changes in the summer, releasing the experienced and popular skipper Dean Keates, Andy Bishop and Neil Ashton amongst others. Among the many new faces were returning midfielder Lee Fowler (who has just returned from a two-month loan spell at Tamworth), two recruits from Welling, Dominic Vose and Jamal Fyfield, keeper Cameron Belford from Swindon and striker James Gray from Accrington. Subsequent additions include keeper Rhys Taylor, signed on loan from Newport County, whose stay Wrexham are keen to extend, and winger Danny O’Brien from Wigan Athletic. A very recent addition is experienced midfielder Simon Heslop from Torquay United. Some other, familiar, names in the Wrexham squad include strikers Wes York, Adriano Moke and captain Connor Jennings, midfielders Mark Carrington and Manny Smith, central defender Blaine Hudson and full back Sean Newton.
The Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground
Official website: www.wrexhamafc.co.uk
The Cards Trust is offering members a specially-reduced price for this trip. The cost is just £22 for adult members and £11 for accompanied U16s (maximum of two per adult), with non-members at £33/£17. The coach leaves Kingfield at 8.00am. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
Take the M54 from the M6 (Junction 10A Northbound). Follow the M54 to the end of the motorway and join the A5 towards Shrewsbury. Continue on the A5 past Shrewsbury and Oswestry and then join the A483 towards Wrexham. Stay on the A483 as you reach Wrexham (this is the Wrexham by-pass). Exit at the 'Mold' junction and then follow the signs for 'Town Centre'. The Racecourse will come quickly into view. There is parking at Glyndwr University, for a small fee, next to the ground or at Maesgwyn Hall opposite the University.
Wrexham General station is next to the ground. The 11.10 from Euston would get you to Wrexham at 13.46 via a change at Chester. Cutting it fine, the 12.10 ought to get you in at 14.34 but there is only a six-minute gap between trains at Chester, so this looks a risky option.
Coming back, the 17.04 would get you to Euston at 20.05 via changes at Crewe and Chester. The 17.44 arrives at Euston at 21.17 via changes at Wolverhampton and Stafford.
As a ‘thank you’ to their fans for their support, Wrexham have reduced their prices for this game.
Yale Stand prices are now:
£15.00 - Adults
£10.00 - Over 62s / Under 21s
£6.00 - Over 80s / Under 18s
£1.00 – Under 11s
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 0 Wrexham 1
17 October 2015
This match fell in the middle of the Cards’ dreadful loss of form in the autumn, although in the previous two games they had won away at Halifax and managed an unconvincing draw at home to Torquay United.
This was a disappointing display against a side who had not won in six games and who did not have to play particularly well to come away with all the points. Woking were reduced to ten men midway through the second half when already 1-0 down and appeared to be denied a clear penalty but the game was still only in the balance thanks to some profligate finishing by the visitors and several fine saves from sponsors’ ‘man of the match’, Jake Cole.
Garry Hill made two enforced changes from the side which rescued a point against Torquay midweek, with Godfrey Poku and Jimmy Keohane coming in for Mark Ricketts (injured) and Keiran Murtagh (suspended).
The crucial goal was created by the game’s outstanding player, Dominic Vose, in the 29th minute, setting up Connor Jennings for a smart finish. The introduction of Bruno Andrade at half-time produced more urgency and attacking flair but the Cards lacked cohesion, failing to get their passing game going and delivering little service to Dan Holman. (Ironically, the strike partner Dan needed and subsequently got, Joe Quigley, was sitting as an unused substitute on the Wrexham bench.)
Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice (Ben Pattie 74), Chris Arthur, Brian Saah, Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, John Goddard, Jimmy Keohane, Godfrey Poku (Giuseppe Sole 68), Kadell Daniel (Bruno Andrade 46), Dan Holman
Unused subs: Nick Hamman, Craig Braham-Barrett
Sent off: Brian Saah
Wrexham: Cameron Belford, Javan Vidal, Sean Newton, Manny Smith, Blaine Hudson, Jamal Fyfield, Dominic Vose, Connor Jennings, Mark Carrington, Kayden Jackson (Wes York 74), Rob Evans (Liam Walsh 44) (Jon Nolan 69)
Unused subs: Ross White, Joe Quigley
Goal: Connor Jennings 28
The Cards are at home to Maidenhead United next Saturday (16 January) in an FA Trophy 2nd Round tie. Garry Hill’s side will be keen to avenge their embarrassing and costly FA Cup exit at the Magpies’ hands in the autumn. Woking legend and former Maidenhead Assistant Manager, Dereck Brown, is the guest of honour in the Geoff Chapple Lounge and fans can join Dereck for only £15: see the home page of www.wokingfc.co.uk for full details. The following Saturday (23 January) Woking are at home to FC Halifax Town.
Come on, you Cards!