Cards hope for change in fortunes
9:26am, Thu 24th Mar 2016
Woking v Kidderminster Harriers
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 26 March 2016
Cards fans will be hoping that the sideâ€™s week off from action will help to trigger a change in fortunes as Garry Hillâ€™s team look to end a dreadful collapse in form which has seen them lose their last seven league games along with exits from the FA Trophy and Surrey Senior Cup. The Harriers may look doomed to relegation but they showed great spirit last week in winning away at Lincoln City and will fancy their chances of picking up another three points on Saturday. There are only four more home games left, so come on down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer the Cards on to a rousing end to the season! There is free admission for U16s.
Woking FC are grateful to Hugh Harris Menswear for sponsoring Saturdayâ€™s game.
Itâ€™s hard to believe now that after the Cardsâ€™ excellent 3-1 away win at Wrexham on 9 January they stood in 6th place, only one point off the play-off spots. Since then they have picked up a mere two points out of a possible 24 and have slumped to mid-table, being closer to the relegation zone than the play-offs.
Itâ€™s difficult to pinpoint whatâ€™s gone wrong but Dan Holmanâ€™s departure was certainly a major factor along with the lack of experience and a loss of form by a number of players.
Garry will be hoping fervently that a break from league action, coupled with a full return from injury of Brian Saah and Bruno Andrade, will help to bring this miserable run to an end.
However, the Cardsâ€™ woes are few compared with the harrowing times which the Harriers have suffered this season, although there does now appear to be a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Any football fan who wants to see what financial mismanagement of a club can lead to would be well advised to read the Harriersâ€™ recent â€˜state of the nationâ€™ statement at http://www.harriers.co.uk/news/article/kidderminster-harriers-outlines-full-philosophy-for-long-term-future-2996070.aspx
Among other things, this statement reveals that only a few seasons ago the club was operating on a playing budget of over Â£800k and that for the current season this has fallen to Â£260k, rising to Â£380k. Even more staggering was the revelation that half of the Â£260k at the beginning of the current season was owed to just two players.
The Harriers do now seem to be set on a course for a sustainable future, but it looks as though the foundations may well have to be laid in the Conference North next season since, in spite of improved form, they are 11 points from safety with only eight games to go. But the form book at least suggests that they will start favourites on Saturday for they have picked up four wins, a draw and five defeats in their last ten games, including their 2-1 away win at Lincoln City last weekend.
Inevitably, the retrenchment at Aggborough has led to the departure, last season and this, of virtually all of Harriersâ€™ better-known players, leaving a young and inexperienced squad. Perhaps the most familiar names are experienced defenders Jared Hodgkiss and Keith Lowe and midfielder Arthur Gnahoua. Recent additions include Lewis Kinsella, a full back on loan from Aston Villa, and Max Oâ€™Leary, a 19 year-old keeper from Bristol City. Zaine Francis-Angol will be missing as a result of international duty with Antigua and Barbuda.
Adults - Â£18
Over 65s, Students with NUS card, forces personnel and MOD civilian staff with recognised ID - Â£13
U16s â€“ FREE
The game is not expected to be segregated.
Another packed, full colour, 64-page matchday programme includes a fascinating interview with Lounge Special Guest, Chris Dyke, who reflects on 40 yearsâ€™ watching and reporting on the Cards, plus some interesting thoughts from Jon Woozley about matchday programmes and team sheets. In addition, thereâ€™s a summary of recent league results; and news from the Club Board and the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos. Great value at only Â£3!
The first draw in the Cards Trustâ€™s new fundraising venture will take place in the Cardinals Bar after the game.
LAST TIME WE MET
Kidderminster Harriers 1 Woking 0
31 October 2015
The Cards gained the unenviable distinction of being the first side beaten by the Harriers this season.
The Cards went into this game on the back of a poor run, having lost six of their last eight league games and having been trounced in the FA Cup the previous weekend by Maidenhead United. Garry Hill brought in new loan signings Adam Cunnington up front for Giuseppe Sole and Cameron Norman at right back for Jake Caprice. Brian Saah returned from suspension to replace Terell Thomas at the heart of the defence whilst Nick Hamann came in for Jake Cole in goal.
The Cards generally had the better of the first half but without showing much penetration. Harriers were much more threatening in the second half but it looked as though the Cards would come away with a point till, in the 87th minute, Jordan Murphy deflected a header past Nick Hamann.
Kidderminster Harriers: Dean Snedker, Jared Hodgkiss (c), Kelvin Langmead, Kyle Howkins, Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (Matt Young 46), Ben Whitfield, Luke Maxwell (Dino Fazlic 46), Jordan Jones, Jordan Murphy, Matthew Barnes-Homer, Zaine Francis-Angol (Jake Green 61)
Unused subs: Gurjit Singh, Jonathan Brown
Goal: Jordan Murphy 87
Woking: Nick Hamann, Cameron Norman, Joey Jones, Brian Saah, Chris Arthur (Kadell Daniel 78), Matt Robinson, Mark Ricketts (c), Keiran Murtagh, John Goddard (Bruno Andrade 80), Dan Holman (Giuseppe Sole 86), Adam Cunnington
Unused subs: Jake Cole, Jimmy Keohane
The Cards travel to Welling United on Easter Monday, with a 3pm kick-off. Book your place on the coach on Saturday. They then make the much longer trip to Southport on Saturday 2 April. Their next home game is on Saturday 9 April when they face Gateshead.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Donâ€™t forget to book your tickets for the Comedy Night on Thursday 31 March â€“ the event is free, though, for season ticket holders.