Another home win needed
7:54am, Thu 9th Mar 2017
Woking v Boreham Wood
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 11 March 2017
The Cardsâ€™ disappointing defeat at North Ferriby United last Saturday makes it even more crucial that they gain all three points this weekend when Boreham Wood, with ex-Cards Mark Ricketts and Bruno Andrade in their squad, visit the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Get down there early to take advantage of the opportunity to put questions to the Board, to take advantage of the offer on draught beer in the Cardinalsâ€™ Bar and to watch the Middlesbrough v Manchester City FA Cup tie!
The narrow, and perhaps unexpected, win over Dover Athletic encouraged hopes that the Cards could grab three more points at North Ferriby and put more distance between themselves and the bottom four. But the Villagers, also fighting for survival, came out on top, leaving Garry Hillâ€™s side only two points above 20th-placed Torquay United, who have a game in hand. Once again, therefore, the Cards slipped up against a team around them. In their eleven games to date against teams currently in the bottom eight, Garry Hillâ€™s side have won three, drawn four and lost four. Worryingly, too, York City, like North Ferriby, are showing plenty of signs that theyâ€™ve got the ability and determination to clamber out of the bottom four. Garry Hillâ€™s prediction that the fight will go to the last day of the season is looking ever more prescient.
Garry Hill will have Delano Sam-Yorke, back from his successful loan spell at Maidstone United, available for selection â€“ assuming the Club doesnâ€™t accept Maidstoneâ€™s bid for his services in the meantime! â€“ and Keiran Murtagh will return, having now served his two-game suspension.
The Wood did well to survive a testing first campaign in the National League last season, winning their final three games to escape the drop. Boosted by their decision to go full-time, they set about a marked strengthening of their squad in the summer.
Apart from Mark Ricketts, appointed captain, and Andrade, manager Luke Garrardâ€™s summer captures included two players who were part of the exodus from Braintree Town: Iron skipper, midfielder Kenny Davis, and defender Matt Paine. Other new arrivals included keeper Grant Smith from Bognor Regis Town, whose impressive form has since gained him an England C cap; left back Feli Ilesanmu from York City but also with over 100 appearances for Dagenham and Redbridge on his CV; striker Angelo Balanta, seven years with QPR but most recently at Carlisle United; Morgan Ferrier, a powerful young striker whose clubs have included Arsenal and Watford but who was with Bishopâ€™s Stortford and Hemel Hempstead last season and who has since been selected for the England C side; and Daniel Uchechi, a Nigerian U23 international forward, who was playing in Sweden last season but has spent time with West Ham and Leicester City amongst other top-flight clubs.
Players on loan include Anthony Jeffrey, who returned for a fourth spell after having been sold to Forest Green Rovers in January last year.
In this Januaryâ€™s transfer window Garrard increased his options by bringing in striker Jason Williams, joining on loan from Southend United; talented midfielder Jai Reason from Eastleigh; and striker Tom Hitchcock, signed from MK Dons.
Other well-known players from last season in a strong Wood squad include midfielder Ricky Shakes, former Barnet defender David Stephens, club captain Joe Devera and experienced defenders Ben Nunn and Danny Woodards.
There has been much recent publicity about the future of Academy skipper and England Colleges captain, 17-year-old central defender Ben Goodliffe, one of a number of gifted players coming through Woodâ€™s very successful Academy scheme.
The Wood started the season very strongly and looked as though they might challenge for a play-off place but their recent form has been poor, with only one win in their last 14 league games. A particular problem has been in scoring goals, especially at home, with only seven scored in those games and none in their last four games, although they did knock in five past Sutton United at home in an FA Trophy 4th Round replay. Last Saturday they drew 0-0 at home with Braintree Town, with Ricketts starting and Andrade coming on from the bench. Away from home, Boreham Wood have won five league games, drawn five and lost eight, scoring 20 goals and conceding 23.
MEET THE DIRECTORS
The Club Board will be in the Cardinalsâ€™ Bar from 12 noon for an hour, ready to answer any questions from supporters. As a further encouragement, all draught beers will be on sale at Â£2 a pint from 12 noon till 2pm, and the FA Cup tie between Middlesbrough and Manchester City (kick-off 12.15pm) will be on the big screen. Stay on after the game, too, to watch the tie between Arsenal and Lincoln City (kick-off 5pm).
Over 65/Students with valid student card Â£13
The game will not be segregated, so Wood fans will be very welcome to join home fans in the Cardinalsâ€™ Bar.
There will be a bucket collection at the game to raise money for Alix Manders, who requires life-saving immunotherapy. For more information about Alix please visit the fundraising page atÂ https://www.youcaring.com/alixmanders-756620Â orÂ http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/woking-mum-terminal-cancer-told-12617892
LAST TIME OUT
Boreham Wood 2 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
29 October 2016
This defeat at the hands of an impressive Wood side made it seven league games without a win for Garry Hillâ€™s struggling team. They started strongly enough, taking the game to the home side, and deservedly took the lead in the 20th minute, Joey Jones powerfully heading home Nathan Ralphâ€™s cross. This stung the Wood into action and the Cards found themselves increasingly under the cosh as their opponents attacked with pace and menace down both flanks.
The Cards managed to retain their lead till half-time, thanks to some wayward finishing and some last-ditch defending, but the Wood stepped up another gear after the break and quickly rattled in goals from Angelo Balanta and (inevitably) Bruno Andrade.
Fabio Saraivaâ€™s clever free-kick towards the end, which struck the woodwork, nearly rescued a point but there was no doubt about which team was the strongest on the day.
Woking: Brandon Hall, Nathan Ralph, Joey Jones, Terell Thomas, Ben Jefford, Charlie Carter (Delano Sam-Yorke 72), Frankie Sutherland, Keiran Murtagh (c), Dennon Lewis (Fabio Saraiva 58), Gozie Ugwu, Matt Tubbs (Anthony Edgar 72)
Subs not used: Andy Little, Max Kretzschmar
Goal: Joey Jones 20Â
Boreham Wood: Grant Smith, Ben Nunn, Matt Paine, Danny Woodards, Femi Ilesanmi, Mark Ricketts, Kenny Davis (Jamie Lucas 72), Conor Clifford, Bruno Andrade, Angelo Balanta, Anthony Jeffrey.
Subs not used: Adriano Moke, Daniel Uchechi, Ben Goodliffe, Aaron KuhlÂ
Goals: Balanta 55, Andrade 60
The Cards are away to Guildford City in the Surrey Senior Cup on Wednesday 15 March. They then travel to Gateshead on Saturday 18 March and Braintree Town on Tuesday 21 March. (Put your name down on Saturday if youâ€™d be interested in travelling on a coach to either of these games.) Wokingâ€™s next home game is on Saturday 25 March when Maidstone United are the visitors in what looks like another â€˜six pointerâ€™.
Come on, you Cards!