Cards hope for Cup glory
8:36am, Thu 2nd Nov 2017
Woking v Bury
Emirates FA Cup First Round
2pm on Sunday 5 November 2017
Anthony Limbrick has the chance to add his own chapter to the Cards’ FA Cup history with this tie against League One side Bury on Sunday afternoon. (Note that it is a 2pm kick-off.) Neither side has been in great form recently, with the visitors having sacked manager Lee Clark this week. But Cards fans know that their team can play a bit on their day and will be hoping that this game brings the best out of this young group of players. Come down to the Laithwaite Community Stadium to cheer them on!
The Woking physio will have had his work cut out this week as he tries to cope with an injury list that seems to get longer all the time. It’s frustrating that just as players appear to be coming back from injury they pick up another knock and are also joined by fresh faces on the treatment table. Last Saturday the Cards ended up with only ten men on the field after injuries forced off Josh Staunton, Declan Appau (the scorer of a wonder goal on his full debut), Chez Isaac and Lazar Stojsavljevic. All that we can say for sure is that Kane Ferdinand will be definitely missing through suspension and that Louis Ramsay’s injury will rule him out for some time yet.
Anthony will be trusting, above all, that Sunday won’t see the repeat of the defensive slip-ups that have led to three consecutive defeats. Cards fans will be hoping to see their side get on the front foot and take the game to a team which won’t be brimming with confidence.
The Cards defeated Concord Rangers in a 4th Qualifying Round Replay in extra time to reach the First Round Proper. The winners of Sunday’s tie will pocket £18k in prize money.
The Shakers may be sitting one off the bottom of League 1 without an away win but shouldn’t be underestimated. Although they have lost their last four league games, it’s been by a single goal on each occasion and it’s clear from reports that they were far from outplayed. In Jermaine Beckford they have a proven top-class goalscorer, who’s already notched eight goals for the Shakers this season, and there are a number of other players who could cause problems for the Cards, including striker Chris Maguire and midfielder Danny Mayor, plus some very experienced ‘old hands’.
Bury have a proud history but, like a number of other smaller Northern clubs, have found life harder in recent years. Following financial problems they were relegated to League 2 at the end of the 2000-01 season and only just escaped relegation to the Conference in 2006-07, sending Stockport County down instead. There was subsequently an upturn under managers Alan Knill and Richie Barker, who led the club back to League 1, before relegation occurred again in 2012-13. A third-place finish in 2014-15 returned the club to League 1 but it’s been a struggle to survive at the higher level. A 16th place finish in 2015-16 was followed by 19th place last season, the recently-departed Lee Clark having taken over in February on his unexpected departure from Kilmarnock.
Clark and the Shakers’ Chairman, Stewart Day, said pre-season that they were aiming for a top six finish but it’s been a different story so far. The Shakers have won only three league games this season, all at home. Away from home, they have drawn two games and lost six, scoring eight goals and conceding sixteen. Their 1-0 defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers last Saturday was their fourth successive loss and proved the final straw for Clark. In fact, they did well to nearly hold out, having defender Eoghan O’Connell sent off in first-half stoppage time. He will of course miss Sunday’s game. There may be doubts, too, about Beckford’s fitness: he went off injured in the Doncaster game. Ryan Lowe, an iconic figure at Gigg Lane and now in his third spell at the club as Player Development Coach, has been handed the reins for this match.
Goalkeeping duties have been shared this season by highly-experienced Joe Murphy, who has made over 500 Football League appearances and won two caps for the Republic of Ireland, and 23-year-old Italian Leonardo Fasan, who signed from Celtic in the summer, having had a brief loan spell at Port Vale.
Defenders include Chris Humphrey, a Jamaican international, with over 400 appearances on his CV, including for Motherwell in the Champions League qualifiers and Preston North End; Phil Edwards, with over 500 appearances, including six successful seasons with Accrington Stanley and two promotions with Burton Albion; Tom Aldred, who also had a good spell with Accrington before making 75 appearances for Blackpool; Callum Reilly, who made 60 appearances for Birmingham City and was part of the Burton Albion side which won promotion to the Championship; Nathan Cameron, formerly with Coventry; Joe Skarz, who returned to the club in the summer, having previously achieved promotion with Bury, Rotherham and Oxford; and Alex Whitmore, a central defender on loan from Burnley.
In midfield, in addition to Danny Mayor, Clark can call on: Jay O’Shea, signed in the summer from Chesterfield in spite of an offer from Sheffield United; Rohan Ince, brought in on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion to replace the injured Stephen Dawson; Andrew Tutte, formerly with Manchester City’s Academy and Rochdale; Josh Laurent, on loan from Wigan; and 19 year-old Romanian, Mihai-Alexandru Dobre, on loan from Bournemouth.
Up front, in addition to 33-year-old Beckford, whose previous clubs include Leeds, Everton and Leicester City in a career of nearly 400 appearances and over 160 goals, the Shakers’ strikers include Chris Maguire, who joined in the summer from Oxford. Maguire played over 150 games for Aberdeen and won two full Scottish caps before a £400k move to Derby. Nicky Ajose is in his third loan spell at Gigg Lane. An ex-Manchester United youngster, he notched 13 goals in 28 appearances in his first loan spell and scored 25 goals for Swindon in 40 games before moving to Charlton. Harry Bunn arrived in the summer from Huddersfield, where he scored 17 goals in 88 appearances. Michael Smith, a 6’4” striker, also joined in the summer, having played for a number of League clubs, with his longest spell at Swindon Town.
Season ticket holders are reminded that this is an ‘all pay’ game. Admission prices are:
Why not treat yourself to the great deal on offer in the Geoff Chapple Lounge:
• Entrance to the game
• A two-course meal
• Pre-match interview with manager Anthony Limbrick where he will reveal the line-up
• Premium leather seat in the Leslie Gosden Stand
• Complimentary match programme and team sheet
• Meet the Man of the Match
Tickets cost £45 + VAT.
To book your place in the Lounge, contact Jess Holmes on 07990 781598 or email@example.com
The game will be segregated, with Bury fans allocated the open Chris Lane Terrace (standing) and part of the seated Leslie Gosden Stand.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Cardinals’. Only £3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos.
The Cards are away to FC Halifax Town the following Saturday (11 November). If there is a need for a replay against Bury, it will take place on Tuesday 14 November. The Cards’ next home league game is against Maidenhead United on Saturday 18 November, with another home game, against Ebbsfleet United, quickly following on Tuesday 21 November.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Cards Trust members are reminded that the Trust’s AGM is being held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 November.