Cards target home win
9:57am, Sun 19th Nov 2017
Woking v Ebbsfleet United
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 21 November 2017
The Cards have another tough home game on Tuesday evening when the Fleet, with only two defeats on the road this season, visit the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Come down and cheer on the Cards to three points!
Young Academy keeper Sam Mason had an encouraging first team debut. It was unfortunate that his first bit of action was to pick the ball out of the net, but it is doubtful if Nathan Baxter would have been able to do anything about Adrian Clifton’s fine strike. Thereafter he performed well, with a couple of good saves and a brave punch in the second half. Saraiva proved a capable deputy for Nathan Ralph at left back and also showed that he’s lost none of his ability to shoot powerfully, with a ‘piledriver’ in the first half and a last-minute free-kick two of the best efforts of the afternoon.
The Cards kept possession well and looked the more accomplished outfit but lacked sufficient penetration, with Joe Ward having a fairly quiet game.
Let’s hope Saturday’s match hasn’t added to the injury list and that one or two other players might be available on Tuesday evening. It sounds from Anthony’s post-match interview that Lazar should be fit to return and that Louis Ramsay could be close to re-appearing. Nathan Ralph will be available too.
If your glass is half full, you will note that the Cards are unbeaten in their last four league and Cup games. Those with a more pessimistic outlook will note that the side has now failed to win in their last five league games. Woking now sit in 9th place in the table.
Promoted through the play-off final last season, the Fleet started this campaign with an extraordinary run of results which saw them draw nine of their first 11 games. They then hit a winning streak in late September, with three victories in succession, and have since had some steady results. Their last four games have seen a surprise 1-0 defeat at home to Torquay United, a 0-0 draw at Sutton United, a 2-1 home win over Leyton Orient and, on Saturday, they lost 2-0 at rapidly-improving Wrexham. Manager Daryl McMahon was pleased with his side’s performance and disputed both Wrexham’s goals. The Fleet now sit in 12th place in the table with 28 points from 20 games. Away from home they have won two games, drawn six and lost two, scoring and conceding 12 goals.
The Fleet have some very well-known players in their squad, including midfielders Andy Drury and Luke Coulson, wingers Anthony Cook and Myles Weston and strikers Danny Kedwell, Aaron McLean and former Card, Bradley Bubb.
Their regular keeper is Nathan Ashmore, who was part of a very successful Gosport Borough side for five years before signing for Ebbsfleet in March 2016. In front of Ashmore we are likely to see full-back Sam Magri, an outstanding performer for Dover for the last couple of seasons who joined the Fleet in the summer. He started his career at Portsmouth before joining QPR and represented England at all levels from U16 to U19. Jack Connors has 14 caps for the Republic of Ireland U21 side. He came through the Dagenham and Redbridge and Fulham youth systems and made over 50 appearances for the Daggers, having a loan spell at Boreham Wood before signing on at Stonebridge Road in summer 2016. In central defence we can expect to see Kenny Clark and Chris Bush. Clark joined the Fleet in summer 2014 and has now made over 100 appearances. He was a much-valued performer at Thurrock, Chelmsford City and Dartford before his switch to the Fleet, where he was last season’s supporters’ ‘player of the year’. Bush, who had a spell on loan at Woking, originally began his career at Brentford and has played for a host of non-League clubs, including Chelmsford City, for whom he appeared in last season’s play-off final against the Fleet. Other options in defence include the giant Yado Mambo, formerly with Charlton and now in his third spell with Ebbsfleet, and Marvin McCoy, a right back who started his career with Arsenal and Watford before good spells at Wealdstone, Wycombe Wanderers and York City.
In midfield McMahon can call on the vastly experienced Andy Drury, now in his second spell at the club, and whose career has seen big money moves to Ipswich, Luton Town and Eastleigh and a Conference title with Stevenage, after starting off at local Kent clubs. Luke Coulson is the other star performer in midfield, signed in the summer from Barnet. A product of Manchester City’s Academy, he quickly made his name with Oxford City on his release, leading to Eastleigh and Barnet both paying record transfer fee before Fleet paid out in the summer to bring him to Stonebridge Road. Other central midfield options are Jack Powell, a set piece expert who started his career with West Ham and Millwall before loan spells with Concord Rangers and Braintree; Jack Payne, a summer signing from Blackpool, who spent five years with Gillingham before making a £750k move to Peterborough United in 2013; and Dean Rance, the Fleet’s longest-serving player, having made over 150 appearances since joining in 2013, having started his career with Gillingham and enjoying loan spells at Maidstone, Bishop’s Stortford and Dover. Out wide, the Fleet have several very useful performers in Anthony Cook, who came to prominence at Chelmsford City; Myles Weston, with over 320 Football League appearances on his CV, including promotions at Gillingham and Southend; and Sean Shields, originally with Spurs before making waves at St Albans City and then joining the Daggers.
Up front, the ‘main man’ is that old warhorse Danny Kedwell, who, after playing for a host of local Kent clubs, scored freely for Welling United and Grays Athletic before moving to AFC Wimbledon, for whom he scored 67 goals in three seasons. Next stop was Gillingham, where he was top scorer in their League 2 championship-winning side, before becoming the Fleet’s big name signing in January 2015. Bradley Bubb has been injured and lacking fitness so far this season but made his first appearance from the bench yesterday. He played with McMahon in the successful Farnborough Town side before moving to Aldershot Town, with loan spells at Woking and Eastleigh, followed by a brief period at Royal Antwerp and then hitting 24 goals for Oxford City last season. Aaron McLean has made only two appearances this season. He is best known for his four seasons at Peterborough United, where he scored 70 goals in two promotion-winning sides, but he has also played for Aldershot Town, Grays Athletic, Hull City, Ipswich Town and Birmingham City and Barnet. Darren McQueen was originally with Spurs and Ipswich before having a goal-scoring spree with Maldon and Tiptree, joining the Fleet in summer 2016.
Over 65s £13
Disabled (Including carer) £13
Students (U19) £5
Season ticket holders have the chance to sample the delights of the Geoff Chapple Lounge for only £36. See the website for details.
Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Cardinals’. Only £3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos.
The Cards travel to Boreham Wood next Saturday (25 November). Their next home game is the Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round tie against Peterborough United on Sunday 3 December at 2pm. (The Vanarama National League fixture against Tranmere Rovers, scheduled for Saturday 2 December, will be re-arranged.)
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Don’t forget that Woking FC will be hosting the Premier League International Cup fixture between Legia Warsaw and Hertha BSC on Wednesday 29 November. This Group B match between the Under 23 sides kicks off at 7pm at The Laithwaite Community Stadium, with admission costing £5 for adults and only £2 for U16s. Some very fine players will be on show, so why not come down and take a look?