Testing reunion with former Cards in store
9:27am, Thu 23rd Nov 2017
Boreham Wood v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 25 November 2017
Anthony Limbrick and Jason Goodliffe will no doubt enjoy returning to the club at which they have both worked previously, Anthony as a youth team coach and Jason as assistant manager. For Woking fans, there are likely to be plenty of familiar faces in a talented Wood side, who will be looking to extend their eleven-game unbeaten run before, like Woking, turning their attention to an Emirates FA Cup tie against League 1 opposition. Make the trip if you can to support the Cards in what could be a challenging afternoon.
Anthony’s hard-working side ground out a welcome 1-0 home win over Ebbsfleet United on Tuesday evening to extend their unbeaten run to five games but also to register their first league win in five. The three points moved them up a place to 8th in the table, one point off the play-off places.
Defensively, the Cards looked very solid on Tuesday, with Richard Orlu appearing especially assured, but he was well supported by all his co-defenders, while young Sam Mason must have been very pleased with his second game in goal, pulling off an exceptional reaction save in the second half and looking very calm throughout. Kane Ferdinand, now such a key player, deservedly won the ‘man of the match’ award as the Cards found themselves having to harry and hassle a side which seemed to manage to force Woking to play on the counter-attack but without offering a great deal of a threat themselves. In the end the Cards were grateful to hold onto a well-taken goal by Inih Effiong after 30 minutes and grind out a result.
Another bonus was that the Cards were at least able to name five substitutes, although there was still no sign of Jason Banton, Bobson Bawling, Josh Staunton and Louis Ramsay as well, of course, Nathan Baxter. Louis, however, has played in a Norwich City U23 game, so will presumably soon be able to come into the reckoning again.
The Wood have established themselves firmly in the National League. Their first season at this level saw them win their last three games to escape the drop. The following summer they strengthened their squad, boosted by their decision to go full-time, capturing Mark Ricketts and Bruno Andrade amongst others. Last season they finished in a comfortable 11th place, and this season they have looked at times as though they could well be serious contenders for promotion, with Garrard having assembled a very useful-looking squad. As if to emphasise the point, they had an extremely impressive 4-0 away win at Maidstone United on Tuesday evening to lift themselves to 9th spot in the table, one point behind the Cards. Kane Smith, Dan Holman (2) and Blair Turgott (penalty) were on target. Neither Ricketts nor Andrade were among the 16 on the team sheet. The win was the Wood’s 11th game without a defeat and the third game in a row in which they have kept a clean sheet.
Grant Smith, capped for the England C team, is the regular stopper, following his transfer from Bognor Regis Town in summer 2016. In defence (almost invariably in a 3-5-2 formation) Garrard can call on: Danny Woodards, a hugely experienced player with nearly 400 appearances to his name, having had substantial spells at Exeter, Crewe, MK Dons and then Bristol Rovers before joining the Wood in 2015; Kane Smith, a highly-promising wing back signed in the summer from Hitchin Town, where he made 120 appearances in two seasons; Dean Wells, a veteran of over 550 appearances, including over 200 for Hampton and Richmond Borough, 100 for Braintree and 85 for Stevenage, before moving to Boreham Wood in the summer; David Stephens, a 6’4” central defender, best known for his time at Barnet, whom he left in 2015 to join the Wood; Ryan Johnson, a 21 year-old on loan from Stevenage, where he was their youngest-ever debutant, having switched from WBA; and Jamie Turley, another highly-experienced player, on a season-long loan from Newport County, whom he joined after stints at Salisbury, Forest Green Rovers and Eastleigh.
Mark Ricketts, Keiran Murtagh and winger Bruno Andrade need no introduction among Wood’s midfield contingent. Andrade has recently been on trial at Portsmouth and the league’s current top scorer looks likely to be snapped up by a League club before too long. Ricky Shakes is also a familiar name, the winger having played over 120 times for Ebbsfleet before joining the Wood in 2013. Tom Champion was a summer recruit, joining after a couple of seasons at Barnet but perhaps best remembered for three successful seasons at Dartford and a good spell at Ebbsfleet. Colombian-born Angelo Balanta joined in summer 2016, having started his career at QPR and subsequently helped Bristol Rovers to the Conference title before having a season at Carlisle. Sorba Thomas is a 19-year-old Academy player given a contract this summer. Blair Turgott is another player on loan from Stevenage, whom he joined from Bromley. He started off at West Ham and has also played for Leyton Orient and Coventry, being capped from England U16 to U19 levels and also gained an England C cap.
Up front, Garrard brought in Dan Holman on loan from Cheltenham Town in September. Holman, a great favourite at Kingfield in his loan spell from Colchester United, was signed by Cheltenham Town in January 2015 at the end of his loan spell with the Cards and went on to score 16 goals for them in 18 appearances as they secured the Conference title. But injury then struck and his loan spell at Boreham Wood is intended to help him recover his fitness. He joins the vastly-experienced striker, Paul Benson, who joined from Dagenham and Redbridge in the summer. Benson has made over 450 appearances, including spending eight seasons at the Daggers in his first spell, which was followed by moves to Charlton and Swindon, from where he had loans at Portsmouth, Cheltenham and Luton Town (with John Still again) before a further spell at the Daggers last season. Another summer recruit was Shaun Jeffers, who made one appearance for the Cards on loan from Yeovil, but caught the Wood’s eye with his goalscoring exploits for Chelmsford City last season. Bradley Ash is a 21-year-old on loan from Barnsley, whom he joined from Weston-super-Mare, being loaned back there last season. Bradley Sach is a 17-year-old Academy product, one of many young players coming through, including five selected for the England Colleges squad.
The Wood have been pretty consistent home and away this season, with Andrade’s form being a highlight. At home they have won four games, drawn three and lost three. The draws, interestingly, have come in their last three home games.
In the Emirates FA Cup, the Wood travel to Coventry in the Second Round, having had a fine win at home against Blackpool in the previous round, and having originally disposed of St Albans City.
The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 12 noon and costs £13 for members and £18 for non-members, with accompanied U16s at £7/£9 (a maximum of two with one adult). Phone or email (email@example.com) the Club Shop today to book your place.
Head for M25 west bound and exit J23, A1 Southbound to London. Exit slip road to Borehamwood. Join A5135 and go straight over two roundabouts. At third roundabout take second exit into Brook Road. Away supporters’ car parking is in the Brook Road car park but space is limited. There is also parking in the Civic car park about five minutes’ walk away. The AA gives the journey time from Woking as about an hour but it would be wise to allow longer.
Nearest station: Elstree & Borehamwood on the Thameslink line
Take the train to Waterloo and then go by tube to St Pancras International or Kentish Town to pick up the Thameslink train to Elstree and Borehamwood. Direct trains from St Pancras International go from Platform B at 10, 24, 40 and 54 minutes past each hour and take 22/24 minutes. Another option is to take the Jubilee Line to West Hampstead and pick up the Thameslink train there.
Walking from the station to the ground takes around 20 minutes. When you come out of the train station entrance road, turn right and walk down Borehamwood High Street until you come to McDonalds on your left. Turn left into Brook Road. The ground is then on your right.
Trains back are at 08, 23, 38 and 53 minutes past each hour.
Over 65s: £13
Judging by last season’s visit, the game will be segregated, with away supporters occupying the South Stand, which can be accessed only from the entrance and turnstiles in the Brook Road car park.
LAST TIME OUT
Woking 0 Boreham Wood 0
Vanarama National League
11 March 2017
This draw saw the Cards slip back into the relegation places on goal difference, with potentially tough away games at Gateshead and Braintree making their position look perilous.
Delano Sam-Yorke, who had just been the subject of a failed bid by Maidstone United following his successful loan spell there, started up front with Gozie Ugwu, Max Kretzshmar dropping to the bench. In a poor first half neither side created very much. But the Cards came to life after the break, mainly through the attacking endeavours of Jake Caprice down the right flank. As the game opened up, both sides had chances to grab the decisive goal, with the Cards surviving an almighty goalmouth scramble at the finish to cling on to a point.
Woking: Michael Poke, Jake Caprice, Terell Thomas, Brian Saah, Ismail Yakubu (Joey Jones 79), Chris Arthur, Kane Ferdinand, Keiran Murtagh, Fabio Saraiva (Max Kretzschmar 75), Gozie Ugwu, Delano Sam-Yorke (Ben Morris 75)
Unused subs: Brandon Hall, Charlie Carter
Boreham Wood: Grant Smith, Ben Nunn, Danny Woodards, Mark Ricketts (Ricky Shakes 72), Matt Paine, David Stephens, Kenny Davis, Tom Hitchcock (Bruno Andrade 64), Femi Ilesanmi, Jason Williams (Angelo Balanta 64), Joe Devera
Unused substitutes: Jai Reason, Ben Goodliffe
The Cards take on Peterborough United in the Second Round of the Emirates FA Cup at 2pm on Sunday 3 December. Before then the Laithwaite Community Stadium hosts 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?