Woking start their Trophy campaign
9:53am, Thu 14th Dec 2017
Woking v Maidenhead United
Buildbase FA Trophy 1st Round
3pm on Saturday 16 December 2017
With Wokingâ€™s defeat at Peterborough on Tuesday and our exit from the Surrey Senior Cup in the First Round, Saturdayâ€™s home tie in the FA Trophy represents the Cards last chance to put together a long run in a knockout competition. Cup competitions frequently seem to send us into battle with the Magpies, so this tie probably shouldnâ€™t come as a surprise. In addition, itâ€™s only just under a month since we played Maidenhead in a league game here at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, with both sides sharing the points in a 1-1 draw.
Despite the defeat on Tuesday Woking produced another fine performance against League One opposition. The Cards were without Chez Isaacs and Regan Charles-Cook for that game but both should be back in the squad for Saturdayâ€™s encounter. Nathan Baxterâ€™s injury, despite a fine performance against the Posh, is clearly still a concern. Anthony Limbrick has moved to secure the services of Bristol Cityâ€™s keeper Jojo Wollacott on a monthâ€™s loan and presumably he will start against Maidenhead. Louis Ramsay only played for 45 minutes on Tuesday and also looks a possible injury doubt. However Matt Youngâ€™s fine goal and performance against Peterborough shows that cover at right back is very strong at the moment.
As all Woking fans will know, the Cards won the Trophy in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and were runners-up in 2006. There has been little to get excited about, however, in subsequent seasons, although Garry Hillâ€™s side did reach the quarter-finals in 2015-16, beating Boreham Wood, Maidenhead United and Oxford City before losing to Grimsby Town. Last year the Cards lost at home to Ebbsfleet United, then of the Conference South, in a First Round replay.
The Magpiesâ€™ manager, Alan Devonshire, didnâ€™t take long to boost Maidenheadâ€™s fortunes after returning there from Braintree Town in summer 2015. In his first season in charge the Magpies finished in 7th place in the Conference South. Last season, in spite of being pushed all the way by Ebbsfleet United, they lifted the title by two points. A huge factor was the 44 goals scored by Dave Tarpey, aided and abetted by ex-Iron favourite, Sean Marks, who made over 300 appearances for the Essex club over eight years. But there was also defensive solidity provided by Alan Massey, another former Iron, and Dean Inman, who had played for Devonshire when he managed Hampton and Richmond Borough.
Tarpey signed on again in the summer but was lured away away by Barnet on transfer deadline day. Inman has also departed, offered a deal by moneyed Billericay Town which he couldnâ€™t refuse.
There are quite a few players in the Magpiesâ€™ squad who have worn the red and white halves at least briefly, including keepers Carl Pentney and Nick Hamann, both of whom also played for Braintree, Rene Steer and Moses Emmanuel, who is on loan from Sutton United, having moved there from Dover in the summer.
Pentney has been the regular keeper for the past two seasons. In defence we can expect to see: Remy Clerima, a French right back or central defender, who joined from Braintree in November last year; Jake Goodman, yet another former Iron, who joined in the summer, having also previously appeared for Margate and, before that, a number of other clubs on loan from Millwall; Alan Massey, formerly Braintreeâ€™s captain and making over 150 appearances over three seasons; Ryan Peters, player/coach, who moved with Devonshire from Braintree Town; and Rene Steer, a left-back who began his career at Arsenal before moving on to a number of other clubs, including Woking briefly, and then arriving at St Neots Town and Maidenhead. Other defensive options include youth graduate Maximilian Kilman, who was on loan at Marlow last season; and James Hammond, a right back recruited in the summer from Concord Rangers.
In midfield contenders for the starting line-up include Adrian Clifton, who returned to the club after two years away, having been on loan at Staines last season; winger Harry Pritchard, who scored in the 3-0 drubbing the Cards suffered in the FA Cup in 2015, and who has made over 150 appearances for the Magpies; James Conley, a driving force who joined permanently in the summer, having been on loan from St Albans City; Ryan Upward, a central midfielder who has been at the club since 2014; Sam Barratt, a highly-rated young player who was recently played for the England C team; Harold Odatemey, signed from Hampton and Richmond Borough, with previous appearances for a number of local clubs, including Walton and Hersham and Kingstonian; James Mulley, an experienced operator who won the Conference with AFC Wimbledon and another former Iron; and Christian Smith, who returned to the club from Bishopâ€™s Stortford and with experience at a host of clubs, having originally started his career with Port Vale.
Up front, Devonshire, in addition to Moses Emmanuel and Sean Marks, can call on Jake Hyde, a locally-born player who signed from Stevenage in the summer, having originally been with Swindon Town and subsequently spending two seasons at Barnet and York City amongst other clubs; Christian McKenzie, who scored 21 goals for Romford last season and who has also played for Bromley; and youngster Josh Kelly.
The Magpies sit one place below Woking in 13th in the Vanarama League table. Last Saturday they drew for the tenth time this season against Maidstone United, at home in a goalless draw.
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LAST TIME OUT
Woking 1 Maidenhead United 1
Vanarama National League
18 November 2017
Woking were held to their third draw in the league the season in this feisty encounter, slipping to ninth place in the table.
Anthony Limbrick made four changes to the starting line-up which had shocked Bury in the FA Cup, with goalkeeper Nathan Baxter out injured, Nathan Ralph suspended and with Joey Jones and Inih Effiong being rested.
That handed Sam Mason his first competitive start for Woking, on the same day he made the England Colleges U18 squad, with Fabio Saraiva, Charlie Carter and Jamie Philpot also starting.
Maidenhead took a surprise early lead with a fine strike from Adrian Clifton after 10 minutes but, as Woking grew into the game, the home side found an equaliser through Charlie Carter shortly before half-time.
Despite good opportunities for both sides to find a second goal neither team produced a clinical edge in the second half.
Woking: Sam Mason; Matt Young, Richard Orlu, Jordan Wynter, Fabio Saraiva; Chez Isaac, Kane Ferdinand, Charlie Carter (Joey Jones 69â€™); Jamie Philpot (Inih Effiong 56â€™), Regan Charles-Cook, Joe Ward (Declan Appau 85â€™)
Unused subs: None
Goal: Carter 39â€™
Maidenhead United: Carl Pentney; Remy Clerima, Jake Goodman, Alan Massey, Rene Steer; Harold Odametey, Ryan Upward, Harry Pritchard, James Mulley (Christian Smith 85â€™); Adrian Clifton, Jake Hyde (Sean Marks 75â€™)
Unused subs: Moses Emmanuel, Sam Barratt, Ryan Peters
Goal: Clifton 10â€™
Donâ€™t forget to grab a copy of â€˜Cardinalsâ€™. Only Â£3 for interviews, previews, match reports, Academy updates and great photos.
The Cards are at home again next Saturday in the National League when Barrow are the visitors.
Come on, you Cards!