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Cards travel to relegation rivals for must win game

Glen Harrington
12:00am, Sun 1st Apr 2018
Torquay United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Monday 2nd April 2018

An improved performance against league leaders Macclesfield Town on Friday was not enough to address the Cards recent slide down the table as Danny Whitaker’s late goal extended Woking’s winless run to eight matches.

There were certainly plenty of positives for the home side to take from their 3-2 defeat against the Silkmen, where goals from Charlie Carter and Reece Grego-Cox had the hosts on the verge of a deserved point, but a late lapse in concentration allowed John Askey’s side to take advantage with the result leaving the Cards just three points clear of the bottom four. Anthony Limbrick’s side are now in 19th place, with Barrow and Solihull Moors heading the chasing pack, whilst the former still has two games in hand; both sides also have a better goal difference than the Cards, so whilst our fate is still in our own hands, we desperately need to start picking up points.

Perennial strugglers Torquay have had another tough season. The Seagulls have never placed higher than 13th since relegation from the Football League in 2014, and have twice survived after spending much of the season in the bottom four. Gary Owers is the man tasked with pulling off the third successive ‘great escape’ after taking over the manager’s role from Kevin Nicholson late last year and, whilst he has enjoyed some success, he appears to have an even tougher task on his hands than his predecessor. United have 34 points from 39 games thus far, seven adrift of safety with seven games remaining, and know that victory over the Cards is virtually a necessity if they are to have any hope of extending their stay in the National League.

Both teams know that only a win will do when they meet at Plainmoor; so make the trip if you possibly can to support the team and cheer them on to an overdue win! Torquay have also organised a bucket collection for Woking midfielder Damon Lathrope to take place at the game and we hope that everyone will give generously.

Woking Team News

The Cards were boosted by the returns of Louis Ramsay and Jordan Wynter to the starting line-up against Macclesfield. Limbrick will be left to mull over whether to stick with the same back four or to recall either Matt Young, likely resulting in a move to centre-back for Wynter, or Richard Orlu. Nathan Ralph, who missed out against Town, could also strengthen the Woking backline if fit.

It was pleasing to see Chez Isaac back in the Woking line-up on Friday alongside Carter and Kane Ferdinand. If the Cards don’t want to stick with that trio then they could choose to push Joey Jones further up the pitch, or to sacrifice on of their midfield three in favour of another striker, which worked to good effect against Macclesfield.

Anthony Cook and Regan Charles-Cook, who recovered impressively quickly from the injury he picked up against Leyton Orient, started on Saturday alongside Reece Grego-Cox – who returned from international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side. He could be joined up front by Louie Theophanous who caused Macclesfield some problems from the bench on Friday.

Torquay Team News

The Seagulls are in decent form, taking seven points from their last three games, including wins over Leyton Orient and, last time out, a 2-0 win over Chester.

Against the Blues they lined up with Vincent Dorel in goal, a French keeper signed last year from Plymouth Argyle; a back three of former Aldershot defender Sean McGinty, veteran centre-back Josh Gowling, formerly of Grimsby and Kidderminster, and new signing Conrad Balatoni, who was last with Falkirk; in midfield key man Luke Young was partnered by Bristol City loanee Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, while out wide were Aaron Barnes, on loan from Colchester United, and former Cheltenham full-back Liam Davis; the front three consisted of two more loanees, Cardiff City’s Rhys Healey and Dagenham’s Elliott Romain, alongside former Woking frontman Brett Williams, who has recently re-joined the club after a short spell with Bromley.

Their options from the bench include forwards Jamie Reid and Ruairi Keating, experienced midfielder Yan Klukowski, who is back from a loan spell with Kidderminster, defender Michee Efete who is on loan from Norwich City, and reserve goalkeeper Ryan Clarke.

Last Time Out

Woking 4-1 Torquay United (Monday 28 August 2017 – Vanarama National League)

The Cards came into the game off the back of successive defeats against Leyton Orient and Wrexham but showed no signs of a lack of confidence against their struggling visitors as they scored a comfortable victory at Kingfield. Goals from Joe Ward and Kane Ferdinand had the hosts in control before James Gray’s outrageous strike just before half-time gave the visitors a sniff of a comeback. That hope was short-lived however as Charlie Carter restored the two goal advantage and Bobson Bawling made the game safe with a stunning fourth.

On the Day

The Cards Trust will not be running a coach to this game. For those travelling directly, the ground is located on Marnham Road in Plainmoor, a short walk from Torquay town centre; the postcode is TQ1 3PS. The nearest station is Torre Station – around a 20 minute walk from the stadium. Ticket prices for the game are £15 for adults, £12 for concessions, £7 for under-18s and under-7s are free. Away fans are allocated the Bristol Street Motors Stand. Tickets can also be bought in advance via the Torquay club website.

Next Up

The Cards travel to Dagenham next Saturday ahead of their rearranged game with Maidenhead the following Tuesday. Our next home game is against FA Trophy finalists Bromley on 14th April – tickets are available now on our website.

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Registered office The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA

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