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Cards on their travels at last as play-off chasing Chippenham await

Glen Harrington
8:42pm, Thu 1st Nov 2018
Chippenham Town vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 3rd November

Woking will play a first away game since the last weekend of September and only a third since August as Alan Dowson’s side prepare for the first of at least four consecutive away trips.

It has, for many reasons, been an unusual run of games for the Cards of late with eight of our last ten games being played at the Laithwaite Community Stadium – producing a five game winless streak in the league before Tuesday evening’s much-needed 3-0 win over Hungerford Town alongside impressive progress in the FA Cup through to a first round meeting with Torquay United. The Cards actually have a decent record away from home so far this season, with just one defeat and 11 points from six games, a tally which might have been higher were it not for late goals at Concord and Torquay – and Dowse will be hoping his team can enhance that record further against Chippenham.

The Bluebirds have had a strange season thus far. In many ways they’ve exceeded expectations, after finishing 13th last season they currently sit in ninth place, two points adrift of the play-off places. They’ve also claimed some very notable wins with their seven league victories including successes over league leaders Billericay Town, as well as play-off chasing Concord and Torquay. However, they’ve been far from consistent, losing six times including recent defeats against Dulwich Hamlet and Dartford which have prevented them closing a five point gap to the Cards.

With close to 80 goals having been scored in games involving the two teams so far this season it promises to be an enjoyable game so make the trip if you can and enjoy the action!

Woking Team News

The Cards made four changes on Tuesday night as Nathan Collier replaced Ian Gayle at right-back, academy graduate Charlie Hester-Cook made his first league start in place of Donovan Makoma, whilst Greg Luer and Duane Ofori-Acheampong replaced Max Kretzschmar and Paul Hodges in the front four alongside Nicky Wheeler and Jake Hyde – Luer playing just behind Woking’s loan striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Dowse will no doubt have been pleased with the performances of a number of his fringe players, particularly the two forwards, who helped contribute to a more cohesive attacking performance than has been seen in recent weeks. It does mean however that he has a number of selection headaches for Saturday when the likes of Kretzschmar will no doubt hope to feature. Jamar Loza could also be close to a return after his shoulder injury, whilst we await news on Oxford United duo Harvey Bradbury and Armani Little, who Dowse has spoken about aiming to retain on longer loans.

Chippenham Town Team News

Manager Mark Collier has assembled a strong squad which includes a number of players who have featured at a higher level in the past. On Tuesday, when they drew 1-1 with Oxford City, they started with on-loan West Brom goalkeeper Brad House and a defence which included George Rigg, Kieran Parselle, the experienced Will Richards who is often a danger at set-pieces, and Curtis Macdonald.

In midfield was former Hungerford player Michael Jones and Bradford City loanee Callum Gunner, with Matthew Smith and former Fulham youngster Josh Smile out wide; up front was goalscorer Nat Jarvis, who has scored regularly at this level with Hungerford and Gloucester since leaving Cardiff as an academy player, and Nick McCootie who was previously with Bath City.

A couple of the more familiar names in their squad are goalkeeper Will Puddy, previously with Salisbury and Bristol Rovers, midfielder Jack Compton who has had spells with Falkirk, Portsmouth, Hartlepool and Yeovil, and forward Yan Klukowski who was a regular for many years with Forest Green Rovers and in more recent years has played for Newport and York City.

On the Day

Chippenham’s ground is Hardenhuish Park which can be found on Bristol Road, the postcode is SN14 6LR, and it’s just under two hours’ drive from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Chippenham Railway Station is located around three quarters a mile away from Hardenhuish Park and takes about 15 minutes to walk. The station is served by trains from London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads, Southampton and Cheltenham Spa. Ticket prices are £12 for adults, £7 for concessions and £3 for juniors (if accompanied by an adult) – it’s a £1 upgrade for a seat in the main stand.

Next Up

The Cards have several more away games coming up with a trip to Torquay in the FA Cup first on the agenda next Saturday. This is followed by a rearranged mid-week game at Gloucester City and a trip to Slough Town. Our next confirmed home game, putting potential FA Cup, Trophy and Surrey Senior Cup games to one side, is against Dartford on the first Saturday in December.

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