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Seconds hosts third as promotion challengers collide

Glen Harrington - 19th December 2018

Seconds hosts third as promotion challengers collide Billericay Town vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 22nd December


It’s another crucial game on Saturday as the Cards make the relatively short trip to Essex to take on Billericay Town.

Due to FA Cup and Trophy commitments, Woking have only played two league matches in the last five weeks, and despite winning away at Slough and Weston have dropped to third in the National League South table. Alan Dowson’s side find themselves just behind leaders Torquay, two points ahead after two more games, and our hosts this weekend who are one point ahead after one game more. Naturally, it means that a positive result on Saturday will be all the more valuable for both sides.

Billericay, who were beaten 2-1 at the Laithwaite Community Stadium in September, have had a troubled time over the last few weeks with off the field issues placing them firmly back in the national media spotlight. That, coupled with a number of high-profile departures from their playing squad, including top scorer Jake Robinson, has understandably led to speculation about their potential demise. However, new manager Dean Brennan, who was appointed following Harry Wheeler’s departure back in August, has kept his side performing well with 11 wins in 19 games – including their last two matches – away to Bath City (2-1) and Eastbourne Borough (2-0).

It was an electric atmosphere back at Kingfield for the first meeting of these two teams earlier this year and we hope as many Woking fans as possible will make the journey to ensure the same again!

Woking Team News

Dowse made just one change for Tuesday evening’s FA Trophy replay with Maidstone United, in which the Cards were unlucky to eventually fall to a 3-2 defeat after extra time, with Greg Luer starting in place of Paul Hodges – who later came off the bench to score.

With fitness and fatigue, as well as a busy festive period potentially in mind, it will be interesting to see whether the boss sticks with his increasingly settled team or whether he’ll choose to make some tactical or enforced tweaks for this huge match-up. One man who is almost certain to return is Jamar Loza, ineligible for the double-header against parent club Maidstone, and many Woking fans will be excited at the prospect of seeing the Jamaican line-up on the opposite flank to new signing Aaron Eyoma – another pacey wide-man who got off the mark with his first goal this week.

Charlie Hester-Cook may also be under consideration. Dowse has had plenty of success in recent weeks by using Christian Jolley in a midfield enforcer role, in addition to the normal pairing in the middle of the park, and calling upon the academy graduate would allow him to utilise that setup again. Alternatively, he could stay with the tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 formation with Max Kretzschmar likely in behind either Jake Hyde, rested on Tuesday, or Noel Leighton.

Billericay Town

Departures have been the biggest talking point at Billericay in recent weeks. As well as star man Robinson, now at Maidstone, the club has seen Dean Inman, Jamie O’Hara, Ricky Modeste, Scott Doe and Adam Cunnington move on to pastures new with the club seemingly undergoing a significant restructure. However, Brennan has still been left with an exciting and talented squad more than good enough to challenge at this level, whilst the club’s new full-time training model has allowed the manager more time to work with his players.

In their last game, the aforementioned win over Bath, they selected veteran goalkeeper Alan Julian, most well known for his time with Stevenage but who has also been with Dartford and Bromley amongst others; a back four of Joe Kizzi, dangerous ex-AFC Wimbledon full-back Callum Kennedy, Colchester United loanee Paul Rooney, and versatile former Luton and Dagenham man Jake Howells; in midfield was Norwich City loanee Devonte Aransibia, as well as Sam Deering, Dan Waldren and another Football League veteran in Alfie Potter; whilst up front were two former Woking players in Moses Emmanuel (formerly Ademola) and Ross Lafayette – both regular scorers this season. The other major dangerman, striker Adam Coombes, is currently out injured.

On the Day

The AGP Arena can be found on Blunts Wall Road; the postcode is CM12 9SA – a drive of around one hour and 40 minutes from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Billericay Railway which is a short taxi journey away.

Supporters can also book a place on the travelling club coach which departs at 11.00am due to anticipated heavy traffic. The cost for trust members is £10 adults and £5 for under-16s – with a £5 increase for non-members. To book your place please contact Adam Bowyer (adam.bowyer@cardstrust.co.uk) or call the club shop.

Matchday ticket prices are £13 for adults, £9 for concessions, £3 for under-18s and £1 for all those under the age of 11. Tickets can be purchased on the day or in advance via the Billericay website.

Next Up

The Cards are back in league action at the Laithwaite on Boxing Day, our first home league game since the end of October! Dowse will be taking on his former club, Hampton & Richmond Borough, and we hope as many supporters as possible will come down and cheer on the team.
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