Cards looking to consolidate top spot against familiar foes
7:24pm, Thu 21st Feb 2019
Dartford vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 23rd February 2019
Woking and Dartford meet for the second time in less than three weeks on Saturday as the Cards make the familiar journey to Princes Park looking to avenge the cruel late defeat they suffered at the Laithwaite earlier this month.
It was arguably the lowest point of the Cardsâ€™ predominately excellent season when the Darts scored with virtually the last kick, deep into stoppage time at Kingfield, consigning the nine-man Woking side to only their fifth league defeat of the season. Thankfully, Alan Dowsonâ€™s side have bounced back in fine style, with three wins and eight goals in the space of 10 days representing a much-needed return to form and seeing us overtake Torquay United at the top of the National League South table. Now, itâ€™s the Cards who are in the unfamiliar position of being chased down at the top, and Dowse and his team will know that they will need to be at their very best if they are to stay there beyond this weekend.
Whilst Dartford have not quite performed to the levels of last season, when they only missed out on automatic promotion to the National League on goal difference, they are starting to find form at just the right time and remain well placed to secure a third successive year in the play-off places. They currently sit in seventh place with 50 points from their 30 games â€“ 12 points behind the Cards after one game more and, more importantly, four clear of eighth place. Crucially, they have only lost one of their last nine league games in a run stretching back to late December, and that was against local rivals and fellow promotion chasers Chelmsford City. Since beating Woking they have beaten Bath City 3-0 and drawn 2-2 away at Slough Town.
This promises to be a great game, and will no doubt have a great atmosphere to go with it. So please make the short journey if you can and cheer on the team!
Woking Team News
The Cards are likely to stick with the team that convincingly beat Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday evening. With Armani Little still suspended and Nathan Collier filling in for him in midfield, Ian Gayle should continue at right-back alongside Ben Gerring, Jack Cook and Josh Casey.
In midfield, Collier will likely play alongside Christian Jolley once again, with a forward quartet of Paul Hodges, Reise Allassani and Greg Luer supporting Dave Tarpey â€“ who has three goals in his first four games for the club. Should Dowse want to freshen things up he may look to academy graduate Charlie Hester-Cook, returned to the bench on Tuesday, who could come into the midfield, or else one of his more attacking options in Bradley Hudson-Odoi, Jake Hyde or, scorer on Tuesday night, Harvey Bradbury.
Dartford Team News
For their draw with Slough, managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle selected on loan Colchester United goalkeeper Bailey Vose; a defence of former Woking utility man Jordan Wynter, currently on loan from Maidstone United, Daniel Johnson, the experienced Tom Bonner and goalscorer against the Cards Ronnie Vint; the midfield four consisted of veteran Elliot Bradbrook, Lee Noble, former Maidstone, Concord and Hemel man Ben Greenhalgh and Ryan Hayes; while up front was new signing on loan from Sutton United, Darren McQueen, alongside Phil Roberts.
The only other former Woking player in the Dartford squad, in addition to Wynter, is Delano Sam-Yorke who is currently out on loan with Kingstonian.
On the Day
Princes Park can be found on Grassbanks, Darneth Road and has the postcode DA1 1RT â€“ itâ€™s around a one hour and 15-minute drive from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Dartford which is a 20-minute walk from the ground. Alternatively, buses are available at 10-minute intervals. The Cards Trust are running a coach to this game and tickets can be booked at a cost of Â£15 for adults and Â£10 for under-16s, with a Â£5 discount for Trust members. Please contact Adam Bowyer on email@example.com for more information. Matchday ticket prices are Â£14 for adults, Â£9 for concessions (aged 65+), Â£5 for youth (13-17), Â£2 for juniors (5-12) and free for those under five.
The Cards have a run of away fixtures coming up and they continue Tuesday evening when the team makes the long trip to Truro City for a rearranged match-up. The following weekend weâ€™re at Hungerford Town with our next home game against Chippenham Town on 9th March.