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Cards looking for momentum ahead of season-defining clash

Glen Harrington - 29th March 2019

Cards looking for momentum ahead of season-defining clash Bath City vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 30th March


After last Saturday’s desperately disappointing defeat at home to Slough Town the Cards find themselves two points adrift of Torquay United, who have played a game less, at the top of the National League South table. Alan Dowson and his side know that if they are to have any chance of lifting the title next month then they will need a near perfect run-in, starting this Saturday at Bath City.

The odds are certainly against the Cards, who have won just three of the last seven in the league, and are hitting a bad patch of form at just the wrong time. Add to that the fact that leaders Torquay appear to be in increasingly formidable form and that this weekend’s opponents, fifth-placed Bath, have promotion ambitions of their own, and you can see why many supporters are starting to show signs of nerves. However, Dowse will know that in reality with the Gulls still to come to the Laithwaite Community Stadium next week, that his side can yet turnaround that deficit at the top – albeit that any further slip-ups are likely to consign his team to the lottery of the end of season play-offs. Whilst that would, of course, be in itself an achievement, no doubt the team will want to give their all in what has been an absorbing title race as it nears its conclusion.

Bath have had a strong season and look near certain to improve upon last year’s ninth placed finish. They enjoyed one of their best performances of the season at Kingfield back in October when they scored a deserved 3-1 victory and, in many ways, they have continued to kick on ever since, briefly flirting with a potential automatic promotion push before dropping back into the chasing pack. They currently have 63 points from their 36 games with 18 wins and nine draws – that leaves them 10 points behind the Cards and six clear of eighth place. They have the best defensive unit in the league with just 30 goals conceded, two less than Torquay, although their 53 goals scored is some way behind the leaders. They are currently on a six-match unbeaten run in the league stretching back to mid-February, although again goals have been a problem with just two netted in the last three games, which have seen a narrow 1-0 win over Hampton, a 1-1 draw with Wealdstone and last weekend’s goalless game at Eastbourne. They’re also unbeaten at home in the league since December when they suffered a narrow defeat to Billericay Town (2-1) – since when they’ve beaten Torquay, Chelmsford and put five past Chippenham at Twerton Park.

A huge thanks to Dowse and the players for putting on subsidised coach travel for Saturday’s game and we hope as many fans as possible will take advantage of this great offer and go and support the team!

Woking Team News

The Cards will have two new signings to call upon this weekend. Midfielder James Ferry has joined on a permanent deal from Stevenage. The former Brentford youngster has played 15 games in all competitions for the League 2 side this year, as well as 12 on loan at National League Halifax, where he scored twice. The other new addition is winger Kieron Cadogan, well known for his time at Sutton Untied, where he spent just under two years – scoring 18 goals – who joins us on loan from Billericay Town after a brief stint with our National League South rivals.

Elsewhere, it will be interesting to see whether Dowse hands those that started against Slough the opportunity to redeem themselves or goes for a completely different approach at Bath. A number of fringe players featured in the mid-week friendly against Spelthorne Sports where Nicky Wheeler scored twice in a 2-2 draw and midfielder Kane Ferdinand made his long-awaited return from injury. Both could be under consideration for a place in the squad on Saturday.

Goals will no doubt be Dowse’s main concern after being shutout against Slough, particularly with such a strong defence in opposition. Harvey Bradbury is one possible option to come into the team whilst the boss will also be checking on the fitness of Greg Luer, who has missed the last couple of games through injury, both of whom could take some of the pressure off Jake Hyde.

Bath City Team News

The Romans, managed by Jerry Gill, selected the following team against Eastbourne: experienced former Oxford United, Eastleigh and Torquay goalkeeper Ryan Clarke was between the posts; in defence was Jack Batten, who has this week signed a new contract with the club, Joe Raynes, ex-Gloucester man Robbie Cundy, and former Aldershot full-back and Granada international Anthony Straker.

In midfield was the experienced Frankie Artus, with close to 150 games under his belt for the club, Swindon loanee Joe Romanski, and James Morton, who is on loan from Bristol City; then further forward were another Bristol City man in Freddie Hinds, as well as Ross Stearn, supporting a second Swindon loan player in Sol Pryce – who started against the Cards in our famous 1-0 win over the Robins back in December.

On the Day

The ground can be found on Dominion Road; the postcode is BA2 1DB – a drive of around two hours from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Oldfield Park which is around a 20-minute walk from the ground.

Supporters can also book a place on the travelling club coach which departs at 11.30am. The cost for all those travelling is £5 – thanks again to the management team and players! 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, £10 for seniors, £7 for students and £2 for those under-16. There is also a family ticket for two parents and up to two children which costs £25.

Next Up

It’s the big one next up with league leaders Torquay the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium. After this we face another challenging trip, this time to Essex, where we take on Chelmsford.
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