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Cards looking for return to form ahead of likely play-off semi-final

Glen Harrington - 12th April 2019

Cards looking for return to form ahead of likely play-off semi-final Chelmsford City vs Woking
Vanarama National League South
Saturday 13th April 2019


Woking will be aiming for a first win in five league games on Saturday as they travel to play-off bound Chelmsford City. Whilst the Cards know that the National League South title is likely to be beyond them after last weekend’s draw with runaway leaders Torquay United, a win over the Clarets this weekend would guarantee a top three finish, and thus a bye through the first round of the play-offs.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Alan Dowson and his team as they’ve fallen away from a title challenge with the Gulls, albeit whilst picking up credible draws against third-place Welling United, fifth-place Bath City, and Saturday’s 3-3 tie with Torquay, alongside a 1-0 defeat at home to Slough Town. Last weekend’s result was particularly hard to take as Gary Johnson’s side scored two late goals to cancel out Greg Luer’s brace and Kieron Cadogan’s superb solo goal. The good news for the Cards is that they are guaranteed to finish in at least fifth place, already above many pundits’ pre-season expectations, and know that a maximum of eight points from our final four games will guarantee second place and home advantage for throughout the play-offs. Efforts to secure that converted spot start at Melbourne Stadium where three points will ensure a bye through to one of the two second-round games.

Chelmsford have always provided a stern test for Woking and this weekend is likely to be no different – whilst also potentially providing a preview of a future play-off game. The Clarets have plenty of experience with end-of-season games. Last season they finished third in the sixth tier before losing to Dowse and Hampton and Richmond Borough. In fact, they’ve finished in the top five six times in the last 10 years, missing out every time, including a 2-1 final defeat to Ebbsfleet United in 2017. This season they have accrued 66 points from their 38 games, nine fewer than the Cards, and they currently have a six-point cushion on eighth place Wealdstone. Their recent form isn’t hugely strong considering their position with just two wins from their last eight games, a run which has included four draws, whilst their two most recent games have both ended in 3-1 defeats – away to Torquay and St Albans.

We hope as many fans as possible will make the journey on Saturday and cheer the team on to finish the season strongly as we prepare for an exciting play-off campaign!

Woking Team News

The Cards will be without Ben Gerring this weekend following his costly red card against Torquay. The defender’s second sending-off of the season will definitely rule him out of the games against Chelmsford and Concord Rangers with Nathan Collier likely to be his replacement. Jack Cook should move across to his more natural centre-back position with Collier returning at right-back.

Further forward, Dowse will once again be sweating on the fitness of Armani Little, who was struggling in the closing stages of Saturday’s game. If he doesn’t make it then Kane Ferdinand could be pushing for a first senior team appearance in 2019. The midfielder, who has been out since September, completed his first full 90 minutes since his return in Tuesday’s friendly game at Westfield.

Chelmsford City Team News

The Clarets, managed by Rod Stringer, selected the following team against St Albans: Nathan McDonald in goal, a back four of former Newport man Jazzi Barnum-Bobb, ex-Fulham, Norwich and Leyton Orient defender Elliot Omozusi, the experienced Michael Spillane, who can often be a danger from set-pieces, and Joe Anderson, who made his professional debut for Woking when on loan from Fulham back in 2009; in midfield was Anthony Church, Tom Wraight, Chris Whelpdale, who has bags of Football League experience with the likes of Peterborough, Gillingham and Stevenage, and another former Woking loanee in Billy Knott, signed recently from Concord Rangers. He won’t be playing against the Cards after a late red card against the Saints. Up front was the ever-dangerous pairing of Scott Fenwick and Rhys Murphy – the latter has 23 league goals this season, second only to Torquay’s Jamie Reid.

The bench on the day for Chelmsford included two other former Woking players, Chez Isaac and Matt Young, who were both unused substitutes. The Clarets also have Kiran Khinda-John, who started this season at Kingfield, on their books.

On the Day

The ground can be found on Salerno Way; the postcode is CM1 2EH – a drive of around one hour and 40 minutes from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest station is Chelmsford which is around a 30-minute walk from the ground.

Supporters can also book a place on the travelling club coach which departs at 11.30am. The cost is £20 for adults and £15 for under-16s with a £5 discount for Cards Trust members. To book your place please contact Adam Bowyer (adam.bowyer@cardstrust.co.uk) or call the club shop.

Matchday ticket prices are £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and students, £5 for young adults (aged 12 to 17) and free for those under-11. Tickets are also available online in advance via the Chelmsford website with a small discount for adults and concessions booking before 8pm on Friday.

Next Up

The Cards have an Easter double header, firstly at home to Concord Rangers on Good Friday, followed by our final away game of the regular season at Dulwich Hamlet on Bank Holiday Monday.
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