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Cards ready for Wealdstone play-off challenge

Glen Harrington
10:41am, Sat 4th May 2019
Woking vs Wealdstone
Vanarama National League South
Sunday 5th May 2019

The Cards are just two games away from an immediate return to the National League. However, they face a tough road through the end of season play-offs starting this Sunday, when Wealdstone will be the visitors to the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Whilst comparative league placings and point tallies, along with home advantage makes Woking firm favourites on paper this weekend, reality suggests this will be anything but an easy ride. Alan Dowson’s side have somewhat limped into the play-offs with just one win in the last eight league games, whilst three of our last four home league matches have ended in defeat, our last win coming against Chippenham back in early March. Add in the fact that the Raiders have already done the double over the Cards this season and you can understand why there will likely be some nervous faces around Kingfield come 3pm tomorrow. Despite an indifferent run to end the season recent performances in big games have been good, with an excellent display against champions Torquay last month, as well as a comfortable victory over Dulwich Hamlet to belatedly secure second place. Dowse and co will no doubt be confident that with a big crowd behind them that they can make home advantage pay and progress to the final against either Welling United or Chelmsford City.

While Woking’s play-off place has long since been secured, Wealdstone come into the end of season shoot-out riding a wave of momentum, after sneaking into seventh place on the final day of their regular season campaign. Ironically, it was Bath City’s victory over Billericay Town, combined with their win over Hemel Hempstead, which saw them qualify – before they then eliminated the Romans at Twerton Park on Wednesday with a hard-fought 3-1 victory. Their recent form is naturally good with an impressive 3-0 win over Chelmsford preceding their victories over Hemel and Bath, although their previous two games, away to Hampton and at home to Dulwich, did both end in defeat. Their biggest concern coming into Sunday’s game is likely to be around goalkeeper Jonathan North, who has inspired Bobby Wilkinson’s team to two clean sheets against the Cards already this season, but was forced off late on against Bath after a collision with Ryan Brunt who was sent off for the challenge.

The games don’t get much bigger than this, it’s our first play-off game of any kind since 2011, so come along if you can and get behind the team!

Woking Team News

Dowse chose to rest a number of players for the game against Gloucester and the likes of Greg Luer, Max Kretzschmar and Olu Durojaiye could all be restored to the starting line-up.

In defence, the back five looks likely to pick itself with Craig Ross playing behind Jack Cook, Ben Gerring, Moussa Diarra and Josh Casey; although Sam Mason’s man-of-the-match performance from the bench last time out could well put him in contention if Ross in not fully fit. Nathan Collier will likely have to make do with a place on the bench.

In midfield, Armani Little’s place looks secure, with Durojaiye, a returning Kane Ferdinand and Christian Jolley fighting it out to play alongside him. Kretzschmar should return in his preferred attacking midfield role although Paul Hodges and James Ferry offer alternatives.

Up front, Dowse will hope he has Reise Allassani available again after his double against Dulwich, with Greg Luer and Kieron Cadogan set to be the other two names on the teamsheet. The likes of Jake Hyde and Harvey Bradbury will provide the attacking flair from the bench.

Wealdstone Team News

For their win over Bath, the Raiders started with the following team: North in goal, a defence of Rhys Taylor, Freddie Grant, Connor Stevens and Jerome Okimo, formerly of Stevenage and Braintree; in midfield was the industrious former Woking man Godfrey Poku alongside Christian Smith, who has plenty of experience of these kind of big games with Chelmsford and Maidenhead; out wide were the dangerous Jeffrey Monakana, once on the books of Arsenal and later Brighton, along with Jake Sheppard who scored the opening goal before being forced off after 25 minutes; up front was Stefan Brown supported by Danny Green. Star man David Pratt, who has caused the Cards plenty of problems already this season, came off the bench to score his team’s third.

One other former Woking connection in the Wealdstone squad is striker Bradley Bubb, although he wasn’t involved at all in the game against Bath on Wednesday.

Admission Prices

• Adults £15
• Over 65s £10
• Disabled (Including carer) £10
• Students (Under 19) £5
• U16s £5

Tickets are also available ahead of the game through our online booking system.

Our matchday programme will be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll also be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Remember, as with all cup games, a season ticket does not offer entry to this fixture.

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