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Cards mark National League return with trip to Dagenham

Glen Harrington
9:29am, Fri 2nd Aug 2019
Dagenham & Redbridge vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 3rd August 2019

After a year away, Woking start a new season in the fifth tier of English football on Saturday afternoon, as the club makes the relatively short trip to East London to face Dagenham & Redbridge.

It’s been an incredible 18 months for the Cards. After suffering a heartbreaking relegation on the final day of the 2017/18 season, ending a six-year stay at non-league’s top table, it looked a long way back. However, the club has gone from strength to strength following the appointment of manager Alan Dowson, who in his first season in charge built a new squad from scratch, won promotion via the play-offs after a second-place finish in the league, and reached the third round of the FA Cup.

This summer has been far more understated. The core of last season’s successful squad has been retained, whilst Dowse has also made some shrewd additions, most notably securing two of last season’s loanees, Dave Tarpey and Moussa Diarra. Also coming in have been tough-tackling midfielder Godfrey Poku from Wealdstone, towering defender Manny Parry from Boreham Wood and exciting young goalkeeper Sam Howes from Watford. Signs during pre-season have been encouraging. The Cards’ haven’t been overawed by a challenging schedule which has included four Football League opponents, with a 3-1 win against Salford City and a 1-1 draw with Oxford United amongst the highlights, as Dowse and co look to carry that form into the new campaign.

As always, the team would really appreciate your support this weekend, so please make the trip if you can and support the players as we look to make the best possible start back in the National League.

Woking Team News

Dowse has already confirmed that he’ll be looking to use a mix of personnel and formations this season has he looks to spring more than a few surprises against full-time opponents.

Against Portsmouth, in our final pre-season encounter, he trialled a 5-3-2 formation – Howes in goal, Jack Cook and Josh Casey as wing-backs, a back three of Parry, Diarra and Ben Gerring, Poku and Shaun Donnellan behind Kane Ferdinand in midfield, with Tarpey and Jake Hyde up front. Dowse also has the likes of Max Kretzschmar and Paul Hodges available to him if he prefers to stay with a more traditional 4-2-3-1, as well as exciting youngster Jack Skinner, whilst supporters will no doubt be intrigued to see if there are one or two late arrivals to the squad before the big kick-off.

Dagenham & Redbridge Team News

The Daggers are entering their fourth season back in non-league football after a nine-year stay in the Football League, the highlight of which was promotion from League Two in 2010 and a single season in League One the following year. Their first three seasons in the National League have seen them finish 4th, 11th and 18th, with financial issues disrupting their progress throughout each of the last two seasons. The club’s new owners, who took over in late 2018, eventually steered them clear of relegation and now, alongside their manager, former England international Peter Taylor, will no doubt be looking to mount at least a play-off challenge this year.

Their squad includes several former Woking players – Matt Robinson and Joe Quigley, who both enjoyed successful loan spells during the 2015/16 campaign, along with striker Chike Kandi, who scored some important goals during the following season. Key additions this summer include Ebbsfleet United midfielder Bagasan Graham, Dover Athletic’s Mitch Brundle, Reece Grant from our neighbours Aldershot, plus Spanish forward Joan Luque.

Last Time Out

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-1 Woking – National League (07 April 2018)

The Cards travelled to Dagenham staring relegation in the face – just days removed from sacking then manager Anthony Limbrick and on a nine-match winless streak. Geoff Chapple and Jason Goodliffe were placed in caretaker charge and secured a point as Josh Staunton, playing against his former club, scored Woking’s goal early in the second-half to cancel out the opener from Dan Sparkes.

On the Day

The ground can be found on Victoria Road; the postcode is RM10 7XL – a drive of around one hour and 15 minutes from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest train station is Dagenham East – which is on the District Line of the London Underground service. The ground is around a five-minute walk away.

Supporters can also book a place on the travelling club coach which departs at 12pm. The cost is £25 for adults and £20 for under-16s with a £5 discount for Cards Trust members. To book your place please contact Adam Bowyer ( or call the club shop.

This match will be segregated with Woking fans allocated the West Stand. Ticket prices are £21 for adults, £15 for concessions, £12 for juniors (10-16-years-old) and £2 for under-10s.

Next Up

The Cards first home game is against local rivals Aldershot this coming Tuesday evening. It’s expected to be a busy night so make sure you get along to the ground early to get ready for the game!

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