Top of the table clash as Cards host league leaders
4:04pm, Thu 22nd Aug 2019
Woking vs Solihull Moors
Vanarama National League
Saturday 24th August 2019
It’s first against second at the Laithwaite Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon as one of the season’s favourites for promotion, 2019 play-off semi-finalists Solihull Moors, take on the newly promoted Cards as they look to continue their superb start to the season.
Few would have predicted that Woking would have taken the maximum nine points from three tough games against sides expected to be in and around the play-off hunt this campaign – but that’s just what Alan Dowson’s side delivered as narrow victories over Harrogate Town and Chesterfield were followed up by last weekend’s hugely entertaining 4-1 victory over the previously unbeaten AFC Fylde. Dave Tarpey scored his second free-kick in the space of five days, whilst Kane Ferdinand grabbed his second of the season, and Jake Hyde scored a brace to round off the game in style. In fact, the Cards would have gone top, were it not for Solihull’s late goal at Ebbsfleet which saw the Moors move back to the top of the pile.
It’s been an incredibly impressive 18 months for Solihull who, after staging something of a great escape to avoid relegation from the National League in 2017, have gone from strength to strength under manager Tim Flowers, finishing second last season and starting this year in the same vein. They began the season with a 2-2 draw at Harrogate before winning four successive games – beating Torquay United (3-0), Aldershot Town (2-1), Chorley (6-1) and Ebbsfleet United (2-1). The Cards will no doubt take some encouragement from the fact that both Aldershot and winless Ebbsfleet were able to run the leaders close, but with the Moors currently the early pacesetters in terms of both points and goals scored, Dowse will know that his team needs to produce another sterling defensive performance to take anything from the game.
The team would really appreciate your support once again this weekend as we look to make another huge statement about our prospects this season. Whatever the result it promises to be a fascinating game so come along if you can and cheer on the boys!
Woking Team News
Dowse stuck with the same team against Fylde that started against Chesterfield, although unlike in that game, they remained in a 4-3-3 formation rather than reverting to 5-3-2. That meant a back four of Jack Cook, Ben Gerring, Manny Parry and Josh Casey, with Moussa Diarra still sidelined through injury, a midfield three of Ferdinand, Shaun Donnellan and Toby Edser, with Tarpey and Tyreke Johnson supporting Ibrahim Meite up front.
The boss does have options to change things, particularly after Hyde’s two-goal salvo against Fylde, although there are unlikely to be widespread changes, particularly if Diarra and Max Kretzschmar are still carrying their respective niggles. In wider squad news, Jack Skinner has joined Leatherhead on loan, whilst Joe Felix is on dual-registration with Farnborough, so it could well be the 16 that performed so admirably in the last two away games.
Solihull Moors Team News
The Moors fell behind to bottom of the table Ebbsfleet last time out before a late own goal secured them all three points. In that game they lined up with former Port Vale goalkeeper Ryan Boot between the sticks; in defence were Liam Daly, Alex Gudger, the experienced Lee Vaughan, who has played over 400 games for the likes of AFC Telford and Kidderminster, and Callum Howe who was a key member of Harrogate’s run to the play-offs last season, scoring an impressive nine league goals.
In midfield were Kyle Storer, part of the Cheltenham Town promotion winning team in 2016, Jamey Osborne, previously with Grimsby Town, and Mitch Hancox, promoted with Macclesfield Town in 2018, a product of the Birmingham City academy, who recently joined the club from MK Dons; the front three was Terry Hawkridge, part of the Lincoln City team that won the National League in 2017, who joined from Notts County in January, Nathan Blissett, who scored a hat-trick against Chorley and has four goals this season, and Paul McCallum, possibly the league’s most dangerous striker alongside Danny Rowe, who scored 27 times for Eastleigh last season and four already this campaign.
Last Time Out
Solihull Moors 3-0 Woking – National League (20 January 2018)
The Cards went into this game 11 points better off than their hosts who, at the time, were in the relegation zone and, despite the result, it was incredible to think that it was Woking who would go on to be relegated after winning just three more games all season. Kwame Thomas got Solihull off to the perfect start in this one before a Jermaine Hylton double secured a comfortable win. Woking had won the reverse encounter 2-1 back in September with Jason Banton and Charlie Carter on the scoresheet.
• Adults £18
• Over 65s £13
• Disabled (Including carer) £13
• Students (Under 19) £5
• U16s £5
Tickets are available on the turnstiles or in advance online. Remember, our matchday programme will also be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll then be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.
The Cards have a quick turnaround as they travel to Dover Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday. Our next home game is the following Saturday as we take on Barrow at Kingfield.