Understrength Cards face tough test at in form Sutton
7:47pm, Tue 31st Dec 2019
Sutton United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Wednesday 1st January 2020
Woking will be hoping to end a three-match losing streak on Wednesday as they make the short trip to face Sutton United at Garner Green Lane, six days on from a 2-0 home defeat against the same opponents on Boxing Day.
Despite the two club’s respective league positions this, on paper at least, looks set to be arguably the Cards’ toughest test of the season so far. Godfrey Poku, one of the club’s strongest performers in recent weeks, will miss out through suspension after picking up two yellow cards against Torquay United on Saturday; strikers Jake Hyde and Dave Tarpey, now with 20 goals between them this season, are unlikely to be risked on the artificial surface, whilst captain Josh Casey is sidelined through injury. That almost certainly means that Dowse will have just a 14-man squad of senior players to pick from, in addition to the club’s talented academy, with a number of players already gaining experience through pre-season games or in the Surrey Senior Cup.
Sutton, who have been entrenched in a relegation battle for much of this season, are suddenly the league’s form side. They are now unbeaten in their last seven league matches, taking 17 points out of a possible 21, with an impressive 3-2 success against Yeovil Town following their win at the Laithwaite Community Stadium last week. The U’s currently sit 16th in the table with 36 points, just five behind the Cards, who have dropped to ninth after last week’s results – but on a more positive note remain outside of the play-off places on goal difference alone.
The team need your support more than ever for this game so please make the relatively short journey if you can and get behind the boys!
Woking Team News
Dowse sprung a surprise on Saturday by handing a debut to goalkeeper Sam Howes following his successful spell at Chelmsford City and it will be interesting to see whether the summer signing keeps his place ahead of the more experienced Craig Ross for this one. In defence, Nathan Collier was drafted in to try and fill the rather large shoes of Josh Casey, and may well have to do so again with Manny Parry the only other senior defensive option in the squad.
In midfield, Kane Ferdinand and Shaun Donnellan could both be restored to the starting line-up, whilst the likes of Jake Gray, Max Kretzschmar and Paul Hodges will be battling for a more advance role alongside Jamar Loza and, most likely, Ibrahim Meite, who should be handed a rare start with both Hyde and Tarpey set to miss out.
Sutton United Team News
Manager Matt Gray made four changes for the game against Yeovil from the team that started at the Laithwaite Community Stadium last Thursday. In came Harry Beautyman and David Ajiboye, both of whom responded with goals, plus defender Robert Milsom and striker Aaron Jarvis. Will Randall and Ben Wyatt both dropped to the bench whilst, interestingly, there was no place for either Kyel Reid or start striker Omar Bugiel, scorer of both goals against Woking, who were both substituted in that game – potentially, so it now appears, with injuries.
Last Time Out
Woking 0-2 Sutton United – National League (26th December 2019)
The Cards came into this game well-rested and full of confidence following the postponement of the previous game against Ebbsfleet and a hard-fought three points against Hartlepool United in the last league outing. That confidence lasted all of about 50 seconds, after which Bugiel volleyed an outrageous strike into the top right-hand corner and, in truth, the Cards never recovered. Bugiel added a second after a goalmouth scramble to take his personal tally to five goals in two games, whilst the U’s defended stoutly in the second-half to keep Woking chances to a minimum. The Cards will have happier memories of Garner Green Lane from back in 2011 when the visitors ran out 5-0 winners on route to the National League South title – their last win on that ground.
On the Day
For those travelling directly, the ground is located at the Borough Sports Ground on Gander Green Lane, postcode SM1 2EY. The nearest railway station is West Sutton which only a short walk from the ground. Full travel details can be found on the Sutton website.
There will be a coach for supporters running for this game. Travelling fans should arrive by 12:45pm for departure at 1:00pm. The cost Is £15 for adults and £10 for those under-16. Cards Trust members receive a £5 discount per person.
Ticket prices are £17 for adults, £10 for concessions, £5 for juniors (11-18) and free for those under 11. There is a small discount available for those who purchase tickets online through the Sutton website the day before the game.
We’re back in action on Saturday afternoon when we’ll be at home to Chorley. There’s then a two-week break from league action prior to a trip to Wrexham.