Cards back in action with trip to struggling Wrexham

Glen Harrington
8:45pm, Thu 16th Jan 2020
Wrexham vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 18th January 2020

Woking will return to competitive action for the first time in two-weeks on Saturday as they make the trip to Wales to take on Wrexham in the National League.

The Cards haven’t been in action since the start of January when Dave Tarpey’s solitary goal earned Alan Dowson’s side a much-needed three points over Chorley at the Laithwaite Community Stadium – ending a run of four successive defeats in all competitions. Woking currently sit ninth in the National League table with 44 points, just four fewer than their last National League campaign in 2017/18, and with 17 games still remaining it’s an opportunity for players and supporters to look up rather than down. The play-offs are still well within touching distance, with just one point separating the Cards and seventh place Boreham Wood, whilst even fifth place Notts County are only two points away. Dowse will no doubt want to take this opportunity to close that gap, but in order to do so his side will need to overcome a tough test against lowly Wrexham, who despite their surprising league position are always tough to beat at the Racecourse Ground – a venue where the Cards have taken just six points from their last six visits.

Wrexham are currently playing in their twelfth successive year in the National League, following relegation from the Football League in 2008. They’ve gone close to a return on numerous occasions, losing in the play-offs on four separate occasions, whilst they’ve only twice finished outside of the top half. Last season they came fourth and were once again many pundits’ tip to be in and around the title picture this campaign. The reality has been very different with the Red Dragons finding themselves marred in a relegation battle. They are currently in 20th place with 32 points, outside of the bottom four on goal difference alone, whilst AFC Fylde who sit just two points behind them still have two games in hand. Manager Bryan Hughes was sacked in September after a run of eight games without a win and was replaced by former boss Dean Keates, who was also in charge from 2016-2018. He’s had little joy in turning around the club’s fortunes so far, winning just six of his 22 matches, although that does include two of the last four – both against bottom of the table Chorley. Last time out they were beaten 2-1 at home by our neighbours Aldershot Town.

This is an important game for the Cards and at one of the most popular grounds in the division – so please make the journey if you can and cheer on the team!

Woking Team News

Dowse will have at least one new signing available on Saturday with Alex Wall becoming the club’s first signing of the new decade earlier this week. The imposing centre forward has been a thorn in Woking’s side for many of his former clubs, including Concord Rangers, where he scored 21 times in National League South last season. Here’s hoping he can make a similar impact in a Woking shirt.

The Cards also received a boost on Tuesday evening when captain Josh Casey returned from injury to start in the friendly against a Queens Park Rangers XI. The match finished goalless in hugely challenging conditions but no doubt the boss will have been pleased to see his side come through unscathed and with some added match sharpness under their belts. It means that Dowse could have a full squad to pick from – minus, of course, Jake Gray, who has re-joined Hampton & Richmond Borough on loan.

Wrexham Team News

Against the Shots, Wrexham lined-up with Rob Lainton, formerly of Bury and Port Vale, in goal. In defence were two loanees, Tyler Reid from Swindon Town and Kieran Kennedy from Port Vale, alongside Jake Lawlor and the experienced James Jennings, who has also played at this level for Cambridge United, Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers.

In midfield was Mark Carrington, veteran of over 200 games for the club, Luke Young, who spent four-years with Torquay United before joining Wrexham in 2018, plus former Manchester United academy player Devonte Redmond, who joined from Salford City in the summer. Further forward was Bobby Grant, last with Fleetwood Town, Bradford City loanee Omari Patrick, and JJ Hooper, who was prolific in a loan spell with Bromley, scoring 19 times in all competitions whilst on loan from Grimsby Town.

Last Time Out

Woking 1-1 Wrexham – National League (5th October 2019)

The Cards bounced back from successive one-goal defeats against Bromley and Boreham Wood with a battling point at home to Wrexham. James Jennings gave the visitors the lead just after half-time, but the home side grabbed an equaliser with 15 minutes remaining, as Kane Ferdinand forced the ball over the line from close range. Defender Manny Parry was voted man-of-the-match.

On the Day

For those travelling directly, the ground is located on Mold Road, postcode LL11 2AH – approximately three-and-a-half hours from the Laithwaite Community Stadium. The nearest railway station is Wrexham General Railway Station which is located next to the ground and is only a few minutes’ walk away. Exit the station walk up the station approach road and at the top turn right along the main road. The ground is along on the right. It is served by trains from Wolverhampton and Holyhead.

Unfortunately, there will be not be a supporter’s coach running for this game.

Ticket prices are £20 for adults, £15 for concessions over 65 or under 21, £8 for concessions over 80 or under 18, and £1 for those under 18. Visiting supporters should use turnstiles 1-4 and will be allocated the Mold End side of the ground. Advanced purchase is available through the Wrexham website.

Next Up

We’re at home on Tuesday evening in the Surrey Senior Cup for a second meeting of the season with Kingstonian, that’s followed by another home game against Yeovil Town, on Saturday.

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Registered office The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA

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