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Brian Caffarey - 20th September 2007

Burton Albion v Woking
3pm on Saturday 22 September 2007

The Cards travel to high-flying Burton Albion on Saturday and will be hoping to have better fortune than at Crawley on Tuesday night when an early red card put them on the back foot straightaway. The Brewers? slow but seemingly inexorable rise up the non-League ladder appears to be continuing this season. They struggled when they first joined the Conference but they have gradually become a force to be reckoned with ? boosted by their new Pirelli Stadium and the revenue from their FA Cup tie with Manchester United ? and are now genuine play-off contenders. A model of how to do things responsibly both on and off the pitch. This will be another tough trip for the Cards.


Tuesday night?s game at Crawley Town has rather played havoc with our expectations of what to expect from a Woking game. Our defence has previously looked very solid, if somewhat under the cosh at times, but conceded five goals on Tuesday - admittedly with only ten men ? having previously let in only seven goals in nine games. In addition, those ten men managed to score three goals: the first time this season we?ve scored more than one goal in a game. (We registered two against Altrincham but one of them was an own goal.) So, what should we expect on Saturday?

Frank Gray will no doubt be looking to restore some defensive solidity but he may have to do it without Paul Lorraine if Paul?s suspension kicks in before Saturday. Matt Ruby would no doubt take his place. If Bradley Quamina is fit in time, Frank must be tempted to partner him in midfield with Kevin James to add a bit more bite. Matt Pattison provides ?bite? too but, unfortunately, he doesn?t seem to be able to do it without picking up bookings! Another outing up front for the Marvin Morgan and Joe Gatting partnership looks likely, although Paul Hakim won?t have done his chances any harm with a superbly-taken goal on Tuesday. Perhaps one option would be to rest Marvin and save his energies for the home game against Exeter City on Tuesday? The aim of bringing Paul Hakim in on a month?s loan was presumably to use him rather than having him sitting on the bench.


Nigel Clough has got a very experienced squad. There are some familiar names from previous seasons, with the likes of Darren Stride, Aaron Webster, Daryl Clare, Kevin Poole (44 year-old keeper!) and Keith Gilroy signing new contracts. But he has also favoured older hands in his transfer dealings, bringing in the former Boston United duo of utility man Mark Greaves (32), the Pilgrims? ?Player of the Year? last season, and David Farrell, a 35 year-old left back. Another double signing was the acquisition from relegated Tamworth of striker Jake Edwards (31) and winger John McGrath (27). At the back to replace central defender Darren Tinson, who joined Altrincham, Clough brought in Tony James (30), well known from his stints with Weymouth and especially Hereford United. A couple of recent younger loan signings are those of Sam Aiston, a winger on two months? loan from Northampton, and 19 year-old midfielder Andy Gooding from Coventry City. A recent departure, for an undisclosed fee, was that of striker Jon Shaw, who is now banging in the goals for Halifax Town.


The Brewers finished in sixth place last season, just missing the play-offs. They have begun this season as though they mean to improve on that record. So far they have been beaten only by Oxford United, at home 2-1, when the Brewers had to field a weakened defence. Their other home games have seen wins over York City, with the Brewers coming back from 3-1 down with ten men to win 4-3, Farsley Celtic 1-0, Torquay 3-1 and a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night against Ebbsfleet, Keith Gilroy rescuing a point with a late equaliser. Away from home they have beaten Weymouth and Northwich Victoria and drawn against Histon, Crawley Town and Rushden and Diamonds. The Brewers? last two games, against Rushden and Diamonds and Ebbsfleet, haven?t seen them in the best of form ? which may or may not be a good thing from our point of view!


We?ve won two, lost two and drawn one of our away league games against Burton. Warren Patmore scored both goals in our 2-0 win in the 2002-03 season. A dismal display the following year saw us go down by the same score. In the 2004/05 season we won 1-0 with a Steve Evans? header but then spoiled it a few days later by being beaten in the FA Trophy Quarter-Final. The following year we drew 1-1, a week after Manchester United had been held to a 0-0 draw at the Pirelli Stadium in the FA Cup. Karl Murray gave the Cards a deserved lead in the first half but Chris Hall equalised just before half-time and Stuart Nethercott and co had a lot of defending to do in the second half to preserve the point. Last season we went down 2-1. Darren Stride gave the Brewers the lead as he stole in at the back post to poke the ball past James Bittner. Craig McAllister equalised with a header just before half-time but John Brayford bundled the ball past Bittner ten minutes into the second half and the Cards weren?t really in contention after that.


The Pirelli Stadium
Princess Way
Burton on Trent
DE13 0AR
Tel: 01283 565938

by coach ? why not take it easy and go on the Supporters? Club coach? It leaves Kingfield at 11am and the cost is ?18 for members and ?23 for non-members. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book a place.

by car ? from M1, exit at J23A and join A50 towards Derby. Take A38 southbound towards Burton and Lichfield and exit for Burton North onto the A5121. Continue over roundabout past McDonalds and turn right at next traffic island, ground on right. From M5/M6 South, join A42 northbound and exit at J9 onto A446. Follow signs for A38 to Burton, then as above. From M6 North, exit at J15 and follow signs for A50 towards Stoke and Uttoxeter. Exit A50 for A38 southbound, then as above. There is a large car park at the ground, cost ?2. There is also parking available at the Ryknild Trading Estate just off Derby Road, and plenty of street parking.

by train ? the walk from the station takes about 25 minutes. Turn left out of the station, then next right into Derby Street. Keep going on this road about 1? miles, straight across the first roundabout by the Derby Turn Pub (left), then immediately left at the next roundabout into Princess Way.


? away fans ? are accommodated in the Coors (South) Stand, which is a covered terrace. There are seats for away supporters in the main stand.
? admission prices ? terraces: adults ?12; concessions ?10; under 16s ?3; Main Stand ?2 extra.
? food and drink ? usual facilities in ground. The Great Northern and The Beech Inn are nearby. There?s a McDonalds a few minutes past the latter. The nearest chip shop is about 10 minutes? walk through the council estate behind the ground.
? colours ? the Brewers play in yellow and black.

Come on, you Cards!
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