Woking Football Club, The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA01483 772470
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Brian Caffarey - 26th September 2007

Northwich Victoria v Woking
3pm on Saturday 29 September 2007

it?s been a disastrous start for the Vics this season and it was no surprise when Neil Redfearn tendered his resignation earlier this month after only nine games in charge, a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Histon being the final straw. Paul Warhurst took temporary charge as player-manager, having only just joined the Club and having scored an own goal in his first outing! But he too has now gone, replaced by a familiar foe, Dino Maamria. The Vics, sitting at the bottom with only one point, are one of the clubs we need to keep firmly below us in the table, so, given the Vics? disarray and our own lowly position, it will be very disappointing if we get anything less than three points from this game.


Woking will need to start more brightly than they have done in their last few games if they are not to give an early fillip to a Vics side desperately looking to kick-start their revival. The Cards were on the back foot for almost the whole of the first half against Exeter City, failing to register a shot till the half hour mark, and looking second best all over the pitch. Fortunately, the Grecians didn?t take advantage of their domination of the game; otherwise, there would have been no scope for the Cards? second half fightback.

Some fans may be attracted to the idea of throwing skipper Tom Hutchinson into attack, given that it was Tom?s knock-down that opened the way for the crucial equaliser on Tuesday evening. But Frank Gray is likely to see that as a tactic only to be deployed in an emergency and it is probable that he will persevere with a pairing of Marvin Morgan and Paul Hakim. It wouldn?t be a surprise to see Giuseppe Sole given a role. Whether it was injury or tiredness wasn?t clear, but Matt Pattison looked very much out of sorts on Tuesday. Matt Ruby will be available again after suspension but Liam Marum and Mat Gray are expected still to be missing. Whatever the combination Frank chooses, Woking fans will be hoping to see us get on the front foot for a change and take the game to the Vics.


The warning signs for Vics fans were apparent in the summer when some key players left, including defender Kieran Charnock, who was snapped up by Peterborough on a three year deal, and Paul Brayson and Stuart Elliott, who both signed for York City. The trouble was compounded when some of Redfearn?s recruits didn?t come up to scratch: indeed, he transfer-listed three of them before he resigned. They were Greg Strong, the ex-Halifax defender, and two arrivals from Boston United, winger Brad Mayall and midfielder Simon Rusk. The last has since joined Rushden and Diamonds on loan. Two more players from last season were also put up for transfer: Kevin Towson and Michael Byrne.

Other arrivals in the summer were 33 year-old striker Lee Steele, returning to the club from which he launched his League career; the familiar figure of Dino Maamria, who has previously appeared for Rushden and Diamonds, Southport, Doncaster, Leigh RMI and Stevenage; Michael Coulson, a 19 year-old striker on loan from Barnsley; Michael Welch, a defender released by Accrington Stanley; and Jake Speight, a 21 year-old striker from Bury who previously played with Redfearn at Scarborough.


Calamitous! One draw and ten defeats, the only point coming in a 3-3 draw at fellow strugglers Droylsden in the second game of the season. The Vics were well beaten 2-0 at Salisbury last Saturday but may have taken some heart from a 4-0 county cup win midweek over Winsford.


Overall, we have lost four times, drawn twice and won eight times away to the Vics in the Conference ? our best return against any Conference rival. Last season, the Vics? first season back in the Conference following their one-year sojourn in the Conference North, we kept up our good record with two victories. Almost exactly a year ago we won 2-0 at the Victoria Stadium. Craig McAllister scored from the spot in the first half after Ollie Berquez had been fouled and then, near the end, Danny Bunce netted from a free-kick with the aid of a deflection. That win moved us up to fifth place in the table but the return game, the last of the season, saw us happy to have escaped relegation. Liam Marum gave the Cards the lead before Michael Byrne equalized with a penalty. After the break, headers from Tom Hutchinson and Neil Smith produced a two-goal lead before a superb Townsend free-kick made it 3-2 just before the final whistle.


Victoria Stadium
Wincham Avenue
Tel: 01606 41555
Website: www.northwichvics.co.uk

by coach ? why not take it easy and go on the Supporters? Club coach? It leaves Kingfield at 9.30am and the cost is ?20 for members and ?25 for non-members. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book a place.

by car ? Directions from M6, J19
Follow the A556 towards Northwich for approximately three miles. Turn right onto the A559 towards Lostock (just as the road becomes a divided dual carriageway). Turn right at the 1st set of traffic lights (immediately before the Slow and Easy public house). Turn left at the crossroads with The Black Greyhound pub. Follow road and about 500 yards on your left you will see a Renault garage. Turn left directly after the garage and follow road to the end, where you will find the new ground.

by train ? from Northwich Station:
Wincham Business Park is about 20 minutes? walk from Northwich Station. It is not well served by buses. From the station head past the Lion and Railway public house towards the town centre for about 150 yards, where you will reach a roundabout. Cross over Chester Way to your right, and take the next right turn into New Warrington Road, passing the Mill House public house on your right. Follow the road for about half a mile until you reach Chapel Street on your right (signposted). Look out for signs to the Victoria Stadium.


? admission prices ? Terrace: adults ?12.00, concessions ?10.00, under 16's ?5.00, under 11?s ?2.50; Stand: adults ?14.00, concessions ?12.00, under 16's ?7.00, under 11?s ?3.50
? away fans ? usually allocated the Canal-end terrace, which is uncovered.

Come on, you Cards!
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