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Cards looking to upset high-flying Stockport

Glen Harrington - 30th January 2021

Cards looking to upset high-flying Stockport Woking vs Stockport County
Vanarama National League
Saturday 30th January 2021

The Cards start an unenviably tough run of fixtures, which also includes two trips to second-place Sutton United and hosting league leaders Torquay United, when they take on fifth-place Stockport County in the National League on Saturday.

Woking may not have recorded victory against Bromley on Tuesday, but it certainly will have felt like it to many associated with the Cards, as 17-year-old striker Jayden Wareham scored his first senior goals for the club, bagging a late brace to secure a 2-2 draw. It also ended a run of four league games without a goal, dating back to the win over Hartlepool United in mid-December. Despite their respective league positions, the Cards will be quietly confident of causing an upset against Stockport, having chalked up four wins and a draw in the five previous meetings between the two clubs.

Stockport have had, on paper at least, a great start to the season with 28 points from their first 16 games. The two teams directly above them, Hartlepool, and Altrincham, have played two and four games more respectively and only have two extra points. Sutton are three points ahead of the Hatters having played the same number of games, whilst Torquay are a further nine points down the road, albeit having played three games more. Despite their good form, expectations were sky-high at Edgley Park this season, and that gap to the top has been enough to see long-serving manager Jim Gannon depart. New manager Simon Rusk takes charge of his first game today.

Woking – Team News

Dowse will be hoping that captain Josh Casey is fit to return, after missing Tuesday’s game with a shoulder injury, sustained during the home draw with Maidenhead United. If he is available, it looks likely that the boss will have a straight choice between Kyran Lofthouse, deployed as an auxiliary left-back on Tuesday, and Jack Cook for who misses out, with the Ben Gerring – Moussa Diarra centre-back pairing now having been restored. Further forward, fans will be intrigued to see whether Jayden Wareham will be rewarded with his first National League start, or whether the Cards will continue with the one-man forward line led by Jonté Smith. Malachi Napa will be pushing for a first start in his second-spell with the club after another impressive cameo on Tuesday.

Stockport County – The Boss

Today marks Simon Rusk’s first game in senior football management. He has spent the last six years as the Under-23 coach at Brighton & Hove Albion, where he has enjoyed great success, including winning promotion to the top division of Premier League 2, and reaching the knockout stages of the EFL Trophy. As a player, he made over 250 Football League and National League appearances, playing for Boston United, York City, and Crawley Town, twice winning the non-league’s top division. He was forced to retire due to injury in 2011 at the age of 29.

One to Watch

Midfielder John Rooney is without a doubt one of the National League’s most feared players. The younger brother of former England captain Wayne, John started his career with Macclesfield Town, before moving to the MLS with New York Red Bulls. But it was at Chester where he really started to establish himself, before spells with Wrexham, Guiseley, and Barrow, with whom he won promotion to the Football League last season. He has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, including in the draw with Boreham Wood last weekend.

Last Time Out

Woking 1-1 Stockport County – National League (22nd February 2020

Two goals inside the opening 10 minutes saw the two clubs share the points at the Laithwaite Community Stadium. Danny Lloyd opened the scoring after five minutes, only for Alex Wall to equalise five minutes later. Both sides pushed for a winner, but the game ended level. In the reverse fixture, the Cards won 3-1 at Edgley Park, thanks to a brace from Jake Hyde and a goal from Dave Tarpey. Frank Mulhern scored the late consolation.

Next Up

The Cards have a double header with Sutton United, playing in the FA Trophy next Saturday before the league game three days later. Both games are away from home.

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