WOKING v YORK CITY
12:00am, Fri 12th Oct 2007
Woking v York City
1pm on Saturday 13 October 2007 (NB Kick-off time!)
Two games for the price of one on Saturday! Head down to Kingfield to see Frank Gray?s promising young side, fresh from their tremendous performance at Stevenage midweek, take on York City and then pop into the Clubhouse for what we hope will be another decisive home win as England face Estonia. Treat yourself to a bottle of the new Cardinal?s Gold at the same time! York City have had a dismal start to the season but their away form is quite good, so this is a tougher prospect for the Cards than it may look on paper. It should be a great afternoon!
The Cards, undefeated at home this season, will be feeling confident on the back of an unbeaten four game run and an outstanding performance away at Stevenage midweek, which itself followed some excellent play in the second half of the televised victory over Farsley Celtic. They have been boosted too by the news that Kevin James, such a key player in midfield in recent games, has signed an extension to his contract and by the return from injury of Matt Gray and Liam Marum. All we need now is for Paul Hakim?s loan from Stevenage to be extended beyond Saturday?s game and for Tom Hutchinson?s foot injury to clear up. A few weeks ago the thought of being without Tom would have put shivers down the spine of Woking fans but Matt Ruby has been in such tremendous form that Frank must surely be tempted to allow Tom even longer to recuperate from a nagging injury.
Barring any further injuries it seems likely that the Cards will line up as at Stevenage, although Frank has the option of starting with Paul Hakim in place of Marvin Morgan or Joe Gatting.
Billy McEwan released eight players following their play-off semi-final defeat at the hands of Morecambe. Perhaps the most surprising was midfielder Mark Convery, who was snapped up by Cambridge United. The player they missed most, though, was top striker Clayton Donaldson, who was out of contract and left to join Hibs. Subsequently, McEwan suffered the disappointment of losing midfielder Neal Bishop to Barnet. A host of new arrivals signed up, including several forward lines! The strikers included Paul Brayson, 29, from Northwich Victoria; Onome Sodje, only 18, who was with Gravesend and Northfleet last season: he?s one of the numerous Sodje footballing clan; Chris Beardsley, who was on loan from Mansfield to Rushden and Diamonds last season; and Alex Meechan, another familiar Conference performer with Forest Green Rovers, who had joined Chester earlier this year. Beardsley was unlucky enough to break his jaw in an ?off the ball? incident with Jamie Stuart of Grays in a recent game and will be missing for several months. Other significant signings included those of Darren Kelly, a 28 year-old defender from Derry City, who cost a five figure fee; Stuart Elliott, midfielder, another capture from the Vics; and Mark Robinson, a left-back from Torquay. McEwan has recently added defender Anthony Lloyd from Farsley Celtic; Russell Fry, a midfielder from Halifax; and Daniel McBreen, a 30 year-old striker on loan from Scunthorpe. Among those re-signing in the summer was the impressive Manny Panther, a key figure in midfield last season.
SEASON SO FAR
There was a feeling in the summer that the Minstermen might not be quite such a force this season but no one expected them to experience such a poor start to the campaign. They currently lie 19th in the table. The season started ominously with an opening day defeat at home to Cambridge United and it has got only slightly better, with York?s home form remaining particularly worrying, with two wins, one draw and five defeats at Kitkat Crescent. On their travels York have notched a 1-0 win at fellow strugglers Northwich Victoria and, more impressively, a 2-0 away win at Grays Athletic plus commendable draws at Exeter City and Oxford United. Other trips away have produced defeats at Burton Albion (4-3), Kidderminster (3-0) and Aldershot (2-0). York recovered from an embarrassing 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Histon two weeks ago to record a comfortable 2-0 home win over Stafford Rangers last Tuesday.
Woking 1 York City 0
York City 0 Woking 2
York City 2 Woking 1
Woking 2 York City 0
Woking 1 York City 2
York City 0 Woking 1
Our record in the past three seasons has seen the Cards win four and lose two. Last season the Minstermen dominated the first half at Kingfield, racing into a 2-0 lead by half-time, with both goals coming from Martyn Woolford. Woking hit back in the second half and quickly reduced the deficit through the on-loan Jon Nurse but could not grab a second. The away match followed our heroic 0-0 Boxing Day draw at Oxford United in front of a record Conference crowd. Once again, the Woking defence had to be at its best, weathering numerous York attacks. Ten minutes from time the Cards grabbed the winner, Jamie Taylor netting from what looked like an offside position. The game was marred by a mass brawl, involving Matt Crossley amongst others. Both clubs were subsequently fined ?2,000 and Matt Crossley was banned from the touchline for three games.
Come on, you Cards!