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Cards look to end poor run

Brian Caffarey - 8th October 2015
FC Halifax Town v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 10 October 2015

The Cards will be hoping that their visit to the struggling Shaymen will enable them to put an end to their miserable run of four consecutive defeats. Their hosts suffered a 7-1 home defeat at the hands of Cheltenham Town last weekend but had a convincing win at Altrincham on Tuesday night. All the signs are that this will be a testing trip for Garry Hill’s side.


Garry Hill’s side looked very short of confidence in their 2-1 home defeat against Southport last Saturday, with only two or three players performing to anything like the standard of which they are capable. Such a contrast to the scintillating display against Forest Green Rovers only just over a fortnight previously! In the meantime, though, the Cards had suffered increasingly disappointing defeats at the hands of Cheltenham Town, Dover and Braintree. There seems to have been a collective and individual loss of form and confidence, which must be a source of serious concern for Garry and Steve as they try to find a permutation to stop the slide down the table.

Garry Hill will have young centre back Terell Thomas available after the latter’s loan from Charlton Athletic was extended this week till 2 January. It’s possible too that Chris Arthur will be in the reckoning as well following his lay-off with a hamstring pull.


The Shaymen have had a very disappointing start to the season after their 9th place finish last year. They currently sit in 22nd place with ten points from 15 games. A warning to Woking, though, is that, before Tuesday night’s win at Altrincham, all their points had been gathered at home: from a win over Barrow and draws against Bromley, Kidderminster, Southport and Gateshead.

Long-serving manager Neil Aspin left the club in September, to be replaced by former Oldham manager Darren Kelly, assisted by ex-Morecambe and Forest Green Rovers manager Jim Harvey. Kelly’s first game in charge was the 7-1 thrashing last Saturday by Cheltenham Town. But he was very heartened by the impressive 3-1 away win at Altrincham, describing the performance as “exceptional”. Ex-Stevenage striker Jordan Burrow notched two goals before Kingsley James rounded things off with a late penalty.

The Shaymen’s decline set in earlier this year as they fell away from the play-off chasing places. A big turnaround in personnel in the summer failed to arrest the slide. But Kelly still has some experienced players at his disposal, including defenders Kingsley James and Scott McManus, midfielders Hamza Bencherif and Kevin Roberts and strikers Danny Hattersley and Richard Peniket.


The Shay Stadium
HX1 2YT (2YS for sat navs)

Official website:

By coach

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this match.

By car

Take the M62, exiting at junction 24. Follow signs for A629 Halifax into Skircoat Road, then on to Shaw Hill, where you will find the ground.

By train

Trains to Halifax leave from Kings Cross and are nearly all via a change at Leeds. The 10.03 would get you in at 13.13, with the 10.48 (direct) arriving only a minute later. Later trains are at 11.03 (14.13) and 11.35 (14.40). The first train back is at 17.06. Look up or for more details of times and prices.

The ground is five to ten minutes’ walk from Halifax station. Leave the car park, turn left and the ground is on your right in half a mile.


Adults £17
Concessions £13
U16 £6
U12 £6
U7 £3


Woking 3 FC Halifax Town 2
25 April 2015

Kevin Betsy’s last game for Woking saw an extraordinary late turnaround in fortunes, with the on-loan Yemi Odubade grabbing all three points with the last kick of the match after the Cards had trailed the Shaymen 2-1 with less than four minutes of added time left.

With nothing at stake for either side this might have proved a damp squib but it proved to be an engrossing and thrilling affair, providing a great send-off for the Cards’ legend and captain for the day.

But it didn’t start well for Garry Hill’s side as Scott McManus nodded home within ten minutes to give the visitors the lead. But Woking equalised soon afterwards as Josh Payne netted after John Goddard’s effort was deflected into his path.

The second half also began badly for the Cards and especially for keeper Jake Cole as he sliced his attempted clearance from a back pass and was then judged to have fouled Danny Hattersley. Fortunately for Cole, the referee brandished only a yellow card but he could not prevent Will Hatfield from putting Halifax 2-1 ahead from the penalty spot.

Woking now began to dominate the game and, but for the heroics of Matt Glennon in the visitors’ goal, would have equalised well before Halifax were awarded another penalty when Josh Payne was judged to have tugged Hatfield in the box. Josh was sent off but Jake Cole produced a superb save to keep the score at 2-1.

The drama continued when, after hitting the cross bar with one free-kick, Goddard’s next effort resulted in Woking being awarded a penalty for handball. Scott Rendell converted to level the scores with added time already being played.

But there was still more drama. As the match moved into the final minute of stoppage time Kevin Betsy went on a run deep into the Halifax half, with Manny Oyeleke then slipping the ball to Odubade, who finished confidently into the bottom corner.

Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton (Yemi Odubade 80'), Chris Arthur, Joe McNerney, Mark Ricketts, Josh Payne, Keiran Murtagh (Manny Oyeleke 65'), John Goddard, Kevin Betsy (c), Scott Rendell, Giuseppe Sole (Joey Jones 85')

Unused subs: Michael Crowe, Brian Saah

Yellow cards: Cole 46’, Murtagh 59'

Red card: Payne 81'

Goals: Payne 17’, Rendell 90' (+3), Odubade 90' (+4)

FC Halifax Town: Matt Glennon, Kevin Roberts, Marc Roberts (c) (Steve Williams 56'), Graham Hutchison, Scott McManus, Adam Smith (Jamie Jackson 46'), Matt Pearson, Paul Marshall, Will Hatfield, Danny Schofield, Danny Hattersley

Unused subs: Phil Senior, James Bolton

Yellow cards: Smith (35’), Pearson (59’), Hatfield (90’)

Goals: McManus (10’), Hatfield (46')

Attendance: 2,175


The Cards have two attractive home games coming up: against Torquay United this Tuesday evening (13 October), when Paul Merson will be the Guest of Honour in the Geoff Chapple Lounge, and against Wrexham on Saturday 17 October.

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to get your ticket for the Cards Trust Race Night on Friday 23 October.