A brace from Kevin Betsy secured Woking’s second away win of the season on Tuesday at Hyde and only four days later the Cards find themselves back in the north-west in search of another three points on the road.
This time Woking face a struggling Macclesfield team that are yet to register their first win of the season. However, the Cheshire side have a vastly experienced squad and will give Woking a real test. We talked to Macclesfield fan Ian Stewart @ianthenoodle to find out what we can expect from the Silkmen on Saturday.
Hi Ian, It’s been an unsteady start to the season for yourselves and has seen you yet to win a game, has this come as a surprise to Silkmen fans?
It depends. The resources at Macclesfield have been low, and building virtually a new squad for the new season has been tough. But with the level of players with Football League experience and ability it has come as a bit of a surprise that the season has started so poorly.
The results have not been embarrassing; all defeats have been by a one goal margin, although in some of these defeats, the performance has been very underwhelming, defeats at home to Braintree and Alfreton stand out. And waiting for the elusive win is incredibly frustrating, especially when we were 2-0 up at Gateshead, only for the flaws in defending set pieces to be exposed enough for it to finish 2-2.
And against Luton, all set for the first win but we just couldn’t close it out. 1-1 with a 97th minute equaliser. It’s frustrating, but we have to persevere and keep the faith under such a small budget for this season.
Despite the bad start, what are your realistic expectations for the season? Is reaching the play-offs still a requirement for many fans?
I think many supporters would be surprised at a play-off place right now. But who’s to say it’s impossible? But realistically, anything but relegation is what the supporters want right now. A good run after the first win will certainly boost morale and confidence, but in such a competitive league, where even the part-timers, like Nuneaton, can compete with the bigger professional clubs. It’s tough to predict any outcomes, especially so early on. But right now I’d settle for mid-table.
The last time the two clubs met the game ended 5-4 to Woking, did this highlight inconsistency in the squad last year and if so has changed over the summer?
Yes. That game came just after our play-off chances were over, Steve King had been fired and a whole squad were paying attention to their futures now there was little to play for. John Askey had the tough job of motivating the squad, a squad that had indeed been inconsistent throughout the season. A squad that could face up to the eventual FA Cup winners, but could go 4-0 down at half time at home to Gateshead. This effectively summed up last season.
Going 5-0 down to Woking proved how little had been delivered, the 4 goals back there showed we were unafraid to admit defeat,unfortunately though, there were times last season where it was admitted before the full time whistle. Quite a few names on the back of the shirts have changed, but a similar style of play has been imposed under Askey, but right now as before it’s not delivering results, and as a result, a more troubling consistency has arrived.
What players will Woking have to watch out for on Saturday?
The experience of Danny Whitaker, a veteran of the Football League will probably provide trouble in the centre of play, and down the wing. Left back Danny Andrew has probably been our best, most consistent and determined player so far. Never afraid to show pace and trouble with crosses, and have a go himself from outside the box, an effort in our 2-1 defeat to Chester on Tuesday rattled the crossbar, and the Chester ‘keeper as well!
Finally, what is your score prediction?
I hate doing predictions, tempting fate. Because Macc need that win so much, and this is a good example of a game which we have to win to calm fears of a dreaded relegation scrap. Such is the position Woking are in the league, 18th, this is a game where Macclesfield should be favourite but with Woking having won away on Tuesday, The Cards are sure to be fired up. And Macclesfield’s poor form is sure to motivate for yet another away win.
Tough to call, but I’ll say a 2-1 Macclesfield win.
Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91
Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk
Come on you Cards!