By Jacob Greenwood
Woking welcome Forest Green Rovers to Kingfield tomorrow in a play-off six-pointer.
The Cards find themselves seven points behind the visitors who currently occupy the final play-off spot. Goals from Rendell, Betsy and Sole saw Woking stay in the distant hunt for that play-off spot, but a win on Saturday is a must if they are to reach the promised land.
Rovers got the better of Woking in the reverse fixture with goals from Luke Oliver and Jon Parkin cancelling out an early Dean Morgan goal.
We talked to Forest Green press officer Richard Joyce to find out more about the side from Gloucestershire and their push for the play-offs.
Forest Green have kept up with the play-off pace all season. Have fans seen this as a positive campaign or will they be disappointed not to be in the hunt for automatic promotion?
Given the expectation surrounding previous seasons fans will be satisfied with the performance of the team this year. We’ve dropped badly at this time of year in the past three or four campaigns so to still be in and around it is great.
How crucial could the three points that were deducted from FGR turn out to be?
I fear they could be crucial – especially when you see how tight it is at the moment. We’ve just got to try and accumulate as many points as possible though and try and hope it won’t prove to be our downfall.
Parkin and Norwood have contributed 29 league goals between them so far this season as FGR have scored the second most goals in the league. Is this team built to attack?
Norwood has finished as our top scorer for the past two seasons, but with the addition of Parkin this year, he’s more than likely going to have his title snatched away from him. We did start the season defensively quite well but our success in front of goal has ended up being massive in terms of our push for a play-off place.
How confident are you of making the play-offs?
The mentality of the team is great as we have some really strong and experienced players in the squad this season. So that I think will boost us massively but it’s going to be tight and I think it will go down possibly to the last day.
Are FGR ready for the Football League?
The team and management are well prepared I’d say and we’ve set up a full time Academy for the under-18 team which has been going really well for about three seasons now. So that area is well covered. Off the pitch we’re pretty well set up, however I understand that the off-field workload increases even more if you manage to make it into the Football League, so I’m sure that would add to the challenge.
Who will Woking have to watch out for on Saturday?
It’s hard to see past the influence that Jon Parkin has up top however the terrific wing play that Elliott Frear has produced this year has been huge in an attacking sense. Charlie Clough has also done well since signing from Sutton United in January in the back four.
Finally, what is your score prediction?
I think it’s going to be tight because Woking are of course a very good team. After your fine finish to last season I tipped the Cardinals to be in the top five this season. I can see a 2-2 draw but if I was to go with my heart I’d love to see us sneak a 2-1 win.
Pictures by David Holmes. A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk