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Aldershot Town

Getting To Know The Opposition – Aldershot Town

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking welcome Aldershot Town to Kingfield on Saturday as bragging rights are once again up for grabs.

The Cards took all three points in the corresponding fixture last week with John Goddard’s goal proving the difference.

Both teams come into the game following draws on Monday and will be looking to sign off from the hectic Christmas period with a win.

We caught up with Shots fan Tommy Anderson to get his views on last week’s game and Saturday’s tie.

Woking took all three points on Boxing Day thanks to a John Goddard goal. What were your thoughts on last week’s game?

Ultimately I left the ground very disappointed! I didn’t feel Aldershot did enough to get anything out of the game and the first half performance in particular was disappointing. Second half we huffed and puffed a bit more but just didn’t have that creative spark to break down a determined and dogged Woking defence. I thought Woking played some good passing football and overall deserved the three points.

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Barry Smith told the media after the game “you can’t tell me that Woking were the better team today”. Do you think he was right and that Aldershot deserved more out of the game?

Those were certainly interesting comments from Barry and ones I disagree with, I think Woking were better than Aldershot on the day, Woking played a high tempo game throughout looking to counter when appropriate knocking the ball about really well. Aldershot resorted to constantly pump long balls into the box which is something we haven’t done all season, so I think you have to give Woking credit for utilising a winning game plan.

The Shots got a good draw at Eastleigh on Monday. What can they take away from that game?

A very good draw I must say and a much improved performance to go with it. We all went to Eastleigh thinking the worse but come out in a very positive mood. Eastleigh got awarded a controversial penalty early on and at that point you’re thinking we could lose this game by 3/4, but Aldershot picked themselves up, got the ball on the floor and certainly matched Eastleigh’s play, won a penalty ourselves which was duly taken by Sam Hatton and possibly given the chances in the second half could have gone on to win it. However, all season we haven’t been clinical enough where it matters but we certainly earned a deserved point.

Brodie didn’t take part in Monday’s game, was this tactical or was this due to injury?

The initial feedback was because of an injury. It was reported that Richard had suffered a back spasm so missed out. When you look back at how the game panned out and how Charlie Walker come back into fold it suited the system much better, I think tactically going forward I would consider given Richard a bit more rest because he seems to have completely gone off the boil in recent months. When he arrived at the club, he instantly won over the fans for his effort and goals scored, but recently that has dropped significantly and doesn’t look like coming back anytime soon. So personally speaking I think Richard could do with a brief spell on the sidelines.

Finally, what is your prediction for Saturday’s game?

Now that is the question! Given the complete change of performance from Boxing Day to Eastleigh 48 hours later, who knows how this one will pan out! I think Aldershot will raise their game again and come out once again as 2-1 winners at Kingfield putting a miserable and disastrous 2015 behind them. Goals from Sam Hatton and Charlie Walker will win us the game and give us a positive start to 2016!

Picture by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk

 

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Aldershot Town v Woking – Betting Preview

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking make the short trip to Aldershot Town on Tuesday evening for what is likely to be their toughest test so far this season.

The Cards remain unbeaten and go in to the game in good form following wins against Dover, Wrexham and Lincoln. The Shots, however, remain somewhat of a bogey side for Woking following two derby wins for the Hampshire side last season.

Morgan celebrates his second vs Lincoln
Morgan celebrates his second vs Lincoln

For Woking to extend their winning run you can get 15/8 at Ladbrokes and for the sides to share the spoils 13/5 with Bet365. For Aldershot to bounce back from a narrow defeat at Halifax on Saturday you can get them best prices 6/4 at SkyBet.

The Shots won both their games against Woking last season 2-1 at for that to happen again is 19/2 with BetVictor.

Dean Morgan has scored three in his last two and for him to score first you can get 6/2 at BetVictor.

Woking have conceeded in their last three games but still gone on to win. Get both teams to score and Woking to win at 9/2 with William Hill.

Johnson's goal wasn't enough as Woking went down 2-1 last season
Johnson’s goal wasn’t enough as Woking went down 2-1 last season

Everything Woking FC Predicts –

A tight game with no much either way. My head says a 1-1 draw (13/2 BetVictor) but my heart says (and hopes!) for 2-1 to The Cards! (19/2 BetVictor)

 

Picture by David Holmes. A full set can be found at wokingfc.co.uk

All odds are correct at the time of publishing.

Everything Woking FC joins Radio Woking this Saturday

Jacob Greenwood from Everything Woking FC will be joining Declan McCarthy on Radio Woking this Saturday at 2pm.

They will discuss Woking’s recent form including Saturday’s disappointing derby day defeat to Aldershot Town, Garry Hill & Steve Thompson’s contract extensions and the summer ahead.

Cards fans can get in touch with the show via Twitter by tweeting host Declan at – @dec11mcc.

You can listen to the show via their website at – radiowoking.co.uk

Brett Johnson scores his second goal in a week to bring Woking level on Monday.
Brett Johnson scores his second goal in a week to bring Woking level on Monday.

 

 

Picture by David Holmes. A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

 

 

Getting to know the opposition – Aldershot Town

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking welcome local rivals Aldershot Town to Kingfield on Monday as The Cards push for a top ten finish.

The home side will be looking to restore some local pride after losing 2-1 in the reverse fixture at the start of the season. Woking will be without captain Mark Ricketts who was sent off during their 2-2 draw at Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

Goddard fires Woking into a 2-1 lead at FGR
Goddard fires Woking into a 2-1 lead at FGR

Monday’s visitors took a big step towards securing their Conference place for next season with a win against Sailsbury on Friday. We got the latest from The Recreation Ground from Shots reporter Tommy Anderson.

How important a rivalry do Aldershot fans rank Woking?

Very importantly! I think this year’s rivalry is a little bit different to other year’s simply for the fact that until August we hadn’t played against each other for over five years, so it has definitely taken a while for the banter and views amongst both sets of fans to come out. But now Monday is edging ever nearer the messagboards are filled with opposing fans views which is fun and at times painful to read. Of course Woking are a big rival to Aldershot because we are only 11 miles apart, and also if you look back to the years from 2003 to around 2008 the attendances generated always exceed over 3,600+ with two Sky Sports showings of the games. Not to forget  one of the last meetings being shown on Setanta Sports for the Setanta Shield when we played the Semi-Final at Aldershot, which was a thoroughly entertaining game which ended in a 4-3 penalty win for the Shots!

Aldershot have been in a fiercely fought relegation battle this season after starting the season on minus ten. A win at Alfreton and a draw at Macclesfield have massively helped your chances of staying up, haven’t they?

They certainly have! The run of form we were on going into those fixtures was very worrying to say the least and without doubt relegation form after away defeats to Tamworth and Braintree and a home defeat to Gateshead. We did manage to beat Hyde four days after losing to Gateshead albeit with our heart strings pulling in the final minutes of the match. No disrespect to Hyde but if we didn’t win at home to them then we could almost certainly have written ourselves off because at that point it just can’t get any lower but even after that win you look at the fixtures coming up and you see Luton, Alfreton and Macclesfield all away from home and your thinking ‘oh dear!Thing’s could get quite difficult here if we don’t pick up some points’ Dartford and Chester were both picking up the odd win here and there and ourselves and Hereford were not.

However, to be fair to our lads they put in a terrific battling performance at Luton and deserved a point at least, you sit there thinking at that moment this could really damage the mental strength of the players going into Alfreton simply for the fact they played so well for 86 minutes and then concede a sloppy goal but it was completely the opposite. Our start away at Alfreton was terrific and being 2-0 up after 16 minutes I am standing there thinking surely this is a dream!! But then to go on and win 4-1 against a team whose home record was very good was a great feat from the players and then of course last Saturday at Macclesfield to nick a vital point in the 95th minute was huge, not only for the fact we didn’t lose but also for the fact that we are now out of the bottom four and physiologically that can change everything and I really hope it does.

If Aldershot do survive this season where do you think they will aim to finish next season? Are the fans happy with just surviving?

IF we manage to beat the drop this season, I think the goal for next season will be to consolidate in the division, although that’s not to say we don’t have an aim to reach the play-off places because you have to show some kind of ambition if you want to bring the crowds in.

I am sure that Andy Scott and the players at the club will all tell you that they ultimately want to achieve promotion but if we can build on this season and go one better in terms of our league position next season then I am sure the fans will be happy. In answer to your other question, no, the majority of supporters won’t just be happy to survive and they will want to see a steady improvement of the team year on year and if that happens that the majority will be satisfied but I think a club the size of Aldershot in this division and with the budget allocated, I would like to think that our aim is to do more than survive and I am sure it will be.

Aldershot Town beat Woking 2-1 earlier in the season.
Aldershot Town beat Woking 2-1 earlier in the season.

Brett Williams has been one of your key players this season. Both him and Bradley Bubb were at Woking last season, how have they performed together this season?

Brett Williams has been a breath of fresh air this season in terms of the number of goals he has scored because we have not had a striker who has accumulated that number of goals for Aldershot for a very long time! If there is one criticism that myself and other Aldershot fans will have of Brett is that at time he can become quite lazy and give up on loose balls instead of trying his utmost to try and retrieve the ball to carry on an attack. He really has surprised many including myself because when you look at his past, he has never really been known as a goalscorer but he does seem to have found his feet at Aldershot and that has shown with the goals scored.

The re-signing of Bradley Bubb was very well received by supporters back in January. There was a lot of frustration and anger by many supporters at the aftermath of his departure for the simple fact we never really got to see the best of Bradley because quite simply he was never given a chance to prove himself by the then manager Dean Holdsworth. This didn’t surprise me at all after witnessing the way Holdsworth treated certain other players at the club during his tenure. Another reason many Shots fans were so unhappy that Bradley had been shipped out on loan was when we were at the bottom of League Two struggling for goals it appeared he was banging them in left, right and centre for Woking which left a real sour taste in the mouth!!

Bubb featuring for Woking last season
Bubb featuring for Woking last season

But in regards to this season he started off well when we re-signed him in January but has since picked up a few knocks and niggles which has resulted in his form dipping. One thing you can be sure with Bradley is the fact that he is always poaching for goals and is a real danger in the opposing penalty box.

Who else will Woking have to look out for on Monday?

There are two players that come to mind. One is winger Adam Mekki who is now starting to show some real promise once again after going a bit cold for 6 months or so but after a return from injury he is now showing some consistency and will certainly give any right back a torrid time when he is playing at his best. The other player for me who is shining is Manny Oyeleke. Manny is another player who is currently now on his second loan spell at the club and what a coup that was by Andy Scott in bringing Manny back. A terrific box-to-box midfielder who has bags of energy and pace and also has an eye for a goal from a mazy run out of nowhere so be warned Woking!!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

This is going to be a very tough game indeed but one I am really looking forward to because Woking are clearly a totally different side to the one that came to the EBB back in August. They have strengthened well with the additions of Scott Rendell and Jack Marriott (who as I am writing these notes has been recalled by Ipswich which is most definitely a positive for Aldershot!) and of course you have experienced players such as Kevin Betsy and Giuseppe Sole who are threats.

You also have a player who Shots fans are very familiar with in Josh Payne ,who of course used to play for us before his antics off the field put pay to that. It all adds to the spice of what is going to be a great occasion!

I think it will be a very close game with a cautious approach taken by both sides in the first half, the first goal scored will up the tempo, therefore regarding a prediction my head tells me it will be a 1-1 but my heart tells me the Shots will nick it 2-1. So my prediction is a 2-1 Aldershot win!

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

Getting to know the opposition – Aldershot Town

With Woking facing local rivals Aldershot Town on Monday we talked to a fan from over the border to find out how they have fared so far this season and how he thinks the game will go.

Hi @LewATFC, It’s been a good few years since we found ourselves in the same league as you, it’s been quite a rollercoaster in the past 5 seasons for yourselves, hasn’t it?

We’ve had many ups in the Football League – reaching the playoffs in our second season and those memorable nights at West Ham and at home to Manchester United. We also have had many downs, ending our stay with relegation and then administration but things are looking on the up. I am looking forward to our season back in the Conference. There’s just something about this league which makes it special.

You came close to not starting this season at all after financial difficulties so you must be delighted that nearing the end of August you have chalked off some of the points deduction and signed a reasonably good side?

I am absolutely delighted with the way we have started. No one expected to get anything at Grimsby on the opening day. In truth we outplayed them and fully deserved all three points. The Dartford victory was great, pure attacking football with chants of “We’ve Got Our Aldershot Back” topping it off. From what we’ve seen so far, the squad looks very good, certainly a few talented players in there. Many have come down from the league above. Martin Rowlands is a huge signing having played for QPR, Brentford and Leyton Orient. Few others include Matt Paterson from Burton and Chris Barker from Southend United. However the squad is very thin and lacking any depth, the bench is full of hungry youngsters who will always fight for the cause.

You’ve decided to stay full time this season, do you think this will help you avoid relegation and potentially push up the league?

Although teams like Woking, Dartford and Braintree proved last year it is possible to finish well while part-time, I think staying full time would have been a must for us to be, at the very least, competitive this season. It also means we can attract players from the leagues above who aren’t willing to go part-time.

Woking fans will be familiar with Brett Williams after his spell at Kingfield last season, who else should we look out for on Monday?

I’d say the two centre backs – Jake Goodman and Adam Webster. For two young lads they have been vastly reassuring, solid at the back and have formed a very important partnership. Other than a penalty and an own goal we have only conceded once from open play. Webster is an England U19 international, having played for the U17s too, he is on loan from Portsmouth. Goodman is also on loan but from Millwall. He played a number of games for Luton Town last season too.

Finally, what is your score prediction for Monday?

Woking are missing three players through suspension and have struggled up front. Similarly, Aldershot are lacking that bit of quality in the final third. As I mentioned above, our defence has been solid and I can’t see where Woking will be able to score from. A goal either way could be the decider.

 

Aldershot Town 1-1 Woking.

Aldershot Town vs Woking – a brief history

Jacob Greenwood

Only 11.2 miles and six league placing separate Woking and Aldershot Town as they go into Monday’s bank holiday derby.

It hasn’t always been this close and agonisingly for Cards fans they have seen themselves a division behind the ex-league side in recent years.

Woking take on Aldershot in a pre-seaon match.
Woking take on Aldershot in a pre-seaon match.

Following Aldershot’s liquidation and reformation in 1992, the Shots rose up the leagues and then spent six years in the Football Conference which saw some memorable encounters – here are our pick of those ties:

Woking 2 (Evans,Sole) Aldershot Town 0 (6th October 2006)

This was a hotly anticipated game and was even shown live on Sky Sports. This made it all the sweeter for Woking fans who would see their team go on to win 2-0.

Aldershot knew it wasn’t going to be their night when they turned up without their away kit and were forced to play in a Woking strip. Their misery was made even worse when first Steve Evans converted a cross-come-shot from Craig MCallister to put the home side into the lead.

As the game wore on nerves started to set in but the party was started when Giuseppe sole rounded Nikki Bull, who came and missed a punch, and slotted the ball home to wrap-up the victory.

Woking 2 Aldershot Town 4 (12th January 2008)

After Woking had lost home and away to their local rivals over the Christmas period fate brought them together again in the FA Trophy in early January.

With local pride to play for Woking went 1-0 down early on but an equalising goal from Jason Norville sent the sides in level at the break. Early in the second half Marvin Morgan, who would move to Aldershot from Woking at the end of that season, found himself in space, one on one with the ‘keeper and smashed the Cards in front. However, the joy was short lived as the Shots scored two goals, either side of a converted penalty, to come from 2-1 down to win 4-2 and claim their third win vs Woking in quick succession.

Aldershot Town 4 Woking 0 (27th March 2005)

With the season reaching the business end there was more than local pride to play for in this derby fixture. Woking were still in the hunt for a play-off place and the hosts were still chasing automatic promotion. The interest of the national media also turned to the Rec as Sky Sports covered the game.

Woking were the side of a humiliation this time as Dwain Clarke opening the scoring the opener after 17 minutes and Tim Sills scoring shortly after to give the home side a 2-0 lead at half time. Two turned to three just after the break thanks to a goal from Darren Barnard before Woking’s day went from bad to worse when Jon Boardman got a second yellow card. Jon Challinor scored a late header to wrap-up a 4-0 victory and to dampen Woking’s promotion push.

The two sides haven’t played a competitive game since 2008 and both sets of fans will be hungry for bragging rights and 3 points on Monday.

Come on you Cards!

Photo by David Holmes. See the full set at wokingfc.co.uk

Woking’s Budget To Remain The Same – Hill

Woking manager Garry Hill has revealed that there will be no change in the playing budget with the new season approaching.

After an impressive 12th place finish last season the Cards boss declared that he was is looking forward to the challenge of working with one of the smaller budgets in the league.

Hill told BBC Surrey:

“Any football manager at any level wants a little bit more (money) to work with but it’s not to be.

“The average budget in the conference is £600,000 and there are six to eight clubs in the league with budgets of a million pounds plus. Our budget is £300,000 and we are part time playing against 16 full-time clubs. I’m aware of that and so is Steve Thompson and we will get on with it, we find it more of a challenge.”

Hill also confirmed that a deal was offered to Bradley Bubb, who spent last season on loan at Kingfield from Aldershot Town, but it was turned down by the striker.

“Bradley Bubb was offered a contract six weeks ago by myself but that was the end of it, it didn’t really appeal to him.”

After turning Woking down, 26-year-old Bubb signed for Belgian side Royal Antwerp. The Belgian second division side have close links to Manchester United which has seen the likes of Ryan Shawcross, Jonny Evans and John O’Shea feature for the side now managed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

What we can expect from Josh Payne

Following the signing of Josh Payne I talked to a @LewATFC, a fan of his previous club, Aldershot Town, about what we can expect from the new arrival.

Q. What position/positions did he play Aldershot Town?

A. Josh mainly played in a central midfield role, he can be deployed in a holding role or an attacking style midfielder. Payne is much better in the holding/defensive midfielder role, and he displayed glimpses of that while at Aldershot. Keep it in mind that he only played twenty-three games plus nine substitute appearances for us and from the other six clubs [West Ham, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Wycombe, Doncaster and Oxford) he has played for in his young career, only with Oxford did he make near to the number here at Aldershot (25 appearances).

Q. What are his strengths and weaknesses?

A. His key attributes, from what I’ve seen would be his passing. He can certainly play the ball well in the air and on the ground, pin-pointing passes as he goes on a run. I think passing would be one of his best strengths. Another strength is his composure on the ball, he doesn’t panic; calm unless aggravated (as you will find out shortly) He could easily go on a short run and shrug off other midfielders and defenders before playing the simple, easy ball to another player.

So add strength to that list too. Josh is only 22-years old and people forget he is that young, developing and always learning. He has quite a few weaknesses, however I am almost certain this experience will put some of them to bed. Firstly, his temperament (before his prison sentence) was appalling, you could possibly compare him to Joey Barton – as I said he will definitely come out of prison as a changed man. Some of this could have been down to playing while having the court case on his mind. One of the first few games of the season, he was red carded in a woeful 4-1 defeat to Fleetwood Town. It was one of the first games he played but we didn’t know about ‘that’ incident. He’s paid for his stupidity, now he can get his career back on track with Woking and be the young prospect who has been touted by numerous managers many times.

Q. Was Josh a regular player for Aldershot or was he used as a squad rotation player?

A. When he joined in January 2011, he was a regular on the team sheet. The new season (2012/13) came and during the summer ‘that’ incident occurred and either Dean Holdsworth, the manager at the time, didn’t think it was right to play him with that hanging over his head or Josh said something himself but it was evident after the first few games he played in that something was up. He then became a squad rotation player, then a back-up.

Q. Bearing in mind he has dropped down a league, do you think he could be a successful player?

A. 100%, he could be a regular starter in a team like AFC Wimbledon in League Two. In my opinion he has dropped a level and joined Woking to get his career back on track and will probably find a League Two team next summer, if not in January and please take that lightly – he is a really good player, who many thought would walk straight back into that league.

Q. Were you sad to see Josh leave the club last season?

A. Yes and no. I really liked what he had to offer and you could clearly see he was a talent. On the contrary his attitude was rotten and many including myself, were disappointed after his sentencing and probably wouldn’t care if he never stepped foot in Aldershot ever again but upon his release from prison and in that same week he released a statement and an interview with 96.4 Eagle Radio apologizing to the Aldershot faithful. Throughout the interview he was remorse and clearly exposed repent. After this, our opinions changed, We’d take him back in a heartbeat – given our current situation. There are far worse cases involving other Football League players compared to what Josh did.

Q. Do you think he will relish playing against Aldershot this season after his contract was terminated by yourselves?

A. I wouldn’t say relish, in his interview he understood why his contract was terminated – Who would want a player who has been put in prison representing a club? Not only would it tarnish a club’s reputation it would destroy it. Maybe at first he was angry about the termination of his contract but after six months of thinking time, he accepts what Aldershot Town had to do and knows it was his fault. I also think Josh will love to be back playing again and will really enjoy playing us, for good reasons not bad ones.

 I am happy that he has found a club and wish him all the best. Good Luck Josh and Woking for next season.

Payne Signs For The Cards

Woking have today confirmed the signing of 22-year-old midfielder, Josh Payne.

Payne, who started his youth career at Portsmouth, signed his first professional contract with West Ham United in 2008 and was named the captain of the Under 18 team for that season but was quickly loaned out to Cheltenham Town for first team experience.

The Midfielder had loan spells with Colchester United and Wycombe Wanderers before signing for Oxford United in 2010. During his spell at The Kassam Stadium he scored one goal in 34 appearances before joining Aldershot Town in the January of 2012.

Payne made 26 appearances for The Shots and scored two goals before his contract was terminated following an incident in a nightclub.

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