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Woking draw Luton Town in the FA Cup

Woking will face Luton Town  in the fourth qualifying round of this season’s FA Cup on the weekend of the 26th/27th October.

The Hatters won comfortably at Kingfield earlier this month with a 4-0 victory.

The Cards have a poor FA Cup record in the past two seasons and this has seen them go out at the first attempt to Ebbsfleet United last season and Maidenhead United the season before.

Woking fans will have fonder memories of the competition from previous seasons including a draw at Brighton & Hove Albion and a narrow loss to Swindon Town the season before.

The club were also written in to FA Cup folk law in the 90’s after a Tim Buzaglo hat-trick earned Woking a 4-2 victory at West Brom.

Conference sees rise in football-related arrests

Jacob Greenwood

Woking have ranked 11th in figures released today documenting arrests at football matches last season.

The figures released by the Daily Mirror show that overall there were 206 arrests in the Conference last season. This figure was considerably higher than the previous season with only 119 arrests across the league.

 Nuneaton Town topped last season’s list with 87 arrests.

Woking had a total of three arrests on match days last season, none of which resulted in a football banning order.

Ten Conference clubs including Southport, Tamworth and Gateshead incurred no arrests.


AFC Telford United 0

Alfreton Town 1

Barrow 2

Braintree Town 0

Cambridge United 0

Dartford 0

Ebbsfleet United 0

Forest Green Rovers 0

Gateshead 0

Grimsby Town 16

Hereford United 8

Hyde 0

Kidderminster Harriers 1

Lincoln City 20

Luton Town 16

Macclesfield Town 7

Mansfield Town 12

Newport County 10

Nuneaton Town 87

Southport 0

Stockport County 9

Tamworth 0

Woking 3

Wrexham 14


Getting to know the opposition – Barnet

Goals from Scott Rendell and Josh Payne were enough to steer Woking to their first home win of the season against Nuneaton 10 days ago. This was followed up by an entertaining 1-1 draw on the road at Southport on Saturday.

Woking now face a tough task in Barnet, who were relegated into the Conference alongside Aldershot Town at the end of last season. With a new stadium and a fresh start they were many people’s choice to bounce straight back to the Football League but The Bees currently find themselves mid-table. We talked to Barnet fan and blogger Lucy Waldon to find out what is going on at The Hive.

Josh Payne celebrates his goal in Woking's 2-0 win vs Nuneaton
Josh Payne celebrates his goal in Woking’s 2-0 win vs Nuneaton

It’s been quite a while since you played in the Conference and the league has changed quite a bit, how have Barnet found it so far?

It’s certainly a lot harder than when we were previously in the Conference and there’s definitely more competition for the top places – but we never thought it would be easy. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag so far: we started well and then dipped in form a bit – hopefully that was just an early blip as we find out feet in this division. Last season we managed three points from our opening 12 games; we’ve already surpassed that this campaign and are close to reaching half the amount of points we managed to accumulate during 2012/13. Whilst it’s difficult, I’d like to think we have adapted well – we just need to play consistently well for a whole game and not just 45 minutes.

It’s been an indifferent start for yourselves which has left you 10th after 13 games, are fans staying patient with the players and managerial staff?

I think so. We managed to keep most of our players from last season and they’re really not a bad bunch. Jake Hyde was our top scorer and to net 14 times for a relegated side is no mean feat. We kept the spine of the squad, with the likes of Stephens and Johnson in defence and Byrne in the midfield – a lot of our players can definitely play higher! I think we just need a bit of luck and concentration and we’ll start amassing points.

Talking of the managerial staff, what impact has Edgar Davids had and can you talk us through his role at the club?

When he joined us last season, there was instant success – but it couldn’t have been much worse because our start was so poor. Everything just fell into place: we were scoring, the defence was a lot more solid and I think the team started playing due to his stature. There was a stat that said we would have made the play-offs if Davids joined us at the start of the season. I’m not too sure what his role is – the fans don’t know and judging by the Non-League Paper interview, the chairman doesn’t know either (which is worrying!). Basically, his title is ‘head coach’ and there are two other Dutch coaches who work alongside him. Assistant Uli seems to be the one who picks the team – and he’s the one that travels to the away games as Edgar doesn’t travel up north (there has been no reason given for this – and we are just as much in the dark as everyone else! I find it bizarre though!).

Who will Woking have to look out for on Tuesday?

Keanu Marsh-Brown – an outstanding talent who was recently linked with a move to Ipswich Town. He’s scoring for fun and a tricky winger who has bundles of pace. Centre back David Stephens is also a giant in the back four – and was voted last year’s Player of the Season!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I’m going to stick my neck out and say 3-1 Barnet. We were unlucky on Saturday and poor decisions cost us. I imagine we’ll go behind early on and then pull it back in the second half. KMB to score twice and Crawford to come off the bench and chip in with a late goal.

You can follow Lucy on Twitter – @Luuuce_x

Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Nuneaton Town

After a tough week in which The Cards lost to Macclesfield and Luton, Garry Hill will be hoping Woking can get a vital three points at home to Nuneaton Borough this weekend.

The last time the Warickshire club visited Woking ex-loanee Bradley Bubb scored four and inspired The Cards to victory. However, this year will be a much tougher test with Nuneaton starting their league campign very strongly and currently sitting in 2nd place.

Bubb celebrates his fourth goal vs Nuneaton last season
Bubb celebrates his fourth goal vs Nuneaton last season

We talked to Mark Jakeman (@MarkJakeman) to find out how the club has gone from a mid-table side to one of the early front runners.

Hi Mark,

Would it be fair to say you have been the surprise package so far this season or did fans expect a strong start?

Yes it’s very fair to say we are the surprise package. Saying that, our form at the end of last season when we went 13 unbeaten has been carried over to this season. It feels as though ‘we had clicked’

Most fans wouldn’t have expected us to be 2nd though. We all imagined another season of battling to stay up.

Can you see your good form continuing throughout the season and are your sights set on promotion?

I think a title challenge is way out of our reach but the start we’ve had gives us a great platform to build on. The 1st aim is obviously survival but I think we’d all be disappointed not to finish in the top half now.

Who will Woking have to watch out for on Saturday?

In terms of players to watch, I feel this is our forte. We don’t have one real stand out superstar. The team ethic is a vital part of our success. Obviously with 9 goals already Louis Moult would be the name most opposition fans look out for, but Andy Brown scored 20 goals for us last year, all from open play, and he has 4 this year already.

Look out for our 2 other England C stars though, midfielder Jimmy Armson and centre half Gaz Dean. Both have been with us since reformation in 2008.

Last time you visited Kingfield Woking racked up their biggest league win of the season, how much of that squad remain with yourselves?

Despite probably 8 players starting who were with us last season, the starting XI will be vastly different. The goalkeeper situation has been resolved from last season too!!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I don’t want to sound too confident but I hope that after 2 straight defeats, we can bounce back with a win on Saturday. I’m going for a 3-1 win for us.

Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Macclesfield Town

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.

Woking celebrate during their 2-0 victory at Hyde
Woking celebrate during their 2-0 victory at Hyde

 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?

Betsy takes control vs Town in Woking’s 5-4 victory

 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

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Hyde

Woking came within five minutes of picking up their first home win of the season on Friday but defensive errors lead to The Cards surrendering a 2-1 lead and drawing with Tamworth in soggy conditions.

Garry Hill will be hoping that luck will be on Woking’s side after two improved performances when they travel to bottom-placed Hyde this evening. Cards fans won’t have fond memories of Ewans Fields after a poor performance there last season saw them go down 7-0. We talked to Hyde fan Jamie McNamee @Jamie_McNamee to get the latest from the Cheshire club.

Hi Jamie,

Not many Woking fans will forget our trip to Hyde last season and will be hoping for a bit better than a 7-0 loss this time! Like Woking, you haven’t had a great start, what’s been going wrong?

Yes, last season meeting was great from our point of view. The start to our season can be put down to the simple fact that we are not clinical in front of the opposition’s goal. Other than the Forest Green game we have more then held our own so far this season and deserve more points than we currently have. Last season Phil Jevons and Matthew Blinkhorn were deadly in front of goal and with notable contributions from Louis Almond and Scott Hogan but so far this year only two players have hit the net from open play, them being Tom Collins with four and midfielder Liam Tomsett with three. Danny Carlton who we have signed to replace Phil Jevons and Matthew Blinkhorn just hasn’t hit the ground running and Louis Almond has struggled to find the spark with which he helped fire Hyde to survival last campaign.

You lost Phil Jevons over the summer to Stockport, that must have been disappointing?

Yes, but as a Hyde fan we have become use to losing our better players to teams who can pay better than us. We have also lost Scott Hogan to Rochdale, Matthew Blinkhorn to AFC Fylde and Tunji Moses who has joined Jevons at County. One thing Jevons could do was score goals but towards the end of last season Scott McNiven preferred to start Blinkhorn over Jevons due to him being a better lone striker and better mobility around the pitch compared to Phil.

 What are you realistic expectations for this season? Will just surviving be enough for Hyde fans?

Personally I think we will just survive. We are a good football team with a very solid keeper and back four, a midfield with some nice players in there who can pass the ball around comfortably but we need to find goals from our front men. Every Hyde fan would snap your hand off for 20th position now, a little cup run would be nice too.

Who is likely to pose Woking the biggest threat on Tuesday?

Tom Collins has been in good form this season and if fit will be a problem to your back four to deal with the other threat is Connor Hughes, with his direct running on the wing can cause opposition full backs problems. A wild card on Tuesday night is new signing Emmanuel Dieseruvwe on loan from Sheffield Wednesday. Looks a really silky two footed striker who might be the player we have been looking for to complete our team.

 Finally, what is your score prediction?

Hopefully a win for Hyde and I feel it may come. We were unlucky against Kidderminster on Saturday and deserved a point so I’m going to go with a 2-1 win for the Tigers. Also I wish any Woking fans coming down to Ewen Fields a safe trip to Tameside.

Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Tamworth

Woking are still searching for their first home win of the season and a morale boosting victory after four defeats in a row. The Cards showed slightly more promise last week at Alfreton Town but were again undone by simple errors and individual mistakes. Woking’s opponents Tamworth have only won two games themselves so far this season and Garry Hill will be hoping his side can find their first since a victory at Chester.

We talked to Tamworth supporter Edward Wylie to find out how their season had started and what we can expect on Friday evening.

Betsy takes on Tamworth last season
Betsy takes on Tamworth last season

Hi Ed, It’s been a tough start for yourselves facing Wrexham, Barnet, Hereford & Cambridge in your first seven games and has only seen you win two games. How have The Lambs looked despite facing tough opposition?

 Despite only winning twice, we’ve looked fine in all of our games minus Hereford and Dartford. Arguably, we could have more points on the board but the Skrill Premier is an unforgiving league and if you don’t take your chances when they come, you end up disappointed at the end of the game. We’ve had plenty of chances, but don’t take them.

Do you think you will get a better measure of this season’s squad after games like Woking away?

No, because you can’t categorise teams based on reputation and size. Anyone can beat anyone, I’m not sure whether we’ll win, lose or draw. Anything can happen in this league, who’d have thought Nuneaton would be joint top?

What are your realistic expectations for the season, will avoiding relegation be enough to keep the fans happy?

We never achieve what we should achieve. Most fans know we have a team capable of challenging for a top half spot, but we always fight the uncertainty of relegation. For some reason we see survival as a big achievement, but we’re showing no progress  the season after which frustrates me. It’s boring knowing every season we’ll just stay up, that’s it.

 You signed ex-Woking player Justin Richards over the summer, how has he settled in?

He has looked pretty poor in all honesty, including over pre-season. He has a knock at the moment and is unlikely to feature.

Who else should we look out for on Friday?

Elford Alliyu scared the pants off of Southport on Saturday with his pace, he has recently signed after being released by Crawley Town and will likely cause Woking’s backline a problem. Wayne Thomas is our experienced central defender with ability in abundance, he has looked like an astute signing by Belford. Lloyd Kerry, Richard Peniket and Jack Evans are others to look out for.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I’m going for a 3-1 Tamworth win. Peniket, Wright and Baker the scorers.

Questions and article by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. A full set can be found at

Come on you Cards!

Non-League Day 2013 – Everything you need to know

Jacob Greenwood

Non-League Day was created by James Doe in 2010 as nothing more as a social media experiment but has now grown into a nationally recognized day.

NLD is always scheduled to coincide with the international football break in the Premier League and Championship to give fans of clubs from the top two leagues to see their local sides. Many clubs even let season ticket holders from these clubs attend NLD matches for a discount or in some cases with no charge at all.

The people behind Non-League Day claim it is not an attempt to get people to support a new club but to experience grassroots football. NLD even offer a ‘find a match’ section on their website which allows you to enter your postcode and find your nearest games!

I talked to Bradley Dobson who is the founder of The Northern Premier League Facebook Group to find out what non-league football means to him and how it can grow with the help of NDL.

Hi Bradley,

A lot of people still imagine the average non-league football fan to be an elderly gentleman with a dog, flat cap and smoking a pipe. This just isn’t true anymore is it? All sorts of people are involved with non-league football?

– This isn’t true at all anymore! So many more young supporters are attending non-league games these days. As an example from The NPL Group we have a lad called Ben Hall who is only 16 and he follows Ossett Albion home and away. Ben has a massive bunch of friends that attend the games with him, they have named themselves the ‘Ossett Ultras’. Young people are getting more involved because it’s cheaper and local. Most clubs do something within their community to attract young supporters to attend their games. Take Curzon Ashton, they have offered anyone under the age of 16 a free season ticket. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 Non-league Day burst on to the scene in 2010, do you think its national coverage makes people aware of their local football teams and has been a success so far?

– It has been a huge success! and I can see it only getting bigger and better as the seasons go on. Personally, I think the media side of things could do better to promote it. Us as supporters can only do as much as we can in regards to telling our friends and family and others about NLD, however media brings in so much more publicity. Everything has a cost in this day and age, not many company’s want to promote stuff on the free, but it’s what NLD needs from the media side of things ( TV, Radio, Newspapers, Flyers etc .. ) they all come with a cost. Overall, NLD is a blooming good idea and I wish it all the best for many seasons to come.

 A lot of clubs offer free entry to season ticket holders from Championship/Premier League clubs on NLD, do you think this is fair to current supporters of the smaller teams?

– It’s an awkward question that one, if you ask me, not it’s not fair on the current supporters. I can see the relevance from the clubs to attract Premier League supporters in on the free, but couldn’t you give your own supporters some sort of discounted ticket price also? I understand the club will rely on the match day admission fees, maybe not so much make it free for the Premier League supporters, even a £1.00 entry fee? I don’t know on that one, next question.

The top of non-league has got stronger in recent years with higher attendances following an influx of ex-league teams and has even seen BT Sport show live games from the Conference National, do you think this helps increase the interest?

– NO! Whether you’ve just watched an absolute class game on TV, if you ask anyone what they think of non-league it’s always ” It’s just kick and long ball “. People who support the Football League sides will never truly understand just how brilliant non-league is until they attend the games. Okay, the quality isn’t great half the time (most of the time) but the whole day out is fantastic, win or lose. I’m all against TV games, give me a cold Tuesday night in Halifax any day!

 Despite the increase of interest in the top level of non-league, further down the pyramid teams are regularly struggling with financial difficulties, is non-league, as a whole, still in good shape?

– Non League as a whole, yes! It’s only when you get that dodgy backer that seems to run the clubs into the ground. Take Cammell Lairds, they get what? 30/70 people per home game and yet each season they come back fighting. It you stick to your given budgets and don’t try do the impossible, you’ll come back each year and try, try again.

Finally, what game will you be attending on Saturday? I’m working, but if I was it would be FC Halifax Town vs Barnet, C’MON SHAYMEN!

To find a name near you this weekend visit –

Hill brings in two more strikers

Woking have signed strikers Rodrigo Branco and Kemo Darboe on transfer deadline day to bolster their attacking options.

22-year-old Branco started his career in his native Brazil playing for Sao Bernardo and Sao Paulo before moving to England to play for Fleetwood Town and Lancaster City in 2012.

Darboe previously has experience with Premier League side Norwich City as a trialist. The 20-year-old also has non-league experience playing for Peckham United and Lewisham Community.

Garry Hill had been aiming to strengthen his attacking options after admitting the Cards were lacking infront of goal following  early season defeats.

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