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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 – Alfreton Town

By Jacob Greenwood
Woking play their fourth game in seven days when Alfreton Town visit Kingfield on Saturday.
The Cards come into the game off the back of a 3-0 loss to a strong Cambridge United side which seemingly ended their late surge for a play-off spot.
Gavin Williams scores in Woking's 3-1 loss at Alfreton earlier in the season
Gavin Williams scores in Woking’s 3-1 loss at Alfreton earlier in the season
The Reds have had an impressive season and find themselves just one place outside the play-off zone with six games to play. We talked to Alfreton Town reporter Ashley Wilkinson to find out more about the Derbyshire side.
You have looked like strong play-off contenders but just dropped out of the top five with your defeat to Aldershot Town on Tuesday, do you still believe you can go up via the play-offs?
It’s not going to be easy but if this season has proven anything, it’s that Alfreton Town like to upset the odds. Who would have predicted at the start of the season the Reds being in the play-off mix come April 2014?
The Aldershot defeat was worrying in one sense; the performance was one of the worst of the season. The Shots were quicker and stronger in midfield and largely dominated at the Impact Arena, which has truly been a fortress for the Reds this season (they have only lost 3 games at home this campaign). 
The lads didn’t come off the pitch necessarily too downbeat, just incredibly angry and frustrated at themselves. They know they are capable of much, much better and if I know this Alfreton team, they’ll be itching to make it right on Saturday. 
The playoff race isn’t over yet and although the teams around them have a game in hand, Alfreton’s run-in consists of three teams they have already beaten this season. Saturday will be a tough away trip but the lads know that they still have an excellent chance of finishing in the top 5.
You have surprised quite a few people this season, how much of the credit has to go to Nicky Law for getting this team together on one of the smaller budgets in the league?
Nicky deserves massive credit for his approach to this season. When the reversion to part-time status was announced at the end of last season, Nicky told me that staying in the division would be a huge task. But rather than complain about reduced budgets and tight purse-strings, Nicky has been extremely pragmatic in both the transfer and loan markets. First-teamers Bradley Wood, Chris Westwood, Nick Fenton, John Akinde, Jon Worsnop and Shaun Harrad all joined over the course of the season on free transfers while the likes of Godfrey Poku (Mansfield), Lathaniel Rowe-Turner (Luton) and Michael Hoganson (Derby) have all arrived on loan. 
Law let a number of players leave last summer, from Ben Tomlinson’s acrimonious departure to Lincoln to Anton Brown, Leigh Franks and Ashley Worsfold all left to join Skrill North side Harrogate Town. In their place, Law has assembled a squad with greater experience of non-league’s top-flight and that has shown in his side’s performances this season.
Also, don’t believe some of the Twitter rumours you hear about “significant backing” and “sugar daddy’s”. Having spoken at length with both manager and chairman about the club’s finances, it’s clear that Alfreton’s team has been assembled on a lower-table budget. Much lower.
Your ground got approved by the Football League earlier in the week, has that been a moment of realisation that you could be playing in League Two next season?
I think it’s been a realistic goal ever since December. After being thoroughly demolished by Luton 5-0 at the Impact, Alfreton went on a run of five straight wins over Kidderminster, Wrexham (twice), Dartford and Southport. That took us to third and we stayed in the play-offs until the recent 1-1 draw with Nuneaton (with Braintree’s 0-0 with Halifax later on in the week knocking us down to 6th). 
The ground approval from the Football League is subject to expansions taking place in the event Alfreton stay in League Two, and the Chairman Wayne Bradley told me that within three years the current ground would be “unrecognisable”. The problem is that, with attendances falling in spite of the great progress made on the pitch, life in League Two may not be financially sustainable. 
But that’s not going to deter this squad, who are absolutely determined to take a play-off spot.
 
John Akinde trailed with Woking in pre-season and Garry Hill was keen on signing him. However, he joined Alfreton and is now your top scorer, what does he bring to your team?
Well so far, 16 goals and a focal point for a potent Conference attack. John is not just an excellent target man but he can finish superbly (if at times a little erratically), capable of turning in near-post crosses and 20-yard worldies in equal measure. 
 
His pace is deceiving for a lad of his size, and when he has the ball at his feet it is damn near impossible to take it off him. He has great awareness of the defenders around him, able to take the ball into those tiny pockets of space and keep the ball away from the defender’s foot. John is absolutely devastating when he’s on form, he can be scary to defend against but he can equally drift out of games when not getting sufficient service.
Who else will Woking have to look out for on Saturday?
Shaun Harrad is a League Two centre-forward currently playing in a Conference side. I was hugely surprised when Bury released him and even more surprised when he signed a contract at the Impact Arena, only because I fully expected a club in the Football League to pick him up. His movement and running off-the-ball is excellent and he’s as capable as Akinde of finishing chances.
 
Dan Bradley can play across midfield but is most effective on the right-wing, where he can utilise his pace and charge at full-backs. Bradley Wood has converted from solid right-back into extremely solid central midfielder and Jon Worsnop has been outstanding in goal since signing from FC United in December.
 
Finally, what is your score prediction?
Tough one. At the moment I’m being considered a jinx by some at the club, as the Reds were winning games while I was covering Burton Albion games. Now I’m covering Alfreton again they’ve not won in 4!
 
If Alfreton can get the ball down in midfield and play, then they can beat any team in this division. But they need to react to their defeat Tuesday night in the right way. I think they will and for that reason, I’m sticking my neck out and saying Alfreton will win 3-0. 
You can follow Ashley on Twitter at – 
Photo by David Holmes – A full set can be viewed at wokingfc.co.uk

Getting to know the opposition – Hereford United

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking travel to Edgar Street on Saturday to take on relegation-threatened Hereford United.

The Cards extended their impressive league to 5 wins in 5 games when goals from Scott Rendell and Jack Marriott saw Woking come from behind to beat Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday evening. Garry Hill’s side have a good record against Hereford this season winning the reverse league fixture and their FA Trophy tie 3-0.

Rendell fires home as Woking knock The Bulls out of the FA Trophy.
Rendell fires home as Woking knock The Bulls out of the FA Trophy.

As Woking have moved away from the relegation zone in recent weeks Saturday’s hosts have gone in the opposite direction and now sit one point from the drop zone.

We talked to Bulls fan Gemma Eckley  to find out what has been happening at Hereford and how the fans are chipping in to help save the club.

The club is fighting a battle on & off the pitch – Hereford are 1 point off of the relegation zone and have a financial deadline to meet by the end of this week. Did fans know that this could be the outcome this season or did supporters start the season aiming for promotion?

I think the supporters, well some of them knew that this season wouldn’t be easy. Both on and off the field but I don’t think too many expected this much of a struggle. We knew financially we didn’t have the budget of many other clubs in this league to compete. A mid-table finish was really the achievement.

A lot of work is going on to raise money and save the club, can you tell us a bit about what has been happening behind the scenes? 

There has been a fair bit of activity happening in the last few weeks including a lot of support which has really gone beyond expectation. Last Saturday against Grimsby we saw our gate rise by over 1000. We have numerous bucket collections in supermarkets, high town and down here at the club. There has been various events at the function room at the club, which includes gigs and quizzes. On Saturday there will be around 10 different football shirts to auction off. The main bit if activity and could be massive in terms of finance is this Sunday. Omid Djalili the comedian has offered to do a benefit show. The first one completely sold out so a second one has now been put on (which is very close to selling out)
This whole situation has really brought out the best in everyone, even those from other clubs as without there donations, we may as well given up before we even began.

Payne scored the pick of the goals the last time the two sides met
Payne scored the pick of the goals the last time the two sides met

Your last league win came on January 25th, do you think, even if you can raise enough money, Hereford will be relegated on form alone, or is the team still capable of picking up points?

I think we are capable of picking up points, but I think we will be relying heavily on other teams around us and their results. Even if we are relegated, the survival of the club off the pitch really is the main aim. If we survive both on and off the pitch, then that really is a bonus.

Michael Rankine is your top scorer so far this season, who else will Woking have to look out for on Saturday?

It’s hard to pick out individuals, but Frankie Artus or Daniel Leadbitter. Leadbitter provides pace down the wing and Artus provides attack in midfield.
In reality we really haven’t got the strongest team and injuries have played a huge part in this season.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

Score prediction, I’ll go for a very optimistic 1-1.

Fans can donate to help save Hereford United by following this link – http://www.idsports.net/shop/Hereford-United-Club-Donation/

You can find Gemma on twitter at – @GemmaLou12

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

Breaking News – Garry Hill wins manager of the month for March

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking manager Garry Hill has been named Conference manager of the month for March.

The Cardinals boss picked up the award following four league wins in four games in March. This included breaking Luton Town’s 27-game unbeaten run and an impressive 3-1 victory at play-off contenders Barnet.

Everyone at Everything Woking FC would like to congratulate Garry on his well deserved award.

Image

 

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

A view from the stands – Woking 2 Wrexham 1

Everything Woking FC’s Jacob Greenwood talks to Woking fan and reporter Jacob Hutchinson following The Cards’ 2-1 victory vs Wrexham.

Rendell puts Woking ahead at Kingfield.
Rendell puts Woking ahead at Kingfield.

 

 

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

Getting to know the opposition – Wrexham

Woking will be looking to extend their impressive form when Wrexham travel to Kingfield on Saturday.

The Cards come into the game well rested after a 10-day break and Garry Hill’s side will be looking to compete a perfect March in which he has seen his side win four out of four games.

Hill admitted he is hoping for a bumper crowd at Kingfield on Saturday following an impressive win at Luton Town last time out in the league.

We talked to Ryan Denoven to get an idea of what to expect from the Welsh side this weekend.

Betsy fires a shot at goal as Woking lose 2-0 at Wrexham in October
Betsy fires a shot at goal as Woking lose 2-0 at Wrexham in October

When we talked to you at the start of the season you were confident that Wrexham would eventually start climbing the table. This hasn’t happened and recently Andy Morrell left the club, what has gone so wrong this season? 

Unfortunately our form never picked up and the whole season has been a bit stop-start, the players just didn’t seem to be bothered playing under Morrell anymore the effort wasn’t there. We aren’t a team that should be in 17th, I mean this team is very similar to last season’s playoff final team but with bad mistakes, lots of suspensions, injuries and bad form we have just been a shadow of the team we were last season. Morrell will always be a legend at this football club though and we all thanked him for his efforts.

Kevin Wilkin has recently joined the club and drew his first game in charge, was there a noticeable difference in Wrexham’s performance and what do you think he can bring to the club?

Well, firstly I would just like to say how pleased I am that we have managed to get such a good young manager who had done incredibly well at Nuneaton on a tight budget. To answer you question, he only had one training session with the players before the game so obviously the players are still learning his methods and his tactics. We played okay although Salisbury probably were the better side as Kevin Wilkin admitted after the game. I think Kev will be the right man for us in the long run.

Wrexham are on the same points total as Woking going into today’s game (51) which should see us both avoid relegation. Were Wrexham fans ever realistically worried about being relegated this season?

We all expected to be much higher up the league than this, the majority of fans thought we might scrape into the playoffs or just miss out but I doubt anybody would have said we would be 17th with 7 games left!

One game you will be focusing on is Chester away who having bragging rights over you from earlier in the season. How much does this derby mean to Wrexham fans?

It means a lot as it’s both a local derby and a cross-border derby, it’s got to be one of the best derbies in the country easily. It also can get out of hand sometimes off the pitch with fighting and stuff which I don’t like to see. On the pitch it’s always a feisty hard-fought game, hopefully we will turn them over at their place now we have a new manager in place! 2-1 to us is my prediction.

What visiting player will Woking have to look out for on Saturday?

Mark Carrington is one of our best performers this season, he’s originally a midfielder but he has been transformed into a right back this season and it has paid off, he chips in with the odd goal and the odd assist and is usually solid at the back.

Finally, what is your score prediction?

I say a close game with nothing other than pride to play for, 1-0 Wrexham. Good luck for the game.

 

Questions by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

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

 

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Luton Town

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking travel to Kenilworth Road on Monday as they take on the league leaders live on BT Sport.

The game will be The Cards’ first game on the channel and will also be one of their most difficult trips of the season. The Hatters have not lost in the league since they won 4-0 at Kingfield in September.

Alex Lacey scores at Kingfield as Luton win 4-0
Alex Lacey scores at Kingfield as Luton win 4-0

Luton will be looking to go 16 points clear at the top of the table as Woking try and take one step closer to Garry Hill’s target of 50 points. Results on Saturday mean The Cards are 11 points from the relegation zone with Tamworth, Dartford, Aldershot Town, Chester, Hereford United and Wrexham all failing to take three points.

We talked to Hatters fan Steve Judge to find out more about the high-flying Luton Town –

Luton find themselves 13 points clear with 11 games to go, what has gone so right for The Hatters this season?
There’s been a real sense of togetherness in the team, the management, the fans and everyone involved in the club for most of the season. The pivotal moment may have been when skipper Ronnie Henry confronted an angry fan after one of our less than impressive performances earlier in the season but overall the credit has to go to our manager John Still. Unlike some of his predecessors at Luton, once he hit a winning formula, he tinkered only when really necessary and as a result, the team has got better and better.
 
You have scored an impressive 83 goals already this season, can you tell us a bit about Andre Gray, he has been on fire this season.
Andre was spotted whilst playing for the now defunct Hinckley United against us in an FA Trophy tie. Although raw, he tore our defence apart and but for some excellent goalkeeping, would have scored a hat trick that night. He is a really exciting player: quick, skillful and he shoots on sight. He’s also come on leaps and bounds this season and his interplay with others has massively improved.
 
Who else will Woking have to look out for on Monday?
Jake Howells who is now playing in his favoured wide left position can cause you damage. He’s a clever player who can pass, cross, shoot and he’s been deadly from the penalty spot this season. He’s also formed a decent partnership with our left back, Scott Griffiths, who is probably our most improved player this season.
 
Scott Rendell left yourselves in January and joined Woking. He has made a good start to his Woking career and as scored 12 goals in 24 games. Do you think he will get a good reception?
Yes, absolutely. Scott will always be something of a Luton legend for the goal he scored at Carrow Road in the FA Cup. I think most Luton fans were disappointed things didn’t quite work for Scott here, wish him well and are pleased to see him knocking the goals in for Woking.
 
As your time in the Conference could be coming to an end, looking back, what have been your highlights?
Funnily enough, although it seems we’ve had 5 seasons of hell, most Luton fans have never seen us win so often as in this period, so it hasn’t all been bad. Highlights have to be: a 4-3 away win at Cambridge when we were 2-0 down and reduced to 10 men; a 2-1 home win against Oxford when we were a goal down in stoppage time and the winner from Keith Keane came direct from a corner in the dying seconds; an incredible 3-0 win away at Wrexham in a play-off semi; the FA Cup run than culminated in the 1-0 away win at Norwich; and this season for me is a toss up between the 6-0 drubbing we gave Kiddrminster that took us top – and got us to start believing – and Tuesday’s hard-fought 1-1 at Cambridge when we snatched the draw at the death and possibly dealt them a fatal blow in the title race.
 
Finally, what is your score prediction?
 Our recent home form has been incredible and I’m afraid I’m going to have to go for a 3-0 win for the Hatters for this one.
Questions by @JGreenwood91
Photos by David Holmes. For a full set visit wokingfc.co.uk
You can follow Steve on Twitter – @LordLuton
Remember the game is LIVE on BT Sport and kick off at 7.45pm. Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Southport

Jacob Greenwood

Woking take on Southport at Kingfield as they go in search of back-to-back victories for the first time since early December.

A brilliant 3-1 victory at The Hive last weekend will have given The Cards plenty to be positive about but consistency has been an issue this season. The home side find themselves just five points off of Garry Hill’s 50 point target set at the start of the season.

Although this looks like a good chance to take another step towards safety the visitors have been on a good run of late and come into the came off the back of a 3-0 victory against Dartford.

We talked to Southport fan @benniehighton to find out more about the team from Merseyside.

Southport are right in the thick of this year’s closely fought relegation scrap and find themselves four points above the drop zone. Despite this, they are on a good run of form with three wins and one draw in your past 5 games. Is the team hitting form at the right time?

The sides played out a 1-1 draw earlier in the season
The sides played out a 1-1 draw earlier in the season

I think so, picking up 3 points against an on form Dartford side on Saturday was crucial. However, we have to continue the good form!

Are you confident you can stay up and what teams do you think will go down?

If you asked me this a month ago my answer would have been no, however given our recent form I believe we have a fairly good chance.

Hyde, Tamworth, Dartford and possibly Hereford. However, you never know with the likes of us, Aldershot and Chester all still in the battle!

You signed Nathan Ellington, formally of Wigan, West Brom and Watford, but he only stayed for three games, what is the story behind that?

He was signed by our former manager Alan Wright, however Wright departed the club which saw Ellington leave shortly after. I am guessing our current manager John Coleman had no plans for him.

Who will Woking have to look out for in your squad on Saturday?

Winger John O’Sullivan could cause a threat to the defence, however it will also be interesting to see how loanee Jason Walker performs after an impressive debut against Dartford.

You won 3-2 on your last visit to Kingfield, how many of that team are still currently with yourselves?

As we had a change of manager at the end of the season, not many! The only player that I think will start who was here last season is Karl Ledsham.

Finally, what is your score prediction? 

After your impressive victory at The Hive, I am expecting a tough game. However given our recent positive form, I will say 2-2.

Questions & article by @JGreenwood91

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

Come on you Cards!

Getting to know the opposition – Barnet

By Jacob Greenwood

Woking’s trip to Barnet signals the start of a difficult month for The Cards as they look to secure their Conference status.

Since the departure of Edgar Davids from The Hive, Barnet have been on a great run and have won 5 out of 5 games under the new management team of Ulrich Landvreugd and Dick Schreuder.

This will make it a very tough game for Woking who will be looking to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to Kidderminster Harriers on Tuesday evening.

We talked to Barnet fan and blogger Lucy Waldon about the Bees’ promotion hopes and that man, Edgar Davids, ahead of Woking’s first trip to The Hive –

Barnet were well known in footballing circles for having Edgar Davids at the helm earlier in the season, but he has now moved on, has this been a positive for the club being outside the media spotlight?

Definitely, although it’s fair to say he raised the profile of the club whilst he was with us. This wasn’t always a good thing, mind – what the numerous red cards and his decision not to travel away with the team. The latter certainly didn’t go down well with fans. That said, a lot of the time I was pinching myself; how does a player of that calibre ever stumble across a club like us? Since his departure, we have been getting the results we need as well – massive credit to Uli and Dick for the hard work they’ve put in.

The two sides played out a goalless draw at Kingfield earlier in the season
The two sides played out a goalless draw at Kingfield earlier in the season

How have the new management team gone about changing your fortunes, as you have been on a very impressive run recently?

Well nothing has changed, really. We’d been playing decent football before, it was all about grinding results. I think the players respect Uli and Dick a lot more and there’s no “I’m better than you” attitude. The players seem to be playing with a lot more confidence too, which is good to see. We’ve now won five in a row – a feat we’ve not achieved for a while (someone mentioned 2004 was the last time this happened – not sure how true that is).

You are currently 15 points off of Luton, does that mean the fans have given up hope of being champions and are starting to focus on securing a play-off spot?

I don’t think we ever thought we’d go straight back up, let alone as champions! The Conference is a lot harder than it was the last time we were in it (we went up in 04/05) and so many of the teams that were previously in the Football League have proved that. We are gaining momentum at a good time though, so if we carry on, I don’t see why we can’t cement a play-off place. I don’t think the wheels will fall off for Luton now, either.

This will be Woking’s first trip to The Hive, can you sum it up for us?

Well it’s your typical modern stadia, pretty lifeless. It’s in the middle of nowhere too, with houses either side of the gates. Underhill was your traditional old-school ground, whereas The Hive is the opposite. It has no charm either. The pitch is incredible though, although the London Broncos now play there too, so I’m not sure how long it’ll stay in top condition!

Finally, what is your score prediction?

With no disrespect to Woking, it’s a game we should win, particularly on home soil. However, it’s bound to be tough and after losing to Chester, we only managed narrow wins over Tamworth and Southport. We have never been particularly good against the bottom sides, either. I’m going to for 2-0 Bees with Lopez and Weston on the score sheet.

You can visit Lucy’s blog at – lookblacknamber.blogspot.com

Questions by Jacob Greenwood @JGreenwood91

Photo by David Holmes. For a full set visit wokingfc.co.uk

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