“With the 7 point lead you have at the top of the table, I think we’ll have to settle for the play-offs”
Woking FC supporter Josh Boulcott returns for a second time to discuss ‘The Cards’ before Saturday’s top of the table clash at the Kingfield:
Hi Josh, the last time we spoke was that FA Cup tie – what’s your memories of that game?
It was a match that you dominated, and somehow didn’t score with all the chances you created. It was certainly a smash and grab 0-1 win for us, and we rode our luck massively, which is why the fans and players were so delighted with the win at the full time whistle.
What’s been your highlights and lowlights of the season so far?
The highlight by far has to be the FA Cup run. That day at Swindon in the 2nd round is certainly up there with one of my favourite Woking matches. To reach the third round for the first time in 22 years and play Watford on TV at a sold out Kingfield made it a really special occasion. As for low points, luckily there hasn’t been too many this season (compared with last!), but I’d say disappointing home defeats against Wealdstone and Slough. The Dartford home game where we had two players sent off and conceded in the last minute was also frustrating. Overall though, I think most, if not all Woking fans would have taken being 2nd in April, with the complete new team we had at the beginning of the season.
Your recent form has been inconsistent, why do you think that is and are you confident the manager can get things right?
It’s been somewhat inconsistent since we lost arguably our two best players in January in Loza and Edser, add to that a few injuries and some tough games, we’ve not quite had enough quality to keep pace with Torquay. Our defence is always susceptible to conceding and we’ve not had as much firepower up front as we did earlier in the season. Hopefully we can have a strong end to the season with a fully fit squad so we go into the play-offs in good form and confident we can win the two games required for promotion.
Which key ‘Cards’ players should we be looking out for and why?
We had two new signings play on Saturday, a CM (Ferry) and winger ( Cadogan) who both apparently put in solid performances. However, it was the return from injury of Armani Little which was most significant, another CM who has been one of our best performers since the turn of the year. He is very composed on the ball, and good going forward (and back when required), whilst also getting stuck in to try and win that midfield battle. Watch out for Paul Hodges too, a small, very pacy winger who also plays through the middle and has won countless penalties for us this season with his dribbles forward.
Ben Gerring will certainly get a warm reception from United fans, how’s he been doing for you?
Overall, since he’s come in he’s done well for us and quickly formed a decent partnership with Jack Cook. His height means we normally deal with any aerial threat well, and we’re dangerous from set pieces ourselves when he goes forward. However, he can be inconsistent and against a pacey attack he can struggle, as he’s not the most mobile. He also picked up a stupid red card in the previously mentioned Dartford game for storming into a scuffle when already on a yellow.
Are you confident that you can still gain promotion, either by winning the league or through the play-offs?
With the 7 point lead you have at the top of the table, I think we’ll have to settle for the play-offs, and make sure we finish in 2nd place so we have two home games to gain promotion. That gives us a huge advantage, however there are some really tough teams in the play offs this season and at the end of the day its a lottery, so I don’t think you can be entirely confident.
What’s the Kingfield Stadium like for the visiting supporters and are you expecting a full house on Saturday?
Our away end isn’t particularly great, as its a an open terrace that runs the length of one side of the pitch. However, it is raised so you get a decent view, as long as it doesn’t rain! You will however get a few hundred seats in our large covered stand behind one of the goals, which gives you a great view of the pitch. I don’t think it will be quite a full house, however I’d expect at least 3000 Woking fans so it should make for a good atmosphere.
Where’s best for the Yellow Army to grab pre-match food and drinks near to the ground?
If you’re going by train, there’s a few chain pubs such as a spoons and O’Neills right by the station which are okay. Next to Spoons is also the Ogilvy which normally has sport on, and is popular with quite a few Woking fans pre-game. For real ale fans, The Sovereigns is an Ember Inn pub and has a large range of cask ales and craft beers, and is on the way to the ground if you’re walking from the station. If you’re after a last minute pint, there is a small bar in the Snooker club right next to the away turnstiles which normally allows away fans in.
What do you make of the rivalry that has developed between the two teams and their supporters, and what sort of game are you expecting on Saturday?
A rivalry has certainly developed with both teams battling for the title for large parts of the season, which can only be a good thing. I’m expecting a tight game on Saturday, with United not having to force the issue as much, whereas we need to get the three points if we are to have any chance of catching you. We’ll have to be at our best to beat you though, and improve massively on recent performances to have any chance.
And finally, give us a match prediction for the massive NLS clash?
As I said, I’m expecting a close game like our previous encounters this season, so I’m going to go for 1-1. Cheers Josh, with a big noisy crowd and two attacking teams it should a memorable afternoon! Maybe speak to you next season in the NL… Dom