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19:00 22nd February 2016
By  Andy Phillips

Woking Preview

Woking head to Blundell Park in the National League on Tuesday night (7:45pm), with this being the first of two games between the sides this coming week.

Paul Hurst's side will be looking for a positive response to the defeat to FC Halifax Town on Saturday night, which the Town boss described as an ''out of character'' display, and the Mariners will have a quick chance to prove that this was indeed the case when they host Garry Hill's men only four days after that result.

It has been a solid few years for Woking since they were promoted back to the National League back in 2012 and they have bettered themselves every season. Following a 7th placed finish last season, they started the season well despite serious injuries to two of their star players, striker Scott Rendell and Ishmail Yakubu. However, they come into this game in 11th after a dip in form as of late. The Cards are without a win in 5 league games and went down 2-1 at Bromley at the weekend, and so Town will be looking at it as a potential chance to get back some of the momentum that has been lost over the past couple of fixtures.

It will be a chance for both sides to sound each other out before the two sides do battle again in the FA Trophy quarter-finals on Saturday, but with both sides in need of a positive result, messrs Hurst and Hill will only be concentrating on the chance of a potential three points on the night.


Referee Michael Salisbury will be the man in charge on Tuesday night and to find out more about him, click here


Town have no fresh injury concerns for the game, with Josh Sunter and Callum Bastock's long term injuries, as well as the second game of Craig Disley's two match suspension making them the only players unavailable. Town boss Paul Hurst will have to choose whether to make changes after the defeat to Halifax, with the likes of Shaun Pearson, Nathan Arnold and Jon-Paul Pittman possibly in line for a recall. Woking also have long term absentees in the form of defender Ishmail Yakubu and Scott Rendell, but they could hand a debut to young left-back Joe Robinson, who signed from Ipswich Town on Monday. Town could also could up against another Robinson in the form of midfielder Matt, who played for the club on loan earlier in the season. 


Experienced non-league manager Garry Hill has been in charge of Woking since January 2011, earning promotion from the National League South and turning the side into a very solid National League outfit in his five years at the helm.

Hill began his managerial career at Heybridge Swifts, spending six years there between 1991 and 1997 and earning promotion to the Isthmian League Premier before a move to St Albans City.

He moved to Dagenham & Redbridge in 1999 and was promoted to the National League in his first season there, guiding them to the FA Cup Third Round on several occasions and the 2003 Conference Play-Off Final before spells at Hornchuch, Weymouth (where he won promotion to the National League again) and Rushden & Diamonds before he made his way to Woking.


Young midfielder John Goddard has hit 15 goals in 34 games from midfield so far this season, proving how vital he is to the Woking side.

Described as ''busy, quick footed and with an eye for goal'', Goddard began his career in the youth team at Reading and was rewarded with a professional contract at the Royals, but saw his opportunities limited due to their rise to the Premier League, and was released as a result.

Goddard joined Woking in September 2013 and is quickly establishing himself as a real prospect at this level of football.




''The result is the most important thing, you go through the season and win some games that have been tight. Sometimes, you've been extremely unlucky and I don't think that's happened too many times that we've got victories when we haven't deserved them but we want to get back to winning ways and have that feeling in the dressing room of taking three points and sending everyone home happy. '' Paul Hurst

"I've seen Grimsby play recently and they're a very good side this year. One or two of their supporters have complained about my comments on the squad and the club over the last few years, but I've got nothing but respect for Paul Hurst. He's done very well and he's built a better squad this year that is more in-depth than in previous seasons. It's going to be very, very hard but we've got to have a go and see what we can do." Gary Hill
Watch Paul Hurst's full pre-match interview below.