By Jacob Greenwood
Woking’s tough November continues on Tuesday night as they travel to second-placed Grimsby Town.
Despite The Cards’ tough run of games in November, they remain unbeaten in the league and with Grimsby losing to Kidderminster on Saturday, will fancy their chances of an away victory.
After losing to Gateshead in the play-offs last season, The Mariners have made a good start to this season’s campaign as they look to return to The Football League.
We talked to Paul from the award-winning Grimsby Town blog, Too Good To Go Down, about what Woking can expect on Tuesday and Grimsby’s season thus far.
Getting out of The Conference has proved a tricky task for many ex-league teams. Grimsby have come close on many occasions, losing in the play-offs to Gateshead last season, do you think with Barnet’s brilliant start that it might have to be the play-offs route again for Grimsby this season?
Barnet will have a wobble at some point, sides at this level always do. I actually picked Barnet to win the league at 16/1 before the season kicked off and they’ve certainly outperformed everyone’s expectations. But historically it’s not the side who is top now that goes on to win the league – look at Luton and Mansfield over the last two seasons. Grimsby Town will be there or thereabouts at the end of the campaign – that’s the minimum expectation at Blundell Park these days – but I’m not sure we will finish top.
Grimsby lost at home to Kidderminster on Saturday. However, Tuesday provides them with a good opportunity to bounce back against a promotion rival. Do you think Paul Hurst can get a reaction out of his players?
We were dreadful against Kidderminster from start to finish. Hopefully that’s a one-off though. We had previously won five of the six preceding games and have the best defensive record in the division. Paul Hurst had steadied the ship after an inconsistent start and the Town fans will be expecting a much better showing – and possibly a few personnel changes – on Tuesday night.
Many Woking fans will be interested in ex-Card Aswad Thomas. How has his form been so far this season?
Aswad broke his leg in the first month of the season but his return has coincided with our great run which has seen us jump to second. He’s first choice left back, likes to get forward and overlap the wide left player. He’s a bit inconsistent for me, which is probably why he’s still playing Conference football, but on his day there aren’t many better non-league left backs.
Who else will Woking have to look out for?
Lennell John-Lewis is our top scorer with 10 goals so far. He’s played very well this season. Carl Magnay, our right back, has been find of the season after being released by Gateshead. Nathan Arnold, on loan from Cambridge, is also starting to find his feet after an injury hit start in a Grimsby shirt.
Last time Woking travelled to Blundell Park there was a frantic finish which saw a flurry of late goals making it a 2-2 draw.
Woking have far exceeded my expectations this year. I thought the second half of last season may have burnt them out, so full credit for your recent run. Town have been very hard to break down at home this season and we haven’t seen many goals – the 7-0 win over Alfreton aside – so I’d expect a low scoring encounter. Town are better when teams come and have a go at them, we struggle against sides who ‘park the bus’. So, perversely, we may do better if Woking come and attack. I suspect a 0-0 or a 1-1 might suit both sides, if not the home supporters!
Photos courtesy of David Holmes. A full set is available at wokingfc.co.uk