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Woking test awaits Town

Lindsey’s side to face National League outfit in next pre-season friendly…

11 July 2022

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Another pre-season test awaits Swindon Town as they head to The Laithwaite Community Stadium tomorrow evening to face Woking in their third warm-up match in their busy schedule.

Having recorded a victory and a defeat in their opening two friendlies against non-league opposition with First-Team Head Coach Scott Lindsey opting to field experimental sides, Town will head to Surrey with a similar focus as the players embark on the next stage of their fitness regime.

Lindsey has used the Melksham and Supermarine games to good effect by fielding several trialists and giving fringe players some valuable minutes, and last weekend provided fans with a first glimpse of some of our more familiar names as the likes of Jonny Williams, Ben Gladwin, Louis Reed and Mathieu Baudry featured.

Woking, who finished fifteenth in the National League last term, will provide another stern test for Town as competitive minutes and more of a focus around shape and strategy become just as important as fitness.

The Cardinals have just the one pre-season game under their belts so far as they defeated Arsenal’s Under-23s last Tuesday, 3-2, in front of a 2,200-strong crowd.

Like Scott Lindsey at Town, Woking boss Darren Sarll has had a productive summer bringing in a number of new recruits, with the likes of Padraig Amond, Ricky Karboa, James Daly and Reece Grego-Cox just a few of the eight he’s drafted in so far.

Having used the 90-minutes against neighbours Supermarine at the weekend to field two different starting elevens in either half, Lindsey says tomorrow evening will be another important run-out for his charges.

“I’ve been really pleased with how pre-season has gone from a training perspective so far. The players we already had here have gelled well with our new recruits and they’ve all been working extremely hard,” he said.

“The friendlies we’ve played have come quite soon into our pre-season plans, but they’ve provided the ideal opportunity to give players some game time and get a feel for the ball in some unfamiliar, competitive environments.

“The Marine performance wasn’t one of our best, granted, but to give the majority of our squad a run-out for the first time has been really good, and will enable us to gradually step up the intensity in training and in our forthcoming friendlies.

“By the time we get to the Cardiff game later in the month, we’ll have achieved our goal and the squad will be ready for the League Two start the following week – at this stage, there has to be a gradual approach.”

For the football nerds among us, here are some interesting facts about tomorrow’s opponents…

  • The club was founded 135 years ago, way back in 1887.
  • Their ground is actually called The Kingfield Stadium, but goes by the Laithwaite Community Stadium name due to their latest sponsorship deal – it holds just over 6,000 (2,500 seated).
  • Manager Darren Sarll has been in charge at the club since March this year, taking the reins from Alan Dowson, who now manages Dartford.
  • The Cardinals are embarking on their fourth straight campaign in the National League, having gained promotion from National League South during the 2018/19 season when they went up via the play-offs.
  • Last season the side had three joint top scorers who ended the campaign locked on 13 goals – none of which are still at the club. Tahvon Campbell (now Rochdale), Inih Effiong (now Aldershot) and Max Kretzschmar (now Wealdstone).
  • Last season saw them finish fifteenth in the league standings, recording 16 wins from their 44 games, netting 59 goals along the way, conceding 61.
  • They recorded eight wins at home and eight away.
  • Their biggest league win of last season came just three matches into their 2021/22 schedule, as they beat Torquay United 4-0 in August, while their heaviest defeat came three games from the end, going down 3-0 to King’s Lynn back in May.
  • Woking didn’t draw a match in their opening 21 National League matches last term, with Aldershot ending that record on New Year’s Day. It took a Max Kretzschmar penalty in the 95th minute too.
  • They only drew five league matches all last season.

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