PREVIEW | Woking (H)
Wealdstone v Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21st August, 3:00pm kick-off
Tickets for Saturday's opening game are priced at £15 Adults, £10 Concessions and £5 U18s and they can be purchased in advance by clicking HERE. We strongly encourage fans to buy their tickets online to avoid queues at the 'pay on the day' turnstile on matchday.
Season tickets are also available to collect on the day from the stall directly adjacent to the turnstiles closest to The Vale Social Club.
Wealdstone and Woking ended the 2020/21 National League season as opponents and begin the new 2021/22 season the same as a bumper crowd is expected at Grosvenor Vale for the season opener. The Stones won both sides' last competitive meeting 4-2 at Kingfield but both teams have seen a lot of changes in the three months that has come in between the fixtures. The visitors have now moved to a full-time model which has seen an influx of experienced former EFL players come in, they have however lost some of their part-time stars that won them promotion to the National League in 2019. Two of Woking's eleven on the final day of last season have now switched allegiances, with both Jack Cook and Charlie Cooper expected to feature against their former club for the Stones on Saturday.
WHAT WAS SAID?
Stuart Maynard: "They're a totally different side now. They've flipped their model from part-time, two evenings a week to a full-time one and have recruited very well this summer for the way Dowse (Alan Dowson) plays. I've known Dowse for many years and his sides are good, they're hard to play against, they will be physical, they will be very good on restarts which is one thing we needed to work on and have this pre-season, it's going to be a real tough test against a full-time team.
"They will be in on Monday and then for the whole week getting their work done, we'll be in on Tuesday and Thursday getting our work done, but this year we won't be using any excuses of the full-time versus part-time model. In pre-season both me and Matty (Saunders) said that pre-season was massive for us in order to get our sessions in, get our patterns of play, get the way we want to press in and out of possession and I think we have done it.
"We need a little bit of luck now with injuries, like every team does, and if we get that then we are really happy with what we have got here."
Connor Stevens is a long-term absentee for the Stones after breaking his foot in pre-season and new signing Zach Dronfield could be missing through suspension after picking up a red card in the Stones final pre-season match against Hungerford Town. Elijah Hearn and Tecane Shrowder are unavailable after joining Kings Langley on loan for the season. Ashley Charles and Danny Parish both missed a chunk of pre-season with injury but they both got a good amount of minutes in, in the Stones' final pre-season game.
Hungerford Town (H) 3-1 W (Umerah 2, Lewis) Watford U23s (H) 3-0 W (Fasanmade, Trialist, Wishart) Dorking Wanderers (A) 1-2 W (Browne, Fasanmade) Colchester United (A) 1-1 D (Umerah) Chesham United (A) 1-4 W (Fasanmade, Buse, Browne, Trialist)
Westfield (A) 0-4 W (Trialist 2, Skinner, Oakley) Hampton & Richmond Borough (A) 1-1 D (Kretzschmar) Farnborough (A) 2-1 L (Trialist) Chelsea U23s (H) 4-3 W (Diarra, Campbell, Kretzschmar, Effiong) AFC Wimbledon (H) 1-0 W (Campbell)
WHO TO WATCH FOR?
Jordan Maguire-Drew: Joined the Cards this week after spending last season in League Two at Leyton Orient and then on loan at Crawley Town. Maguire-Drew is a proven threat at National League level, winning the league with the O's back in 2019. He will be known well to Stones fans after scoring against them for Dagenham & Redbridge back in 2016/17 in the FA Cup. A very good capture for any side at this level, he will pose a serious threat not just this weekend against the Stones but across the season.
Played - 24
Won - 14
Drawn - 3
Lost - 7
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
May 2021 - Woking 2-4 Stones (Hughes, Gondoh 2, Lo-Everton) Mar 2021 - Stones 0-1 Woking May 2019 - Woking 3-2 Stones (Grant, Stevens) Jan 2019 - Woking 0-2 Stones (Allarakhia, Pratt) Aug 2018 - Stones 1-0 Woking (Lench)
SPONSORS We would like to thank our match sponsors for Saturday's game Harrow Windows and also our ball sponsors 'In Memory of Brian 'Kat' Kelly'.
There will be a minutes silence prior to the game in memory of Kat and also in memory of former Stones boss and player Eddie Presland, both of whom we sadly lost over the summer break.
Preview by Chris Woods