Woking: Club history

In the 1990s and early years of this century we played Woking a lot; and for a club that tends through location to have few easy awayday trips the relative simplicity of the journey to Kingfield (currently the Laithwaite Community Stadium) made it a popular one with Yeovil fans. Despite this it never developed any sort of ‘derby’ atmosphere – in the main we seemed to like them, they seemed to like us. Lots of personnel in common both on the pitch and in the dugouts over the years helped, as probably did a mutual antipathy towards Stevenage.

Woking Football Club was founded in 1887 and played in minor local county leagues until joining the Isthmian League in 1911. And there they stayed decade after decade doing very little indeed: there was one runners-up spot; and they did win the Amateur Cup Final of 1957-58.

After all that time, 72 years on, the Cards first divisional movement was to get relegated to Isthmian Division One in 1983; and then relegated again, to Isthmian Division Two South, in 1985. It really did seem to be a case of what on earth was the point of Woking having a football team. However, although not arriving early enough to save them in 1984-85, they had appointed Geoff Chapple as manager…

Chapple took them through three promotions to reach the Conference: Isthmian Division Two South Champions in 1986-87; Division One runners-up in 1989-90; Isthmian Premier Champions in 1991-92. On the way Woking also beat West Bromwich Albion managed by Brian Talbot away 4-2 in the Third Round of the FA Cup in 1990-91. The reward was their only ever appearance in the Fourth Round to date, losing 1-0 at Goodison Park.

In the 1990s Woking were the “nearly men” of the Conference. During this period before play-offs of only one promotion spot they finished 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 5th and 3rd between 1993-94 and 1997-97, never quite able to clinch that move into the Football League. Where success did not elude them was in the FA Trophy. They went to Wembley three times in four years, winning on all three occasions: 1994 (2-1 vs Runcorn); 1995 (2-1 vs Kidderminster Harriers); and 1997 (1-0 vs Dagenham & Redbridge). Kevan Brown, who went on to become one of ours, lifted the trophy as captain for them on all three occasions.

Kevan was of course not the only person to have combined both Yeovil and Woking on their footballing CVs. This was part of a period when it has hard to decide who was whose feeder club, such was the to-ing and fro-ing between the two teams. Robbie Carroll was probably the start of it in the 1990’s when he left Yeovil for Woking, but things then got rather out of hand. Firstly, Colin Fielder and Terry Howard arrived at Huish Park, with Chapple’s No. 2, ex-Woking coach Colin Lippiatt, turning up not long afterwards as manager in 1997. Colin managed to get Kevan Brown and Steve Thompson donated to Yeovil for a combined total of £7,500 – an absolute steal.

A bit over six months later, John McGovern, the then Woking manager who had allowed us this daylight robbery, was given the boot, and who should move into the Woking hot seat but ex-Yeovil winger and assistant manager Brian McDermott. So that left the ex-Woking assistant in the Yeovil hot-seat and the ex-Yeovil assistant in the Woking hot-seat. Are you following all of this ? McDermott turned the second half of that season around but greater forces were at work. In the meantime Rob Smith passed in the direction of Woking in the summer of 1999 after an injury riddled season at Yeovil.

So far so complicated, but the ties that bind between the clubs were about to become ever more interlinked. Lippiatt resigned from the Yeovil job in autumn 1999 after refusing to go full-time at Huish Park, ex-Card Steve Thompson taking over as Glovers manager on a temporary basis. Meanwhile a dismal home record at Kingfield meant the poor start to the season went on and on and on. The unthinkable was on the cards [boom-boom! -ed] – Woking were staring relegation in the face and McDermott paid the inevitable price with his job, and it was Colin Lippiatt who turned up back at Kingfield with the brief of keeping the Cards up. Yeovil began repaying their debt to Woking – with a flow of players going the other way. The David Webb full-time revolution had begun at Huish Park and surplus to requirement players Steve Stott, Kevan Brown and Matty Hayfield all arrived at Kingfield free of charge. Woking fans (at least the ones we listened to anyway) agreed that they, together with Colin Lippiatt, were the difference between survival and the drop. To add further insult to injury after keeping them up we also gave them Jamie Pitman for nothing, and then former loan striker at Yeovil, Charlie Griffin, also signed up from Swindon Town.

The following season was a pretty nondescript one for the Cards, the mid-table mediocrity achieved by Lippiatt’s men probably acceptable to most fans after the traumas of the season before. The links between the Glovers and the Cards were strengthened yet again that summer with the signing of more Yeovil players in defenders Paul Steele and David Piper. Optimism for the 2001-02 season was high amongst supporters that Woking could really begin to push on and regain their place amongst the top sides in the league; and this was only increased when £110,000 was splashed out on ex-Yeovil legend Warren Patmore in September to end his brief and not particularly happy stay at Ru$hden & Diamonds under ex-West Bromwich Albion manager ‘No Excuses’ Brian Talbot (yes, him again). Publicly, Wazza denied it was acrimony with Talbot that contributed to his leaving Nene Park after six games, citing the travelling and his business interests. Privately, his views on Talbot weren’t flattering.

The best laid plans of mice and men… Woking’s ambitions for the season were swiftly in ruins when three midfielders were picked for the British Universities to play in the World Student Games in China. Interminable rows followed with threats of legal action from all sides, but the three left for Peking in the end anyway which meant a gaping hole in midfield had to be filled. Signings were made to cover for those missing but the damage had been done and team spirit suffered accordingly, with the Cards making a poor start to the season. Then a tribunal forced the club to take back two of the ‘China Three’ on their return to the country, leaving the Cards with a top-heavy squad with rather too many mediocre midfielders and a too large wage-bill. To make matters worse the poor results continued and attendances were dropping. Things had to change or disaster, on and off the pitch, was a very real possibility.

Enter Woking’s saviour, Chris Ingram, one of the richer individuals in the UK at the time. A Woking fan for many years, he took over behind the scenes and enticed former Woking boss and legend Geoff Chapple back to the club as manager, with Lippiatt reverting to head coach for a while before he was eventually sacked in February 2002 when Ingram took the chairmanship, Glenn Cockerill taking over Lippiatt’s position. The Cards struggled through to the end of the season, eventually doing enough to avoid relegation in 19th. Rather more importantly Ingram stabilised the financial black hole at Kingfield over the summer, covering a near £500,000 loss for the last financial year and avoiding the club going in to administration.

Chapple’s return was another example of the old adaqe “never go back” and he only lasted until October 2002, Cockerill stepping up another rung to become the manager. The club was stabilised and went full-time, but only into solid mid-table mediocrity not a return to the high-flying days of the 1990s. Patience ran out in 2007 but his replacement Frank Gray did no better the next season.

Be careful what you wish for: in the next campaign the Cards faithful could only dream of mid-table. 2008-09 saw Woking get through three managers, starting with (yet another) Yeovil connection, Kim Grant (who lasted seven games), followed by Phil Gilchrist, and finally Graham Baker, and they were relegated to Conference South. Equally unfortunately this was also the time that Ingram was deciding he’d had enough of boardroom egos, policy disagreements and back-biting and was engaged in a rather slow motion withdrawal from funding the club, saying: “I’ve got the scars on my back to show for the past 12 months and they will come in very useful in the future”. The club went back to part-time in 2010.

It took Woking three seasons to get back out of the South division, Gary Hill leading them to a failed play-off campaign in his first season as manager and then the title and automatic promotion in his second, 2012-13.

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” said someone (it was Winston Churchill) and Hill’s solid delivery of upper mid-table finishes in what was to become the National League Premier season after season wasn’t good enough so they sacked him after six and a half years, along with assistant Steve Thompson (yes, that Steve Thompson) in 2017. Anthony Limbrick was the new manager at the helm as the club again looked towards a policy of going full-time. Limbrick was sacked just eleven months into his three-year contract, leaving assistant manager Jason Goodliffe (and a 72-year-old Geoff Chapple brought back in) with five games to save the club from relegation. A 2-1 defeat by Dover Athletic on the final day of the season sent the Cards down.

Alan Dowson was the new manager for the 2018-19 season and he got them up from National League South at the first attempt with a second place finish. The 2019-20 curtailed NLP campaign saw then finish 10th on PPG and last term (with no pressure of relegation in place) they finished 20th.


Woking: We’ve Met Before

Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Woking

11/08/1979 Home Frnd W 3-1
07/12/1991 Away FAC2 L 0-3 4250
07/11/1992 Home Conf W 4-1 2911 Sanderson, Sherwood, Cooper, Spencer
30/01/1993 Away Conf D 0-0 2427
02/05/1994 Home Conf L 0-1 2208
05/05/1994 Away Conf W 2-1 1265 Wilson, Spencer
13/09/1994 Away Conf D 2-2 1550 Dobbins, Wilson
11/10/1994 Home Conf L 1-2 1601 Wilson
22/11/1997 Home Conf W 2-0 3005 Roberts, Stott
29/12/1997 Away Conf L 0-2 3429
04/08/1998 Away Frnd W 1-0 534
19/09/1998 Away Conf D 0-0 2581
01/12/1998 Away BLT L 0-3 580
16/02/1999 Home Conf L 0-1 2465
30/08/1999 Away Conf L 0-2 2340
01/05/2000 Home Conf L 0-3 2727
22/08/2000 Away Conf W 3-2 2216 Belgrave 21, Tonkin 49, Smith 65
05/09/2000 Home Conf W 1-0 2462 Steele 80
10/10/2000 Away NVT2 W 1-0 445 Patmore 61
05/09/2001 Home Conf L 1-3 3157 Alford 45
05/01/2002 Away Conf W 2-0 2615 Thompson 9, Stansfield 90
24/09/2002 Home Conf W 4-0 4003 Demba 39, McIndoe 41, Skiverton 44, Forinton 59
08/03/2003 Away Conf D 1-1 3332 Jackson 36
27/07/2005 Away Frnd W 2-0 479 Alvarez, Poole
08/10/2019 Home NLP W 3-1 3397 Murphy 12, 41, J Smith 45
25/01/2020 Away NLP L 0-1 2642
14/11/2020 Away NLP D 1-1 0 Warburton 44
13/03/2021 Home NLP W 2-1 0 Murphy 31, 59
26/10/2021 Home NLP W 2-0 2024 Wakefield 4, Knowles 47
18/12/2021 Home FAT3 W 3-1 1493 Yussuf 80, 93, Knowles 87
29/01/2022 Away NLP W 1-0 2496 Wakefield 15

Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Woking

Home Away Overall
W D L F A W D L F A W D L F A
9 0 5 26 15 7 5 5 16 18 16 5 10 42 33

Woking: Club Statistics

 

18/12/2021 Yeovil Town Away FAT3 L 1-3 1493  Campbell 22
26/12/2021 Aldershot Town Away NLP D 1-1 3699 Kretzschmar 94 (pen)
28/12/2021 Dover Athletic Home NLP W 3-2 2248 Kretzschmar 5 (pen), Effiong 34, 60
02/01/2022 Aldershot Town Home NLP L 2-3 5171 Kretzschmar 7, 71 (pen)
22/01/2022 Wealdstone Home NLP W 2-0 2667 Effiong 20, Loza 76
25/01/2022 Bromley Away NLP L 0-1 1663
29/01/2022 Yeovil Town Home NLP L 0-1 2496

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 2 Games Without A Home Win: 1
Games Without An Away Win: 4 Games Without Defeat: 0
Games Without A Home Defeat: 0 Games Without An Away Defeat: 1
Games Without A Draw: 5 Games Without A Score Draw: 5
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 39 Games Without Scoring: 2
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence: LLLWLWL
Away Results Sequence: WLDL Overall Results Sequence: LWLLLDWLWLL

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: 5171
Lowest League Attendance: 1687
Average League Attendance: 2730


Woking: Club Information

Part of Chris Lane Terrace, leading to the Leslie Gosden Stand.

The Laithwaite Community Stadium,
Kingfield,
Woking,
Surrey,
GU22 9AA
Click for map.

Telephone Number: 01483 772470
Fax: 01483 888423

Chairman: Rosemary Johnson MBE
Media Officer: Daniel O’Sullivan / Connor Laing
Fixtures Secretary: Geoff Chapple
Safety Officer: Amelia Tyson
Team Manager: Alan Dowson

Capacity: 6036
Seated: 2500
Covered Terrace: 1400
Record Attendance: 6000 v Swansea, FA Cup 1978/79; 6000 v Coventry, FA Cup 1996/97.

Home kit: red and white shirt with black trim, black shorts, black socks.
Nickname: the Cardinals… which is almost always shortened to The Cards.
Programme: £3.00

Ticketing

Tickets for the National League trip to Kingfield (currently under the name of The Laithwaite Community Stadium) on Saturday 29th January, kick-off 3.00 p.m., can be bought in advance through Woking’s on-line portal. (That said, we’ve seen no indication walk-up tickets will not be on sale on the day or that there is any match-day surcharge in place.)

Despite grandiose plans for a complete rebuild of the stadium this has yet to come to fruition and Kingfield is little changed from several decades ago. The ground is asymmetrical, with the large single tier stand holding around 2,000 seats behind one goal dominating the site. At the other end is the covered home terrace. A narrow open terrace runs the length of the pitch down one side while on the other is a mish mash of a couple of ancient little stands, some open terracing, a couple of bars, the administration block and other random bits and pieces.

This has been made a Category A game (i.e. more expensive – hurrah!), and will be segregated with Yeovil Town fans getting the Chris Lane Terrace (which is side on to the pitch and uncovered) and a section of seating behind the goal in what was always called the Leslie Gosden Stand but is now referred to as the Seymours Community LGS.
Prices are flat rate, with free movement between the away standing and seated areas, so if you want a seat (or perhaps more importantly in January some cover) it will be first come first served on arrival.
Adult: £20.00
Concession (65+): 15.00
Next Generation (aged 16-22): £12.00
Under 16: £7.00


Official Away Travel

The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Woking on Saturday, January 29th.

Details are as follows:

Members: Adults – £18, Concessions – £16
Non-Members: Adults – £20, Concessions – £18
Coach departs Huish Park: 10.30am

To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 or email him on paulhadlow@outlook.com.

If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.

You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.


Woking: Directions To The Ground

While what’s now known as Old Woking goes back centuries, Woking as it is today was basically a product of the coming of the railway in 1838. Initially a massive cemetery, central London having run out of space, it’s now commuter belt with under an hour journey in to Waterloo. The Kingfield ground, home of Woking F.C., is situated about one mile south of Woking town centre.

By Road

For Yeovil fans resident in the West Country this is an A303/M3 trip, with a Huish Park to Kingfield road distance of 110 miles. Exit the M3 at Junction 3 taking the A322 (Bagshot Road) south-east to Chobham. From Chobham the A3046 goes south into the centre of Woking. Kingfield is on the southern side of the town.

Parking

The extremely limited car parking at the stadium is for permit holders only. There’s no street parking in the immediate vicinity of the ground. The club has issued a warning that cars parking in Westfield Avenue, and owners thinking they can cunningly get away with using grass verges around the area, have been issued with parking tickets in recent times.

Woking Park/Leisure Centre has a 261 spaces car park that is free for the first three hours, then charges kick in. This is about five or six minutes walk from the stadium. Up around the railway station and the town centre the majority of council car parks are £1.50 an hour. Woking Railway Station car park (570 spaces) is a flat rate £3.50 all day on a Saturday.

The host club recommends away supporters use Heathside Car Park, which is a multi-storey with 496 spaces. Not particularly sure why, as it’s also a mile from the ground so one might as well use the railway station car park (above) which is only a short walk further away and cheaper (on a Saturday) if parking up in the town centre.

By Rail

For once, this one’s a simple train journey from Yeovil. The nearest train station is Woking, one mile from the ground, served by South Western Railway from the West Country. Journey times from Yeovil Junction are between 1 hour 51 minutes and 2 hours 5 minutes. Some services are direct, others may require a change at Salisbury or Basingstoke.

From London there are five trains an hour out of Waterloo on Saturdays with journey times of around 50 minutes to 1 hour.

[Note: South West Trains has made a massive complexity of changes to its services in a ‘temporary’ timetable that lasts from Saturday 22nd January to Saturday 14th May. You are strongly advised to check here to see how your journey plans may have been affected.]

Exit the station on the south side (away from the High Street and town centre) on to Station Approach. Go right down Station Approach and at the bottom turn left onto Guildford Road (A320) which then becomes Claremont Avenue. At the end of Claremont Avenue turn left on Kingfield Road (A247) and you’ll see the ground to your right.

By Bus

There may be others, but buses destination Guildford, either the 34 (Arriva) or the 462 and 463 (White Bus), are probably the best most direct options to get to the ground from the town centre / railway station. Board at Stops 4 or 5 (on town centre side) at the railway station, with the nearest bus stop to the stadium being Woking Leisure Centre, a few minutes walk away. Journey time is scheduled at 13 minutes.

By Taxi

There’s a taxi rank at Woking railway station. Alternatively a selection of taxi firms based in Woking can be found here.


Web Sites

Woking FC Official Site

Woking FC Official Twitter Account

Cardboard – see what they did there? – forum that’s been running almost as long as an InterWeb thingy has existed.

The Cards Trust – what it says, website of the Cards Trust.

Local Press

Woking News & Mail

Surrey Live


Woking : Food & Drink

General

Woking Railway Athletic Club

The Litten Tree used to be most Yeovil fans pub of choice on trips to Woking but no point looking for it these days – long gone and now a block of flats. In fact there’s very little in the vicinity of the ground or, indeed, much worthwhile in any of Woking. When the only public house in a town the size of Woking to get in the Good Beer Guide year after year is the local Spoons (below) one’s expectations are low. The Kingfield Arms (below) towards Old Woking is the nearest pub to the ground. Sovereigns (below), formerly The Railway Hotel which gives a clue as in which direction you’ll find it, is not itself a thrilling option but probably preferable. The Junction Tap (below) has some vague pretensions to offering craft beer, mostly from breweries that have sold out to multi-nationals.  CAMRA members should be able to get into Woking Railway Athletic Club in Goldsworth Road right outside the station (GU21 6JT) on production of a current membership card. And that’s about your lot – the rest are an execrable collection of national chains/family dining pubs of little or no discernible merit.

Club Bar

Woking’s club house is called Cardinals Bar and is situated behind the Main Stand – which isn’t the obvious main stand which is of course the Leslie Gosden, but a small tatty old thing roughly on the half way line where the directors and their cronies have the privilege of sitting. It has Sky Sports. However, when segregation is in force it is not usually open to away supporters.

Kingfield is not really designed for segregation, with the vast majority of its facilities concentrated on one side of the ground which thus become inaccessible to away fans inside the stadium. Be prepared for some limited hot dog / burger style food, a cup of tea and hardly any toilets – that’ll probably be about all there is.

Local Pubs

Herbert Wells: Wetherspoon conversion of a former Woolworths just north of Woking Railway Station so 1.1 miles from the ground. Step free access, family friendly if children are dining and an outside area to the front. Courage Best Bitter, Greene King Abbot, Hogs Back TEA and Sharp’s Doom Bar are the regulars, plus up to seven more changing ‘guest beers’ on hand pump and a larger selection of real ciders than one normally finds in Spoons. Opens 8.00 a.m. everyday, closing at midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Food served all day up to 11.00 p.m. Named after H.G. Wells, who did Earth a favour by destroying Woking nice and early in The War of the Worlds. [After events around the last YTFC visit here it’s entirely possible those identifiable as away fans will not be admitted – may depend on whether it’s the same manager in charge.]
The Herbert Wells, 51-57 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5AJ. Tel: 01483 722818. Herbert Wells.

Junction Tap: About as close as one might get to ‘Craft beer’ in Woking – so that’s not very close… think Meantime, Camden, Beavertown, possibly some Tiny Rebel. Endlessly reincarnated venue – it’s had five different make-overs and changes of name in a decade or so – this one opened 2019. Currently describing itself as a Pub & Kitchen it’s as much a Sports Bar, with both Sky and BT Sports. Has four handpumps (10% CAMRA discount) on the bar and a six font keg wall behind it. Food is in the pizza/burger/wings/wraps style, served from noon (11.00 a.m. on Saturday) up to 9.00 p.m. (children allowed until 8.00 p.m.). Disabled access. Opening hours: noon – 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday; noon – midnight Thursday; noon – 3.00 a.m. Friday; 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 a.m. Saturday. A few yards from the Spoons (above) so 1.1 miles from the stadium.
The Junction Tap, 43-47 Chertsey Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5AJ. Tel: 01483 727901. Map: Junction Tap.

Kingfield Arms: Closest pub to the stadium at half a mile (10 minutes walk), owned by Admiral Taverns. Basic wet led boozer, no food. Has Sky Sports on three screens and a beer garden. One Real Ale, Sharp’s Doom Bar. Opening hours: 11.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday; 11.00 a.m. – midnight Thursday to Saturday; noon – 10.30 p.m. Sunday.
Kingfield Arms, Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9EQ. Tel: 01483 835247. Map: Kingfield Arms.

Sovereigns: An Ember Inn. The recently introduced ‘house beer’ in Ember Inns is Twilighter, a 4.0% EIPA brewed exclusively for them by Black Sheep. Has eight hand pumps (not all usually used) in total, but don’t expect anything adventurous – something from St Austell or Hogs Back ranges most likely – including a real cider, generally Old Rosie. Keg is from multinationals, with its claim to ‘Craft’ offerings really stretching that definition to breaking point. Food is mid-range Family Pub style (and there’s a Children’s Menu) served noon – 10.00 p.m. every day (children allowed until 9.00 p.m.). Has a car park (a charge is made, refundable inside with purchases), patio area with heaters, disabled access, Sports TV. The stated opening hours on its website make no sense – why would a pub close earlier on a Friday night than Monday to Thursday? These are the suggested ones from elsewhere: 11.30 a.m. – midnight Monday to Saturday and 11.30 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. Sunday. Just south of Woking Railway Station on a route to, and 0.7 of a mile from, the stadium.
The Sovereigns, Guildford Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 7QQ. Tel: 01483 751426. Map: Sovereigns.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You: Woking fans are generally a fairly affable bunch resigned to the endless cycle of disappointments and yet more disappointments that is the lot of the Non-League football supporter. The Cards have a mascot called K.C. Kat. No, we don’t know why. Perhaps you’d like to ask them as a conversation opener.

Top-Tip: Woking’s foremost tourist attraction is Pizza Express where one can often see members of the Royal Family dining.

Other Points Of Interest: War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells was set in Horsell, a little-known reservation on the outskirts of Woking’s town centre; and that musical god in man’s form, Paul Weller comes from Stanley Road. Oh yeah, and the blonde bloke from Status Quo originally lived in Woking, but that’s getting low in the Celebrity Supporter stakes… if he even is one. Martin Tyler, however, is a life-long fan of the Cards.

[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]