MKJ Group
7:45pm - TuesdayTue 8th MarchMar 2016
Silverlake Stadium | Att: 1630

Eastleigh
Eastleigh
2 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards face tough trip

Brian Caffarey
5:35pm, Sun 6th Mar 2016
Eastleigh v Woking
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 8 March 2016

The Cards make the potentially very difficult trip to Eastleigh on Tuesday evening, knowing that the home side will be desperate for a win to keep their flagging play-off hopes alive, whilst Garry Hill’s side cannot have had their confidence boosted by yesterday’s home defeat by Dover Athletic: the Cards’ fourth successive league loss.

WOKING

The Cards were distinctly second best to Dover in the first half yesterday and, but for some fine goalkeeping by Jake Cole and a degree of good fortune, would have gone in at half-time more than a goal down. Woking played considerably better in the second half but could not find a way to grab an equaliser. The defeat leaves Woking in 11th place in the table with 49 points.

Striker Daniel Carr, having just arrived on loan from Cambridge United, made his first appearance for the Cards. Carr played against Woking last year while on loan to Aldershot Town. Matt Butcher made his first appearance at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, but neither was able to influence the game greatly against a committed Dover side, who closed down quickly and effectively.

EASTLEIGH

The Spitfires, with their strong financial backing, came fourth last season in their first campaign in the Conference National, losing out home and away to Grimsby Town in the semi-final play-off. An unimpressive start to this campaign saw manager Richard Hill leave towards the end of September, with defender Chris Todd eventually being handed the managerial reins on a permanent basis.

The Spitfires’ 1-0 defeat of Cheltenham Town last Tuesday, courtesy of a bizarre own goal, ended a run of 10 league games without a win. But, worryingly for Eastleigh fans, this proved not to be turning point for, yesterday, they lost 2-0 at Braintree Town, who now themselves look a good bet for a play-off place – which would be a terrific achievement for a small part-time club. The defeat leaves Eastleigh in 10th place, seven points behind fifth-placed Tranmere Rovers with two games in hand.

The large, talented, Eastleigh squad is packed with well-known non-League players, including ex-Card Josh Payne and former loan favourite Yemi Odubade. The quality available to manager Chris Todd is exemplified by the fact that neither started in the Spitfires’ last two games. Ex-Barnet keeper Ross Flitney is the regular number one; at the back Todd can call on the likes of Jamie Turley (suspended for Tuesday’s game), Luke Coulson and Dan Harding; in midfield, in addition to Payne, the squad includes Jai Reason, ex-Luton star Andy Drury and Ben Strevens, although the last-named is serving out a seven-match suspension. The difference in resources is particularly telling up front where Todd can choose between Jack Midson, Matt Tubbs, Lee Cook, James Constable and Kaid Mohamed. Todd could even afford to allow Ross Lafayette to go on loan to the Shots.

A very recent addition is U19 Republic of Ireland midfielder Tom Hollander, on loan from Swansea City.

James Constable is top scorer with 17 goals. High-profile signing Matt Tubbs, lured from Portsmouth, has yet to find the net.

GETTING THERE

Silverlake Stadium
Ten Acres

Stoneham Lane

Eastleigh
Hampshire

SO50 9HT

(NB. Eastleigh used to advise not to use this postcode for Satnav purposes. Not sure if that still applies.)

Website:
www.eastleighfc.com

The Cards Trust is not running a coach to this game.

By car

Take the M3 to J13. Turn right into Leigh Road. Go on till the crossroads and turn right at lights into Passfield Avenue. Go past Fleming Park Sports Centre on right. At the roundabout take second exit; at the next take the first exit; go past Concorde Club. Take the first turning right into Stoneham Lane and the ground is 100 yards on left-hand side.

By train

The ground is about a 15/20 minute walk from both Eastleigh and Southampton Airport Parkway stations, which are on the same line and can be reached easily from Woking.

Unfortunately, though, there are engineering works on the way back, with part of the journey having to be made by bus. On the way there the following trains from Woking to Eastleigh don’t involve a change: 17.34 (arrives 18.24), 18.04 (18.54), 18.13 (18.58; arrives Southampton Airport Parkway 19.02) and, cutting it very fine, 18.35 (19.25). (There are other trains to Eastleigh and Southampton Airport Parkway which involve a change and therefore take longer.) On the way back, the journey comprises a train to Winchester, a bus from there to Basingstoke and then a train to Woking. The 22.12 from Eastleigh (22.08 from Southampton Airport Parkway) would get you to Woking at 23.33 and the 22.50 (22.46 from Southampton Airport Parkway) would see you there at 00.18.

ADMISSION PRICES

Ticket prices bought on the day are: Adults: £15, Senior Citizens: £10, Students: £10, U16s:£4, U7s: Free

Away fans are accommodated in the South Stand, entering by gates 10 and 11.

LAST TIME WE MET

Woking 1 Eastleigh 1
1 January 2015

The Cards went into this game without a win in their previous six league games, which included, most recently, a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Aldershot Town. But Woking had knocked the Spitfires out of the FA Trophy and had drawn against them, 2-2, on Boxing Day at the Silverlake Stadium.

With virtually the last kick of the game, Jack Marriott fired a hard-earned equaliser to give Woking a welcome share of the points at a chilly Kingfield. The Spitfires took the lead in the 69th minute with a header from former Card Craig McAllister. Woking improved as the second half wore on but were unable to create many clear opportunities until a clever reverse ball from Kevin Betsy set Marriott free to blast home with the four minutes of added time all but up.

Woking: Jake Cole, Adam Newton, Joe McNerney, James Clarke, Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy, Theo Lewis (Giuseppe Sole 79), Jack Marriott, Joey Jones, Dean Morgan, Chris Arthur

Unused Subs: Keiran Murtagh, John Nutter, John Goddard, Andy Little

Goal: Marriott 90+4

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Dan Spence, Michael Green, Craig Stanley (James Collins 60), James Constable, Jai Reason (Yemi Odubade 67), Craig McAllister (Stuart Fleetwood 79), Jack Midson, Ben Strevens, Will Evans, Paul Reid

Unused Subs: Lewis Noice, Chris Todd

Goal: McAllister 69

Attendance: 1,383

NEXT GAME

The Cards have another very tough trip on Saturday (12 March), when they travel to Cheltenham Town. The Cards’ home game against Grimsby Town on Saturday 19 March has been postponed because of the Mariners’ involvement in the FA Trophy semi-finals, so their next home game is against Kidderminster Harriers on Easter Saturday, 26 March. (The game against Grimsby will now take place on Tuesday 19 April.)

Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Make sure you’ve got next Thursday (10 March) in your diary, when a Celeb X1 take on a Woking Legends XI in the Knights Cup. Among those parading their skills will be Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson, Darren Anderton and Tim Buzaglo. Entrance is free for U16s.

Come on, you Cards!






Heartbreak for Cards in late loss at Eastleigh

Ian Toft
8:32am, Wed 9th Mar 2016
Eastleigh 2 Woking 1

March 8th 2016

Vanarama National League



Woking’s poor run of form continued with the cruellest of defeats at the Silverlake Stadium. Joey Jones’ accurate first half header gave the Cards great hope that their four game losing streak was coming to an end. However, a second half equaliser from Jai Reason and a last gasp injury time header from Will Evans meant that the Cards left Hampshire empty-handed.

The Cards had capitalised on the early dismissal of Spitfires’ captain Paul Reid by taking the lead midway through the first half. Joey Jones escaped his marker from a corner to accurately head low into the corner.

Despite the second half loss of Keiran Murtagh for a second bookable offence, the Cards would have hoped to hold onto their lead until Reason’s skilful equaliser levelled the scores with twenty minutes to play. Some excellent goalkeeping from Jake Cole suggested that a draw was likely until Evans snatched the winner for Eastleigh with the last play of the game.

The result sees Woking fall to 12th and they now find themselves having sustained five straight league defeats. On Saturday the team travel to league leaders Cheltenham in what appears to be one of the most difficult games of the season.

Having suffered a disappointing defeat last weekend at home to Dover, Garry Hill made two changes to his team. Godfrey Poku returned to the midfield after remaining on the bench against Dover. Giuseppe Sole resumed duties in the forward line to partner Daniel Carr, the Cambridge United loanee who had made his Cards debut on Saturday.

On a heavy damp pitch under consistent rainfall Woking, in all yellow, attacked the North End of the ground in the first half. The elements and an inconsistent pitch meant that neither side were able to create much in the early exchanges. This was not helped by a five-minute stoppage in play whilst repairs were undertaken to one of the goal frameworks just three minutes into the game.

Once the game began to settle, it was Eastleigh who would ask the first questions of their opponents. A deep ball into the Cards defensive area led to a goal mouth scramble with Cameron Norman, acting as the last defender, able to hook the ball clear.

Cole had to be at his best soon after as he spread himself brilliantly to deny James Constable after his free header from Reason’s cross looked certain to hit the net.

However, in the 18th minute the Cards were dealt an unexpected advantage when referee John Busby adjudged Spitfires captain Paul Reid worthy of a red card for an of-the-ball incident, apparently involving Mark Ricketts, whilst the Cards had been preparing to take a free kick. The resulting play from Matt Butcher was powerfully struck but flew over the centre of the crossbar.

With their numerical advantage, Woking now began to stake a presence in the game. A perfectly weighted cross from Goddard out wide fell appealingly for Carr but his effort narrowly rose over the bar.

The Cards’ good work would soon pay off. In the 25th minute, a Sole corner was hit high into the centre of the box. Clever movement by Jones enabled him to escape his marker and perfectly connect with the cross to accurately head low into the corner of the net giving the Cards a welcome lead.

As Eastleigh looked to readjust into the game, the Cards were nearly undone by fast thinking from Reason. Former Cards’ loanee Yemi Odubade was set free from a quickly taken free kick somewhat catching the Cards defence off guard. His powerful low shot took a slight deflection off Norman to slip into the side netting.

Woking also had one more chance of note to round off the first half. Keiran Murtagh clipped a well- weighted pass through the middle into the path of Carr who found himself clean through. Unfortunately, he failed to take control of the ball and it was collected by the grateful arms of Ross Flitney in the Eastleigh goal.

A needless booking for Murtagh for kicking the ball away rounded off the half.

Half-time: Eastleigh 0-1 Woking

Now attacking their own supporters in the Silverlake Stand, Woking found themselves immediately on the back foot as the home side took the initiative after the interval. It appeared evident that the Spitfires had made valuable use of the half-time break and came out looking more organised than they had ended the first half.

Reason got the better of Ricketts in a well-contested duel and was able to play in Constable through the centre. His hopes of being sent clean through were only thwarted by the linesman’s flag. It was a warning to the Cards of the pressure they would need to withstand as the half progressed.

Shortly afterwards, a Reason free kick midway into Woking’s half passed through a body of players and found its way to Evans but the defender’s headed effort rebounded off the post.

Woking’s numerical advantage disappeared in the 60th minute. A late tackle from Murtagh on the edge of his own penalty area gave referee Busby no hesitation in issuing a second yellow card. With the game now at 10 versus 10, Eastleigh pushed further forward. The resulting free kick from Reason deflected off Sole over the bar and Joe Partington then headed over from the resulting corner.

Eastleigh were not to be denied, however, and in the 68th minute a Lee Cook cross found its way through to Reason with his back to goal. Allowed the space to control the ball, he was able to lift it over his shoulder and lob over the fully stretched arms of Cole to equalise.

In the closing stages Eastleigh had plenty of possession, but with the clock running down the Cards were gaining in confidence that they could still collect a valuable point. Joe Quigley, who had earlier replaced Daniel Carr, was able to meet a Butcher corner in a dangerous position. Despite the opportunity, he could not redirect the ball towards goal.

Eastleigh made one last push for the points by sending on Jack Midson for Odubade and he immediately showed his influence by controlling a long ball from Cook and heading down for Constable. However, the ex-Oxford striker was unable to keep his shot down.

Deep into injury time, Midson again broke clear and squared for Constable, who on this occasion had time to control the ball and compose himself. His shot was powerfully hit but Cole made himself big and was able to instinctively save one-handed at point blank range for what was undoubtedly the save of the game.

Having survived a series of attacks late in the game, the Cards could be forgiven for thinking that they had earned a well-deserved point for their efforts. However, with the next, and what was to be last play of the game, it was cruelly snatched away. A long floated corner was missed by all and, escaping the pack, Evans emerged to head home at the far post.

Understandably deflated after conceding such a late goal, the Cards kicked off only for the referee to blow for full time a few short seconds later. The delight expressed by the home fans mirrored the desperate disappointment of the travelling Cards' supporters.

Woking now have four days to recover and prepare for the tough trip to Gloucestershire. They will hope to be luckier then than they were this evening.


Woking: Jake Cole, Mark Ricketts (c), Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh, Giuseppe Sole (Jake Caprice 61), John Goddard, Godfrey Poku, Daniel Carr (Joe Quigley 50), Cameron Norman, Joe Robinson, Matt Butcher



Unused subs: Alex Smith, Andrew Mills, Nick Hamann


Goal: Joey Jones (25)

Booked: Keiran Murtagh (45), John Goddard (65)

Sent Off: Keiran Murtagh (60)




Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Joe Partington, Will Evans, Paul Reid, Yemi Odubade (Jack Midson 86), Josh Payne, James Constable, Jai Reason, Lee Cook, Dan Harding, Luke Coulson



Unused subs: Michael Poke, Michael Green, Chris Todd, Tom Holland



Goals: Jai Reason (68), Will Evans (90)



Sent Off: Paul Reid (18)



My MOTM: Jake Cole – a string of incredible saves throughout the game appeared to give the Cards hope that they could take something back to Surrey. Though there was nothing he could do to prevent either goal, his confident handling and quick reflexes ensured that Woking were in the game until the very end.



Attendance: 1,630
Eastleigh LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
26Cameron Norman
27Joe Robinson
4Mark Ricketts
7Joey Jones
8Keiran Murtagh
12Godfrey Poku
28Matt Butcher
11John Goddard
23Daniel Carr ('51)
10Giuseppe Sole ('62)
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
2Jake Caprice ('62)
21Andrew Mills
20Alex Smith
19Joe Quigley ('51)

Eastleigh 2 - 1 Woking

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