RAMS FM
5:30pm - SaturdaySat 30th AprilApr 2016
The Laithwaite Community Stadium

Woking
Woking
2 - 1

Eastleigh
Eastleigh

Cards target rousing finish

Brian Caffarey
6:52am, Thu 28th Apr 2016
Woking v Eastleigh
Vanarama National League
5.30pm on Saturday 30 April 2016

An exciting finale to the season is in prospect on Saturday when the Spitfires come to the Laithwaite Community Stadium needing three points to have any chance of making the play-offs. The Cards will be equally keen to end the season on a high. Make sure you’re there for the last game of the campaign – but don’t forget that it’s a 5.30pm kick-off, with the ground and bars open from 3pm.

Woking FC are very grateful to Peacock Construction for sponsoring Saturday’s game.

WOKING

Slowly but surely the Cards seem to have managed in the last half a dozen games or so to pull themselves out of the poor form which had engulfed them since mid-January. The 3-2 away win at Lincoln City last Saturday was the second in succession on the road and the fifth game in the last seven in which Garry Hill’s side have managed at least a point.

Not for the first time this season the win had a lot to do with the excellence of two players: Jake Cole, whose tremendous goalkeeping has kept the Cards in games they would otherwise have lost, and John Goddard, who came off the bench for his first appearance following his hamstring injury to score a late, superbly-taken, winner. With Goddard seeming certain to join a League club in the summer, Cards fans will be hoping that he will be able to give them a send-off to remember on Saturday.

EASTLEIGH

The Spitfires come to the Laithwaite on Saturday in 7th position with 75 points, behind sixth-placed Tranmere Rovers on a goal difference. But, even more crucially, they are three points behind fifth-placed Braintree Town. The Iron, who are at home to Altrincham, therefore need only a point to make sure of the final play-off place, whilst both Tranmere, who are home to Grimsby Town, and Eastleigh must win to have any chance of grabbing that final berth. However, if the Iron were to lose, it could all come down to goal difference. At present they have a goal difference of 15, whilst Tranmere’s is 16 and Eastleigh’s only 12.

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 decide to stand down towards the end of September, with defender Chris Todd eventually being handed the managerial reins on a permanent basis.

Results subsequently were rather inconsistent and perhaps affected by Eastleigh’s fine FA Cup run, which saw them eventually go out away to Bolton 3-2 in a 2nd round replay. February, with four straight league defeats, was a particularly bad period. There was a marked turnaround in March with five wins, one draw and one defeat (away to Braintree Town). But the Spitfires have dropped crucial points this month, including a (probably fatal) 1-0 home defeat by Tranmere last Saturday, which has handed the driving seat to Braintree.

The large, talented, Eastleigh squad is packed with well-known non-League players, including ex-Card Josh Payne and former loan favourite Yemi Odubade. Ex-Barnet keeper Ross Flitney is the regular number one; at the back Todd can call on the likes of Jamie Turley, Luke Coulson, Paul Reid, Will Evans and Dan Harding; in midfield, in addition to Payne, the squad includes Jai Reason, ex-Luton star Andy Drury and Ben Strevens. 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. Constable is top scorer with 18 goals in all competitions but he has recently had an operation for appendicitis and will miss this match.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults - £18
Over 65s, Students with NUS card, forces personnel and MOD civilian staff with recognised ID - £13
U16s - £5

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Another packed, full colour, 64-page matchday programme includes an end-of-season interview with Garry Hill; some reflections by captain Mark Ricketts; a fan’s eye view of the season from Glen Harrington; and a centre-piece re arguably Woking’s greatest-ever player, Evelyn Lintott. In addition, there’s a summary of recent league results; and news from the Club Board and the Cards Trust, plus match previews, reports and the usual superb match action photos. Even if you don’t normally buy a programme, how about getting the last one of the season as a useful reference point in seasons to come? Great value at only £3.

BOOST THE BUDGET

There will be a ‘Boost the Budget’ bucket collection. Please give what you can to give the playing budget an extra boost for next season.

LAST TIME WE MET

Eastleigh 2 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
8 March 2016

Woking’s poor run of form continued with a cruel defeat at the Silverlake Stadium. Joey Jones’s 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. 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.

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)

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)



Come on, you Cards!

P.S. Don’t forget to pick up your season ticket application form for the 2016-17 campaign and take advantage of the ‘early bird’ savings.

Cards end season on a high

Ben Mitchell
9:09am, Sun 1st May 2016
Woking 2 Eastleigh 1
Vanarama National League
Saturday 30th April 2016

Today's game heralded the completion of another long season and Woking were determined to end it on a high.

Two goals from Keiran Murtagh and John Goddard in as many minutes in the first half sealed a well deserved win for the Cards, mathematically ending Eastleigh's slim chance of qualifying for this year's play-offs.

Matt Tubbs' deflected goal from former Woking player Josh Payne's 35-yard volley did give Eastleigh hope late on, but they were unable to create any further clear-cut opportunities to claim an unlikely point.

The first half had no hint of an end of season dead rubber with the away side pressing hard to try and grab a quick goal to put the pressure on their promotion rivals, and within the first five minutes Eastleigh fans thought they had taken the lead. A sharp cross from the left hand side was only partially cleared by the fist of Woking 'keeper Jake Cole and was soon lofted back into the 6-yard box. After a short goalmouth scramble Eastleigh's Jai Reason wheeled away in celebration having stabbed the ball into the back of the net, only for the linesman to signal that he had been offside.

That touch of good fortune appeared to light a fire under the home side, who were soon on the attack with increasing regularity down the wings with Chris Arthur and Bruno Andrade using their pace to good effect.

Soon it was Woking who took the advantage when a break from Arthur culminated in a low whipped cross into the box. The ball evaded the onrushing Giuseppe Sole but Eastleigh goalkeeper Ross Flitney was unable to gather cleanly and Murtagh was on hand to gleefully smash the ball into the net from close range for the opening goal.

The Eastleigh team had barely processed the enormity of the task facing them when the Cards struck again. An Eastleigh penalty claim was waved away by referee Wayne Barratt and the home side swiftly set up a counterattack. A long ball was sent through to Andrade who was clear through on goal when he appeared to be impeded by the last man in Eastleigh's defence. Woking played on, however, and Matt Robinson took one touch to control the loose ball, looked up and curled a cross round the back of the rapidly back-pedalling Eastleigh defence for Goddard to side foot home at the back post from 8 yards to extend his side's lead with only 15 minutes played.

It was indeed the two goal scorers who now began to take the game by the scruff of the neck as they controlled play in the midfield area.

Murtagh seemed to be displaying an array of tricks and skills to evade defenders, one saw him run the ball through his legs and with his back to goal slip a pass between two players into the path of Sole, who brought a sharp stop from Flitney.

The visitors were unable to create more than a handful of opportunities in the first half, the best of which came from Ross Lafayette's bobbling attempt from outside the box which was smothered well by Cole diving low to his left.

Half-time: Woking 2 Eastleigh 0

With the visitors now needing to score five times to have any hope of play-off qualification, you would have expected them to come out of the tunnel with all guns blazing.

Instead, it was the home team who continued their fine work from the first half with Sole and Murtagh combining well with a one-two which cut open the Eastleigh defence only for the sliding intervention of Paul Reid to prevent a third Woking goal.

Sole did find the back of the net shortly afterwards only to be denied by an offside flag before the visitors finally sparked into life, albeit by using route-one tactics as they began lofting balls into the Woking 6-yard box forcing several corners and half-chances. The closest they came to reducing the arrears, however, was a diving header from Tubbs, which he could only glance wide of goal.

Eventually, Eastleigh did get themselves back into the game with a quarter of an hour remaining - and a fortunate goal it was too. Payne stunned a fizzing, long-distance volley into a crowded penalty area which ricocheted off Tubbs and slowly bounced past a despairing Cole into the Woking net.

With 15 minutes to go until the full-time whistle, neither side really looked as if they were going to capitalise on any of the slim chances they were managing to create for themselves, with the ball being raced from one box to the other like a pendulum.

Aside from a late goal line scramble where three Woking defenders seemed unsure which of them wanted to launch the ball to safety first, the game was comfortably and deservedly won by the home side.

Garry Hill had spoken mid-week of his hopes that the Cards would be able to finish in the top half of the table, and indeed they did just that, ending the campaign in 12th place courtesy of this victory and defeats for Bromley and Lincoln City.


Woking: Jake Cole, Jake Caprice, Chris Arthur, Mark Ricketts (c), Brian Saah, Joey Jones, Keiran Murtagh, Giuseppe Sole (Daniel Carr 76), John Goddard (Godfrey Poku 87), Mathew Robinson, Bruno Andrade (Cameron Norman 80)

Unused subs: Nick Hamann, Alex Smith

Yellow card: Keiran Murtagh 77

Goals: Keiran Murtagh 13, John Goddard 15

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Joe Partington, Michael Green, Will Evans, Paul Reid (Lee Cook 46), Yemi Odubade, Josh Payne, Jai Reason, Ross Lafayette, Matt Tubbs, Matthias Fanimo (Jack Midson 58)

Unused Subs: Ben Strevens, Michael Poke, Dan Harding

Yellow card: Lee Cook 72

Goal: Matt Tubbs 74

MOTM as nominated by match sponsor Peacock Build and Maintenance: Giuseppe Sole (pictured)

Attendance: 1,853
WOKING LINEUP
1Jake Cole
2Jake Caprice
3Chris Arthur
5Brian Saah
7Joey Jones
4Mark Ricketts
14Matt Robinson
8Keiran Murtagh
15Bruno Andrade ('80)
11John Goddard ('87)
10Giuseppe Sole ('76)
BENCH
18Nick Hamann
26Cameron Norman ('80)
12Godfrey Poku ('87)
20Alex Smith
23Daniel Carr ('76)
Eastleigh LINEUP

Woking 2 - 1 Eastleigh (Garry Hill Interview)

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