Lovetts
3:00pm - SaturdaySat 28th JanuaryJan 2017
Silverlake Stadium | Att: 2036

Eastleigh
Eastleigh
0 - 1

Woking
Woking

Cards hopeful of return to league action

Alan Worth
10:12am, Wed 25th Jan 2017
Eastleigh v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 28 January 2017


Woking make the short trip to Eastleigh on Saturday, weather permitting, to take on Martin Allen’s promotion-chasing side. Following last weekend’s cancelled game against Tranmere, the Cards will hopefully be able to continue their league campaign after a two-week lay off. Results last Saturday mean that the Cards find themselves in the relegation zone once more, albeit with a game in hand on their rivals. Any points gained now are vital so if you can, make the trip to the Silverlake Stadium and cheer on Garry Hill’s side.

WOKING

Garry Hill has made no secret of his desire to bring in one or two new players to strengthen the squad but finding the right players at the right price is proving difficult. The extension of Terell Thomas’ loan from Charlton until the end of the season is a very welcome boost but we must wait to see if there are any new faces named on Saturday’s team sheet.

The Cards have been without a competitive fixture for two weeks and with Gez Sole’s testimonial cancelled mid week no opportunity for a run out of any sort. Despite this Woking will need to start on the front foot and work very hard if they are to come away with anything from Eastleigh. However the manager should have the majority of his squad members available for selection.

EASTLEIGH

The ambitious Spitfires are already on their third manager of the season. A relatively poor start to the season, in particular a 2-4 home defeat at the hands of Dover Athletic, saw Chris Todd quickly relieved of the managerial reins and replaced by the vastly experienced Ronnie Moore, formerly manager of Hartlepool United but associated for many years with Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United. Moore made an excellent start to his time at the Silverlake Stadium, with the side unbeaten in his first ten games in charge. But then results dipped and Moore left the club on 30 November after only three months in charge, with the club stating that it was due to “personal circumstances over the past few weeks�.

He was quickly replaced by Martin Allen, switching from Barnet, with Allen candidly admitting that he moved because he would be better paid at Eastleigh.

The Spitfires’ squad is full of well-known players from the non-League world, including striker James Constable, who was promoted with Oxford United through the play-off final; midfielders Jai Reason, Sam Togwell and Ben Strevens; and defenders Joe Partington, Ryan Cresswell and Bondz N’Gala. Allen went back to Barnet to recruit Togwell and defender Gavin Hoyte and brought back Strevens, who had left to undertake a coaching role at Whitehawk. He has recently allowed defender David Pipe to join Newport County on loan till the end of the season and reserve keeper Ryan Huddart has returned to Arsenal. Allen has also signed 6’4� striker Darius Henderson from Mansfield Town. He has over 450 Football League appearances to his credit for a host of clubs. Finally Allen was again doing business last week with his former club – Barnet signed winger Luke Coulson with full back Luke Muggleton moving in the opposite direction.

Central defender Connor Essam had a loan spell with the Cards earlier this season before being recalled by Eastleigh to cover an injury crisis.

A player who has caught the eye this season is top scorer, French striker Mikhael Mandron, who joined from Sunderland in the summer, having had loan spells at Fleetwood Town, Shrewsbury and Hartlepool in recent seasons.

Eastleigh now sit in 12th place in the league with 41 points. They drew 1-1 away to Sutton last Saturday but their home game with Macclesfield on Tuesday was postponed due to a frozen pitch. Earlier this month the Spitfires lost 5-1 at Brentford in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup, having knocked out Swindon and FC Halifax Town in earlier rounds.

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

By coach

The Cards Trust coach leaves the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 12.30pm. The cost is £16 for members and £21 for non-members, with U16s at £8/£11 (maximum of two per paying adult). Ring (01483 772470) or email shop@wokingfc.co.uk to book your place or email a.barn1572@btinternet.com

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.

ADMISSION PRICES

Ticket prices bought on the day are: Adults: £18, Senior Citizens: £12, Students: £12, U16s: £7.50, U7s: £3

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

LAST TIME WE MET

Woking 3 Eastleigh 3
Vanarama National League
1 October 2016

Another rousing second-half performance saw the Cards claw back a valuable point after going behind in the 7th minute to a Luke Coulson goal, which Matt Tubbs, making his debut after his midweek loan signing, cancelled out with a deft header on 23 minutes. More poor defending, however, saw the Spitfires add further goals in the 29th and 45th minutes through Adam Dugdale and Joe Partington. Delano Sam-Yorke reduced the deficit in the 59th minute, with substitute Luke Kandi equalising in the 79th minute. In a thrilling finale either side could have claimed all three points but an animated Garry Hill was clearly delighted with his side’s stirring comeback.

Woking: Michael Poke, Joey Jones, Ismail Yakubu (Max Kretzschmar 78), Brian Saah, Dennon Lewis, Frankie Sutherland (Anthony Edgar 57), Keiran Murtagh, Charlie Carter (Luke Kandi 73), Fabio Saraiva, Delano Sam-Yorke, Matt Tubbs

Unused substitute: Brandon Hall

Goalscorers: Tubbs 23, Sam-Yorke 59, Kandi 79

Eastleigh: Ryan Clarke, Joe Partington, Michael Green, Adam Dugdale, Reda Johnson, Andy Drury, Jai Reason (Adam Dawson 70), Luke Coulson, Jason Taylor, James Constable (Jamie Cureton 70), Mikhael Mandron

Unused substitutes: David Pipe, Ryan Huddart, Ryan Bird

Goalscorers: Coulson 7, Dugdale 29, Partington 45

Attendance: 1403 (180 away fans)

COMING UP

The Cards are at home to Solihull Moors on Saturday 4 February.


Come on, you Cards!

Woking prevail despite the 10 men

Nathan Thomas
12:00am, Sat 28th Jan 2017
Eastleigh 0 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
28th January 2017

Woking made two changes from last time out with Charlie Carter and Macauley Bonne starting, the latter making his first appearance for the Cards following his arrival on loan from Colchester United.

The Cards came to the Silverlake knowing they would have a battle on their hands due to the Spitfires’ impressive home record.

Woking carved out the game’s first attacking move four minutes in, as Dennon Lewis was found wide right by Bonne, but his looping cross could only go out for a throw. The Cards were then awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position after Ugwu was hauled down, but Murtagh could only find the towering head of Eastleigh's centre-back N'Gala who cleared easily.

Eastleigh were then given a free-kick in a similar position in the 10th minute after Green was pulled down. Ross Stearn whipped in a decent delivery which the Cards defence dealt with; the ball eventually found former Millwall striker Darius Henderson who fired a low shot which Poke comfortably held.

The first major chance of the game fell to The Cards in the 14th minute. Busy work by Bonne led to a through ball which played Murtagh in one on one, but the Eastleigh keeper saved low down to his right.

Woking’s impressive start to the game paid off as the first goal came for Woking two minutes later; good work on the right by Lewis led to a fantastic cross by the Watford loanee. The looping ball in found Gozie Ugwu and with almost his first touch of the game, he found the net. Woking's number 9 directed a powerful header into the top left corner from the penalty spot leaving Eastleigh’s keeper Graham Stack helpless. A great start for The Cards.

Eastleigh's response was almost instant as Jai Reason's driven pass found Henderson on the edge of the box; he then drove another low effort but, on this occasion, was wide of the mark.

An injury for the Cards then came in the 24th minute as Brian Saah was forced off. Hill put on Ismail Yakubu in a like-for-like swap.

Straight after the change, a corner for The Spitfires created another opportunity for the home side. Stearns ball in was another dangerous one and found the head of centre-back Adam Dugdale, but he could only direct his glancing header wide of the left-hand post.

A long goal kick in the 28th minute then created another massive opportunity for The Cards. Ugwu sprang the offside trap and raced to the byline but his effort was inches wide of the right hand post.

Eastleigh continued to build pressure on Woking's early lead half an hour in. Ross Stearn continued to be dangerous from set-pieces with a powerful freekick being fired into the Woking wall causing an Eastleigh corner which Thomas comfortably headed away.

The first booking of the game was Woking's, with Charlie Carter hacking down an Eastleigh man 33 minutes in. Eastleigh then had another opportunity from the following free-kick which Garrett wasted.

Eastleigh then made a tactical change before half time with the young midfielder Tyler Garrett being replaced by former Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron. Eastleigh then reverted to 4-3-3 in the search for the equaliser.

Good work again from the debutant Bonne nearly doubled Woking's lead just before the break. He found himself one on one at a narrow angle with only Stack to beat but The Spitfires keeper just about dealt with his effort, although his save looked to have been trickling in.

The whistle came following an impressive first half showing from Woking, who shared the majority of possession, carved the better chances and took a deserved lead into the break.

Half-time Eastleigh 0 Woking 1

Martin Allen then made another change for the home side following the break, with Michael Green making way for Sam Muggleton.

Henderson was prevented again shortly after half-time with Woking's skipper Murtagh blocking another powerful effort from him. Stearn then tried his luck from 25 yards out with speculative effort that was always rising over Poke's goal.

A defensive mix up from The Cards then resulted in a corner for the home side 50 minutes in which was, again, dealt with comfortably by the Woking backline.

Chances were at a premium in the first 15 minutes of the half which worked to Woking's favour. The Cards produced a swift counter attack on the hour mark with the impressive Ugwu at the forefront. He barged his way down the right, eventually cutting inside to slip it in to the on-running Carter. Carter's low drive from the edge of the area was agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.

This forced The Spitfires into third and final change, with James Constable making way for the pacy winger McLeod.

Ugwu then created another wonderful opportunity for Woking to double their lead on the hour. His shot from the edge of the area was palmed away by Stack. Stack could only push his save into the path of Bonne who's rebound shot was straight into the grateful arms of The Spitfires keeper again.

Another booking came for the Cards as Dennon Lewis tripped the dangerous substitute McLeod. This gave Stearn a chance to whip in another set-piece in the 66th minute but his delivery could only find a weak header that was well over the bar.

The Cards were then dealt a killer blow with 23 minutes still to go. Having been booked two minutes before, Dennon Lewis then tripped another Eastleigh player in similar fashion. The referee had no choice but to give Lewis his marching orders- a real shame for the youngster after an impressive game.

This forced Garry Hill into his second change of the afternoon; he looked to shore up defensively, bringing off Bonne for Jake Caprice. A busy debut from Bonne who worked his socks off and worked well with Ugwu; the swap left Ugwu alone upfront for Woking.

The extra man motivated the home side for an onslaught on Woking's goal for the last twenty minutes. Jai Reason dragged a shot a whisker past The Cards goal following the sending off. A corner nearly went all the way in from Stearn, forcing Poke to tip over.

An even bigger scare came 74 minutes in; an Eastleigh header from another corner looked destined for the top corner but the Cards somehow bundled it away. It did, however, trigger large shouts of a handball on the line from the home side but the referee decided against it and awarded another corner that came to nothing; another let off for The Cards.

Yet another corner came on the 77th minute which Mandron could only head over. The pressure was certainly increasing from the home side. A Mandron knock down created another huge chance for the home side but Jai Reason’s shot was blocked.

Hill then tried to plug the Eastleigh pressure by putting on the defensively minded Kretzschmar for Charlie Carter with 10 minutes to go.

The final 10 minutes were defensively sound from Woking, limiting Eastleigh to half chances. However, the equaliser nearly came in the 89th minute as a long throw evaded everyone in the box fortunately for Woking no one in blue got a touch otherwise it was definitely 1-1.

The 4th official awarded four agonising minutes of added time during which Woking needed to stay resolute and disciplined. Bodies were thrown on the line with goal saving blocks following one after another. Another golden chance for the Spitfires was cleared off the line again two minutes from time, as the whole Woking team stayed camped in the Eastleigh box.

The final whistle finally came, rewarding Woking with 3 massive points on the road thanks to a fantastic defensive performance in the last 20 minutes with 10 men. Ugwu's bullet header in the 16th minute proved the difference between the two sides, a huge win on the road for The Cards.

Woking: Michael Poke, Dennon Lewis, Fabio Saraiva, Terell Thomas, Joey Jones, Brian Saah (Ismail Yakubu 24), Keiran Murtagh, Charlie Carter (Max Kretzschmar 81), Kane Ferdinand, Gozie Ugwu, Macaulay Bonne (Jake Caprice 69)

Subs Not Used: Brandon Hall, Connor Hall

Goal: Ugwu 16

Bookings: Carter 33, Kretzschmar 83

Sending Off: Lewis 67

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Hakeem Odoffin, Bondz N'Gala, Adam Dugdale, Michael Green (Sam Muggleton 45), Ross Stearn, Jai Reason, Sam Togwell, Tyler Garrett (Mikael Mandron 40), James Constable (Mekhi Leonard-McLeod 62), Darius Henderson

Subs Not Used: Ben Strevens, Ayo Obileye

Man of the Match: My MOTM was Gozie Ugwu; he took his goal confidently and started good counter-attacks for the visitors. Also held the ball up very well.

Attendance: 2,036

Referee: Alan Young
Eastleigh LINEUP
WOKING LINEUP
1Michael Poke
16Dennon Lewis
14Fabio Saraiva
3Terell Thomas
4Joey Jones
5Brian Saah ('25)
8Keiran Murtagh
12Charlie Carter ('80)
22Kane Ferdinand
9Gozie Ugwu
23Macauley Bonne ('70)
BENCH
18Brandon Hall
2Jake Caprice ('70)
6Ismail Yakubu ('25)
15Max Kretzschmar ('80)
25Connor Hall

Eastleigh 0 - 1 Woking (Garry Hill Interview)

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