4:57pm, Wed 22nd Sep 2021
Eastleigh vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 25th September 2021
Woking will make their eagerly anticipated return to action on Saturday as they travel to Eastleigh in the club’s fifth National League game of the season.
A combination of scheduling quirks and two enforced postponements due to a positive COVID-19 test have seen the Cards play just one game since the thrilling 4-0 thrashing of last year’s runners-up, Torquay United, back on the August Bank Holiday Monday. That came against title favourites Wrexham where, despite giving a good account of themselves, Alan Dowson’s side fell to a narrow one goal defeat. The visitors were left to feel particularly aggrieved after having a late penalty shout turned down but will reflect on a failure to create many other clear-cut chances, particularly with the home side playing the last 15 minutes with ten men.
Dowse has named an unchanged team for the last three games, with a back five of Kyran Lofthouse, Josh Casey, Tom Champion, Joe McNerney, and Moussa Diarra playing in front of goalkeeper Craig Ross, a midfield duo of Rohan Ince and Solomon Nwabuokei, with Tahvon Campbell and Jordan Maguire-Drew playing wide of George Oakley. The boss has plenty of options should he wish to shake things up, including forwards Tyreke Johnson, Jamar Loza and Inih Effiong, as well as midfielders Kane Thompson-Sommers and Tarryn Allarakhia. Max Kretzschmar is still recovering after being injured in the warm-up ahead of the FC Halifax Town fixture last month.
Eastleigh have endured a challenging start to the season, taking five points from their first six games, with just one win. They started their campaign with a 2-0 home defeat by Wrexham, before a 3-0 thrashing at Bromley. They won their first point with a 3-3 draw against King’s Lynn Town, but were left disappointed not to claim all three, having led 2-0 at the break and 3-2 with five minutes to go. They were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Barnet before thrashing Dover Athletic 4-1, scoring four times in the first-half, before going down 2-0 at in form Grimsby Town last time out.
The Spitfires are in their sixth consecutive season at National League level and are looking to build on last year’s ninth place finish. They have also twice finished seventh in 2016 and 2019. A busy summer of transfers has included the signings of Bristol Rovers defenders Josh Hare and Michael Kelly, Bradford City midfielder Harry Pritchard, as well as striker Danny Whitehall from Kilmarnock – a previous scorer against the Cards for Maidenhead United. Notable departures have included Jack Payne (Crawley Town), Joe Partington (Bromley) and Adam Marriott (Barnet).
Manager Ben Strevens has been in charge since October 2018, initially taking over as caretaker following the departure of Andy Hessenthaler and has won 53 of his 131 games in charge. He previously enjoyed two spells with the club as a player, scoring 27 times in 160 games, and was part of the National League South title winning team in 2014. He previously played in the Football League for the likes of Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford, Wycombe Wanderers and Gillingham.
• Eastleigh 0-0
Woking – 10th April 2021, National League
• Woking 0-0
Eastleigh – 28th December 2020, National League
• Eastleigh 2-0
Woking – 1st February 2020, National League
• Woking 1-1
Eastleigh – 26th October 2019, National League (Loza)
• Eastleigh 2-2
Woking – 30th December 2017, National League (Carter, Effiong)
On the Day
Eastleigh’s home ground is the Silverlake Stadium. The postcode is SO50 9HT.
Tickets can be purchased online here
. The cost is £15 for adults, £10 for concessions (60 and over), £5 for students (aged 17-21) and £2 for juniors (aged 12-16). Under-11 tickets are free. Tickets can be bought on the day but are subject to a £3 premium per ticket. Away fans are housed in the Mackoy Community Stand, in blocks 1, 2, and 3, with the option of terracing along the wing. Seating is unreserved and fans can move between the two different stands.
The Cards Trust is running a coach to this game. For full details please click here