Match Report | Cards in gritty win at Spitfires
9:43pm, Tue 24th Oct 2023
Eastleigh 0-1 Woking
Vanarama National League
24th October 2023
Woking travelled to an Eastleigh side who had won their last three games looking to get back on track in the league following Saturday’s devastating late defeat at Dagenham. With Tunji Akinola suspended, Darren Sarll was forced into replacing him with Zak Bradshaw in midfield, whilst Greg Taylor, Padraig Amond and Reece Grego-Cox made way for Timi Odusina, Morgan Williams and Rhys Browne, the latter making his first league start since August.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence in memory of Sir Bobby Charlton, Woking kicked off from right to left, and it was the Cards who squandered a big chance after four minutes. A Lewis Walker flick on was met by Browne, who played in Williams, but he fired narrowly across goal from a tight angle.
On 16 minutes, some superb build up play down the right-hand side saw a cross from Dan Moss nearly met by Bradshaw inside the box, with Rohan Ince and Browne heavily involved. This ignited a response from the Spitfires, and after good work down Woking’s left side saw a cross cleared, a Chris Maguire effort sailed over the bar.
Eastleigh then had a huge chance to take the lead on 29 minutes when the offside trap was broken by Enzio Boldewijn, and his cross was headed wide by Paul McCallum when he ought to have done better. Just before half time, a shot from Walker found the side netting after yet more patient Woking build up before a deserved goal for the Cards came straight after. Superb play from Browne saw him feed Dennon Lewis one on one, and he dispatched the ball into the back of the net, lifting over Joe McDonnell with composure.
Half-time: Eastleigh 0-1 Woking
Woking made an excellent start to the second half, creating their first opening inside two minutes of the restart. Good work from Williams down the right saw him cut back for Browne, and after his first attempt was blocked, his second was scuffed straight at McDonnell.
A warning was fired by the hosts on 58 minutes when substitute Luca Chalwell rounded Will Jaaskelainen but went too far and ran the ball out of play, before Boldewijn’s shot was well blocked after he danced past Josh Casey.
A few half chances to the hosts followed before good work from Browne saw him force another McDonnell save on 80 minutes, before the Eastleigh stopper made a good save to his left to deny Lewis his second of the game a few minutes later.
With eight minutes of stoppage time to survive, a free header for Scott Quigley from an Eastleigh corner went a whisker wide of the bottom corner, but that was to be that, as Woking got a huge three points at an in-form side.
This was much more like the Woking of last season, determination, quality and nouse to see it out to the end. They will hope for more success when Bromley visit the Laithwaite on Saturday.
Woking: Will Jaaskelainen, Dan Moss, Josh Casey, Scott Cuthbert, Timi Odusina, Zak Bradshaw, Morgan Williams (Amond 86’), Rohan Ince, Lewis Walker (Taylor 71’), Rhys Browne (Wakefield 82’), Dennon Lewis
Unused subs: O’Connell, Pavey
Goals: Lewis 45+1
Bookings: Cuthbert 14’, Jaaskelainen 73’, Ince 89’
Eastleigh: Joe McDonnell, Ludwig Francillette, Jake Taylor, Paul McCallum (Atangana 52’), Enzio Boldewijn, George Langston, Chris Maguire, Bailey Clements (Rutherford 81’), Corey Panter (Chalwell 55’), Scott Quigley, Jayden Harris
Unused subs: Scott, Yang
Referee: Farai Hallam
Attendance: 1944 (289 Woking fans)
Man of the Match: Morgan Williams was electric down the right hand side, giving the Cards an outlet throughout.