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Cards grab a point in a rousing comeback

Brian Caffarey - 1st October 2016

Cards grab a point in a rousing comeback
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.

The Cards were missing Jake Caprice and Gozie Ugwu through injury, Nathan Ralph through suspension and Connor Essam as a condition of his loan from the Spitfires. The two midweek signings, Tubbs and Frankie Sutherland, both claimed starting places, with only four substitutes on the bench. Ismail Yakubu, Joey Jones and Brian Saah formed the central three at the back, while the midfield five comprised Dennon Lewis, Sutherland, Keiran Murtagh, Charlie Carter and Fabio Saraiva, with Sam-Yorke and Tubbs up front.

Eastleigh started on the front foot, aided by some loose possession from the Cards. A panicky clearance from Carter, who otherwise had a fine first half, led to an attack down Woking’s right. As the cross came over, Coulson, unmarked, arrived at the far post to slot the ball past Michael Poke to make it 0-1 with only seven minutes gone.

The Cards continued to look shaky at the back as two more crosses were fired in, one just too high for Mikhael Mandron to direct his header. But Lewis began to threaten on Woking’s right, and Saraiva, Carter and Sam-Yorke combined well, with Carter’s blocked shot falling nicely for keeper Clarke. The last-named then needed two attempts to grasp a Jones header, from a Murtagh free-kick, which hung in the air at the far post.

On 23 minutes Tubbs showed all his striking instincts to position himself cleverly between huge defenders to guide a deft header off the far post and into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

Another fine move a minute later, involving Carter and Saraiva, saw Sam-Yorke guide a cross just wide. But the Cards were soon undone by more lax defending. A free-kick was messily defended... [ Read More ]
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