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Cards aim to get back on track

Brian Caffarey - 24th December 2014

Cards aim to get back on track Eastleigh v Woking
3pm on Friday 26 December 2014

Can Garry Hill’s side, after three straight league defeats, recapture their early season form in this tough trip to Eastleigh, who have play-off ambitions of their own? At least the team will have the psychological advantage of having beaten the Spitfires recently in the FA Trophy. Make the short trip down to the Silverlake Stadium if you can to cheer on the Cards in this first ‘leg’ of their Boxing Day/New Year’s Day ‘double’.

WOKING

Garry Hill has been frank in admitting that his side have been ‘treading water’ recently, with defeats on the road at Macclesfield and Forest Green Rovers and, less forgivably, at home to Southport last weekend. The Cards have looked vulnerable at the back; the midfield has not contributed enough; and the forwards haven’t taken their chances. Several players have clearly been suffering from dips in form. Having said all that, the Cards were well on top for most of the game against Southport and would have won save for some exceptional goalkeeping and wasteful finishing.

Woking fans will be hoping that top scorer Scott Rendell will have recovered sufficiently to play some part at Eastleigh. But Garry will have to re-shuffle at the back following what looked like a serious injury to Mike Cestor, with his options being limited in the continuing absence of Mark Ricketts – even more so if James Clarke, missing against Southport, is also still unavailable.

EASTLEIGH

As expected, the Spitfires, with strong financial backing, have made an impact in the Vanarama Conference in their first season since their promotion from the Conference South. Their squad has plenty of ‘big name’ players, including a whole host of well-known non-League strikers in Stuart Fleetwood, once of Charlton Athletic and Luton Town; ex-Card Craig McAllister; Yemi Odubade; Ben Strevens, who has starred for Dagenham and Redbridge and Crawley Town; and ex-Don Jack Midson, renewing his Oxford United partnership with James Constable. In goal the Spitfires have Ross Flitney, previously with Barnet amongst other clubs, and the midfielders include Jai Reason and ex-captain of Aldershot Town, Craig Stanley.

Eastleigh currently sit in 9th position in the table with 39 points from 23 games, only three points behind Woking and with three games in hand. Last Saturday they won 4-3 at AFC Telford, ending a run of four defeats, with two goals from Constable and one each from Stanley and Midson. In the FA Cup the Spitfires beat Kidderminster away and Lincoln City at home before falling to Southport away, missing out on an away tie at Derby County.

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 Kingfield at 12.30pm. Prices are £15 for members and £20 for non-members. There were still spaces available after Saturday’s game, so you could try just turning up if you haven’t booked.

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

There are no train services on 26 December.

ADMISSION PRICES

Terracing: Adults: £12, Senior Citizens: £7.50, Students: £7.50, U16s:£4, U7s:Free
Main Stand: Adults £15, Senior Citizens £10, Students £10, U16s £5, U7s: Free

LAST TIME WE MET

Woking 2 Eastleigh 0
FA Trophy 1st Round
13 December 2014

Woking exerted early pressure in this tie but nearly fell behind to an Eastleigh breakaway when Odubade lifted the ball over Ross Worner in a one-on-one but saw it bounce off the crossbar.

The Cards took the lead on the half-hour mark when the lively Jack Marriott burst down the wing and fired over a low cross. Kevin Betsy stepped over the ball to allow Josh Payne to curl a delightful shot into the top corner.

The Spitfires pressed hard for an equaliser just before the break, with Midson seeing an effort hit the woodwork

On the hour mark Odubade had the ball in the net but was judged offside. Marriott made the game safe for Woking on 72 minutes, accelerating onto a Joey Jones through ball and tucking it away under the keeper.

Woking: Ross Worner, Adam Newton (Keiran Murtagh), Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, James Clarke (Chris Arthur), Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy (Giuseppe Sole), John Nutter, Jack Marriott, Joey Jones, Dean Morgan

Unused Substitutes: Theo Lewis, Andy Little

Goals: Josh Payne 30, Jack Marriott 72

Booked: Mike Cestor, Joey Jones

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Dan Spence, Jamie Collins (Ben Strevens), Chris Todd, Yemi Odubade, Craig Stanley, Jai Reason, Craig McAllister, Jack Midson (Michael Green), Will Evans, Hussein Heidari

Unused Substitutes: James Constable, Stuart Fleetwood, Josh Helm

Booked: Spence, Odubade

Attendance: 693

NEXT GAME

Woking fans won’t need reminding that the Cards’ next game is on Sunday 28 December when Aldershot Town come to Kingfield. Don’t forget, though, that it’s a 1pm kick-off. With a big crowd expected, it would be wise to arrive in good time.

Happy Christmas!

Come on, you Cards!






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