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Cards hope for home comforts

Brian Caffarey - 13th August 2017

Cards hope for home comforts Woking v Eastleigh
Vanarama National League
7.45pm on Tuesday 15 August 2017

The Cards’ second home game of the campaign on Tuesday evening sees the visit of unbeaten, ambitious Eastleigh, who had a torrid time last season but who, under manager Richard Hill, will be intent on making the play-offs next spring. Anthony Limbrick will be hoping that the Cards can bounce back from a disappointing display at Barrow on Saturday. Come on down to the Laithwaite to cheer on the Cards to another home win!

WOKING

Cards fans probably didn’t expect to get much out of the two away trips to Tranmere and Barrow but will be concerned about the manner of the 3-0 loss at Barrow on Saturday when, by all accounts, the side’s display was well below par. The side needs to show again on Tuesday the verve and determination that characterised much of the opening game of the season against Gateshead. It will be tough against Eastleigh but, with only three points on the board after three games, a point at least would be helpful in avoiding a situation in which the club quickly found itself battling to get away from the bottom of the table.

EASTLEIGH

The ambitious Spitfires will be hoping they can avoid last season’s turmoil, which saw them change managers three times mid-season as they eventually slumped to 15th place in the table, having started as one of the pre-season favourites. The managerial casualties were Chris Todd, Ronnie Moore and Martin Allen. Richard Hill, who had managed the club from 2012-15, including securing promotion from the Conference South and then reaching the play-offs, returned in February 2017, initially on a caretaker basis and then permanently. Andy Hessenthaler has joined him as Assistant Manager.

The Spitfires’ (large) 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; fellow striker ex-Card Craig McAllister; midfielders Sam Togwell, Mark Yeates and Ben Strevens (who also coaches); wide men Chris Zebroski and Ross Stearn; and defenders Gavin Hoyte, Ryan Cresswell, Reda Johnson and Michael Green. Hill has two very experienced goalkeepers in Graham Stack and Ross Flitney. Recent signings include striker Ben Williamson, joining from Cambridge United, but with experience previously at Bournemouth, Port Vale and Gillingham; midfielder Cavanagh Miley from Jersey, recommended by Brian Little; young centre back Harvey Read, a former Stoke City scholar who started off at Southampton; and Sam Williams, arriving from Bournemouth for another loan spell.

Among departures were French striker Mikhael Mandron (to Colchester United), defender Connor Essam (now with Dover), keeper Ryan Clarke (now with Torquay) and striker Darius Henderson.

Eastleigh drew their opening game 0-0 at Bromley. Paul McCallum (ex-Leyton Orient) and Ben Williamson started up front, with Craig McAllister coming on as a substitute. Last Tuesday they narrowly beat Sutton United 1-0 at home, with Ben Williamson converting a rebound. On Saturday they came from behind to take a 2-1 lead against Dagenham and Redbridge, Williamson scoring both goals on the stroke of half-time, but the Daggers equalised in the second half.

ADMISSION PRICES

Adults £18
Over 65s £13
Disabled (Including carer) £13
Students (U19) £5
U16s £5

MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

Don’t forget to grab a copy of ‘Cardinals’. Tuesday’s programme includes an interview with captain, Richard Orlu.

LAST TIME OUT

Eastleigh 0 Woking 1
Vanarama National League
28 January 2017

Having defeated Torquay United on the road, the Cards looked for more away joy as they battled to continue their recovery from the Boxing Day debacle at Aldershot. They took the game impressively to Eastleigh, who were briefly under Martin Allen’s management at the time, and grabbed the lead with a bullet header from the lively Gozie Ugwu sinking a fine cross from Dennon Lewis.

There were chances for both sides in the remainder of the half, with new loan signing Macauley Bonne going close. The decisive moment in the second half came when Lewis picked up two yellow cards in the space of two minutes midway through the half. Predictably, this led to an onslaught on the Woking goal, with a combination of some brave defending and good fortune enabling the Cards to leave with three precious points.

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

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

Attendance: 2,036

COMING UP

Cards fans won’t want to miss Woking’s next home game this coming Saturday (19 August), when Leyton Orient, with Jake Caprice in their squad, are expected to bring a huge following to the Laithwaite Community Stadium for an eagerly-awaited encounter.


Come on, you Cards!


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