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Cards aiming to strike back and end winless run

Glen Harrington - 24th October 2019

Cards aiming to strike back and end winless run Woking vs Eastleigh
Vanarama National League
Saturday 26th October 2019


The Cards will hope to finally break an 11-game winless run on Saturday when they take on Eastleigh at the Laithwaite Community Stadium – as the club looks to record a first win in any competition since August.

It’s been a challenging couple of months for Alan Dowson’s side who, after winning seven of their first eight games, have subsequently drawn seven and lost four, including Tuesday’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay against Ebbsfleet United, which was decided by Alex Reid’s first-half header. Despite the obvious slump, the Cards remain in a good position, and one few would have expected at the start of the season – sitting seventh in the league, in the play-off places, and remarkably still just five points off the top of the league. Importantly, games have at least remained competitive, with only one defeat by more than a single goal all season. Dowse will know that one strong performance or one slice of luck, something which certainly deserted his team in their last league outing (the 2-2 draw with Barnet), could be the catalyst for another upswing in fortunes. He’ll be hoping that starts in the final two October fixtures – against Eastleigh this weekend and at home to Notts County on Tuesday.

This is Eastleigh’s sixth season in the National League following promotion from the sixth tier in 2014. After reaching a play-off semi-final in their debut season, recent years have been more challenging, with 7th, 15th and 14th placed finishes coming before a return to the play-offs last season, when they were beaten on penalties by eventual Wembley winners Salford City in another semi-final. Managed by former player Ben Strevens, who took over when Andy Hessenthaler left for Dover Athletic last October, the Spitfires also lost top scorer Paul McCallum to Solihull Moors over the summer and have taken time to adjust to life without their talisman. Their season does seem to have found a new gear in recent weeks however, with a seven-game unbeaten run stretching back to mid-September, including a 4-2 win over Welling United in the FA Cup on Tuesday. They currently sit in 13th place, three points behind Woking in a congested mid-table, with six wins, six draws and five defeats from their 17 games so far.

The team would really appreciate your continued support as they look to break out of this bad run and return to winning ways. Please come along if you can and cheer them on!

Woking Team News

Dowse has continued to rotate his squad in recent weeks as he searches for a winning formula. The boss has used 18 players during the first five games in October with only Craig Ross, Josh Casey, Kane Ferdinand and Dave Tarpey starting all five of them.

Those four places seem assured but the other seven are still very much up for grabs. In defence, Jack Cook and Nathan Collier continue to rival each other for the right-back spot, with two of Ben Gerring, Manny Parry and Moussa Diarra – who has missed the last four games – vying for the central positions. In midfield, Mark Shelton, Toby Edser, Shaun Donnellan and Godfrey Poku are seemingly playing for two places. Whilst up front, Jake Hyde, Ibrahim Meite, Paul Hodges, Max Kretzschmar and Jamar Loza will all be hoping for a start alongside Tarpey. Naturally, you’d also expect Dowse to remain on the lookout for potential new recruits, so this picture could change again come Saturday.

Eastleigh Team News

The Spitfires last league outing was a goalless draw at home to Chorley. The starting line-up included Polish goalkeeper Max Stryjek, signed from Sunderland in the summer following a loan spell last season; in defence was Joe Partington, in his second spell with the club after re-joining from Bristol Rovers, the long-serving Mike Green, who is approaching a decade with the club after joining from Port Vale in 2011, Robert Atkinson, formerly part of Fulham’s youth team setup, plus Andrew Boyce who has Football League experience with Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

In midfield was Jack Payne, formerly of Gillingham, Peterborough and Blackpool, who recently moved from Ebbsfleet, Sam Smart, who has impressed at Basingstoke Town over the last couple of seasons, Cavaghn Miley, who joined the club from Jersey, and the experienced Danny Hollands, who started his career at Chelsea before time at Bournemouth, Charlton, Portsmouth and Crewe. Up front was Marcus Barnes, on loan from Southampton, and Tyrone Barnett, a recent addition from Cheltenham.

There is one former Woking player in the Eastleigh squad, striker Scott Rendell, who has predominately been used as an impact substitute so far this season. He scored 36 goals in 63 games for the Cards between 2013 and 2016 before joining neighbours Aldershot.

Admission Prices

• Adults £18
• Over 65s £13
• Disabled (Including carer) £13
• Students (Under 19) £5
• U16s £5

Tickets are available on the turnstiles or in advance online. Remember, our matchday programme will also be on sale for £3. Don’t forget to grab your copy on the way in! You’ll then be able to visit the club shop for more great offers.

Next Up

The Cards are at home again on Tuesday against Notts County. In November we start away at Stockport County followed by another home match against current league leaders FC Halifax Town.
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