Woking looking to rejuvenate play-off hopes at Eastleigh
6:57pm, Fri 31st Jan 2020
Eastleigh vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 1st February 2020
The Cards make the trip to Eastleigh on Saturday, looking to record an overdue win away from home, whilst also aiming to win back a place in the National Leagueâ€™s top seven.
Manager Alan Dowson and his team will be looking to recapture some of their form from the Laithwaite Community Stadium, where the Cards have won six out of their last seven games, when they travel to neighbouring Hampshire this weekend. Woking turned in an improved away performance on Tuesday evening at Ebbsfleet United, but still fell to a late 2-1 defeat after Jake Hyde had earlier given the visitors a second-half lead from the penalty spot, making it six successive away defeats in all competitions. The Cards currently sit ninth in the league table after the mid-week results, but remain outside of the play-off places on goal difference alone, whilst theyâ€™re only three points behind Bromley in fifth in a congested top-half of the table.
Itâ€™s been a challenging season for Eastleigh who, after qualifying for the play-offs last season, find themselves on the periphery of a relegation battle this time around. They are currently in 18th place with 38 points from their 31 games, four points clear of the bottom four, whilst theyâ€™re nine points adrift of the Cards. Their recent form is not good with six winless league matches dating back to late December, including four defeats at Aldershot, Hartlepool, Maidenhead and at home to Chesterfield; last time out they drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture against the Shots which took place on Tuesday night.
Please note that there is an early pitch inspection planned tomorrow morning along with the previously reported travel disruption. If the game does, hopefully, go ahead, your support will be very much appreciated by the team!
Woking Team News
Jamar Loza will be available for selection once again following his return from a two-match suspension. It will be interesting to see if Dowse slots the winger, whose loan from Chelmsford City has been extended until the end of the season, straight back into his starting line-up which has been altered from 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 diamond for the last two games â€“ removing a natural place for him. Of course, the boss could instead revert to his tried and tested 4-3-3, with the likes of Jake Hyde, Dave Tarpey, Alex Wall and Josh Neufville also competing for an attacking berth.
Eastleigh Team News
Against Aldershot, manager Ben Strevens selected Max Stryjek in goal, a Polish youth international previously a part of the Sunderland setup. In defence was Joe Partington, back with the Spitfires after two years at Bristol Rovers, Andrew Boyce, who has Football League experience for Scunthorpe and Grimsby, Rob Atkinson, a recent signing from Fulham who was previously with Basingstoke Town, and Alex Wynter, an England C international who was last with Maidstone United.
In midfield was the experienced Danny Hollands, a veteran of spells with AFC Bournemouth and Portsmouth, Cavaghn Miley, who was signed from St. Pauls in Jersey, plus Jack Payne, a summer addition from Ebbsfleet Untied who was previously with Blackpool, Peterborough and Gillingham. The forward-line consisted of former Woking striker Scott Rendell, James Alabi, best known for his goalscoring exploits at Chester but more recently of Tranmere Rovers, and recent loan signing Jake Scrimshaw, who joined from AFC Bournemouth.
Last Time Out
Woking 1-1 Eastleigh â€“ National League (26th October 2019)
This game will arguably be best remembered for the injury to Rob Atkinson which delayed the game for over a quarter of an hour â€“ thankfully the defender is now back playing for the Spitfires. Jamar Loza looked to have grabbed the winner for Woking late on, only for Rendell, as he has a habit of doing against the Cards, to strike a late equaliser.
On the Day
Fans looking to make the trip to Eastleigh should read the relevant travel advice page on our website due to the problems in the area this week. Remember to also keep an eye on the club website and/or social media platforms for any updates on the pitch which weâ€™ll bring you as soon as possible.
There is a supportersâ€™ coach running for the game which leaves from the Laithwaite Community Stadium at 12.00pm. Please arrive by 11.45pm. The price for members is Â£20 for adults and Â£15 for under-16s, and Â£25/Â£20 for non-members. Those looking to attend should contact Adam Bowyer (email@example.com) or call the club shop for more information.
Ticket prices are Â£15 for adults, Â£10 for concessions (aged 60+), Â£5 for students (aged 17-21), Â£2 for juniors (aged 12-16) and free for under-11s.
The Cards next scheduled game was due to be against Barnet on Saturday but this has now had to be rearranged due to the Beesâ€™ FA Trophy commitments. Instead, we will face Dorking Wanderers at home in the next round of the Surrey Senior Cup a week on Tuesday, with our next league game the following Saturday (15th February) away to Notts County.