12:30pm - MondayMon 28th DecemberDec 2020
The Laithwaite Community Stadium

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Cards desperate to atone for Derby Day disappointment

Glen Harrington
2:26pm, Sun 27th Dec 2020
Woking vs Eastleigh
Vanarama National League
Monday 28th December 2020

The Woking players will have less than 48 hours to recover from a deeply disappointing Boxing Day defeat at local rivals Aldershot Town, with Eastleigh the visitors for a lunchtime kick-off at the Laithwaite Community Stadium, in front of the BT Sport cameras.

It was a surreal afternoon in Hampshire on Saturday as, after dominating the opening half an hour, the Cards were undone by three goals in less than ten minutes. Whilst the opener had more than a hint of controversy, after the linesman’s offside flag was overruled by the referee in the middle, manager Alan Dowson will be furious that his players allowed two more quickfire goals to follow, whilst they were undoubtedly still stewing on the first. He will no doubt be equally disappointed that his side were only rarely able to threaten after the half-time break as the Shots secured a comfortable victory. The Cards will have a chance to reclaim the local bragging rights next Saturday, but for now, must focus on the challenge of another Hampshire-based side.

Eastleigh are currently in a somewhat misleading 14th place in the National League, two points behind the Cards, but with three games in hand – winning five and drawing three of their 11 fixtures and accumulating 18 points thus far. Their recent form is indifferent however, they’re without a win in four games in all competitions, with defeats to Maidenhead United, FC Halifax Town, and a goalless draw with Weymouth in their last three league games, as well as a 4-3 defeat at Wealdstone in the FA Trophy, in a game which they had led 3-0. Their last win came at strugglers Yeovil Town back at the start of December.

Woking – Team News

The Cards will welcome back defender Jack Cook who has now served his one-match league ban for accumulating five yellow cards. Fellow centre-back Ben Gerring and midfielder Max Kretzschmar remain suspended.

Eastleigh – The Boss

The Spitfires are managed by their former player, striker Ben Strevens. The 40-year-old, who played almost 700 professional games, predominately in League Two and the National League, also spent time with Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge, Brentford, Wycombe Wanderers and Gillingham, spent five seasons with Eastleigh, helping them earn promotion to the National League in 2014. In 2016 he combined his playing duties with the role of assistant manager, before getting the top job two years later, replacing Andy Hessenthaler. He finished seventh in his first season, losing a play-off semi-final to Salford City on penalties, before coming 16th in last year’s shortened campaign.

One to Watch

Ryan Hill, who starred against the Cards for Hampton & Richmond Borough in pre-season, is worth keeping an eye on, but their biggest threat so far this season has been striker Ben House. The former Reading academy graduate has notched six league goals so far this campaign, including braces in the wins over Torquay United and Bromley (both 2-1 wins). He was the division’s Player of the Month in October and is a Scotland Under-21 international.

Last Time Out

Eastleigh 2-0 Woking – Vanarama National League (1st February 2020)

Early goals from Jack Payne and Tyrone Barnett were enough to secure all three points for the Spitfires and condemn the Cards to a sixth straight away game without a win. The reverse fixture finished 1-1 when Jamar Loza’s goal was cancelled out by former Card Scott Rendell deep into stoppage time.

Next Up

Woking are at home once against on Saturday when Aldershot Town will be the visitors. That’s followed by a trip to Wales, to face Wrexham, the following weekend.

in association with LV BET

Cards keep Spitfires at bay in close TV encounter

William Bewsey
12:00am, Mon 28th Dec 2020
Woking 0 Eastleigh 0
Vanarama National League
28th December 2020

Two sides in and around the early play off picture met at Kingfield on a cold and wet Monday afternoon in front of the BT Sport cameras, after neither were able to secure a win on Boxing Day.

Alan Dowson made two changes from the humiliation at Aldershot Town, with Kane Ferdinand and Slavi Spasov making way for Tommy Block and Matt Jarvis, Block making his first start since an injury had kept him out of the squad. Ben Strevens made 3 changes from a disappointing home draw with Weymouth for the Spitfires, with top scorer Ben House making way for Ryan Hill, and Tom Blair and Danny Hollands replaced Joe Partington and Dan Smith.

The game failed to sustain any sort of rhythm in the opening few minutes, with Tyrone Barnett having a shot blocked in the 7th minute, before a better chance for Barnett after a quarter of an hour went to waste, as he dragged wide.

Most of the opening half an hour saw the action mostly happening in the midfield battle, with Block eager to get stuck in, as neither team could really get the ball down and play in tough winter conditions. Barnett continued to hold the ball up well and try to get the Eastleigh wingers into the action, whilst Matt Jarvis and Jamar Loza were being kept relatively quiet by the Eastleigh defence.

It was almost a goal of the season that broke the deadlock just before half time. Neat play from Tom Blair saw his cross find Danny Hollands, who acrobatically picked out Cav Miley, and his overhead kick was excellently tipped over the bar by Craig Ross in the Woking goal.

Going into half time, the Cards would’ve been frustrated with their lack of goalmouth action, but content that Eastleigh themselves were not creating many big chances.

Half—time: Woking 0 Eastleigh 0

The Cards had their best spell of the game straight after kick off for the second half, with Jamar Loza receiving the ball inside the box, his shot blocked away by the Eastleigh defence, and Ben Dempsey picked the ball up and drilled it towards goal, but Joe McDonnell was equal to it. Several corners and free kicks for Woking went unpunished, and Eastleigh also had a few set piece chances, but the Woking defence was resolute, in particular Nathan Collier.

pic: David Holmes

Kane Ferdinand replaced Dempsey just after the hour mark as the Cards looked to get the ball down and play, meanwhile Eastleigh forced another good save out of Craig Ross after a blocked shot found its way to Alex Wynter, but Ross was equal to his acrobatic effort. Slavi Spasov replaced Matt Jarvis and had Woking’s best chance of the game, a great cross from Casey met with great contact by Spasov, but his header was straight down the throat of Joe McDonnell.

Eastleigh subs, Sam Smart and Ben House looked to make an impact, and Smart fired wide towards the end of the game as Eastleigh looked to find a winner. There was a nervy moment just before injury time when Smart was bundled over inside the penalty box, but the referee was unmoved and Woking held out for a point.

An uninspiring day, but a decent point to bounce back from defeat at Aldershot, as the Cards move on to the return fixture with the Shots on January 2nd. It was pleasing to see a secure defence following the debacle on Boxing Day, with Collier and Saul Shotton both putting in good performances.

Woking: 13 Craig Ross, 3 Josh Casey, 6 Saul Shotton, 12 Nathan Collier, 16 Kyran Lofthouse, 4 Charlie Cooper, 18 Ben Dempsey (Kane Ferdinand 60’), 21 Tommy Block, 11 Matt Jarvis (Slavi Spasov 73’), 26 Jamar Loza, 25 Josh Davison

Unused subs: Dave Tarpey, Mark Smith, Tyler Reid

Eastleigh Joe McDonnell, Tom Blair (House 73’), Andrew Boyce, Alex Wynter, Michael Green, Joe Tomlinson, Jack Payne, Danny Hollands, Ryan Hill (Smart 73’), Tyrone Barnett

Unused subs: Dan Smith, Tom Bearwish, Ben Scorey

Man of the Match: Nathan Collier was excellent at centre back, putting himself in front of the ball on many occasions, and deserving of a clean sheet.
13Craig Ross
16Kyran Lofthouse
3Josh Casey
6Saul Shotton
12Nathan Collier
18Ben Dempsey ('65)
4Charlie Cooper
21Tommy Block
11Matt Jarvis ('74)
26Jamar Loza
25Josh Davison
31Mark Smith
19Tyler Reid
8Kane Ferdinand ('65)
7Dave Tarpey
14Slavi Spasov ('74)
Eastleigh LINEUP
1Joe McDonnell
24Tom Blair ('73)
6Andrew Boyce
15Alex Wynter
17Joe Tomlinson
3Michael Green
4Cav Miley
8Jack Payne
19Danny Hollands
20Ryan Hill ('73)
10Tyrone Barnett
9Dan Smith
11Sam Smart ('73)
14Tom Bearwish
16Ben Scorey
18Ben House ('73)

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