Cards look to extend unbeaten run
9:17am, Thu 1st Dec 2011
Woking v Eastleigh
3pm on Saturday 3 December 2011
After their FA Trophy exit last weekend at Chelmsford City the Cards will be anxious to get back on the winning track on Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten league run, which has seen them win nine and draw two of their last eleven league games. Come on down to Kingfield to cheer Garry Hill’s side on to another victory!
The Cards need to keep the pressure up at the top of the table, with the likes of Welling, Dartford and Sutton looking to capitalise on any slip-ups. Garry Hill’s side have always bounced back from a defeat and they must do so again on Saturday, not least to ensure that they are in confident mood for the visit of Sutton United the following Saturday. If the Cards can win these two home games, they have, on paper at least, an easier run of fixtures over the Christmas/New Year period which would give them an excellent opportunity to open up a substantial lead over their rivals.
Adam Doyle will miss Saturday’s game through suspension but Garry Hill has plenty of options in defence, including partnering Alan Inns with Joe McNerney or Mark Ricketts. Ben Smith could make his Kingfield debut in midfield. It will be interesting to see whether Garry brings back Paris Cowan-Hall and Jay Davies after substituting them at half-time in the 1-1 home draw against Chelmsford City and then leaving them out of the FA Trophy side last Saturday.
Eastleigh lie 13th in the table with 24 points from 18 games. On their travels they’ve won three games and lost six, scoring ten goals and conceding twenty.
The Spitfires started the season poorly, losing their first three games before securing a 0-0 home draw against the Cards. This was followed by a couple of wins over Dorchester and Weston-super-Mare but September saw only one win, against Staines. There were signs of a revival of form with a surprising 3-0 home win over Welling and these have been confirmed recently, with three wins and a draw in their last four league games, with the draw comprising a fight-back with only ten men from a 2-0 deficit against Dartford. They were disappointed, though, to lose on penalties on Tuesday night to Chippenham in an FA Trophy replay.
Eastleigh have introduced a new strategy this season of employing a mix of part-time senior players and full-time younger players. The former include some familiar faces in central defender Tom Jordan, always a danger at set pieces, and two ex-Cards: Andy Forbes, playing in central defence, and top scorer Jamie Slabber. Jamie’s striking partners are the experienced Richard Gillespie, Andrew White, formerly a Reading Academy prospect, and the long-serving Jamie Brown. Slabber missed Tuesday’s game with a back injury.
In goal recently, keeping out Gareth Barfoot, has been on-loan Saints keeper Jack Dovey. At left-back Michael Green has returned to the Club after his contract at Port Vale was cancelled by mutual agreement. In midfield Graeme Montgomery is on loan from Aldershot while Chris Flood, another returnee, has now joined permanently from Dorchester. The Cards will need to be wary of the pace of former Saints’ prospect Jordace Holder-Spooner, who often comes on as a substitute.
Make sure you get a copy of Saturday’s matchday programme, which includes a look at Woking players who’ve gone on to make careers in the League and a selection of some of the best photos so far this season, plus all the usual reports and previews.
LAST TIME OUT
Eastleigh 0 Woking 0
23 August 2011
The Cards went into this game on the back of two wins and, most recently a 0-0 home draw against Boreham Wood, and came away from the Silverlake Stadium slightly disappointed to notch another goalless draw against a side which had lost its first three games.
The on-loan Mike Cestor replaced the unwell Derek Duncan at left-back and Adam Doyle returned to partner Joe McNerney in central defence. Neither side created much in the first half, with the Cards’ attempts to hit the lone Elvis Hammond up front generally being sucked up by the Spitfires’ defence.
Woking got more onto the front foot in the second half, with two of the best opportunities falling to Joe McNerney, with one chance stabbed just wide and a header hitting Elvis Hammond. The game opened up near the end, with Andy Little making a fine save from Richard Gillespie and substitute Wayne Gray seeing an effort obstructed by the luckless Hammond. Paris Cowan-Hall, a late substitute, went close but, in injury time, the Spitfires nearly snatched all three points as 16 year-old Sam Wilson escaped the Cards’ back line and fired narrowly over.
Come on, you Cards!
P.S. Don’t forget to bring along your contributions – new toys and tins and packets of food – for the Woking FC Christmas Project Appeal. There will also be a bucket collection.