Woking back on Wembley Way
11:08pm, Sat 13th Dec 2014
Woking 2 Eastleigh 0
FA Trophy 1st Round
13th December 2014
Woking got back to winning ways by overcoming an Eastleigh side who themselves have been struggling in the league in the last few weeks. The Cards have previously won the FA Trophy 3 times, last reaching the final back in 2006, and ensured their place in the second round with a strong 2-0 victory at Kingfield. Jack Marriott and Josh Payne scored goals on either side of the half-time break to see their side into Monday night's draw.
Woking tried to make the most of their initial pressure, with long lofted balls into strikers Dean Morgan and Jack Marriott, whose pace troubled the Eastleigh defence throughout the game.
Marriott's first chance of the game came when Kevin Betsy picked up a free ball in the centre of the park, playing a through ball which split the centre back pair. Bursting into the box, Marriott saw his first time shot slide agonisingly wide of the goal.
Woking continued to increase the pressure on their opponents, John Nutter hounding Eastleigh's Dan Spence and winning a corner. The Spitfires cleared their lines from the resulting corner, releasing Yemi Odubade on the half-way line. The striker twisted and turned his way past Mike Cestor and was one-on-one with Ross Worner but having lifted the ball over the Woking keeper he was unlucky to see his effort bounce off the crossbar.
It was Marriott who proved the decisive difference between the sides on the half-hour mark. He burst down the wing, evading his marker to cross the ball low and hard to the edge of the box. Betsy stepped over the ball, leaving it for Josh Payne to curl his effort into the top corner of the net.
Despite Woking taking the lead, it was the visitors who looked dangerous with set pieces. One such chance came towards the end of the first half, with Eastleigh captain Will Evans ghosting in behind the defence, only to see his free header narrowly glide over the bar. Another effort came close in more dramatic style as Jack Midson steadied himself, before launching into an overhead kick, which left everyone in red and white mere spectators as the ball crashed against the woodwork.
Half-time: Woking 1 Eastleigh 0
Worner was seldom called upon throughout the game but had to be alert twice in quick succession on the hour mark, first saving a shot at point blank range, then parrying a headed effort getting down low to his left. The rebound was tapped in by Odubade, but he was adjudged to be offside.
The game was all but finished off in the final quarter, when Marriott showed the Eastleigh defence a clean set of heels, catching up with a pin-point pass from Joey Jones, to tuck the ball calmly under the keeper and into the back off the net.
Marriott continued to be a threat as he ran himself into the ground for the Woking cause. But Payne, scorer of the opening goal, was also orchestrator of most of the team's opportunities and received the sponsors' vote for 'man of the match'.
Although not Woking's best display of the season, a win is a win and if they keep notching them up, who knows, maybe a trip to Wembley beckons. We will know our second round opponents when the draw is made on Monday.
However, it will be back to league action next Saturday when the Cards take on struggling Southport at Kingfield.
Woking: Ross Warner, Adam Newton (Keiran Murtagh), Mike Cestor, Joe McNerney, James Clarke (Chris Arthur), Josh Payne, Kevin Betsy (Giuseppe Sole), John Nutter, Jack Marriott, Joey Jones, Dean Morgan
Unused Substitutes: Theo Lewis, Andy Little
Goals: Payne 30, Marriott 72
Yellow Cards: Mike Cestor, Joey Jones
Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Dan Spence, Jamie Collins (Ben Strevens), Chris Todd, Yemi Odubade, Craig Stanley, Jai Reason, Craig McAllister, Jack Midson (Michael Green), Will Evans, Hussein Heidari
Unused Substitutes: James Constable, Stuart Fleetwood, Josh Helm
Yellow Cards: Spence, Odubade
Man of the Match: Josh Payne