Spitfires held to goalless draw with Woking


Blue Square South

Report by Ray Murphy

With Shaun McAuley failing a late fitness test and Tony Taggart serving the last of his three match suspension, Eastleigh fielded the same side that had started against Dover Athletic forty eight hours earlier. If you had offered Eastleigh supporters a point from this game against third placed Woking relegated from last season’s Premier Division, Eastleigh would probably have welcomed the point.

This was an entertaining goalless draw though the game did take time to get rolling. The first chance did not arrive until the fourteenth minute when a long-range effort from Woking’s Tom Ricketts skimmed the top of the Eastleigh bar. Two minutes later Peter Adeniyi’s shot on the turn was just the wrong side of the upright.

Giuseppe Sole got in behind the Eastleigh defence on seventeen minutes but shot wide of the target with only Jason Matthews to beat. As play switched to the Eastleigh penalty area Harry Arter headed Rikki Anane’s cross wide.

There was another lull after that brief flurry of activity the next chance arriving on twenty-seven minutes when Tony Sinclair arrived unmarked in the area and his header from Moses Ademola’s cross hit the post. Matthews was quickly down to his right on thirty nine minutes to stop Brett Poate’s embarrassment of netting an own goal after the left back had cut out a cross field ball, then on the stroke of half time a weak long range effort from Arter fell nicely for Matthews.

Five minutes into the second period Thomas set up a chance for Arter but the industrious midfielders shot took a ricochet that forced Matthews into scurrying across his goal to save. Two minutes later a glancing header from Andy Forbes was just off target following an Adeniyi cross after good work in the build up between Warren Goodhind and James Taylor.

As chances became created for a few minutes, Danny Smith set up Taylor but the striker fired just over the bar which was followed by two substitutions for the home side that so very nearly changed the game. Ex Havant & Waterlooville loanee and Barnet striker Luke Medley’s first touch was to tap the ball over the line after fellow substitute Delano Sam-Yorke sped down the left flank, slipped a cross back across the face of goal and the diving Matthews allowing Medley to shoot home only to be denied by the assistants flag for being in an offside position.

Minutes later an equally strong run from Sam-Yorke again brought concern to the Eastleigh rearguard this time the speedster’s shot went across the face of goal with no one to apply a finishing touch. Forbes produced a low ground shot that was saved by Ross Worner before the tired looking striker was withdrawn.

The final two chances of the game came in the dying minute, one for both sides. First Sam-Yorke skipped past Steve Clark, another low cross eluded the diving Matthews in the six-yard area but Aaron Martin produced a stunning tackle to stop Craig Watkins from netting a winner. With the game about to be brought to an end, Clark’s left foot ball into the box from the right flank curled and wrong-footed everybody and the ball just evaded the far post.

A well earned point for Eastleigh though the home side believed they had done enough to have deserved all three points, a story which saw Eastleigh on the reversal of that forty eight hours earlier.


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