Eastleigh hold Woking to a draw


Blue Square Bet South

Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh returned to the scene of their disappointing FA Cup exit exactly a month earlier for this Blue Square Bet South fixture, with the hosts still in a buoyant mood from their later cup matches against Brighton & Hove Albion, the replay being just seven days earlier at the Kingfield Stadium.

There was 4193 in attendance for the Brighton fixture, the draw of Eastleigh though for a league fixture was only 654. The Woking line up was the same that had won at Dover three days earlier in an FA Trophy fixture, whilst Eastleigh had Warren Goodhind replacing Ross Bottomley at full back and Peter Adeniyi coming into the side replacing Brett Williams leaving Gillespie as the only recognised striker in the side bringing a change of system to combat the fast raiding Woking wingers and strike force prevalent in the recent cup fixture.

In a tentative start to the fixture Woking had the first chance on eleven minutes. A long ball out of defence by Joe McNerney found right-winger Moses Ademola. Ademola managed to get his cross into the area which was cleared by the head of Warren Goodhind but only to the edge of the area where Jerome Frederico, on loan from Wycombe Wanders, saw his shot deflected wide for a corner.

Woking had the better of the possession in the opening half though their accuracy in passing was not always certain. On eighteen minutes Adeniyi cut out one loose pass and fed Gillespie who laid the ball off for Goodhind on the right whose cross seemed much too high and too deep but Richard Graham managed to head the ball back from the goal line and Tony Taggart produced a left foot volley that skimmed the top of the crossbar.

On twenty-six minutes, a misplaced Anthony Riviere pass allowed Jerome Maledon to set up Ademola. Despite teasing the Eastleigh defence Ademola only managed to shoot wide of the target. Two minutes later Adam Doyle broke from the heart of his defence then threaded a pass into the path of Elvis Hammond though Gareth Barfoot was alert and off his line to smother any danger.

With thirty-one minutes played Chris Holland played a ball from defence for Riviere. Doyle seemed to be shepherding the ball out of play but Riviere, not having given up, managed to gain possession. Riviere slipped the ball to Taggart on the right hand touchline. Taggart slipped the ball in between two defenders leaving them rooted to the spot, ran into the area and from a cute angle brought a good save from Woking goalkeeper Andrew Little.

On thirty-eight minutes another spell of Woking possession prompted by midfielder Lee Sawyer saw Maledon play the ball out wide to the Woking left for full back Aswad Thomas. Thomas touched the ball past Goodhind, just enough to produce a cross into the near post for Hammond, but the ball was deflected past Barfoot by Tom Jordan to give Woking the lead. There was very little further action till the half time interval.

Eastleigh were the better side in the second period. Nine minutes into the half Goodhind's throw allowed Taggart to loop a ball up for Gillespie who headed back to Taggart with the wingers shot saved by Little. Taggart was causing Woking problems on the right flank in his best game since his return to Eastleigh. A minute later Riviere won the ball in midfield allowing Taggart another run on goal. The left footed winger cutting in from the right cut across Doyle, Doyle’s central defensive partner McNerney ran across the face of the ball and the ball ricocheted off Taggart into Gillespie to turn home his third goal in two games.

Eastleigh were in the Woking danger area straight away, Luke Byles' cross into the area saw Gillespie heading wide when well placed. On sixty-three minutes Graham's cross right through the Woking penalty area saw Jamie Slabber, only just on as a substitute, stretching and unable to get a finishing touch to the ball.

Five minutes later another Graham cross from the left found the unmarked Slabber but his shot this time was saved by the feet of the diving Little, the ball rebounding out to Taggart whose shot was blocked by Thomas. Shaun McAuley also on as a substitute was foiled by Little saving at his feet shortly after.

Woking had the better of the opening half but Eastleigh had the better of the second period, the game ending with Woking's third consecutive league draw.
Woking - 231110


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