Written By Mark Francis
Woking came from 3-1 down to share a point with Eastleigh in a six goal thriller at the Community Laithwaite Stadium on Saturday.
It was a game of distinctive halves, on a miserable day in the heart of Surrey. Woking reverted to a 3-5-2 formation, with Joey Jones, Ismail Yakubu and Brian Saah guarding Michael Poke in goal. But they were found out six minutes into the game when Luke Coulson tapped in from close range for his fourth goal in his last three games.
However, it was cancelled out by Matt Tubbs who scored twenty-two minutes into his Woking debut after a fine header rebounded in off the post. The former Eastleigh striker signed for the Cards in midweek, along with free agent Frankie Sutherland who was also awarded his first start.
Woking’s defensive fragilities began to show yet again when Adam Dugdale tucked in from close range to put the Spitfires back in front, before extending their advantage just before the break when their Captain Joe Partington directed a front post header beyond the reach of Michael Poke. The south-coasters were in firm control going into half time.
In the second half, Woking were much stronger and sharper than their opponents and had more of a fluency about their game. The arrival of Anthony Edgar on 57 minutes injected more pace on the flanks as Woking pushed Eastleigh onto the back foot.
And they soon got their reward through a bizarre goal which saw Delano Sam-Yorke gasp on a loose ball from a free kick, poked it home, and Ryan Clarke, the Eastleigh stopper looked as though he joined in with the Kingfield Road end spectators in simply watching the ball dribble into his near post.
The goalkeeper had somewhat lost all bearings of his goal, but made amends moments later with a stunning save from Charlie Carter’s header.
With the hosts on top, the Cards went hunting for an equaliser. Anthony Edgar was proving the difference on the near side as his cross went tantalising close to meeting the feet of one of his team mates waiting anxiously in the box.
Fabio Saraiva blazed over from distance whilst at the other end, Michael Poke kept the Cards in the game with a fine save from a deflected Adam Dawson shot.
Luke Kandi then replaced Charlie Carter in the 73rd minute, and moments later met Matt Tubbs’ fine cross from a tight angle to slot home, with ten minutes remaining. Game on.
The stage was then set for a grand stand finish, and the comeback was almost complete when Sam Yorke again went through one on one, rounded the ‘keeper, before Clarke snatched the ball back from the Woking forwards’ feet as he was about to pull the trigger on an empty net.
The final whistle blew, and the Cards were greeted to a standing ovation from all four corners of the ground.
To the 1,403 fans who showed up to cheer on the team, it felt like a win. And with a similar performance against Bromley upcoming on Tuesday night, the Cards will certainly look to propel up the table – with their current position of 20th place, really not a reflect on the team’s hard work.
Games like this really are a great advert for the league, but not so much for young aspiring defenders. Full Time from the Community Laithwaite Stadium, Woking 3 Eastleigh 3.
Radio Woking MOTM: Anthony Edgar.
Woking: Michael Poke, Joey Jones, Ismail Yakubu (Max Kretzschmar 78), Brian Saah, Dennon Lewis, Frankie Sutherland (Anthony Edgar 57), Keiran Murtagh, Charlie Carter (Luke Kandi 73), Fabio Saraiva, Delano Sam-Yorke, Matt Tubbs
Unused substitute: Brandon Hall
Goalscorers: Tubbs 23, Sam-Yorke 59, Kandi 79
Eastleigh: Ryan Clarke, Joe Partington, Michael Green, Adam Dugdale, Reda Johnson, Andy Drury, Jai Reason (Adam Dawson 70), Luke Coulson, Jason Taylor, James Constable (Jamie Cureton 70), Mikhael Mandron
Unused substitutes: David Pipe, Ryan Huddart, Ryan Bird
Goalscorers: Coulson 7, Dugdale 29, Partington 45