Eastleigh vs Shots – Match Preview

Eastleigh vs Aldershot Town Match Preview – Saturday 13th October 2018

The Shots head south to Eastleigh for a Hampshire Derby having never beaten the Spitfires in league competition. Can the Shots upturn of form show against managerless Eastleigh? Chris Woods previews the action.

Shots squad:
Gary Waddock will be without Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury. Karleigh Osborne, James Rowe and Matt Bozier also remain sidelined with injury and George Legg has returned to Reading after the expiry of his loan deal. Will Mannion and Shamir Fenelon both returned to the matchday squad in last week’s win over FC Halifax Town.

Name: Eastleigh FC
Founded: 1946 (as Swaythling Athletic)
Nickname: The Spitfires
Caretaker Manager: Ben Strevens
Stadium: The Silverlake Stadium
2017/18 National League Position: 14th
2018/19 Current League Position: 10th

Brief History:
Eastleigh were founded in 1946 as Swaythling Athletic and played their home games on Southampton Common before moving to Westfield in Swaythling. They moved to their current Ten Acres home in 1957 and changed their name to Eastleigh in 1980 rising from the Hampshire Leagues to the Conference South in 2005. A change of ownership of the club in 2011 helped propel the Spitfires into the National League Premier in 2014 and significant improvement has happened to the Silverlake Stadium since.

The Gaffer:
Saturday will be Caretaker boss Ben Strevens first game in charge of the Spitfires after taking over from Andy Hessenthaler who departed the club to join Dover Athletic in the week. Strevens was a prolific EFL striker known for his spells at Barnet, Dagenham & Redbridge and Gary Waddock’s Wycombe Wanderers side. He joined the Eastleigh coaching staff in 2016 as Player/Assistant Manager under Chris Todd. He then left to join Whitehawk in the National League South where he had a spell as Player/Caretaker Manager, where he had a last minute-penalty saved in one of his few games in charge. He rejoined Eastleigh in 2017, retiring from playing at the end of last season to join the coaching staff at the Spitfires.

Eastleigh lost veteran keeper Graham Stack this September after he hung up his gloves to take a coaching role at Watford. Summer departures included defenders Ayo Obileye who joined Maidenhead United and Gavin Hoyte, who joined Dagenham & Redbridge. Midfielders Sam Wood and Sam Togwell also departed, joining Bromley and Slough Town respectively.

Former Southampton-youngster Oscar Gobern returned to the South Coast after he was last at Yeovil Town, Josh Hare and Alex Wynter also joined from league rivals Maidstone United. Loan arrivals include Polish goalkeeper Max Stryjek from Sunderland and George Dowling from Bristol City, who spent last season on loan at Torquay United in this league.

Tomorrow’s game will be refereed by Carl Brook who has shown 29 yellow cards and 4 red cards in his 7 National League games this season, including one against the Shots which he gave to Sutton United’s Jamie Collins on August Bank Holiday Monday. He also sent off our very own Adam McDonnell in our 2-0 win over Bromley last season.

BBC Surrey Sport’s will again be providing live coverage of the game. Rob Worrall will be joined by a special guest from 2:50PM. You can interact with him on Twitter at @RobShot66. Tune into the BBC Sport Website or BBC Sport App for full match commentary.