After a disappointing 3-1 loss against Hartlepool United on Saturday, Aldershot Town will be looking to bounce back against play-off hopefuls Eastleigh FC with the return of home fans at the EBB Stadium in the National League.
In association with LV Bet, Kirshon Wilkins previews the game:
Ross McCormack (Achilles), Alex Finney (hamstring op) and Josh Rees, who picked up an injury in the game against Yeovil Town. Alfy Whittingham has returned to the first-team squad and could be in contention to start against Eastleigh FC. Reece Wylie came off the bench against Hartlepool United for his first-team National League debut and could be likely to feature on the bench again.
Name: Eastleigh FC
Founded: 1946 (as Swaythling Athletic)
Nickname: The Spitfires
Opposition Manager: Ben Strevens
Stadium: The Silverlake Stadium
2019/20 National League Final Position: 17th (National League season ended in March 2020 with positions appointed on a Points-per-game system).
Current Position: 10th
Eastleigh are managed by former prolific EFL striker Strevens, who was best 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 the last minute-penalty saved in one of his few games in charge. He re-joined Eastleigh in 2017, retiring from playing at the end of last season to join the coaching staff at the Spitfires, and took over from Andy Hessenthaler in October 2018, originally as Caretaker Manager, with his first game the 2-1 defeat to Aldershot at the Silverlake Stadium.
He was given the job full-time a month later and went on to steer Eastleigh to the end of season play-offs in that first season. Last season, the Spitfires were awarded a 16th place finish with 1.24 Points Per Game and a possible play-off place could still be on the cards for his men.
4 players have left the Silverlake Stadium to move onto pastures new. Jack McKnight (Slough Town), Max Stryjek (Livingston FC), Lewis Waterfield (AFC Totton) found new clubs. Former Aldershot Town striker Scott Rendell joined Maidstone United.
15 players have been retained from their campaign last season. Players include Lewis Beale, Joe Partington, Michael Green, Cau Miley, Andrew Boyce, Jack Payne, Tyrone Barnett, Sam Smart, Callum Baughan, Ross Flitney, Tom Bearwish, Alex Wynter, Ben Scorey, Danny Hollands and Lewis Beale staying at the Silverlake Stadium.
9 players have joined the Spitfires this season. Players include Dan Smith (Bognor Regis Town FC), Abdulai Bell-Baggie (Weymouth FC), Pierce Bird (Notts County), Joe Tomlinson (Hungerford Town), Ben House (Reading FC), Joe McDonnell (Notts County), Ryan Hill (Hampton & Richmond), Tom Blair (Dorchester Town) and Adam Marriott (King’s Lynn Town).
Eastleigh have won four out of their last five games and will come into this game full of confidence after comfortably dispatching Barnet FC on the weekend. The Spitfires currently sit in 10th, only four points outside of a potential play-off place and they may have to win every game until the end of the season to achieve that goal.
Tomorrow’s referee is Robert Whitton with his assistants Karl Sear and Jack Fagg and the fourth official officiating the game is Mark Stevens.
The match will be live-streamed and available on Shots TV Live, presented by Mark Butler along with Special Guests Scott Rendell and Nick Arnold! The show will be starting at 6:30pm HERE. There will also be an interview with the Aldershot Town coaching staff and Eastleigh’s Sam Smart alongside live BBC Surrey Sport Commentary from Rob Worrall, with guest summariser Steve Gibbs.