MATCH PREVIEW: Aldershot Town v Eastleigh FC

On New Year’s Day and in association with LV BET, Aldershot Town welcome 13th placed Eastleigh FC to the EBB Stadium.

Both sides drew on Saturday – The Shots shared the points with an impressive Barnet side. Whilst the Spitfires came from behind twice to deny in-form Boreham Wood.  

Shots Squad:
Shots boss Danny Searle will once again be without George Fowler who has a long-term knee injury. Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong has recently joined Dartford for an initial one month loan and Shamir Mullings has joined Dulwich Hamlet on similar terms. Alex Finney missed Saturday’s game with an injury but has trained this week in order to be back in contention.

Name: Eastleigh FC
Founded: 1946 (as Swaythling Athletic)
Nickname: The Spitfires
Manager: Ben Strevens
Stadium: The Silverlake Stadium
2019/20 Current League Position: 13th 

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:
Eastleigh are managed by former prolific EFL striker Ben 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 a 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 last season.  

Playing Squad:
Strevens lost some key players in the summer, notable top scorer Paul McCallum and top assister Mark Yeates.  

Former Shots striker Scott Rendell signed for the Spitfires and is their top scorer so far this season with 11 goals in all competitions to date. He has been joined at the Silverlake by experienced striker Tyrone Barnett (7 goals so far this season). Midfielder Danny Hollands has been a regular scorer too, with 8 goals to date and Marcus Barnes – another striker – on loan from Southampton – has 5 goals. Former Shots loanee Joe Partington also plays for the Spitfires. 

Saturday’s referee is Paul Howard. He has refereed 9 National League matches this season, showing 23 yellow cards and 2 red cards to date.  

There will be live BBC Surrey Sport commentary on New Year’Day, with Rob Worrall and a special guest, from 2:50pm. To interact with the commentary team, tweet @RobShot66