MATCH PREVIEW: Eastleigh FC v Aldershot Town

On Boxing Day, Aldershot Town make the short trip to the Silverlake Stadium, to take on 12th placed Eastleigh. Both sides won on Saturday – The Shots seeing off Stockport County 2-1 and the Spitfires came from behind to take all three points off Bromley at Hayes Lane.  

Shots Squad:
Shots boss Danny Searle will once again be without George Fowler who has a long-term knee injury. Jacob Berkeley Agyapong is also unlikely to be involved but otherwise, Searle has a full squad to select from.  

Name: Eastleigh FC
Founded: 1946 (as Swaythling Athletic)
Nickname: The Spitfires
Manager: Ben Strevens
Stadium: The Silverlake Stadium
2019/20 Current League Position: 12th 

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 with11 goals in all competitions to date. He has been joined at the Silverlake by experienced striker Tyrone Barnett (6 goals so far this season). Midfielder Danny Hollands has been a regular scorer too, with 7 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 Lloyd Wood. He has refereed 9 National League matches this season, showing 29 yellow cards and 2 red cards to date. Bizarrely, this will be his third Shots games this season and his fourth in charge of Eastleigh! 

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