Silverlake Stadium Founded 1946 The Spitfires

It wasn’t until eleven years ago that Eastleigh stepped out of the local Wessex League as champions and into the Southern League East division. A rapid leap to the Conference South with consecutive promotions led to nine campaigns at the second tier of non league. The Spitfires were never troubled in the Conference South often finishing mid table or in and around the playoffs, twice reaching the semi finals. Based in Hampshire, the club have been backed by Stewart Donald whose investment has been crucial to recent success, Eastleigh aim to be competitive in their first ever season in the Conference Premier and create more club history.

eastleighLast Season

Conference South: 1st

F.A Cup: 3rd Qualifying Round

F.A Trophy: Quarter Final

County Cup: 2nd Round

Top Scorer: Craig McAllister

Average Attendance: 680

The foundations of their Championship winning campaign laid at the Silverlake Stadium with the exception of two draws and defeats, Eastleigh won all the rest. From the last game in 2013 to the last match of the season the Spitfires won all eleven fixtures at home. A winning margin of five points would have been greater had they not lost the final two matches but the title was sealed by then. An unbeaten run of twelve when it mattered towards the end of the season ensured the Spitfires won promotion to the Conference Premier. After the fifth match the Hampshire side never fell out of the top two and with the likes of Craig McAllister, Jai Reason and Ben Wright all scoring over ten goals they had match winners. At the other end of the pitch they kept fifteen clean sheets and boasted the third best defence in the Conference South.

The Manager – Richard Hill

Although Eastleigh’s boss hasn’t much experience as a number one he has built up plenty of knowledge from various roles in football. The former Northampton Town midfielder managed Stevenage Borough in the Conference Premier between 1998 and 2000. Returning to management two years ago, Hill has filled the void by being number two in command. Assistant manager under John Gregory at Wycome Wanderers and Queens Park Rangers, Brain Little at Aston Villa, Martin Wilkinson at Northampton Town and former Dartford midfielder Andy Hessenthaler at Gillingham, Hill has also been a coach, a scout and a technical advisor to Ethopian national team. A spell out in the Kazakhstan Premier League with FC Kairat in another assistant role was the last job until his appointment at Eastleigh. Whilst at the Silverlake Stadium, Hill took the Hampshire side to the playoff semi final losing on penalties and last term went one step further with the Conference South title.

The Summer

Richard Hill made an early statement in the summer making two high profile signings. On a two ear contract James Constable returns to the Conference Premier where his playoff goal in 2010 helped Oxford United into the Football League. The striker scored 106 times for the U’s, one short of the clubs 40 year old scoring record. Added to the strikeforce, Jack Midson finished top scorer in the League Two in 2011/12 with AFC Wimbledon, the 30 year old has also played for Oxford United. Eastleigh have taken defender Paul Reid on a free transfer after being released from Northampton Town. Craig Stanley was with Aldershot Town last season and makes the short journey to his new club Eastleigh, Stanley has also appeared for Walsall, Hereford United, Torquay United, Bristol Rovers and Morecambe. Striker Ben Wright has goalscoring credentials in the Conference South and after a spell at Salisbury City he is back playing in this terms Conference Premier.

Club captain Glen Southam left the Silverlake Stadium due to personal reasons but soon found his way to Essex, the 34 year old has joined Chelmsford City in the Conference South. Defender Chris Dillon and assistant manager Guy Butters have left the club.

Last Meetings vs The Darts

Dartford 3 Eastleigh 0 – Conference South– 10 December 2011

Dartford’s poor record against the Spitfires was improved with a three goal victory. Charlie Sheringham finished off a counter attacking team move mid way through the first half. The striker added a second with twenty minutes remaining. To rub salt into the wound the visitors conceded a third when Henrik Breimyr turned the ball into his own net.

Eastleigh 2 Dartford 2 – Conference South– 19 November 2011

Going through a patchy spell in the Conference South Dartford were pegged back by ten men Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium. The Darts thought they would return home with all three points when Adam Green scored from the spot and Jon Wallis made it 2-0. In between the goals Ian Herring was dismissed for the hosts making Eastleigh’s task harder. However, the Spitfires hit back and salvaged a draw thanks to Danny Smith’s and  Tom Jordan’s goals.

Next Meetings

Tuesday 9 September 2014 at Princes Park

Tuesday 2 December 2014 at the Silverlake Stadium

League Performance Last Ten Years

eastleigh last 10 yrs

Best Performances

1st Conference South (2013/14) F.A Cup 1st Round (2009/10) F.A Trophy Quarter Final (2013/14)

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