Baird signs a keeper

Club statement from official website - www.eastleigh-fc.co.uk

"Following the recall of David Wilkinson back to Palace, Eastleigh have signed Jason Matthews from Weymouth. The Spitfires management have admired Jason for some time and have taken this opportunity to secure his goalkeeping skills for the Club.

He has been at Weymouth for six seasons and prior to that, Jason has had spells with Taunton Town, Nuneaton Borough and Exeter City.

He rejoins his former team mate, Ashley Vickers, who also joined Eastleigh from Weymouth earlier in the week."

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- Baird brings in a keeper, by Wendy Gee

Eastleigh have brought in a second player from Weymouth to boost their Blue Square South play-off push.

Hot on the heels of central defender Ashley Vickers joining the Spitfires, they have snapped up experienced 32-year-old goalkeeper Jason Matthews ahead of tommorow’s return trip to Maidenhead United.


“We’ve been on the look-out for a keeper for next season and Jason comes with a good pedigree having played in the Conference,” said Eastleigh boss Ian Baird.

“He’s only just lost his place in the Weymouth side with John Hollins (Weymouth manager) bringing in Stephen Henderson from Bristol City and, when the opportunity popped up on Wednesday, we went for it.

“I tried to sign him when I was manager of Havant & Waterlooville and I believe Eastleigh were also interested at the time.”

Matthews, once of Salisbury City, went on to play for Exeter in the Football League and memorably replaced the injured Stuart Naylor during an FA Cup tie against Everton and, despite a barrage of attacks, managed to keep a clean sheet.

David Wilkinson, who has been on loan with the Spitfires, has returned to Crystal Palace, while Eastleigh’s former number one James Pullen is believed to be joining AFC Wimbledon on a permanent basis after a successful loan spell.

Providing Matthews passes his medical he is likely to make his debut, along with Vickers, at Maidenhead tomorrow, where Eastleigh will be looking to build on last Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Magpies – but hopefully in a less nailbiting style.

The Spitfires went 2-0 down at the Silverlake before roaring back to snatch victory through Anthony Riviere and two-goal Paul Sales.

Maidenhead’s poor home record is legendary they have one just one league game – against Dorchester Town – in 16 attempts and manager Johnson Hippolyte has tried everything to change that – including going on a bus tour of the town to recreate the atmosphere of an away game.

“We’re all aware of Maidenhead’s home record and, at some stage, they’re going to break that hoodoo. We’ve just got to make sure it’s not against us,” said Baird.

Collins suffers blow

Defender Warren Goodhind returned to training this week after groin trouble, but there is more bad news for fellow Eastleigh defender Chris Collins.

The luckless centre-back, who has only just returned from long-term injury, has torn his medial knee ligament and cartilage and will miss the rest of the campaign.

Karim El-Salahi, who played a one-off game against Maidenhead last Saturday has gone back on loan to Sutton United until the end of the season.

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