Showing posts from January, 2011

Thurrock halt Eastleigh's unbeaten run

Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy
With Gareth Barfoot, Warren Goodhind and Luke Byles on the injury list for this match at Thurrock, it meant a recall for goalkeeper Jason Matthews for his first league start since mid November, Danny Smith being retained at right back and the versatile Ross Bottomley filling in, in the left back role. Returning new signing Neil Sharp took his place on the bench along with the recalled Fred Toomer from Romsey Town. Brett Poate was also declared fit to join the substitutes.

Despite hovering in the lower section of the league table, Thurrock were themselves on a good run of form which had seen their new manager Grant Gordon on a run prior to the fixture - of four matches unbeaten; (three of which were victories that had seen good results against promotion play off hopefuls Ebbsfleet United and Welling United).

Eastleigh were off to a good start and were ahead after only eleven minutes. Tony Taggart'…

February Fixture List

Neil Sharp makes Eastleigh return

IAN Baird has turned to a tried and trusted player to bolster Eastleigh's squad for the Blue Square Bet South promotion run-in.

Central defender Neil Sharp is back for a third spell with the Spitfires after the briefest of stays at Bromley.

Sharp formerly of Swansea City and Woking, played for Baird at Havant & Watelooville and the pair were reunited at Eastleigh two seasons ago.

But Sharp, 33, made just nine appearances for the Spitfires before being diagnosed with cancer and spent 13 months out of the game.

He bravely fought the illness and returned to the Silverlake Stadium toasted the end of last season, playing twice before picking up a hamstring injury.

Hemel-Hempstead based Sharp began this season with Chesham and joined Bromley in December. But his Hayes Lane stay lasted barely a month as he became a victim of the alleged in-fighting that led to Mark Goldberg quitting as manager.

Explaining his decision to call on Sharp's services again, Baird said: "He can pl…

'Rich' pickings for Eastleigh

By Wendy Gee -
Eastleigh are bang on course for the Blue Square Bet South play-offs after notching up a sixth straight league win at St Albans City last night.

Ian Baird’s on-song Spitfires came away 1-0 winners from Clarence Park thanks to a 41st- minute Richard Graham strike.

They are now sixth in the table, level on 40 points with fifth-placed Welling.

Unlike Saturday’s more extravagant finish against Dorchester, last night’s winner was more of a routine tap-in for Eastleigh wideman Graham.

Tony Taggart burst down the right and cut the ball across the face of goal for Graham to bury at the far post.

“It was a battle,” admitted Spitfires boss Ian Baird.

“We were the better side in the first half, but we didn’t play that well in the second half.”

There were, however, mitigating circumstances for Eastleigh who lost goalkeeper Gareth Barfoot to a groin injury midway through the first half and then had Luke Byles retire at half-time with the recurrence of a hamstring problem.

The experi…

St. Albans 0-1 Eastleigh - Spitfires up to 6th

Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy It was a dogged Eastleigh performance that by the end of the evening left them sitting just below the play off places in the Division. The Spitfires continued their impressive form with a record of six successive league victories and a run of twelve games unbeaten in league and FA Trophy fixtures stretching back to November.

Warren Goodhind was not fit enough to make the starting line up after sustaining an injury from Saturday's match against Dorchester while Brett Poate was missing from the substitutes bench having picked up another injury in the game the previous evening in the Hampshire Senior Cup. Justin Bennett, on loan from Gosport Borough, was given a place on the substitutes bench. For the home side; although struggling at the wrong end of the table, they were themselves unbeaten in four games and were forced to make a change to their line up from their side that had won at Basingstok…

Matthews still has big future at Eastleigh

By Wendy Gee -
Eastleigh boss Ian Baird is optimistic goalkeeper Jason Matthews will stay at the Silverlake Stadium – despite overtures from the 35-year-old’s old former club Weymouth.

Matthews has been out of the Spitfires side since making a couple of costly errors in the club’s last defeat, a 4-1 reverse at home to Staines in mid-November.

That opened the door for former AFC Totton ’keeper Gareth Barfoot to reclaim his place and Eastleigh have since enjoyed a fabulous run of 11 league and cup games unbeaten which they will be looking to extend at St Albans City tonight in the Blue Square Bet South.

Fallen Conference giants Weymouth, in deep trouble near the foot of the Zamaretto Premier, are keen to be reunited with Paulton-born Matthews, who made over 200 appearances for the Terras between 2002 and 2008.

But Baird believes the experienced former Exeter City keeper still has a big part to play in the Spitfires’ push for promotion to the Conference National.

“When Weymouth rang…

No shame in defeat for Eastleigh youngsters

Hampshire Senior Cup
Report by Ray Murphy This much delayed Hampshire Senior Cup Third Round tie finally took place at the sixth attempt with the fixture having been reverted to the home of Eastleigh following three attempts to play the fixture at the drawn home side Havant & Waterlooville - who were thwarted by the weather.

The two Blue Square Bet Southern Division sides fielded much different teams than one would normally associate too when these sides meet, Eastleigh with a league fixture away at St Albans due some twenty-four hours later whilst the visitors kept to their more normal league line up showing just three changes from the side that had defeated Boreham Wood in the league the previous Saturday.

Jason Matthews was given a rare outing in goal whilst Brett Poate was in the side to continue his return from injury, taking a central midfield role. Apart from the two recognised Eastleigh first team squad members th…

Eastleigh 3-0 Dorchester Town


Blue Square Bet South

Report by Jamie Montigue

Eastleigh made it five successive league wins following today's comfortable win over former player Ashley Vickers’s Dorchester Town side.

The goals just keep flying in for the Spitfires (three more today), who have now scored 28 goals in 10 games with just 10 against.

As well as registering three more points on the board, Eastleigh kept a clean sheet at the Silverlake Stadium and extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to eleven games. All very positive statistics and achievements for Ian Baird’s side; who will be looking to push on into the playoff positions in the near future and carry their outstanding form forward as the season progresses.

For the first time in many months, Eastleigh were blessed with the rarity of having a clean bill of health. Manager Ian Baird had the luxury of having a full squad of players to choose from and some tough decisions to make for his startin…

Baird's keen to bring Benno back

By Wendy Gee -
"The player is very keen to come and prove he could play at a higher level"

EASTLEIGH are trying to conclude a deal to bring Gosport Borough striker Justin Bennett back to the Silverlake Stadium on a three-month loan.
With Brett Williams joining Championship side Reading this week and ex-Saint Jamie White no longer at the club, the Spitfires need back-up for frontmen Jamie Slabber and Richard Gillespie as they close in on the Blue Square Bet South play-off spots.
Bennett, 28, originally joined Eastleigh in the summer of 2006 having been a prolific scorer for Andover, but a serious knee injury kept him out for the entire season. He was initially loaned to Gosport to regain fitness and then joined them as a contract player, finishing top Southern One South & West marksman for two of the next three seasons.
He spent the last five weeks of the 2008/09 campaign on loan at Borough's league rivals AFC Totton, banging in nine goals in eight games.
"We've …

Bennett to join Spitfires on loan

Justin Bennett, Gosport Borough's leading goalscorer and holder of the South & West Division Golden Boot will make a loan move to Eastleigh until the end of the season.

The loan is for a 12 week period and will commence after Gosport's game at Andover on Saturday. He will be available to return to Gosport for the final week of the season.

“It will come as no surprise that Justin has been a very sought after player as his superb CV includes two Southern League golden boots for being top goal scorer in the past three seasons. Hardly a game goes by without an offer being made for Justin,” said Chairman Mark Hook.

“When Eastleigh approached us for Justin, the club who released him to us in 2007, the board, whilst reluctant to see him go even on loan, have always held the policy that we would not stand in the way of any player who has the opportunity to play at a higher level.

"Eastleigh have a chance of promotion through the playoffs in the Blue Square South and Justin, …

Possible loan signing - Justin Bennett

As we have been contacted by the local press, we can reveal that we are discussing the possibility of a loan deal with Gosport Borough, involving their striker Justin Bennett.

No deal has been finalised, and negotiations are on-going.

As many of you will be aware, Justin was an Eastleigh player in the 2006/2007 season - but suffered a very bad injury, which hampered his progress. He was subsequently sold by us to Gosport Borough - where he has been their top goalscorer for the past 3 seasons.

If the deal proceeds, Justin will bring us the attacking flair and natural goal scoring ability that will be very much in demand for the remainder of the season. Justin did not play in Gosports FA Trophy defeat, and thus is available to play for us in that competition.

Further information will appear on this site in due course.

Brett's officially a Royal

By Wendy Gee -
BRETT Williams’s move from non-League Eastleigh to npower Championship promotion chasers Reading has officially gone through.

The 23-year-old frontman from Hedge End penned a one-and-a-half-year contract in the presence of Royals’ chairman Sir John Madejski yesterday afternoon.

“I’ve got butterflies,” admitted the former Wildern School and Eastleigh College student afterwards.

“I sat down with Sir John Madejski, signed all the paperwork and then I was given my shirt and taken onto the pitch for photos with manager Brian McDermott.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all, but it’s really exciting,” grinned Williams, who has given up his job with Eastleigh-based travel company Airlynx Express to follow his footballing dream.

Incredibly, Williams’s move to Reading – a steep rise of four tiers up the football pyramid – has been done and dusted in little more than a week.

The Royals watched him score twice for Eastleigh at Lewes in the Blue Square Bet South on Saturday, Janu…

Magic Monday for Eastleigh

By Wendy Gee -
Eastleigh have once again made club history under manager Ian Baird.

Having reached the FA Cup first round proper for the first time last season, the Spitfires are now set for their first ever appearance in the FA Trophy’s last 16 thanks to last night’s 4-1 second round replay win at Worcester City.

Their reward is a February 5 home tie against Evo-Stik Northern Premier heroes Chasetown, who sprang a shock 2-1 win over Grimsby Town.

Having fought back from two down in a 3-3 draw at the Silverlake on Saturday, Eastleigh again slipped into arrears last night as Danny Glover fired Worcester into a seventh-minute lead.

By Baird’s own admission, the first 45 minutes was the worst Eastleigh had played “for three or four months”, but again they came out firing after the break.

Their pressure told on 64 minutes when Tony Taggart drilled the ball home.

Gareth Barfoot produced a vital stop to prevent Tom Thorley putting Worcester back in front on 74 minutes and it was to pr…

Eastleigh into last 16 after 4-1 replay victory

FA Trophy - 2nd Round Replay
Eastleigh produced their second consecutive 4-1 victory in their visitors territory in the space of ten days. Although a thoroughly deserved victory, a three-goal margin did slightly flatter The Spitfires.

Eastleigh kept the same side that had played in the first match of this Second Round F A Challenge Trophy tie forty-eight hours earlier. The home side were without their left back Mark Clyde who had been such a dominant figure in the opening fixture.

With a home tie waiting against Chasetown from the Division below that both of these sides compete in waiting for the victor of this tie; Worcester took an early lead. Danny Glover had already seen a shot from Neil Cartwright’s cross-saved by Gareth Barfoot in the fourth minute when Glover was rejoicing in the seventh minute. Crowding the Eastleigh rearguard Tom Thorley and Kevin O’Connor won reward for their determination when Mark Danks slipped the ball thro…

Chasetown await tonight's Trophy winners

Eastleigh have the incentive of a home draw to get them through tonight’s FA Trophy second round replay at Worcester City.

Ian Baird’s men – held 3-3 by Worcester at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday – will entertain surprise package Chasetown in the last 16 on Saturday, February 5, if they emerge triumphant at St George’s Lane.
Chasetown play a tier below Blue Square Bet South outfit Eastleigh in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division, where they are currently mid-table.
They made it into today’s third round draw courtesy of a shock 2-1 home win over former Football League outfit Grimsby Town of the BSB Premier – a result described as “the stuff of dreams” by their manager Charlie Blakemore.
Last season’s semi-finalists Salisbury City will travel to three-time Trophy winners Woking as reward for dumping out BSB Premier outfit Wrexham 1-0 on Saturday.
FA Trophy third round draw (ties to be played Saturday, February 5):Dorchester Town or Eastbourne Borough v Guiseley, Mansfi…

January Fixture List - Revision 3

Quiz night - Friday 4th Feb @ EFC clubhouse

Just to remind all that tickets are now ON SALE for the quiz on February 4th at 7.30pm. You can buy your ticket (priced just £5) at the Silverlake Stadium.
There will also be a buffet and disco so it promises to be a good night! All are welcome - please feel free to bring friends, family or partners as well!
Please contact - if you would like to reserve a ticket(s)
P.S Malcolm has promised the quiz won't be too hard so we should all have a chance!

Cup thriller - replay needed to settle Trophy tie

FA Trophy - 2nd Round

Report by Jamie Montigue

After a thrilling second half at the Silverlake Stadium between Eastleigh and Worcester City; a replay is required to settle the cup tie.

Before the game a minutes silence was impeccably observed for long-time Eastleigh fan Jim Bennett who sadly passed away a couple of weeks back.

Reading-bound striker Brett Williams was congratulated on his dream move to the Championship, a leap of four divisions, as he bid farewell to the Eastleigh faithful. The 23-year-old talent bagged four goals in the space of two games prior to today’s match, which left his Eastleigh statistics for the season at 13 starts, 9 substitute appearances and 8 goals. We wish Brett all the very best with his move and career ahead of him.

Leading goal scorer Jamie Slabber was recalled to the starting line-up in place of Williams; meanwhile, Shaun McAuley was handed his first start of the season playing in an attacking midfiel…

Club statement: Baird set to extend contract

We are pleased to confirm that we have tonight agreed, subject to full Board approval at our next monthly meeting, to extend the Contract of our Manager - Ian Baird.

This agreement allows the Club the continuity which we believe is essential to our long term prosperity and success.

We would also like to both congratulate and thank Ian for his development of Brett Williams.

Brett will tomorrow undergo a medical at Reading FC, with a view to a transfer to the Championship Club. Eastleigh Football Club will receive an appropriate amount of compensation, which we trust will allow Ian some scope to recruit a suitable replacement.

It is to the credit of our Management team that Brett is likely to become the fourth player that has moved into the League in the past three years (Brett, Aaron Martin, Damien Scannell and Mark Marshall). We trust and hope that he will not be the last!!

January Fixture List - Revision 2

Williams on verge of signing for Reading

By Wendy Gee -

BRETT Williams is set to become the fourth player sold to a Football League club during Ian Baird’s three-and-a half-year reign as Eastleigh boss.

The Spitfires have received a written offer from Championship promotion chasers Reading for the 23-year-old frontrunner, who has banged in four goals in Eastleigh’s last two Blue Square Bet South outings.

On the face of it, the wheels have moved remarkably swiftly for the Hedge End-based striker, who only had his first training session with the Royals on Monday.

He was invited to play in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Colchester on Tuesday and scored in a 2-0 victory watched by Reading boss Brian McDermott.

But Williams had been on the Royals’ radar for some time and with other clubs starting to sit up and take notice – Saints, Brighton and Wycombe believed to be among them – McDermott made his move.

Williams is understood to have agreed a one-and-a-half-year deal with the Madejski Stadium club, which Reading would hav…

Hants Senior Cup tie re-arranged... again!

Heavy rain forced yet another postponement of Eastleigh's much-delayed Hampshire FA Senior Cup third round at Havant & Waterlooville tonight.

The fixture has been rescheduled for Monday 17th at the Spitfires' Silverlake Stadium provided Eastleigh's FA Trophy tie against Worcester City on Saturday doesn't go to a replay.

Unfinished business for Luke

By Wendy Gee - LUKE Byles is determined to take care of some unfinished business with Eastleigh this season.
After a year away playing for Heidelberg United in Australia, the ex-Saints defender jetted back to home shores in September. And though there would doubtless have been many clubs eager to sign him, Byles had already set his heart on a return to the Silverlake Stadium where he had come tantalisingly close to promotion two seasons ago.
With Byles their outstanding performer, the Spitfires finished a best ever third in the Blue Square Bet South in 2008/09 to book their place in the play-offs.
But after winning 4-2 at Hayes & Yeading in the semi-final first leg, having at one stage cruised 4-0 up, Eastleigh's dream was shattered when they were thumped 4-0 in the home return.
It's a crushing disappointment that lived with Byles during his time Down Under - and one he is desperate to make amends for this term.
Although Eastleigh have added the likes of Shaun McAuley, Ri…

Boss pushing red-hot Brett

By Wendy Gee -

BRETT Williams made it four goals in two games as Eastleigh's impressive winning streak continued at Lewes - but team boss Ian Baird still thinks he is capable of scoring more.

Having struck twice in Monday's dramatic 4-2 victory over Havant & Waterlooville, the 23-year-old responded to his manager's call for greater consistency by bagging another brace in Saturday's convincing 4-1 triumph at the Dripping Pan.

That made it five victories on the bounce for the on-song Spitfires in league and cup.

But though Baird was once again impressed with Williams's handling of the lone striker's role, he reckons that if he gambled a bit more the former Winchester City and AFC Totton frontman would have even more goals.

Baird knows a thing or two about leading the line, having racked up more than 500 pro appearances for the likes of Saints, Leeds and Middlesbrough, and he is pleased that Brett Williams is at last living up to his potential.

"Hopefully the …

Lewes 1-4 Eastleigh - Five successive wins for the Spitfires

Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy
Eastleigh coasted to their fourth successive league victory over relegation threatened Lewes at the Dripping Pan Ground. Eastleigh may well have added more to their tally in a side that saw manager Ian Baird enforced to make his first change to the starting line up for those four games. Luke Byles was missing with a hamstring injury on his twenty-seventh birthday, Warren Goodhind having to fulfil his unaccustomed role of left back. Richard Gillespie also passed a fitness test before the game and was selected for a role on the substitutes bench which had a strange look about it when you consider that with Gillespie and Jamie Slabber that is the clubs two leading scorers on the bench, whilst both Jamie White and Shaun McAuley can comfortably fill any striking role. Such is the way the small squad has moulded over the past few weeks. Ross Bottomley also passed a late test to be able to retain the right bac…

Blue Square Monthly Awards - December 2010


Due to the poor weather conditions in December and the shortage of matches in the three Blue Square Bet divisions. We have decided to cancel the ‘player of the month’ and ‘manager of the month’ awards in the Blue Square Bet Premier, North and South. The awards will return as normal for January.


Blue Square have decided to assign the costs of the trophies and the presentation of our December awards to The Dale Roberts Memorial Fund. The Rushden & Diamonds goalkeeper passed away on the 14th December. His funeral took place on Tuesday 4th January.

The costs have been rounded up to £500.

Additional information

Donations can still be made to the fund: A cheque can be made payable to The Dale Roberts Memorial Fund and sent to Rushden & Diamonds FC, Nene Park, Diamond Way, Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, NN9 5QF.

Alternatively, people can donate at any Barclays Bank by usi…

Radio Spitfire - Eastleigh v Havant & Waterlooville

Ian Baird pre-match interview v Havant & Waterlooville >>

Ian Baird post-match interview v Havant & Waterlooville >>

Radio Spitfire catches up with Brett Poate >>

Super Spitfires defeat rivals Havant - Eastleigh 4-2 Havant & Waterlooville


Blue Square Bet South

Report by Jamie Montigue

Eastleigh defeated rivals Havant & Waterlooville thanks to a spirited second-half fight back to make it three league wins on the trot – their fourth successive victory including the FA Trophy replay at Sutton United.

The festive season and New Year has begun with a one hundred per cent record for Eastleigh with a maximum return of nine points in the league.

It was the first home league game that the Spitfires had played in over fifty days but the 822 crowd were in for a treat at the Silverlake Stadium as Ian Baird's side came out triumphant over his former club.

Eastleigh were unchanged from the side that beat Farnborough by two goals to one on New Years Day and took to the field in the 4-5-1 formation that has proved to be so successful in recent weeks.

Inside the opening five minutes, the Spitfires had the first chance of the game when lone striker Brett Williams headed …