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Showing posts from April, 2011

Bromley 0-2 Eastleigh

EASTLEIGH v BROMLEY SATURDAY 30th APRIL
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy

A scrappy end of season fixture not assisted by a bumpy playing surface at Hayes Lane, despite being doused in water before the kick off, saw two excellent goals scored by Eastleigh in the first half that were totally out of character to the game.

Jamie Slabber returned to his normal number nine shirt with Jamie Brown missing through injury whilst Ian Herring took a midfield berth at Danny Smith’s expense. Peter Adeniyi returned to the side at his former club in place of Richard Gillespie, though Adeniyi fulfilling his normal midfield duties.

Both teams struggled to adapt to the conditions. The home side saw Charlie Ide trying to prise his way through the Eastleigh defence. There had been a few half chances but final touches prevented either goalkeeper being tested early on. The first opening did not arrive until twenty minutes had been played. That saw a shot from the edge of the area by Tony Finn saved b…

Change of direction for Spitfires?

By Wendy Gee-
IAN Baird concedes it's not beyond the realms of possibility that some of his Eastleigh troops could be playing their last game for the club at Bromley tomorrow.

The Spitfires have little more than pride to play for having failed in their mission to reach the Blue Square Bet South play-offs for a second season running.

Discussions are ongoing between manager Baird, chairman Paul Murray and directors David Malone and Mick Budny to decide where the club go from here.

It's now six years since the Spitfires were promoted via the Isthmian Premier play-offs, and it could be that a change of direction is needed if they are to reach the promised land of the Conference National.

Talks are continuing today and sources suggest a major announcement regarding Eastleigh's future plans will be made next week.

That could well mean a few established players moving on, opening the for for an infusion of fresh blood.

Baird was giving nothing away, but agreed it was certainly a possib…

Match preview - Bromley v Eastleigh

By Kieran James

Ian Baird's Spitfires play Bromley at Hayes Lane on Saturday in the Blue Square Bet South.

With other results not going Eastleigh's way on Monday, Spitfires fans finally found out that the play-off dream was no longer possible even though the result at The Silverlake Stadium was a 3-0 Eastleigh triumph.

The Spitfires took the lead 40 seconds into the game with Danny Smith scoring his second goal of the season, Tony Taggart crossed the ball from a corner and Danny Smith flicked a header in to the back of the net.

Jamie Brown started for the first time this season and the former Dorchester Town striker scored an unstoppable header for his first goal of the season from a Richard Graham corner in the 39th minute.

Tony Taggart scored the last goal of the game right on the stroke of half time. Richard Graham crossed in a free kick and the former Havant and Waterlooville left winger headed the ball to make it 3-0 to The Spitfires.

Bromley sit in 10th place twelve poin…

FA Cup reward

EASTLEIGH FC have been granted an award of £2,000 for the charity of their choice - the Rose Road Association - as part of their allocation from the 2010 FA Community Shield payments.

It is their reward for reaching the first round of the FA Cup where they played Barrow last season.

The cheque was presented before Eastleigh's last home game of the season against Hampton & Richmond Borough which they won 3-0 on Monday.

Eastleigh finish home campaign on a high

By Wendy Gee-
EASTLEIGH brought the curtain down on their home campaign in convincing style yesterday, brushing Hampton & Richmond Borough aside 3-0 at the Silverlake Stadium.

A rash of late first-half goals by Jamie Brown, Danny Smith and Tony Taggart halted a run of three straight defeats in the Blue Square Bet South and gave a sun-drenched Easter Monday crowd of 454 something to cheer about.

But unfortunately for the stuttering Spitfires, their play-off dream had already been shattered by that trio of costly losses against Maidenhead, Ebbsfleet and Boreham Wood.

It's a case of so near and yet so far for Eastleigh who, until two weeks ago, had a fighting chance of muscling into the top five.

But going into the last game at Bromley this Saturday, they sit eighth in the table, five points adrift of fifth spot.

"We're on 69 points going into the last game and historically 70-odd points gets you into the play-offs," reflected manager Ian Baird.

"We can still …

Eastleigh 3-0 Hampton & Richmond

EASTLEIGH v HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH MONDAY 25th APRIL
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh with their play off ambitions totally out of their hands, produced an excellent performance on a sun drenched Silverlake Stadium for their final home appearance of the season. Several changes were made to the starting Eastleigh line up with Gareth Barfoot, Ross Bottomley, Jamie Brown and Richard Gillespie making the starting eleven and 17-year-old midfielder Liam Hibberd promoted from captain of the reserves to the first team bench.

Eastleigh could not have wished for a better start. Forty seconds were on the clock when Tony Taggart's corner to the near post saw Danny Smith turn his header into the roof of the net.

The game was all Eastleigh, the side produced an attack minded display from the outset and the visitors struggled to cope with the entire armoury that Eastleigh could bring towards them. On six minutes Jamie Brown’s shot from some thirty yards was saved by Hampt…

Eastleigh plan for 2011/12

By Wendy Gee-
EASTLEIGH boss Ian Baird will be meeting with club directors tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss the way forward for the Spitfires.

Friday's devastating 2-1 defeat at Boreham Wood destroyed all hope of squeezing into the Blue Square Bet South play-offs.

Now the Stoneham Lane club have to workout where they go from here.

"I'm meeting with the chairman Paul Murray and directors Dave Malone and Mick Budny tomorrow to discuss the way forward," confirmed Baird.

"I genuinely felt we had a squad capable of getting into the play-offs and I've backed my players to the hilt. But whichever way you dress it up, these players haven't delivered."

When the Spitfires travelled to Maidenhead two Tuesday's ago, victory would have propelled them into the top five.

But they lost 1-0 and further defeats by Ebbsfleet and Boreham Wood mean they are destined to finish between sixth and eighth.

"We got ourselves into the box seat but we didn't deliver a…

Match Preview - Eastleigh v Hampton & Richmond Borough

By Kieran James

The Spitfires play 16th placed Hampton & Richmond Borough at the Silverlake Stadium in the Blue Square Bet South at 1pm for the last time at home this season.

Eastleigh were on the wrong end of a 2-1 result on Friday against Boreham Wood which destroyed any play-off hopes that the fans were dreaming of.

Jamie Slabber opened the scoring in the 19th minute with a header from an Ian Herring throw to score his 25th goal in all competitions for The Spitfires. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker is now third in the league top scorers with 21 goals in the league for Eastleigh.

The Wood's captain and man of the match Mario Noto then got one back for the home side after Jason Matthews fouled Sam Hurrell in the penalty box. Noto converted the penalty easily.

Mario Noto then scored the decisive goal of the game when he scored a free kick that curled into Eastleigh's net.

Tom Jordan saw his header hit the cross bar in stoppage time but it was Boreham Wood that sealed all th…

Boreham Wood 2-1 Eastleigh

BOREHAM WOOD v EASTLEIGH FRIDAY 22nd APRIL
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy

There was still some optimism before this lunchtime Good Friday kick off, that if Eastleigh could win their remaining three fixtures then the aim for a promotion play off place could still be taken. After another disappointing performance, though still mathematically possible, that play off place will not come to fruition this season.

With Chris Holland injured, Luke Byles switched to play alongside Tom Jordan at the heart of the defence and Brett Poate returned to the side at left back for his first appearance for five weeks though this cruelly being cut short again through injury after only nine minutes. Warren Goodhind returned to the back four following his suspension whilst Shaun McAuley came into the side with Richard Gillespie and Ian Herring both dropping down to the bench.

It was a very slow start on a hot afternoon with Poate’s departure happening before either goalkeeper was called in to actio…

Boreham Wood v Eastleigh - Match preview

By Kieran James

Ian Baird's Spitfires play 16th-placed Boreham Wood on Good Friday at Meadow Park in the Blue Square Bet South.

After a 0-3 loss to Ebbsfleet United where ex-Spitfire Ashley Carew scored two of the goals for The Fleet, this game is a must win for The Spitfires.

Eastleigh have three games to go and are three points behind 5th placed Woking.

The Wood's last game was against Dartford where they won 1-4 away with Mario Nato scoring a hat-trick and David Bryant rounding off a comfortable win for Boreham Wood.

The Wood have won two, drawn one and lost three out of their last six games.

The Spitfires have won two and lost four out of their last six games.

Boreham Wood have kept seven clean sheets (four of which were away) and have failed to score five times (three at home) out of their last twenty games.

The Spitfires have kept six clean sheets (four of which were away) and have failed to score five times (once away) out of their last twenty games.

The last time thes…

'Battering Ram' Brown back where he belongs

By Wendy Gee-
JAMIE BROWN is relieved to be back at Eastleigh - even though he is having to bide his time on the bench.
The braveheart target man recently returned to the Spitfires ranks after a short spell playing Wessex football with Winchester City and has vowed to be around for as long as the Blue Square South promotion hopefuls want him.
All he needs now to make his happy homecoming complete is to get his name on the Spitfires' scoresheet.
"As a striker you need goals. I do try, but all the time you're not getting them, you think you're never going to score," said Brown.
In fairness to the 29-year-old, he has never been a prolific scorer.
And this season his task has been all the tougher given that he has only made eight league and cup starts and ten sub appearances for Ian Baird's Silverlake side.
He netted four times in 11 Wessex outings for Winchester, but that wasn't good enough for owner Paul McCarthy whose public criticism of Brown's strik…

Eastleigh at low Ebb - Carew back with a bang to defeat Spitfires

EASTLEIGH v EBBSFLEET UNITED SATURDAY 16th APRIL
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Jamie Montigue

EASTLEIGH: Matthews, Herring, Byles, Riviere, Jordan (c), Holland (Bottomley 45), Taggart, Smith, Slabber, Gillespie (McAuley 60), Graham (Brown 73). Subs (Unused) - Adeniyi, Barfoot.

Goals - Ebbsfleet: Ashley Carew (14, 46), Ricky Shakes (42)

Eastleigh suffered a dismal 3-0 home defeat against promotion chasing Ebbsfleet United this afternoon. It was a second loss in a row and a fifth defeat out of eight previous league games for Ian Baird's side.

Former Spitfire Ashley Carew came back to the Silverlake Stadium and ran the show scoring twice and providing an assist for a further goal to set the Fleet up for a comfortable victory.

The Spitfires were largely uninspiring and will now need to regroup and face the tall order of winning all remaining games and relying on other results if they are to make the play-offs.

Victory for Ebbsfleet saw Liam Daish’s side all but guarantee a play-off spot…

Defeat can leave Eastleigh play-off dream at low Ebb

By Wendy Gee-
SKIPPER Tom Jordan admits there was a real sense of "missed opportunity" among Eastleigh's crestfallen players following Tuesday's 1-0 defeat at Maidenhead United.

But the towering central defender insists the belief is still there in the Spitfires camp that they can reach the Blue Square Bet South play-offs - starting with victory over third-placed Ebbsfleet United at the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow.

A win at lowly Maidenhead would have lifted Eastleigh into the coveted fourth play-off spot.

But they fluffed their lines at York Road, sunk by a 48th-minute winner from one of their former players Will Hendry.
It continued a rollercoaster run of results for the inconsistent Spitfires whose last seven outings have followed a baffling 'lose one, win one' sequence.

"It's hard to put a finger on why we've been so up and down and it's difficult to accept at the moment," admitted Jordan.

"The Maidenhead game was earmarked as …

Match Preview - Eastleigh v Ebbsfleet United

By Kieran James

Three days after a 3-1 victory against Thurrock on Saturday, Ian Baird's Spitfires failed to get a point at York Road against 20th placed Maidenhead United.

Ex-Spitfire Will Hendry scored the only goal of the game from a header to leave The Spitfires in 7th place and two points away from a play-off spot.

Eastleigh now play 3rd placed Ebbsfleet United at The Silverlake Stadium in the Blue Square Bet South.

Liam Daish's Ebbsfleet United thrashed bottom of the table St Albans City 4-0 at home on Saturday.

Calum Willock, Ram Marwa, Michael West and Scott Ginty all scored for The Fleet.

The Spitfires will have keep an eye on Calum Willock, the former Fulham striker has netted 19 times this season in the league,one fewer than Eastleigh striker Jamie Slabber.

The Fleet have won three, drawn two and lost one out of their last six games. Eastleigh on the other hand have been inconsistent lately having lost three and won three out of their last six games.

Ebbsfleet Unite…

Hendry comes back to haunt Eastleigh

By Wendy Gee-

Eastleigh’s hopes of breaking into the Blue Square Bet South play-off zone suffered a devastating blow last night – at the hands of one of their former players.

On paper the Spitfires had the perfect opportunity to climb two places to fifth when they travelled to struggling Maidenhead United, who had won just one of their last 20 league games.

But Spitfires old boy Will Hendry – advised by manager Ian Baird to take up golf because he “was not a team player” when he released him last October – came back to haunt them by firing the Magpies to an unlikely 1-0 victory.

It was Maidenhead’s first home league win since late August and comes as a major body blow to Eastleigh, who remain static in seventh spot having used up their game in hand.

The deciding goal came three minutes after half-time when Anthony Thomas delivered a right-wing cross that was headed in by Hendry at the far post.

Eastleigh, who played Ian Herring at right-back in place of the suspended Warren Goodh…

Maidenhead United 1-0 Eastleigh

MAIDENHEAD UNITED v EASTLEIGH TUESDAY 12th APRIL
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Ray Murphy

As so often happens in football fate turns cruelly on those when you least need it. A victory for Eastleigh in their game in hand would elevate them into the play off positions with only four games remaining. Meanwhile Maidenhead United needed the points for their safety at the opposite end of the table, where a much needed three points would bring them in to touch with the teams immediately above the bottom three.

Warren Goodhind was suspended following his dismissal at Welling United a fortnight earlier so he was replaced by Ian Herring - Ross Bottomley taking his place on the bench those being the only changes from the side that had beaten Thurrock on Saturday.

The bad news for Eastleigh though was that the home side had not won at home in the league since 30th August. At that time Eastleigh had in their midfield the talented Will Hendry who unfortunately never settled at The Silverlake and move…

Change of Date - Boreham Wood v Eastleigh

After considering a request from Boreham Wood, we have agreed to change the date/time of our Easter fixture. The game will now be played on Good Friday (22nd April) kick off 1pm.

We have agreed to this for two main reasons:

(1) At this crucial point in the season, the extra 24 hours this will afford us before the Hampton & Richmond game (Easter Monday) could be to our advantage. It will give our players extra recovery time, which we are certain is a positive factor.

(2) Having criticised Woking for refusing to alter the kick off time of our game with them, we feel that the request from Boreham Wood is fair - and that we should comply unless it is to our disadvantage.

We fully appreciate that some fans may not now be able to make this game, and if that is the case - please accept our apologies. Similarly, we would assume that others may now be able to be with us on Good Friday, who might not have been able to make the Saturday. In any event, our priority is in givin…

Match preview - Maidenhead United v Eastleigh

By Kieran James

Ian Baird's Spitfires play relegation threatened 20th-placed Maidenhead United on Tuesday at York Road. The 4,500 capacity stadium is 230 years old and is acknowledged by The FA and Fifa as being the oldest continuously-used senior association football ground in the world.

The Spitfires' last game saw them triumph to a 3-1 win over Thurrock at The Silverlake Stadium on Saturday. Chris Holland opened the scoring for The Spitfires when he drilled a shot into the top left corner of the net.

Captain Tommy Jordan pounced on a loose ball from a Tony Taggart cross where he nutmegged goalkeeper Joe Woolley to put Eastleigh 2-0 up.

Lee Boylan got one back for the visitors but Chris Bush was shown a red card following a second yellow four minutes from time.

Tony Taggart made sure Eastleigh claimed all three points with a half volley into the back of Thurrock's net.

That result puts Eastleigh in 7th place and two points away from that all important play-off spot.

The…

Eastleigh 3-1 Thurrock

EASTLEIGH v THURROCK SATURDAY 9th APRIL 2011
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Jamie Montigue

Eastleigh picked up a valuable three points with a home victory over Thurrock this afternoon.

The Spitfires scored twice in the space of two minutes courtesy of centre backs Chris Holland and Tom Jordan to hand Ian Baird's side a two-goal advantage at the break.

Experienced striker Lee Boylan pulled a goal back for the visitors three minutes shy of the hour but Eastleigh went on to seal victory.

Tony Taggart scored his tenth goal of the season with a controlled volley in the closing minutes after Jamie Brown's stinging shot was parried by the Thurrock goalkeeper Joe Wooley.

Thurrock finished the game with ten men as Chris Bush was shown a second yellow card prior to Taggart's goal, which settled the game.

Ian Herring was replaced in the starting eleven by Anthony Riviere in midfield, whilst striker Richard Gillespie earned a starting berth in place of Shaun McAuley.

Eastleigh were l…

Match Preview - Eastleigh v Thurrock

By Kieran James
Just three days after a 0-5 win at Staines Town, The Spitfires lost 0-3 at home to Farnborough on Tuesday which dropped them into 8th place in the Blue Square Bet South - however Eastleigh are still only three points from the play-offs with one game in hand on every team above.
Ian Baird's Spitfires play 19th placed Thurrock at the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow. Eastleigh are a massive 27 points ahead of relegation threatened Thurrock, however the last time the two teams met was on the 29th January where Eastleigh were on the wrong side of a 2-1 result.
Jamie Slabber opened the scoring for The Spitfires in the 11th minute, Tony Taggart crossed the ball in from a corner for Chris Holland to head down the cross where Slabber was on hand to tuck the ball under Joe Woolley to score.
However that lead only lasted 22 minutes when Kenny Clarke equalised for The Fleet from a cross by former Eastleigh loan player Matt Bodkin.
Chris Holland made a blatant hand ball to concede a…

'Seriously leggy' Eastleigh now facing 'biggest game of the season' - Baird

By Wendy Gee-
IAN Baird has billed tomorrow's home test against Thurrock: "Eastleigh's biggest game of the season so far."
With 'squeaky bum time' fast approaching in the Blue Square Bet South play-off race, Baird's eighth-placed Spitfires cannot afford any further slip-ups after being soundly beaten 3-0 by Farnborough on Tuesday.
Despite that set-back they are just three points behind fifth-placed Woking with a game in hand and still have everything to play for.
"I was extremely disappointed with our performance on Tuesday but, take nothing away from Farnborough, they were outstanding," said Baird.
"Some of our players looked seriously leggy and the pressure we've put on ourselves to keep winning and stay in the pack takes it's toll.
"But the positive from the negative is that we're still in the hunt and this is a quick opportunity to put things right."
Eastleigh were going great guns when they visited Thurrock in late Janu…

Eastleigh 0-3 Farnborough

EASTLEIGH v FARNBOROUGH TUESDAY 5th APRIL 2011
Blue Square Bet South
Report by Jamie Montigue

Eastleigh missed out on the opportunity to climb into a playoff position this evening following a defeat at home to Steve King’s high-flying Farnborough.

Despite suffering a setback to playoff hopes, Eastleigh have another chance with one more game in hand still to play, which should they win, would bring the Spitfires level on points with fifth-placed Woking (who occupy the last of the playoff positions).

Before the game Eastleigh manager Ian Baird said that the importance of this game should not be underestimated. His side came into tonight’s encounter on the back of a highly convincing 5-0 away win at Staines Town but tonight’s result demonstrated a lack of consistency in recent weeks from Eastleigh.

In the last five games that Eastleigh have been involved in, four of them have seen five or more goals scored. Eastleigh have lost heavily three times in this spell conceding twelve, whilst winning …

Baird spellbound by Slabber magic

By Wendy Gee-
EASTLEIGH boss Ian Baird does not dish out compliments lightly.
So when he hailed Jamie Slabber's stunning show at Staines Town "the best centre forward's performance I've seen in six years of management at this level" it had to be pretty special.
The former Tottenham, Havant & Waterlooville and Woking frontman set Wheatsheaf Park alight with an incredible four goals in the opening 42 minutes to keep the Spitfires' play-off flame brightly burning in the Blue Square Bet South.
"Not only was it a perfect set of finishes - one right foot, one left foot, one with his head and one penalty - but the quality of his play was superb," said Baird following Eastleigh's 5-0 victory.
"Jamie has been much maligned over the years and both Havant and Woking supporters were derisory when we signed him, but if you look at his pedigree it's really good.
"I said he was in the last-chance saloon when he joined us, but this is the fir…