Eastleigh v Welling United - Match Preview

Match Preview by Kieran James
Ian Baird's Spitfires will play second-placed Welling United at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday in the Blue Square Bet South (3pm kick off).

Eastleigh suffered a shock defeat last Saturday when Oxford City claimed £7,500 in the FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round. Oxford were rewarded with a very winnable draw away to Weston-Super-Mare (who beat Havant and Waterlooville), for a place in the FA Cup First Round Proper.

Oxford City took the lead when ex-Saint Steve Basham chipped the ball neatly over goalkeeper Gareth Barfoot. Just before half time, Barfoot made ahis second penalty save in as many games in the FA Cup this season, to keep out Basham's spot kick and also save the follow up.

Darren Pond doubled City's lead with a powerful strike on goal, only for Jamie Slabber to halve the two-goal deficit with a well taken penalty.

Pond scored his second and Oxford's third of the game with a powerful header from a corner to seal the tie in the visitors' favour and at the same time crush Eastleigh's hopes of a run in the FA Cup this season.

There was a silver lining to a quite dismal day for The Spitfires, as seventeen-year-old striker Sam Wilson signed a two-year contract moments before the game last Saturday.

Former Arsenal and England Under 18's midfielder Jamie Day is the Player/Manager at Welling United who have been flying high this season.
The Wings have won eight out of their 13 games in the Blue Square Bet South which sees them on level points with league leaders Woking, who have played one less game.

Eastleigh are the lowest goalscorers oin the division so far with only nine goals scored and they play a Welling United side who have scored the most league goals, 31 (11 of them scored by second top goalscorer in the league, Andy Pugh).

The Wings were knocked out of the FA Cup prematurely in the Second Qualifying Round this season, so they played Dorchester Town in the Blue Square Bet South on Saturday where they narrowly beat Dorchester Town 3-2, home at Park View Road.

Welling also beat nPower League Two outfit Gillingham on Tuesday night, 2-1 at home in the Kent Senior Cup.

The last time these two sides met at the Silverlake Stadium, the Wings won 1-4 with Jamie Slabber scoring the Spitfires only goal on that occasion with a superb free kick. Andy Pugh (2), Jamie Day and Luis Cumbers all scored for the Wings.

Ten days later, when the two teams met at Park View Road, the result wasn't any better for Eastleigh as it finished 4-2 to Welling United with Tony Taggart (now at Sutton United) and Richard Gillespie scoring the only Eastleigh goals and Lee Clarke scoring all four goals for Welling United.

This is a big game for Eastleigh so lets roar on the Spitfires at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday.



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