Skip to main content

Monty on way out

By Wendy Gee

EASTLEIGH boss Ian Baird has had a clearout of his squad in the wake of Tuesday's hugely disappointing Blue Square Bet South defeat at Salisbury City.

The result dealt a major blow to the Spitfires' already faint play-off hopes - and it's Graeme Montgomery and Richard Gillespie who have felt the backlash.

Wideman Montgomery, who went on as a 26th-minute substitute for ineffective midfielder Philip Appiah, was released yesterday morning.

The 21-year-old's departure comes just two months after he penned a season-long loan deal following a three-month loan spell from Aldershot Town.

He was a regular in the side until the middle of the month, but lost his starting place following the arrival of Daryl McMahon.

Baird explained: "I've let Graeme go because of certain things he wasn't doing well enough.

"He wasn't best pleased when I told him, but I thought long and hard about it. He wasn't going to get a contract at the end of the season and I just felt we may as well free up some money and free up space on the bench for the likes of young Sam Wilson."

As for striker Gillespie, he is returning to Bashley for another month's loan after scoring five goals in the last three games of his previous spell there over Christmas and the New Year.

"Gilly wasn't happy that he wasn't playing and he wanted to go back to Bashley to get some games," the boss explained.

Baird's resident critics on the Eastleigh fans' forum blame the manager for picking the wrong team on Tuesday.

The early substitution of Appiah added fuel to their argument, but Baird believes the real fault lay with Eastleigh's wastefulness in front of goal.

"We set ourselves up to be attacking by starting the way we'd finished at Hampton on Saturday (a 4-0 win)," he said. "Unfortunately it was one of those evenings when it didn't work, but there's a Rizla-fine line between success and failure in football and we've paid the price for not taking our chances.

"The players know they didn't play well. We missed three good chances in the first half, their goal was an error from goalkeeper Jack Dovey and in the second half we didn't deserve it. We let ourselves down.

"Was it my fault? I don't think so.

"Even though I may have picked the wrong side, Bradley Bubb's hit the post, Jamie Slabber's hit the bar, Bubb's missed a one-on-one and Montgomery's missed an open goal."

"We have to take in on the chin and move on, but Salisbury are full-time and had seven players out there who've played in the Conference Premier. People forget that."

Regarding ex-Farnborough man Appiah's early substitution, Baird said: "He didn't do himself any favours, so we took him off. He's played well before, but he's only a kid of 22 and if things don't go right he loses himself a bit."

Eighth-placed Eastleigh, still nine points off play-off pace, hope to put things right at home to mid-table Truro City tomorrow. Chris Flood is out for a fortnight with thigh trouble and Gary Elphick has a hamstring niggle.


Popular posts from this blog

Eastleigh 0-0 Leyton Orient

Eastleigh drew 0-0 at the Silverlake Stadium for the second game in a row after three weeks without any football due to adverse weather.

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood, Sam Togwell, Reda Johnson, Ayo Obileye, Andrew Boyce, Mark Yeates, Cavaghn Miley (Sam Matthews, 68), Ben Williamson, Paul McCallum (Chris Zebroski, 78). Subs (not used): Ryan Cresswell, Ryan Broom, Danny Hollands.

Referee: Joseph Johnson.

Attendance: 2,030.

Eastleigh 4-4 Bromley

Paul McCallum bagged a hattrick for Eastleigh in a rollercoaster 4-4 draw against Bromley at the Silverlake Stadium.

Richard Hill's reaction: “There’s been times when I’ve been accused of not entertaining people, but today we have – both teams.

“It was one of those crazy, crazy games you get two or three times a season.

“But today you’ve seen two teams that need to defend better. Most definitely my team need to defend better.

“We’ve had to score four goals to draw a game of football at home.

“For the first 25 minutes, we probably played as well as we have all season and there were spells in the second half when we played some decent, flowing football, but we can’t defend like that.

“Brett (Williams) has come on and changed the game, but we were always going to face a bit of an onslaught from them and we didn’t handle it well enough, we really didn’t.

“But then give us a bit of credit for fighting back twice.”
EASTLEIGH: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood (Sam Matthews, 82), Danny Holla…

Eastleigh 0-0 FC Halifax

Eastleigh kept a first clean sheet in 27 National League games in a goalless draw at home against FC Halifax.

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood, Sam Togwell (Mark Yeates, 77), Reda Johnson, Andrew Boyce, Ayo Obileye, Sam Matthews, Cavaghn Miley, Paul McCallum, Chris Zebroski (Ben Williamson, 65). Subs (not used): Ryan Broom, Danny Hollands, Ross Flitney.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.
Attendance: 1,825 (92 Halifax)
Reaction from Andy Hessenthaler:
REACTION: @EastleighFC boss Andy Hessenthaler reflects on goalless draw with @FCHalifaxTown — BBC Solent Sport (@solentsport) February 24, 2018

AFC Fylde 2-2 Eastleigh

Ryan Broom scored twice to help maintain Eastleigh's unbeaten run, which now stretches to nine games in the National League.

Spitfires boss Andy Hessenthaler reflecting on the point said: “I think it was a fair result.

“The way we started the game was tremendous. We pinned them back and we got the goal.

“But Fylde are a good side. They’re young, they have very good movement and they take risks. It’s hard to stop their flow of play, but we dug in and defended really well.

“They equalised, but we responded straight afterwards with an absolutely fantastic goal. It was a sublime finish by Ryan who had an exceptional afternoon on his first start.

“It (Fylde's late equaliser) was a little bit frustrating when we were so close to getting all three points, but this was a good point and a valuable one against a decent side.

“My target when I took over was two points a game. I’ve had eight games and we’re actually two points ahead of that target with 18.

“We’ve now got to build on that …

Fixtures 2017/2018

Eastleigh will begin the 2017/18 season away at Bromley on the 5th August.

Richard Hill's Spitfires will face their first home match of the season against Sutton United.

First 4 fixtures -

5/8 @bromleyfc (A)
8/8 @suttonunited (H)
12/8 @Dag_RedFC (H)
15/8 @wokingfc (A)#Spitfires — Eastleigh FC (@EastleighFC) July 5, 2017
Last 4 fixtures -

7/4 @Wrexham_AFC (H)
14/4 @GatesheadFC (A)
21/4 @thesilkmen (H)
28 @SolihullMoors (A)#Spitfires — Eastleigh FC (@EastleighFC) July 5, 2017
🎄Christmas period -

23/12 @Dag_RedFC (A)
26/12 @TUFC1899 (H)
30/12 @wokingfc (H)
1/1 @TUFC1899 (A)#Spitfires — Eastleigh FC (@EastleighFC) July 5, 2017
Eastleigh's National League fixtures unveiled for 2017/18 EASTLEIGH will kick off the new National League season away from home.