Staines v Eastleigh - Match preview

Match preview by Kieran James

Ian Baird’s Spitfires take on second from bottom of the table Staines Town tomorrow night in the Blue Square Bet South at Wheatsheaf Park (7:45 pm) on Valentines night.

After Saturdays encounter between Eastleigh and Tonbridge Angels was called off due to a frozen pitch, Eastleigh will certainly like to claim all three points tomorrow night. Victory for Baird's side could see the Spitfires only four points from the play off’s if Boreham Wood do beat Sutton United on the same night.

The last time Eastleigh played was last Tuesday night where they beat Hampshire rivals Havant & Waterlooville at the Silverlake Stadium. Meanwhile, tomorrow's opponents The Swans have not played a game in more than two weeks where they were narrowly beaten by Cornish side Truro City 2-1 away at Treyew Road.

The visitors took the lead just after the hour mark following a defensive error. Truro defender Adams tried to play the ball back towards his keeper but under hit it and former on-loan Spitfire Mark Nwokeji pounced to toe poke the ball into the back of the net.

The Swans were edging towards their third successive away win, however eight minutes after they took the lead Staines failed to clear a corner at the near post. Pugh helped the ball on and where it eventually fell for Andy Watkins to header home his 125th goal for Truro.

The Swans' hard work came to nothing after a deep free kick from Martin sent the ball across goal. Palmer twisted to volley it towards goal and Watkins fired his left-foot shot through a crowd to give Evans no chance and claim the home side all three points; leaving Staines a very long journey home.

The last time these two teams met was back in September 2011 when the Spitfires edged Staines in a 2-1 victory at the Silverlake Stadium.

Former Spitfire Adam Everitt opened the scoring that day with a speculative fifty-yard free kick that caught Eastleigh goalkeeper Gareth Barfoot by surprise but the lead only lasted for twelve minutes.

Jamie Slabber found the net from close range after captain Tom Jordan flicked the ball on. Slabber made no mistake with the finish from close range to score his third goal of the season.

The Spitfires took the lead after 25 minutes. Jordace Holder-Spooner was found by Richard Gillespie and the former Southampton academy player had his shot saved by goalkeeper Louis Wells, however Wells could only parry it to Jamie Brown who scored from the rebound. The goal proved to be decisive in a very even match.

The last time these two teams met at Wheatsheaf Park saw Eastleigh take a seventh minute lead in the 2010/11 season. Richard Graham (now at Dartford) floated in a free kick which found Jamie Slabber who headed in a well-placed goal. Just over ten minutes later Slabber completed his brace.

Tony Taggart (now at Sutton United) slipped a ball to Slabber and the former Tottenham Hotspur striker was in acres of space where he found the net with a powerful strike on goal.

Chris Holland (now at Havant & Waterlooville) put in an excellent cross which found his defensive team mate Tom Jordan. The Eastleigh captain was brought down and referee Paul Forrester awarded a penalty which Jamie Slabber stepped up to complete his hat-trick sending Louis Wells the wrong way.

Eight minutes later Slabber was on the score sheet again for his fourth goal in the match. Tony Taggart set up Slabber again, this time putting in a great cross for Slabber to tuck away clinically once more.

The Spitfires weren't finished there. Shaun McAuley (now at Basingstoke Town) was found by Anthony Riviere (now at Sutton United) and the winger did superbly to take the ball past his marker and power a thirty-yard strike on goal leaving Staines keeper Louis Wells no chance.

The match finished 5-0 to the Spitfires proving to be a day to remember for the Eastleigh faithful after several fans made the trip by a sponsored bike ride.

Come on you Spitfires!


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