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Match Previews

Preview: Eastleigh (A)

31 August 2019

The Bees are back on the road today as they travel to Eastleigh, hoping to return to winning ways.

Darren Currie’s side go into the game off the back of a second successive 2-2 home draw, this time against Torquay United on Monday.

Jean-Yves Koue Niate netted with only five minutes on the clock before Armani Little gave the visitors a two-goal cushion going into half-time.

However, the Bees managed to complete a comeback in the second period thanks to goals from Ephron Mason-Clark and Jack Taylor.

The Opposition

After finishing seventh last season, Eastleigh booked themselves a spot in the play-offs but would suffer semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Salford City.

The Spitfires haven’t played higher than the fifth tier but promotion to the Football League will undoubtedly be in their sights again this time around.

However, they currently find themselves occupying 17th spot but are unbeaten in their last two games.

After winning their season opener against Notts County, Eastleigh would go five games without a victory before clinching three points against Solihull on Monday.

The Spitfires haven’t won at home since the first game of the season but will be hoping to break that drought this afternoon.

The Bees are travelling to the Silverlake Stadium, a ground which was opened in 1957 and has a capacity of 5,500 whereby 3,210 are seating.

Manager: Ben Strevens

This season marks Ben Strevens’ first full one as Eastleigh manager since he took charge permanently in November of last year.

The 39-year-old originally took the reins as interim boss after a spell as assistant manager and quickly proved why he was the right man for the job.

The only previous managerial experience Strevens had came at Whitehawk, taking up temporary joint manager role alongside his playing duties.

No stranger to Barnet, the former midfielder joined the Bees from Wingate & Finchley and made over 200 appearances for the club as a player.

During his time with us, he was also sent on loan to former club Wingate & Finchley, Slough Town and St Albans City respectively and was part of our Conference winning side of 2005.

He joined Crawley Town in 2006 before signing for Dagenham & Redbridge in the same year where he’d taste Conference promotion again.

However, he was then snapped up by Brentford in 2009 in a brief spell before joining Wycombe Wanderers the following year. Whilst with the Chairboys, he was part of the side that won promotion to League One in 2011.

Gillingham proved to be his next destination in 2012 before he briefly returned to Dagenham ahead of his first spell at Eastleigh. He helped the Spitfires to promotion to the Conference and also played a vital part in their first season in the division.

He left the club in 2016 to join Whitehawk before quickly making a return but he hung his boots up ahead of taking the managerial role last year.

Last Time Out:

Last season saw the Bees clinch a comfortable 3-0 victory away at Eastleigh in April, our last meeting with the Spitfires.

Shaq Coulthirst found the net either side of a 52nd minute Ephron Mason-Clark goal to seal the win.

As for the Spitfires, they were reduced to 10 men just before half-time with the score at 1-0.

Top Scorer: Danny Hollands

After netting a brace on Monday against Solihull Moors, midfielder Danny Hollands is currently the Spitfires top scorer with two goals to his name.

Connections:

Alongside manager Strevens, goalkeeper and coach Ross Flitney is also a former Bee after making over 50 appearances for the club between 2005 and 2007 before leaving for Grays Athletic.


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