Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Eastleigh FC V Torquay United – National League
Venue: The Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh, SO50 9NW
Date: Tuesday 26th November 2019
National League form (last 6):
Eastleigh : W – D – D – L – W – D
Torquay United: L – W – W – W – L – L
Last time the two teams met: Torquay United 1 Eastleigh FC 2 – Saturday 13th Jan 18
In a re-arranged fixture which had been due to take place on New Year’s Day 2018, Eastleigh came away from Plainmoor with a hard-earned victory.
Bournemouth loanee Sam Matthews gave the Spitfires the lead on nine minutes with a low strike that trickled over the line, despite United keeper Ryan Clarke getting a hand to his shot. The Gulls levelled matters in the 34th minute, when a Jake Gosling cross found Luke Young, who struck with an effort from the edge of the penalty area to score his fourth goal of the season.
United were then dealt a major blow on 70 minutes, when Gavin Hoyte capitalised on a lapse in concentration in the Gulls’ defence to restore Eastleigh’s lead against the run of play. To compound United’s misery further, Jamie Reid missed from the penalty spot on 79th minutes, after Bristol City loanee George Dowling had been felled in the area, as his spot-kick was comfortably saved by Spitfires keeper Ross Flitney. It was especially disappointing for Reid, as he had previously netted from the spot on Boxing Day against the Spitfires in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day.
Manager: Ben Strevens
After being appointed as Eastleigh manager in November 2018, following a spell as caretaker manager, Ben Strevens guided the Spitfires into the 2019 National League play-offs where they were beaten by Salford City at the semi-final stage.
As a player, Strevens had made his name as an attacking midfielder with Barnet before enjoying spells with Crawley Town, Dagenham and Redbridge, Brentford, Wycombe Wanderers and Gillingham amongst others. He also had two playing spells with Eastleigh between 2013 and 2016 and 2016 to 2018, and served as player-assistant manager under Chris Todd and Richard Hill.
One to watch: Danny Hollands
It was approximately 13-and-a-half years ago that Danny Hollands was drafted in on loan as a young hopeful from Chelsea by then United manager John Cornforth in the 2005-06 season. Hollands appeared ten times for United under Cornforth and his successor Ian Atkins, who oversaw a great escape in which Hollands played a key role in securing. He also found the back of the net once in a thumping 4-0 win at home against Stockport County, which was followed by a memorable 2-1 away win over champions elect Carlisle United – which all but sealed United’s survival. Hollands has since enjoyed a fruitful career with Bournemouth, Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and Crewe Alexandra before he signed for the Spitfires in 2017. He is currently the Spitfires top scorer this season with seven goals.
Classic encounter: Eastleigh FC 1 Torquay United 2 – Saturday 14th Feb 2015
In their first ever visit to the Silverlake Stadium, United came away as victors on Valentines Day and also completed the double over Eastleigh in the process.
After falling behind to an early goal from veteran striker Deon Burton, United equalised on the stroke of half-time through Frenchman Olivier Gueguen. In the 78th minute, the Gulls scored a decisive second goal through leading scorer Ryan Bowman, which clipped the Spitfires’ wings.
Rob Atkinson – Joe Partington – Reda Johnson – Andrew Boyce
Sam Smart – Jack Payne – Danny Hollands – Cavaghn Miley
Scott Rendell – Marcus Barnes
Ben Wynter – Robbie Cundy – Kyle Cameron – Ramarni Medford-Smith
Kalvin Kalala – Matt Buse – Joe Lewis – Ben Whitfield
Saikou Janneh – Manny Duku
COYY – Steve