TT MATCH PREVIEW
Steve Harris – @SteveHarris84
Match details: Torquay United versus Eastleigh
Venue: Plainmoor, Torquay
Date: Saturday 1st May 2021
Current form (all competitions):
Torquay United: W, W, W, W, D, W
Eastleigh: W, D, L, W, W, W
Torquay: Asa Hall 12
Eastleigh: Tyrone Barnett/Ben House/Joe Tomlinson 9 each
Head to Head:
Last time the two teams met: Eastleigh 2 – 1 Torquay United, Tuesday 6th October 2020.
Ben House hit a second-half brace to earn Eastleigh a home win over Torquay and keep them top of the National League.
The Spitfires fell behind in the 24th minute when Sam Sherring, on loan from Bournemouth, headed in his first senior goal from a Connor Lemonheigh-Evans corner.
But House pulled Eastleigh level in the 73rd minute with an effort into the far corner from an acute angle.
House, who was also on target in their opening fixture against Barnet, then made it three goals in two games as he headed in Sam Smart’s cross with eight minutes to go.
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 National League play-offs where they were beaten by Salford City at the semi-final stage. They are currently targeting another play-off appearance in the current 2020-21 campaign.
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 he also served as player-assistant manager under Chris Todd and Richard Hill.
One to watch: Joe Partington
Position: Right Back
Date of Birth: Apr 1, 1990 – 31 Years Old.
Former Clubs: Portsmouth, Eastbourne, Aldershot, Eastleigh, Bristol Rovers.
International: Wales (8 caps, 0 goal for Wales U21)
National League Stats 20-21: Played 25, Goals 0.
Currently in his third spell with the Spitfires, centre back Joe Partington, 31, started his career with AFC Bournemouth in 2007. He became the youngest player ever to score for the Cherries when he found the target in a 2-1 win over Swansea City on April 5th, 2008.
Partington actually started his career as a central midfielder before being converted into a centre half by former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. However, an injury sustained during a loan spell with Aldershot Town curtailed his progress and he was loaned to Eastleigh towards the end of the 2014-15 season; a move that was later made permanent in the summer of 2015.
His displays for the Spitfires helped to earn him a move back to the Football League with Bristol Rovers in 2017, which was a record fee received by Eastleigh. Partington later returned to the SIlverlake Stadium in 2019.
He also represented Wales at Under-21 level eight times between 2009 and 2012.
View from the Sofa by Sam Jones:
Sort of glad I can’t watch this, because I don’t think my poor heart can take it anymore. After Scott Boden’s late, late, late winner on Tuesday, the Gulls are still top of the table, much to the ire of everyone around us. Who knows how today will go. Eastleigh are probably stronger than Aldershot and will certainly not settle for a point. The Gulls will have to be at their best today and at Chesterfield on Monday, but if we can get 6 points, who knows what will happen?
Ben Wynter – Sam Sherring – Joe Lewis – Dean Moxey
Adam Randell – Asa Hall – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Jake Andrews
Billy Waters – Scott Boden
Joe Partington – Andrew Boyce – Pierce Bird
Sam Smart – Cav Miley – Jack Payne – Ryan Hill – Michael Green
Tyrone Barnett – Adam Marriott