Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Eastleigh versus Torquay United
Venue: The Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh
Date: Tuesday 28th December 2021
Current Form (last six):
Eastleigh: L, W, W, W, D, W
Torquay L, L, W, W, L, W
Eastleigh: Harry Pritchard/Ben House (4 each)
Torquay: Armani Little (9)
Eastleigh fact file:
Year founded: 1946
Nickname: The Spitfires
Last season’s league finish: 9th in National League
Conference/Blue Square/National League South:
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.
Player to watch: Danny Hollands
It is now over 15-and-a-half-years ago since 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.
Position: Central Midfield
Date of Birth: 6th November, 1985 – 36 Years Old
Former Clubs: Chelsea, Torquay United, Bournemouth, Charlton, Swindon, Gillingham, Portsmouth, Crewe.
National League Stats 21-22: Played 7, Goals 0, Yellow/Red Cards 1/0
Eastleigh: Danny Hollands
Last meeting: Torquay United 3-1 Eastleigh, Saturday 1st May 2021
Torquay United strengthened their position at the top of the National League with a convincing win over play-off hopefuls Eastleigh.
However, on this occasion, unlike the Gulls’ previous two fixtures, there were no late goals scored in ‘Gary-time.’ Billy Waters gave United an early lead before second half goals from skipper Asa Hall and Jake Andrews – either side of Tyrone Barnett’s effort for the Spitfires – sealed the Gulls’ first win over the Hampshire side since February 2015.
TUFC: Waters (6), Hall (48), Andrews (75)
EASTLEIGH: Barnett (59)
Torquay (4-4-2): Covolan; B Wynter, Sherring, Warren, Moxey; Randell, Hall, Lemonheigh-Evans, Andrews; Waters (Mbungu-Kimpioka 76), Boden (Little 76)
Eastleigh (3-5-2): McDonnell; Partington (A Wynter), Boyce, Bird; Smart, Miley, Payne, Hill (House 71), Green (Tomlinson 71); Barnett, Marriott
Josh Hare – Andrew Boyce – Christian Maghoma – Vincent Harper
Sam Smart – Tom Whelan – Danny Hollands – Jake Hesketh
Ryan Hill – Tyrone Barnett
Torquay United (4-2-3-1):
Ben Wynter – Joe Lewis – Dean Moxey – Dan Martin
Armani Little – Tom Lapslie
Klaidi Lolos – Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Jack Sparkes
TT Talking Points:
Can the Gulls keep the good times rolling after the fantastic victory over Yeovil?
Will Gary keep the same 4-2-3-1 that started on Boxing Day?
Can we keep Jack Sparkes for a bit longer?