Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Torquay United versus Eastleigh FC
Date: Monday 18th April 2022
Current Form (last six):
Torquay: W, L, W, W, W, W
Eastleigh: L, L, L, W, L, L
Torquay: Armani Little (14)
Eastleigh: Danny Whitehall (8)
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: Lee Bradbury
Isle of Wight born Lee Bradbury took charge of the Spitfires in February 2022, following the departure of Ben Strevens.
His managerial career began in 2011, when he succeeded Eddie Howe as manager of AFC Bournemouth on a caretaker basis before he was appointed on permanent basis. In his first season, the 2010-11 campaign, he led the Cherries to the League One play-offs. However, a poor run of form saw him dismissed in March 2012.
Later that year, Bradbury was appointed as manager of Havant and Waterlooville, who he guided to back-to-back promotions between the Isthmian Premier Division to the National League in successive seasons – 2016-17 & 2017-18 – before they were relegated back to National League South in the 2018-19 campaign.
He then left the Hawks in 2019 and then a brief spell as Eastbourne Borough manager, which was followed by a stint as assistant manager to John Yems at Crawley Town – a position which he held until his appointment as Eastleigh manager.
As a player, Bradbury started out in the professional game with Portsmouth in 1995 after leaving the Army and later earned moves to Manchester City and Crystal Palace. Spells with Walsall, Oxford United and Southend United then followed before he finished his playing career with AFC Bournemouth in 2011.
Player to watch: Danny Hollands
It is now a little over 16 years 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.
Date of Birth: 6th November 1985 – 36 years-old
Former Clubs: Chelsea, Torquay, Bournemouth, Charlton, Swindon, Gillingham, Portsmouth, Crewe
National League Stats 21-22: Played 18, Goals 2, Yellows/Reds 5/0
Eastleigh: Danny Hollands
Last meeting: Monday 28th December 2021 – Eastleigh 2 Torquay United 1
Eastleigh came from behind to beat Torquay in their National League clash at Silverlake Stadium.
The Gulls took the lead in the 32nd minute through an angled drive from captain Armani Little, who netted his 10th goal of the season. Eastleigh were level on 53 minutes, though, when Tom Whelan converted a penalty after he had been fouled in the box.
And the Spitfires secured all three points when Tyrone Barnett’s header found its way past goalkeeper Shaun McDonald.
Eastleigh (4-4-2): McDonnell; Hare, Boyce, Broadbent, Kelly; Whelan, Hollands, Hesketh (Maghoma 88), Hill (Smart 90); Barnett (Whitehall 72), Pritchard
Torquay United (4-3-1-2): MacDonald; Wynter, Lewis, Moxey, Martin; Lapslie (Hall 44), Little, Sparkes (Johnson 65); Lemonheigh-Evans; Lolos (Holman 80), Wright
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Ben Wynter – Joe Lewis – Dean Moxey
Chiori Johnson – Stephen Duke-McKenna – Armani Little – Tom Lapslie – Dan Martin
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Danny Wright
Brennan Camp – Andrew Boyce – Tom Broadbent – Vincent Harper
Sam Smart – Cavaghn Miley – Danny Hollands – Danny Whitehall
Brett Pitman – Tyrone Barnett