Eastleigh F.C.

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Eastleigh
Eastleigh F.C. club crest.png
Full name Eastleigh Football Club
Nickname(s) The Spitfires
Founded 1946; 72 years ago (1946)
as Swaythling Athletic
Ground Ten Acres
Capacity 5,192 (2,700 seated)
Manager Ben Strevens (Caretaker)
League National League
2017–18 National League, 14th of 24
Website Club website

Eastleigh Football Club is a semi-professional association football club based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, England. The club currently competes in the National League, the fifth tier of English football, and plays its home matches at Ten Acres.

History[edit]

Formation to Wessex League (1946–1986)[edit]

The club was formed on 22 May 1946 by Derik Brooks and a group of friends in the Fleming Arms public house in Swaythling, Southampton and originally known as Swaythling Athletic, which then changed to Swaythling. The club began playing home matches firstly on Southampton Common and then at ‘Westfield’ in Swaythling. In 1950 they joined the Hampshire League. In keeping with their early progress, the club moved to a new ground at Ten Acres in 1957 – which remains their home to this day. In 1980 the club were renamed Eastleigh. Eastleigh were consistently one of the stronger teams in the top tier of the Hampshire League, Division One, in the early 1980s and they achieved their highest final position of 4th (three times: in 1982, 1984 and 1985.) Their first match in the FA Cup was a 2–1 success against Southern League side Poole Town in 1981. They went on to beat Melksham Town in the next round before succumbing 2–4 to another Southern League side, Dorchester Town.[1]

Wessex League (1986–2002)[edit]

In 1986 they were accepted as one of the founding members of the Wessex League and managed an 8th-place finish in their first season in 1986–1987. Eastleigh F.C. didn't manage a top seven finish until the 1995–96 season when a 4th-place finish was achieved, the first of six consecutive top-seven finishes. Paul Doswell joined the club in 2002 as manager and oversaw three successive promotions.

Rise up the leagues (2002–2005)[edit]

In 2002–03 they won the Wessex League and were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. After finishing fourth in their first season, the club were promoted due to the formation of the Conference North and South taking clubs from the division above, and were transferred into the Premier Division of the Isthmian League.

The club finished third in its first season in the Premier Division, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. After beating Braintree Town 2–0 in the semi-final, they were promoted to the Conference South after a 2–1 victory over Leyton in the final. The club also won the Russell Cotes cup, beating Gosport Borough 3–1 in the final.

Conference South (2005–2014)[edit]

Eastleigh's first game in the Conference South was a 1–0 defeat to Hayes. Eastleigh finished their first season in the Conference South in a creditable eighth place. They narrowly missed out on a play-off place in the 2007–08 season coming sixth after a final day defeat at Thurrock (4–1). In 2008–09, they finished third, but lost to Hayes & Yeading United in the play-off semi-finals despite holding a 4–0 advantage at one stage during the first leg. In the 2009–10 season, Eastleigh reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time narrowly losing to Barrow (2–1).

The ownership of the club changed in late 2011. On 26 November 2011, following a meeting of the board, it was announced that an offer from Bridle Insurance Limited for the majority shareholding of the club had been recommended for acceptance by the current shareholders. Bridle Insurance were then the primary sponsors of Oxford United.[2] Chief executive Stewart Donald and chief operations officer Neil Fox would both come on to the Eastleigh board as directors, with Paul Murray remaining as chairman.

The takeover by Bridle Insurance was eventually confirmed when the club announced the company had acquired the club's shares on 1 February 2012.[3] On 23 March 2012, chairman Paul Murray stood down from his post. Murray had formally stood down as chairman when the club was sold to Bridle Insurance, but had remained at the club in a non-executive chairman role. Mick Geddes was later appointed as his successor.[4]

On 16 May 2012, Eastleigh won their first silverware for seven years, beating Totton 2–0 in the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

On Tuesday 11 September 2012, following three successive league defeats, the last 4–0 away to newly promoted side Billericay Town, the club announced, following a meeting between manager Ian Baird and Stewart Donald, that it had been agreed that Ian Baird would leave the club with immediate effect.[5] Baird's replacement was announced the following day as ex-Stevenage Borough manager Richard Hill. Hill has also had spells assisting John Gregory at both Wycombe Wanderers and QPR, and Brian Little at Aston Villa. He has also been employed as assistant manager at Gillingham, Tranmere Rovers and Northampton Town.[6]

Eastleigh came close to achieving promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time during the 2012–13 season, by making the Conference South play-offs through finishing 4th in the league. After initially losing the first leg of the semi-final against Dover Athletic at home 3–1, Eastleigh overturned this with a 2–0 away win in the second leg, so the match went to penalties, with Eastleigh losing 4–2.[7] Eastleigh won the Conference South in 2013–14, sealing the title in front of a crowd of over 1,500 on 18 April 2014 when they beat Basingstoke Town 2–1[8] and achieved promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time in the club's history for the 2014–15 season.

Conference Premier / National League (2014–)[edit]

Eastleigh's first game in the Conference Premier was a 3–0 victory at Nuneaton Town. Their second game was their first ever live televised game on BT Sport;[9] Eastleigh beat Aldershot Town 1–0 with an injury-time winning goal. The 2014–15 season also saw Eastleigh's second appearance in the FA Cup 1st round proper, where they reached the second round for the first time, beating Lincoln City in the first round with a last-minute goal.[10] Eastleigh lost 2–1 at Southport in their first ever FA Cup second-round fixture.[11] Eastleigh spent their entire first season in the top half of the league and enjoyed an unbeaten run at home until into the new year. As home form dipped their away form soared, the club picking up victories at Braintree, Chester and most notably Bristol Rovers, whom they beat 2–1.[12] Eastleigh featured again on television with a convincing 4–0 home win over Macclesfield.[13] Eastleigh eventually secured a 4th-place finish after five consecutive wins culminating in a 2–1 win at home to Kidderminster in front of a record crowd of 4,024. The playoffs proved a bridge too far for Eastleigh, who were beaten 2–1 at the Silverlake Stadium and 3–0 at Blundell Park by Grimsby Town to lose 5–1 on aggregate.

After a run of just one point from five games, on 23 September 2015, Richard Hill resigned as Eastleigh manager. Chris Todd was quickly appointed caretaker manager, and after three victories from four matches he was confirmed as the new manager[14] on 15 October 2015. Eastleigh had a fine run of form under Todd and rose to third place in the league table by Christmas.[15] Meanwhile, the club was gaining national coverage for its FA Cup exploits. Eastleigh travelled to Crewe in the 1st round and achieved their first ever giant killing, courtesy of a 1–0 win with a Ben Strevens penalty.[16] In the second round, Eastleigh won 2–0 at minnow Stourbridge to record their first ever appearance in the Third round. On 9 January, Eastleigh drew 1–1 with Bolton. The game took place after much speculation it would be postponed, and sold out giving Eastleigh a new record attendance of 5,025. Ten days later Eastleigh travelled to Bolton and lost 3–2, having led 1–0 through a Joe Partington strike. As Eastleigh exited the FA Cup, league form dipped and they eventually finished seventh, missing out on a play-off place.

After just four games of the 2016–17 season, with Eastleigh languishing in 16th place, Chris Todd was relieved of his duties as Eastleigh manager.[17] Ronnie Moore was appointed and enjoyed an unbeaten run to start his time at Eastleigh. On 4 October, Eastleigh beat Maidstone 3–0[18] to move up to 5th in the league after offering free admission for all, which attracted a crowd of 4,114. However Eastleighs form dipped and Ronnie Moore left Eastleigh on 30 November with personal circumstances cited.[19] Eastleigh promptly appointed Martin Allen, who had won the league with Barnet in 2015. Unfortunately, Allen had little success with Eastleigh and was sacked on 22 February after just two wins from fourteen games.[20]

Whilst Eastleigh struggled in the league they again enjoyed success in the FA Cup. A first round home tie with Swindon Town was selected by the BBC for live coverage,[21] and Eastleigh drew 1–1. Eastleigh won the reply 3–1 at the County Ground. Eastleigh again required a replay to beat FC Halifax Town in the second round triumphing 2–0 at the Shay having drawn 3–3 at the Silverlake. In the third round Eastleigh travelled to Brentford, followed by a record ever away following of nearly 1,500 fans.[22] Eastleigh were 5–1 down at half-time and lost the game 5–1.

Richard Hill was brought in as director of football and in April 2017 was announced as the new Eastleigh manager for the 2017–18 season with Andy Hessenthaler as his assistant. Eastleigh had a poor start to the season and on 18 December Hessenthaler was appointed manager with Hill reverting to director of football. Eastleigh finished the season 14th, missing out on a top half placing for the second year in a row.

The summer of 2018 brought change off the field as Chairman Stewart Donald left for AFC Sunderland FC. His share of Eastleigh FC was transferred to Mark Jewell, the new Chairman, and 3 other directors, Kenny Amor, Tom Coffey and Joanne Sprigg. In October, following 4 victories manager Andy Hessenthaler left to join Dover Athletic.

Stadium[edit]

Eastleigh moved to Ten Acres in 1957 from their previous ground, Walnut Avenue. The club's record attendance is 5,025 for an FA Cup third round match against Bolton Wanderers on 9 January 2016.[23]

In 1976 floodlights were added to Ten Acres.

In 2004, following promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division, the old wooden stand was knocked down, and a new 352-seat grandstand was built on the half-way line stretching for just under a third of the pitch. Behind the motorway end hard standing was hard pitchside standing with a cover: this was named the Silverlake Stand. In 2006, the roof was widened across the Silverlake Stand to cover the whole width of the pitch.

Until 2006, the area opposite the grandstand was just hard standing backing into tall fir trees. During the summer of 2006, a metal back and roof were added, along with an electronic scoreboard on the roof of the Premier Telecom stand.

In 2009, 150 seats were added to the middle of the Silverlake Stand to give Eastleigh the necessary ground grading to compete in the Conference South play-offs.

The ground was, again, extensively redeveloped during 2014. New pitch-side fencing was installed following damage to the previous fencing during Eastleigh's championship winning game against Basingstoke. The former East Stand at Sandy Park (home of Exeter Chiefs RFC) was rebuilt along the Premier Telecom side of the ground as well as behind the clubhouse goal, providing a covered terraced accommodation for 2,000 spectators. On 2 December 2014, the newly completed 2,290-seater South Stand was opened for the first time in a Conference Premier game against Dartford, with the club allowing spectators in for free to celebrate the occasion.[24]

In early 2018 the 352 grandstand was extended by 550 to bring its capacity to 900 seats. This brought the capacity of the silverlake to 5,500.

Club colours, nickname and mascot[edit]

Eastleigh's colours are blue and white. They play in predominantly blue shirts with a white trim. They have white shorts and blue socks.

The club were without an official nickname until 2005 when a competition was run amongst the fans and "Spitfires" was chosen by supporter Mike Wimbridge. The Spitfire aeroplane was built in Southampton and first flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome, now Southampton Airport.

After the club gained its official nickname the club had an irregular mascot, Sammy the Spitfire, who was a dog. However, in 2015 a new mascot was selected, Brooksy the Bear, in honour of Mr Derik Brooks, who founded the club in 1946.

Rivalries[edit]

In Eastleigh's earlier Wessex League days they had rivalries with Sholing Sports, Hamble as well as a continued rivalry with A.F.C. Totton, who beat them 2–1 in the Wessex League cup final in the 2002–2003 season. As Eastleigh rose through the leagues their main rivals became Salisbury City whom they enjoyed a 4–0 victory over in the 2003–04 season. They have also had a rivalry with Havant & Waterlooville in recent years, largely sparked by the appointment of Ian Baird as Eastleigh manager in 2007.

As Eastleigh joined the Conference it lost any league games to teams within a radius of 40 miles, but regularly contested the Hampshire Derby with Aldershot Town.

Former players[edit]

Amongst the players who have played for Eastleigh and went on to play in The Football League are:

Current squad[edit]

As of 30 June 2018.[25]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Poland GK Max Stryjek (on loan from Sunderland)
2 England DF Josh Hare
3 England DF Michael Green
4 England MF Oscar Gobern
5 Benin DF Réda Johnson
6 England DF Ryan Cresswell
8 England FW James Constable
9 England FW Paul McCallum
10 Republic of Ireland MF Mark Yeates
11 England FW Chris Zebroski
12 England DF Callum Baughan
13 England GK Ross Flitney
No. Position Player
14 England DF Andrew Boyce
15 England DF Alex Wynter
16 England FW Ollie Dennett
17 Jersey MF Cavaghn Miley
18 England FW Ben Williamson
19 England MF Danny Hollands
20 England DF Lewis Harvey
21 England FW Tom Bearwish
22 Northern Ireland MF Joey Jones
23 England MF George Dowling (on loan from Bristol City)

Non-playing staff[edit]

According to Club website[26]
  • Chairman Mark Jewell
  • Chief Executive Kenny Amor
  • Operations Director Tom Coffey
  • Finance Director Joanne Sprigg
  • Directors Mick Geddes, Peter Vickery, Mick Budny, Alan Harding, Allen Prebble
  • Life President Derik Brooks
  • Caretaker Manager Ben Strevens
  • Assistant Manager Ryan Cresswell
  • Goalkeeping Coach Ross Flitney
  • Head of Academy Luke Hardy
  • Club Doctor Dr Greg Warner & Dr Luke Summat

Notable managers[edit]

Name Nationality From To P W D L GF GA GD Win%[27] Honours
Jenner Brown[28]  England 1982/83 1983/84 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Dick Donohoe[28]  England 1984/85 1986/87 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Tony Noble[28]  England 1987/88 1989/90 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Dave Saunders[29]  England unknown June 1990 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Don Gowans[29]  England June 1990 Mid way through 1994/95 season TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Roger Sherwood[28]  England Mid way through 1994/95 season 1996/97 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Ray Light[28]  England 1997/98 1998/99 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Derek Holloway[28]  England 1999/2000 2000/01 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Trevor Parker  England TBC November 2001[30] TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
John Diaper (Caretaker Manager)  England November 2001[30] 1 May 2002 TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC
Paul Doswell  England 1 May 2002[30] 4 December 2006[31] TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC TBC 2003 Wessex League title, 2004 Southern League Eastern Division 4th (promotion), 2005 Isthmian league playoff winners, Russell Cotes cup winners
Jason Dodd  England 4 December 2006[31] 9 July 2007 27 9 11 7 35 24 +11 33.3%
David Hughes  England 9 July 2007 3 October 2007 11 6 0 5 16 15 +1 54.5%
Ian Baird  England 3 October 2007 11 September 2012 255 118 50 87 452 370 +82 46.3% 2012 Hampshire Senior Cup
Richard Hill  England 12 September 2012 23 September 2015 160 88 27 45 290 200 +90 55% 2014 Conference South champions
Chris Todd (Caretaker)  Wales 23 September 2015 15 October 2015 4 3 0 1 8 7 +1 75%
Chris Todd  Wales 15 October 2015 17 August 2016 42 18 11 13 55 47 +8 42.9%
Ben Strevens (Caretaker)  England 17 August 2016 22 August 2016 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0%
Ronnie Moore  England 22 August 2016 30 November 2016 22 11 7 4 40 22 +18 50%
Martin Allen  England 1 December 2016 22 February 2017 15 2 5 8 16 28 −12 13%
Richard Hill  England 22 February 2017 17 December 2017 41 11 14 16 51 63 −12 27%
Andy Hessenthaler  England 18 December 2017 8 October 2018 23 8 6 9 34 38 -4 35%
Ben Strevens (Caretaker)  England 8 October 2018 Present 00 0 0 0 00 00 -0 0%
As of 20:32 04 May 2018

(Up to and including match vs Solihull Moors on 28 April 2018)
(Above stats include matches in the League, Play-Offs and all rounds in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, Hampshire Senior Cup and Conference League Cup)

League and cup history[edit]

Earlier records can be found at http://www.fchd.info/EASTLEIG.HTM

Season
League Contested Level
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
League Position
Avg. Home
Attendance1
FA Cup
FA Trophy
Leading scorer
1994–95 Wessex League 8 42 14 9 19 66 73 −7 51 14th of 22[32] PR[32]  –
1995–96 Wessex League 8 40 21 13 6 83 50 +33 76 4th of 21[32] PR[32]  –
1996–97 Wessex League 8 40 19 8 13 71 56 +15 65 7th of 21[32] PR[32]  –
1997–98 Wessex League 8 38 20 11 7 74 31 +43 71 4th of 20[32] PR[32]  –
1998–99 Wessex League 8 38 22 8 8 69 43 +26 74 4th of 20[32] PR[32]  –
1999–00 Wessex League 8 40 20 8 12 67 46 +21 68 7th of 21[32] 1Q[32]  –
2000–01 Wessex League 8 44 23 10 11 87 48 +39 79 7th of 23[32] PR[32]  –
2001–02 Wessex League 8 44 18 9 17 91 71 +20 63 13th of 23[32] 2Q[32]  –
2002–03 Wessex League 8 42 32 7 3 115 32 +83 103 1st of 22
Promoted[32]
2Q[32]  –
2003–04 Southern Football League Eastern Division 7 42 27 4 11 88 40 +48 82 4th of 22[33] 252[34] PR[35] R2[36] TBC
2004–05 Isthmian League Premier Divisiona 7 42 22 13 7 84 49 +35 79 3rd of 22
Promoted[37]
338[38] 3Q[39] R1[40] TBC
2005–06 Conference South 6 42 21 3 18 65 58 +7 66 8th of 22[41] 416[42] 2Q[43] 3Q[44] TBC
2006–07 Conference South 6 42 11 15 16 48 53 −5 48 15th of 22[45] 710[46] 3Q 3Q[47] Andy Forbes 24 (League)[48]
2007–08 Conference South 6 42 19 10 13 76 62 +14 67 6th of 22[49] 710[50] 4Q R2 Andy Forbes 26 (League)[48]
2008–09 Conference South 6 42 25 8 9 69 49 +20 83 3rd of 22
Playoffs Semi final
723[51] 3Q 3Q Tony Taggart 15 (League)[48]
2009–10 Conference South 6 42 17 9 16 71 66 +5 60 11th of 22 543[51] R1 3Q Richard Gillespie 18 (League)[48]
2010–11 Conference South 6 42 22 6 14 74 53 +21 72 8th of 22 537[52] 4Q R3 Jamie Slabber 25 (League)[48]
2011–12 Conference South 6 42 15 9 18 57 63 −6 54 12th of 22 548[53] 3Q 3Q Jamie Slabber 11
2012–13 Conference South 6 42 22 6 14 79 61 +18 72 4th of 22
Playoffs Semi final
593[53] 3Q 3Q Jai Reason 19
2013–14 Conference South 6 42 26 8 8 71 40 +31 86 1st of 22
Promoted
707[53] 3Q QF Craig McAllister 15
2014–15 Conference Premier 5 46 24 10 12 87 61 +26 82 4th of 24
Playoffs Semi final
1,752[54] R2[32] R1 Constable 19
2015–16 Conference Premier 5 46 21 12 13 64 53 +11 75 7th of 24 2,014[55] R3 R2 Constable 17
2016–17 National League 5 46 14 15 17 56 63 −7 57 15th of 24 2,246[56] R3 R1 Mandron 15
2017–18 National League 5 46 13 17 16 65 72 -7 56 14th of 24 1,959 4Q R1 Zebroski & Williamson 10
2018–19 National League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9th of 24 -

Last Updated: 17:01, 07 May 2018

a: Moved to Isthmian Premier League after Non-League System restructuring

PR = Preliminary Round; Q = Qualifying Round; R = Round Proper; P = Position; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Previous seasons[edit]

Club records[edit]

  • Top Goalscorer – Andy Forbes – 146[57]

(as at 15.00, 28 April 2012)

Most appearances[edit]

Competitive matches only. As of 16 October 2012[58]

# Name Nationality Position Eastleigh career Appearances Goals
1 Ian Knight  England Unknown Unknown 599 12
2 Keith Cooper  England Unknown Unknown 574 5
3 Johnny Williams  England Unknown Unknown 449 3
4 Bill Ragan  England Unknown Unknown 428 10
5 Terry Rawlins  England Unknown Unknown 374 27
6 Mel Davolls  England Unknown Unknown 372 6
7 Frank Mew  England Unknown Unknown 370 0
8 Malcolm Harris  England Unknown Unknown 351 0
9 Barry Joslin  England Unknown Unknown 343 4
10 Ray Light  England Unknown Unknown 325 17

Player of the Season award winners[edit]

Year Winner
2005–06 England Danny Smith[59]
2006–07 England Andy Forbes[60]
2007–08 England Andy Forbes
2008–09 South Africa Warren Goodhind
2009–10 England Richard Gillespie[61]
2010–11 England Jamie Slabber[62]
2011–12 England Jamie Slabber
2012–13 England Glen Southam[63]
2013–14 England Ben Strevens[64]
2014–15 England Ross Flitney[65]
2015–16 England Joe Partington[66]
2016–17 England Micheal Green
2017–18 England Sam Matthews[67]

Honours[edit]

  • Conference South
    • Conference South champions: 2013–14
  • Wessex League
    • Premier Division champions: 2002–03
  • Hampshire League
    • Division Two champions: 1967–70
    • Division Three champions: 1950–51, 1953–54
  • Southampton Senior League (West)
    • Champions: 1949–50
  • Russell Cotes Cup
    • Winners: 2005
    • Runner-up: 2006
  • Hampshire Intermediate Cup
    • Winners: 1951
  • Hampshire Midweek Floodlit Cup
    • Winners: 1979
  • Hampshire Senior Cup
  • Wessex League Cup[69]
    • Runners-up: 2002–03

References[edit]

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  66. ^ "Partington Scoops Top Awards For Eastleigh". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  67. ^ "Eastleigh Midfielder gets England call up". Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  68. ^ "Technology World-First At St. Mary's". Southampton FC. 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  69. ^ "Club History – 2000 – 2010 – AFC Totton". Pitchero.com. 29 November 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°57′08.26″N 1°22′18.37″W / 50.9522944°N 1.3717694°W / 50.9522944; -1.3717694