A rough guide to... Eastleigh

Cod Almighty | Article

by Tom Sargent

15 September 2021

Stewart Donald pulled the plug on their finances, but the Spitfires show few signs of going down the drain. Tom brings you up to speed on Eastleigh

How are you?

Pleased to be here. With a population of just over 24,000 the town of Eastleigh is really punching above its weight to have a football club competing in the fifth flight. They got here funded by Stewart Donald's insuro-dollars rising from the Wessex league all the way to the top of the non-league pyramid culminating in our play-off semi-final together in 2014-15.

Medium time, no see?

Just like Wrecsam, we haven't faced off since we were last in the top tier of non-League football in 2016. Since we've been gone, Eastleigh have remained in the Conference but curbed their spending. The star studded team that reached the play-offs is no more since Donald went off to buy a 10 per cent stake in Oxford and then Sunderland. He did plough over £10 million into Eastleigh so it would seem fair to say the Spitfire's faithful enjoyed the ride.

How are you feeling?

Former chair Donald was recently spotted at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium but any hopes of him returning to splash the cash seem to have been quashed. Since reaching the play-offs in 2014-15 Eastleigh have yo-yoed between upper and lower mid-table. Given they currently sit 15th you'd expect their fans will be happy to see more of the same.

Where are you from?

Darn sarf. Just outside Southampton, to be precise. The first Spitfire, manufactured in Southampton, was tested and flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome which is now Southampton Airport.

Pre-match factfile


On Tuesday night Eastleigh hammered Dover 4-1 (no real surprises there) and their two previous matches were score draws so let's hope for goals.

Last time

Town toppled Eastleigh in the play-offs a few years ago. Ollie Palmer and John-Lewis putting to bed any fears of a comeback.

Rivalometer - 1

Some of their supporters might want revenge for their play-off defeat but anyone who was at Blundell Park in the second leg will remember the great reception their supporters got and that we were, on that occasion deserved winners over the two legs.