Eastleigh: Club history
Originally formed as Swaythling Athletic F.C. in 1946 and playing elsewhere, the club moved to the present Ten Acres site in 1957. Its first 40 years was spent playing County level football. In 1980 the club’s name was changed to Eastleigh F.C. and in 1986 it became a founder member of the Wessex League. There was another fifteen years of Wessex League football before winning the title in 2002-03 saw promotion to Southern Football League Division One East.
However, they were only to be in the Southern League for a single season, finishing 4th, before a massive restructuring of Non-League football by the F.A. saw the club being catapulted into the Isthmian Premier Division. That season, 2003-04, saw Eastleigh reach the play-offs, which they won, taking them up into Conference South.
From Wessex League to Conference South (partly aided by some restructuring) in three seasons, and one might have expected Eastleigh to stall, having outstripped their infrastructure and resources. And so they rather did, until attracting the attention of magnate Stewart Donald, then owner of Bridle Insurance, in 2010… which might be considered something of a surprise as a self-proclaimed life-long fan of Oxford United.
Donald was one of those ‘I’m going to get this club into the EFL in X years’ style owners, later suggesting in one interview he’d thrown £10 million at the project; though in another interview this claim was down-sized to a probably more realistic and likely £3 million. His time at Eastleigh certainly saw major development of the stadium, which was renamed Silverlake. On the pitch a failed play-off campaign in 2012-13 was swiftly followed by success in 2013-14 when Eastleigh were Conference South Champions and promoted into Conference National. The first season there saw more play-offs, but Grimsby Town dashed their hopes at the first stage. In 2018-19 they reached them again, this time denied by Salford City in the semi-final.
However, behind the scenes, Donald was perhaps getting itchy feet, or maybe even bored, as the project was taking longer than he’d thought. Already in 2015 he’d bought a 10% (the most allowed in another club without falling foul of conflict of interest rules) stake in Oxford United for half a million pounds. More decisively, in 2018, he bought Sunderland F.C., at which point he had to divest himself of any interests in Eastleigh.
Things went very badly at boardroom level at Sunderland, with a statement issued in early 2020 that the Black Cats would be being put up for sale again and after much rancour, and protests from fans, he finally sold a controlling stake in December 2020. Although initially retaining a minority interest and a seat on the board Donald is no longer listed as a director at the Stadium of Light so it’s possible he could turn up at Silverlake again.
It is certainly the case that most of the remaining Board currently holding 100% of the shares at Eastleigh are close associates of the former owner and Chairman. However, if it transpires Donald has cut his ties for good, Eastleigh will be another of those clubs to watch to see how it copes when the sugar daddy has gone.
In the curtailed 2019-20 National League season Eastleigh ended up 16th after PPG calculations; in the 2020-21 campaign they were 9th.
On 26th January 2022 the club sacked manager Ben Strevens after a poor run of results culminating with a loss to Dover Athletic the previous evening, the first team to do so for 365 days in any competition.
Eastleigh: We’ve Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Eastleigh
|07/07/2006||Away||Frnd||W||3-1||401||Webb 8, 20, Welsh 69|
|13/11/2021||Home||NLP||W||2-1||2494||Knowles 42, Yussuf 76|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Eastleigh
Eastleigh: Club Statistics
|02/01/2022||Weymouth||Home||NLP||W||3-2||2839||Barnett 40, Maghoma 64, Whitehall 90|
|08/01/2022||FC Halifax Town||Away||NLP||L||0-4||1822|
|15/01/2022||Notts County||Away||FAT4||L||1-2||2609||Pritchard 7|
|05/02/2022||Maidenhead United||Away||NLP||D||2-2||1159||Whitehall 72, Hill 79|
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win:||6||Games Without A Home Win:||2|
|Games Without An Away Win:||4||Games Without Defeat:||2|
|Games Without A Home Defeat:||1||Games Without An Away Defeat:||1|
|Games Without A Draw:||0||Games Without A Score Draw:||1|
|Games Without A No-Score Draw:||0||Games Without Scoring:||1|
|Games Without Conceding:||1||Home Results Sequence:||WLDWWLD|
|Away Results Sequence:||WLLLD||Overall Results Sequence:||WWLDWWLLLLDD|
Highest League Attendance: 3,076
Lowest League Attendance: 1,745
Average League Attendance: 2,321
Eastleigh: Club Information
Click for map.
Telephone Number: 02380 613361
Chairman: Kenny Amor
Media Officer: Tom Mulholland
Team Manager: Jason Bristow (caretaker)
Covered Terrace: some
Record Attendance: 5,250 v Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup Third Round, 09/01/2016.
Home kit: shirt blue with white sleeves and trim, shorts and socks blue.
Nickname: The Spitfires
Tickets for the National League trip to Silverlake Stadium on Saturday 12th February, kick-off 3.00 p.m., can be bought in advance through Eastleigh’s on-line ticketing portal. This is definitely one to buy in advance as there’s a £5.00 surcharge on the gate.
Away fans get blocks 1, 2 and 3 of the Mackoy Community Stand, which is around 400 seats with a behind the goal view; and the option of standing on the East Terrace. Seating is unreserved and fans are able to move freely between the two different stands. Entry is via turnstiles 10 and 11 which are open from 1.30 p.m. for a 3.00 p.m. kick-off.
UPDATE from Eastleigh 11/02/22: AWAY FANS CAN NOT BUY TICKETS AT THE GROUND, MUST BE BOUGHT IN ADVANCE ON LINE.
(£20 on gate)
Concession (60+): 10.00
(£15 on gate)
Student (aged 17-21): £5.00
(£10 on gate)
Junior (12-16): £2.00
(£5 on gate)
11 & under: FREE
There are 24 wheelchair spaces in the Mackoy Community Stand of which 7 are reserved for away supporters. Carers (higher rate DLA/PIP) get free entry. There is a toilet in the away end which is accessible for ambulant disabled fans but it is not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Wheelchair users will need to speak to a steward in order to use the wider accessible toilet at the other end of the Mackoy Stand past the home fans. Sarah Woolley, a wheelchair user herself, is the club’s Disability Liaison Officer and can be contacted to discuss any issues or clarifications at email@example.com.
Official Away Travel
The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Eastleigh on Saturday, February 12th.
Details are as follows:
Members: £13.00 Adults; £15.00 Concessions
Non-Members: £17.00 Adults; £15.00 Concessions
Coach departs Huish Park: 11.00 a.m.
To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.
You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.
Eastleigh: Directions To The Ground
One of shortest away trips in this season’s National League calendar for The Glovers; but that, with our earliest visit to Silverlake Stadium being for a 2006 pre-season Friendly, is still not going to see anyone likely to call this a ‘derby’.
Silverlake Stadium is some way out of town, to the south of Eastleigh, around two miles from the centre. This relative isolation, surrounded on three sides by the looping conjunction of the M3 and M27 and Southampton Airport, compounded by the lack of buses (see Buses, below), means it’s a pain to get to from the town.
Thankfully the policy of closing the northern section of Stoneham Lane to all traffic for six hours on matchdays that was in place when we were due to visit two seasons ago appears to have been abandoned. Presumably it was causing more problems than it was solving.
UPDATE from Eastleigh 11/02/22: at the moment there is a partial road closure in operation at the North end of the ground on Stoneham Lane. One lane is closed for pedestrians, with traffic lights in place. There is still access to the ground, but please be aware that there may be queues before and after the match as the North end of the road is running through one lane.
Eastleigh itself, although appearing in a Top Ten Places to Live in the UK in a 2006 Channel 4 survey, is rather a ‘nothing’ place, now close to being merely another Southampton suburb with the outward sprawl of that city. Its main (probably only) claim to ‘fame’ is that Benny Hill once lived there. The population of the actual town is around 25,000, increasing to 125,000 across the wider Borough.
From Yeovil there’s little difference in terms of either mileage or time between the most obvious northern or southern routes, both being just over 70 miles and likely to take around an hour and a half; so that decision will probably be determined by where one resides in the general area.
For the northerly option take the A303 up to the A36 roundabout. Take the A36 south and keep following until merging on to the M27 eastwards. Exit the M27 at Junction 5, taking the first exit of the Stoneham Interchange Roundabout. At the next roundabout take the first exit and the ground is first left along Stoneham Lane. (However, be aware there is no point driving right to the ground as there is no parking there for away fans – see Parking below.)
The southerly option is the A37 down to Dorchester; then the A31 across to join the M27. Thereafter directions to the ground are the same as immediately above.
Given the location of the stadium (see Directions to the Ground – General, above), on street parking anywhere close is problematic.
The club has a large car park with 600 spaces but there is NO parking for away fans, it’s all reserved the great & the good or pre-sold to home fans. There is an (unspecified) number of parking bays (which are free) for disabled Blue Badge holders, but apparently no way of booking them so seems to be first come first served.
The club recommends the Concorde Club (see Moldy Fig / Concorde Club below under Pubs) which offers parking for £5.00 on matchdays (though the amount of spaces on offer relies on whether it has an event on or not). Apart from that, its other suggestion is the parking at Southampton Airport Parkway Station at a flat rate of £7.00 on Saturdays. However this means around 1.2 miles (25 minutes) of walking to the stadium, mostly across Lakeside Country Park (see By Rail, below, for directions from the station to the ground).
If your going to have to resort to Southampton Airport Parkway Station we’d suggest you might as well try the car park in Lakeside Country Park itself first to see if there are any spaces, as the parking is free with no time restrictions at the weekend and the subsequent walk to the stadium half the distance. This is to be found towards the end of Doncaster Drove (see By Rail, below, for where that is and how get from there to the ground, in the directions from Southampton Airport Parkway to the stadium section). The walk from this car park to the stadium is 0.6 of a mile.
[Note: South West Trains has made a massive complexity of changes to its services in a ‘temporary’ timetable that lasts from Saturday 22nd January to Saturday 14th May. Some sites have yet to be updated with this new timetable at time of writing e.g. National Rail. You are strongly advised to check here to see how your journey plans may have been affected.]
The closest station to Silverlake Stadium is Southampton Airport Parkway, served by South Western Railway, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry trains, at 1.2 miles. (Should you choose to get off at Eastleigh Station in the town you’ll be just over two miles from the ground.) From Yeovil Junction services require a change at either Salisbury (with some services needing a further change at Romsey) or Basingstoke. Long waits to change at Salisbury at certain times can actually rather bizarrely sometimes make the much longer route via Basingstoke quicker, so check against your preferred departure/arrival times which is the better option. Journey times are generally around 2 hours.
For fans travelling from London the significantly longer mileage is both simpler and much quicker, with direct services out of Waterloo to Southampton Airport Parkway taking around one hour six minutes.
As the crow flies Southampton Airport Parkway to the stadium is only about six hundred yards, but don’t be tempted as the pavement soon runs out, and there’s a slip road for Junction 5 of the M27 and then a small river, Monks Brook, in the way. Instead, turn right on exiting the station, northwards along Wide Lane (A335). After 500 yards you are looking for a small road to your left, Doncaster Drove (signed for Lakeside Miniature Railway) to cross Lakeside Country Park. About half-way along this road runs out and becomes a footpath. The footpath comes to a small bridge that gets one across the aforementioned brook. Almost immediately after crossing the brook you’re back on roads. Veer rightwards up towards the roundabout, going off along the first exit. First left off this stretch takes you along Stoneham Lane to the stadium, which is on the left.
Be aware much of the route back across the park is unlit. Locals tend to take a torch if planning to do that walk in the dark.
For a ground well out of town, buses could be of use. Unfortunately, only a single service, Bluestar 2 (destination Southampton City Centre), runs near the ground. Services depart from outside Eastleigh railway station just past the hour and half hour, with the nearest stop to Silverlake to ask for being St Nicolas Church*. Journey time is around 17 minutes. From the church it’s a three minute walk to the stadium.
[*Note: Due to footpath improvement works on Stoneham Lane, St Nicolas Church bus stop in both directions will be closed until the 22nd February 2022. Temporary stops will be supplied for the duration by the end of the cycle path around 50 yards to the north.]
There are taxi ranks at both the nearest railway station to the ground, Southampton Airport Parkway, and at Eastleigh Station. Apart from that the numbers of various local taxi firms can be found here.
Spitfires unofficial – busier of the the two forums.
The Ramblers Club – forum board with very little traffic.
Daily Echo – obviously, being little more than a suburb of Southampton, and a Non-League club to boot, the Echo focuses vastly more on the Saints, but there is some coverage of the Spitfires.
Eastleigh : Food & Drink
As mentioned previously, Silverlake Stadium is in a somewhat isolated location. It’ll therefore come as no surprise to discover there’s a shortage of food and drink outlets in the area around the ground. Closest are the Moldy Fig and the Cricketers Arms (both below). Apart from those two, everything else is up in the town centre. Most of the pubs and bars there are much of a muchness so, being around two miles from the ground, may well not be worth the trouble. There is a Wetherspoon, The Wagon Works (28 Southampton Road, Eastleigh, SO50 9FJ), right opposite Eastleigh Station, with all the usual pluses and minuses that chain offers. For beer geeks, the best option by far in Eastleigh is Steam Town Brew Co. (below), but we’re now talking nearly two and half miles from the stadium, so probably only to be considered by the seriously committed.
The ground has two hospitality venues, The Hangar and Sherwoods, at the other end of the stadium from the away area. Although the club says both can be used by home and away fans (though it adds in BIG bold CAPITALS that “THIS MAY CHANGE ON A GAME BY GAME BASIS” so don’t be that surprised if turn up and find not allowed in) I get the impression this would only apply to Sherwoods in non-segregated situations – which isn’t applicable for our game. Anyway they charge £3.00 just to go into Sherwoods, so no loss there.
Therefore, assuming Eastleigh don’t pre-judge that we’re nasty dangerous types and bar away fans,
The Hangar (which is free to enter – how generous of them) is the likely option, open from 12.00 p.m. to 2.45 p.m. pre-match with the entrance external to the ground. You will be required to exit the bar 15 mins prior to kick-off. Once entering the stadium it cannot be accessed from the away area and thus during half-time is only available to home fans. Post match it remains open for one hour. Has accessible disabled adapted toilet provision. (The club states that at matches where it has closed this bar to visiting fans away disabled supporters will still be allowed on request to access the toilet if needed). While nothing to get too excited about, draught keg range in The Hangar appears to be a notch or two above the norm: in recent times there’s been Greene King’s East Coast IPA and Beck’s Vier amongst others joining such football ground dismal standards as Carling and Carlsberg. The house badged “Spitfire Lager” is a generic product brewed by Greene King for outlets to stick their own brand on – you have been warned. There’s also sometimes that rather rare luxury at football stadiums, cask ale. True, the most regular offering appears to be Greene King IPA but the odd offering from local micro-breweries has appeared. And the can/bottled selection can dabble with a bit of ‘craft’ on occasion, with options from Red Cat Brewing of Winchester and Flack Manor of Romsey sometimes to be seen.
…oh dear, and seems we are deemed to be nasty dangerous types, with the club announcing 11/02 that: there will be NO ADMISSION to The Hangar for Yeovil fans. There’ll be some temporary thing in the away area selling pints at £4.50 and bottles at £4 (options not specified but expect them to be grim) from 1.30 p.m.
Inside the stadium the food/drink provision is the usual range of Burgers, Hot Dogs, Chips, tea, coffee etc.; though there is something called a ‘Spitfire Special’ (a cheeseburger with bacon and pulled pork).
Cricketers Arms: Nearest ‘proper’ pub (see caveats about the Moldy Fig below) at 0.8 of a mile (15 minutes walk) due north of the stadium. Quite why its website gives Chandlers Ford in the address is a bit of a mystery – perhaps they think it sounds posher than Eastleigh. Its core cask range is naturally Greene King beers, with Abbot, GK IPA and Old Speckled Hen as the regulars. It’s been noticeable over the last couple of years that the GK tie has got more relaxed across its estate of pubs, with more tenants (possibly realising a lot of drinkers don’t actually rate Greene King’s beers very much) thus taking the opportunity to stock alternatives from other brewers. As this hostelry has seven more hand pumps (not all always in use) it’s possible there might be some better options to the three mentioned above available. Keg is from GK’s own lines and multinationals. Food is the usual mid-range fare familiar of chain pubs, served from noon to 10.00 p.m. every day. Disabled access and adapted toilet, children allowed until 9.30 p.m., patio area, beer garden, car park. Opens at 11.00 a.m. every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and at midnight on Friday and Saturday.
Cricketers Arms, 232 Chestnut Avenue, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3HN. Tel: 02380 629878. Map: Cricketers.
Moldy Fig / (Concorde Club): (The Concorde Club part is for ticketed music and comedy events.) Closest pub/club/hotel complex to the ground at a little under half a mile (7 minutes walk). For those using the Lakeside Country Park car park option or Southampton Airport Parkway Station it’s only about fifty yards off the route from there to the stadium once you’ve left the Park and hit the roads again. Same entrance to both aspects, then turning left for the Moldy Fig. Larger restaurant area, smaller bar area. Has three cask beers pumps, with tedious Doom Bar the regular. However, if pouring, and they aren’t always, the other two can sometimes offer something more interesting – there’s been beers from Exmoor Ales, Palmers and Flower Pots Brewery in the last few years. Serves breakfast, brunch, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner from 7.00 a.m. weekdays and 8.00 a.m. at weekends through to 9.00 p.m. The bar is generally open to serve alcohol from noon to 11.00 p.m. (though sometimes closes to members of the public at 6.00 p.m. for particular events or private hire) every day. Disabled access, woodland terraced garden, riverside patio, car park. From the above description it might be fair to surmise this venue is not necessarily natural away-day country. However, there’s no indication football supporters are banned – and there’s a few comments around the net from fans who’ve used it. But suffice it to say, entry as a large group chanting and kicking up a storm would be more than likely to produce a very short stay.
Moldy Fig at the Concorde, Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9HQ. Tel: 02380 613989. Map: Moldy Fig.
Steam Town Brew Co.: Microbrewery and Taproom that started up at the end of 2017. Opening hours are a straightforward noon – 11.00 p.m. throughout the week. Has from four changing cask beers on at a time, some of their own brews and usually something from other small independent breweries; up to sixteen changing ‘craft’ keg options from many different small breweries; a range of their own bottled and canned beers; two real ciders or perries; around thirty craft gins. Food (including children’s options) is a range of seven different Burgers (two vegetarian) and eight different varieties of Fries, available from noon until 8.45 p.m. every day. Disabled access, family friendly, outside tabled area. The venue expanded by opening an upstairs area in late 2021. Couple of hundred yards from Eastleigh Railway Station, but on the east side of the tracks, away from the town centre; and just under two and half miles from Silverlake Stadium. There is a bus stop for the Bluestar 2 service (see By Bus, above) right outside.
Steam Town Brew Co., 1 Bishopstoke Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 6AD. Tel: 02382 359139. Map: Steam Town.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You:
Benny Hill was once a milkman here – there’s a plaque, and a new road called Benny Hill Close, in the town centre to prove it. Seems the actual residents who bought dwellings in the development were less than impressed and raised a petition for a name change – to no avail. Sing along with the locals: Ernie, Ernieeeeeeeeeee, and he drove the fastest milk cart in the West…
Top-Tip: Those making their way independently rather than on one of the coaches, put your walking boots on.
Other Points Of Interest: Nope, Benny Hill is all there is.
[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]