There’s no real rush to get a new manager in at tomorrow’s opponents Eastleigh.

The Spitfires parted company with Ben Strevens following an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at the National League’s whipping boys Dover Athletic – *cough* who we drew at home with *cough* – at the end of January.

His assistant Jason Bristow has been placed in interim charge which is expected to run until the end of the season with the club unlikely to challenge for the play-offs or get sucked in to a relegation scrap.

They head in to match with Yeovil on the back of six matches without a win since their 3-2 win at home to W*ymouth at the end of December.

But, five of their last six have come away from home with their only defeat on home soil coming virtue of an 89th-minute winner from Chesterfield a couple of weeks ago.

Under Bristow, they did manage to stem the tide of defeats with a 2-2 draw away at Maidenhead United last weekend conceding a late equaliser having led with 11 minutes to go.

The big news in recent weeks has been the signing of a South Coast legend in former AFC Bournemouth and Portsmouth striker Brett Pittman.

The 34-year-old joined on loan from Bristol Rovers until the end of the season having netted four times in 16 League two matches. He played 63 minutes at Maidenhead.

Eastleigh are looking to Pittman to replace the goals left by the departure of Ben House who joined League One side Lincoln City on transfer deadline day.


Speaking after seeing his side concede a late equaliser to settle for a point at Maidenhead United last weekend, interim boss Jason Bristow was full of praise for his players.

He said he was “really frustrated” with the manner of the two goals his side conceded with the 87th-minute equaliser coming from another strike from the edge of the box, a carbon copy of the goal they conceded against Chesterfield the week before. Note to Tom Knowles: If you get a chance to have a dig from the edge of the box – have one!

The boss said: “The lads showed a lot of character, we were 1-0 down and with the exception of the first 10-15 minutes of the second half when they were on top, we played really well.

“We kept the ball well and we were unlucky not to have gone 3-1 up, so it’s disappointing but I’m pleased with the application of the lads.”

Like his Yeovil counterpart Darren Sarll, Bristow says he is looking for more goals from his side having scored 28 in their 25 National League fixtures – two more than Yeovil – who he says the side will pull together to face.

He said: “We have got enough there to see the lads are working hard and trying for the club and each other.

“We’ll come back in on Monday and try and put a plan together to beat Yeovil.



Centre back Alex Wynter is a long-term injury absentee having been injured at the end of last season.

The former Crystal Palace player has missed much of the past couple of seasons but was instrumental when Eastleigh reached the play-off semi-finals in 2018-19.

Attacker Sam Smart joined National League South side Havant & Waterlooville on Friday having not featured for the Spitfires for nearly a month.


Playmaker Tom Whelan and full-back Michael Kelly are the most obvious connection between with hosts this weekend.

Whelan was a regular feature in the first month of Darren Sarll’s time at Huish Park featuring in the first eight matches of the 2019-2020 National League campaign.

But, having seemingly fallen out of favour, he was allowed to leave on loan from Chippenham Town and then W*ymouth in the National League South, eventually being exiled to the Bob Lucas Stadium.

In fairness, in the murky depths of the Dorset coastline he shone and eventually saw sense and moved to the National League paupers of Cashterfield where it is fair to say he tore us a new one in a 3-0 win in Derbyshire last season.

He’s been a regular starter this season alongside full-back Kelly, who filled in at left-back when Carl Dickinson was unavailable for much of last season whilst on loan from Bristol Rovers.

The Scotsman was released by the Gas at the end of last season and arrived on the South Coast in the summer.

He was a regular under Ben Strevens but has not featured since the 1-0 defeat at Dover at the end of last month and was an unused substitute against Maidenhead last weekend.

In the green and white corner, Glovers’ captain Luke Wilkinson and a six-game loan spell at Eastleigh whilst a Portsmouth player back in 2010.

There’s a few other players with connections with both clubs including full-back Joe Tomlinson who played in the youth set up at Huish Park before arriving at Eastleigh via Bognor Regis and Hungerford – what a journey!

He impressed at National League level and made the step up in to the Football League at Peterborough United in the summer.

Christian Maghoma, who had a spell on loan from Tottenham in November 2015 and departed without playing a single game, ended his loan spell at Eastleigh last month and returned to his parent club, Gillingham.

Striker Ryan Bird scored eight times in 36 appearances for Yeovil in the 2015-16 season before moving to Eastleigh where he managed three in 16 the following year.

Other connections include Yemi Odubade, Alefe Santos, Aaron Martin, Marcus Barnes, Alex Lacey, Oscar Gobern, Jake Howells and a striker called Thomas Clarke, the latter having a Wikipedia entry as impressive as his lower league journeyman career.

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