Getting to know the opposition: Eastleigh

Getting to know the opposition: Eastleigh

Following the goalless draw against Aldershot Town, the Spireites head back on the road for a trip to Hampshire, in order to face Eastleigh FC.

Key Facts about Eastleigh FC

Founded: 1946, as Swaythling Athletic
Manager: Jason Bristow (Interim Manager)
Nickname: The Spitfires
Stadium (Capacity): Silverlake Stadium (2,700) 

The club featured in and around the local divisions of the South West before securing promotion to the Conference South in 2005.

Nine years on and the Spitfires managed to rise up the ranks once more by climbing into the National League, for the first time in their history.

Since establishing themselves as a mainstay in the fifth tier of English Football, Eastleigh managed to reach the third round of the FA Cup for the first time. Under the guidance of Ben Strevens – who has since departed – the club exited the tournament after a replay defeat to Bolton, before crashing out 12 months later due to defeat against now Premier League Brentford.

In recent years in the league table, Eastleigh followed up a 17th place finish from the 2019/20 campaign with a top half finish in ninth last time around. The club is one that is on the rise and showcased this fact by finishing only two points off the play-offs.

League Campaign so far:

ClubLeague PositionWinsDrawsLossGoals ForGoals AgainstPoints
Eastleigh FC14th9410263531

The Spitfires are one of the weakest goalscoring outfits in the Vanarama National League, right now. A record of 26 goals means that they have the fifth lowest tally this season. The only side above them in the standings to provide a lower record is Yeovil Town (23), who sit only one place higher in the standings.

Contributing to the goals, Tyrone Barnett leads the way. The 36-year-old veteran has netted on five occasions this season, whilst Harry Pritchard and former Spireite Tom Whelan have both scored four goals in the opening 23 outings.

On average, Eastleigh score 1.13 goals per game, which is substantially lower than the Spireites, who have scored 1.91.

Their defensive record seemingly matches Eastleigh’s midtable status. Only Aldershot Town and Wealdstone United have better records whilst occupying a lower spot in the National League table. At the other end of the table, the Spitfires have a tighter defence than Woking and Torquay United, who respectively sit in 12th and 11th position in the division. 

Although the club’s record in relation to goals conceded is satisfactory, Eastleigh have only kept four clean sheets all season, which once again is much lower than that of Chesterfield’s, who have kept 12 from the opening 23 games. 

Home SideResultAway Side
Chesterfield FC1-0
(26th October 2021)
Eastleigh FC
Eastleigh FC0-1
(2nd April 2021)
Chesterfield FC
Chesterfield FC1-0
(2nd March 2021)
Eastleigh FC
Eastleigh FC0-2
(18th January 2020)
Chesterfield FC
Chesterfield FC1-2
(5th October 2019)
Eastleigh FC

The previous five meetings between these two paint a very clear picture. Four of the five clashes have favoured Chesterfield, although the last three of those have ended in a narrow 1-0 win for the Spireites.

The last time these two faced each other, in October 2021, a first-half winner from Kabongo Tshimanga was the difference during what was a run of 14 games without defeat. In the National League, the Spireites have only lost one game, which was the 3-2 loss to Maidenhead United, since they last faced Eastleigh. 

The recent form may favour Chesterfield; however, it is worth noting that only one meeting has seen the Spireites win by more than a single goal. This fixture in January 2020 provided a 2-0 win at the Silverlake Stadium. The win was secured by goals from Jonathan Smith and Tom Denton.

By Sam Plummer