Eastleigh vs Maidenhead United: Vanarama National League, Tuesday 8th October 2019, 7.45pm kick-off.
An important week for the Magpies begins at the Silverlake Stadium tomorrow as the Magpies attempt to get back on track.
They began October with a narrow home defeat against league leaders Halifax at the weekend, but will look to end a run of seven games without a win.
The Spitfires sit in 14th place in the Vanarama National League, and earned a good win at Chesterfield on Saturday.
Maidenhead’s disappointing run of league form continued at the weekend, as Halifax took all three points away from York Road. An early strike from Liam McAlinden was enough for the visitors to win the game.
The Englishman’s fine half-volley in the opening minute was the only goal.
The Magpies looked toothless in attack, but they can be pleased that they only lost by one goal against the side at the top of the league.
After a terrific opening month, they’ve struggled in the league recently and currently sit in 16th place. Considering though that the majority of their points this season have come away from home, this week could potentially provide them a chance to rise again as they face two away trips.
Eastleigh have had a steady rise up the English pyramid in the last 20 years, which culminated in their promotion to the National League in 2014.
Their rise almost lead the club to the Football League last season, but they were ultimately beaten in the play-off semi-final by Salford City.
Back to this season, and Ben Strevens has been unable to lead his side to a similar position in the early weeks of the campaign.
They sit in mid-table, with an equal distribution of wins, draws and defeats after 15 games.
They will have momentum on their side though as they came from behind to win at the Proact Stadium against Chesterfield at the weekend.
Tom Denton gave the hosts an early lead, but Eastleigh equalised through Tyrone Barnett. The comeback was complete as Marcus Barnes scored with ten minutes played in the second-half.
Despite an inconsistent start, they have won two of their last three games and will look to make life even harder for the Magpies.
Last time out
The points were shared equally in the fixtures between the two clubs last year, with both claiming a win in their respective home matches. Maidenhead won the opener at York Road in September 2018.
An unexciting first half was brought into life at the end, with the Magpies managing to take a two-goal lead. Josh Kelly opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, as he evaded two defenders before rounding Graham Stack, and putting the ball into an empty net. In the blink of an eye, it was 2-0 as Kelly doubled his tally for the day. The ball rebounded back into his path before he was able to find the roof of the net.
Eastleigh’s win in April secured the club a guaranteed place in the play-offs. Mike Fondop’s handball in the first-half gave the Spitfires a chance to take the lead from the penalty-spot, and Paul McCallum fired the ball into the top left corner. It was two in the 38th minute after some individual brilliance from Mark Yeates doubled their lead, and that was how the match ended.
After finishing seventh they ultimately fell short in the National League play-offs with a semi-final tie against Salford. They were only a penalty-shootout away from promotion last year, so can definitely cause Maidenhead problems.
A busy week of away football begins tomorrow night as the Magpies make the midweek trip to the Silverlake Stadium. The Spitfires will look to close the gap with a win, and get a second in a row in the process. For the Magpies though, if they can successfully end a run of seven games without a win, they could even rise to 11th with victory.