Wealdstone v Eastleigh - FA Trophy Match Preview
Wealdstone v Eastleigh FA Trophy 3rd Round Grosvenor Vale
Saturday 19th December, 3:00pm kick-off
HOW TO WATCH Due to the London Borough of Hillingdon returning to Tier 3 in the COVID-19 tier system, elite football is being played in that area is required to be done so behind closed doors. We are still streaming this fixture live and you can purchase your streaming pass HERE.
THE CONTEXT Wealdstone and Eastleigh are spared a reprieve of league action this weekend as they both begin their FA Trophy campaign. The Stones famously won this competition in 1985, becoming the first team to complete the 'non-league double' of the Conference title and FA Trophy; Eastleigh have never got further than the quarter-finals, which they reached in 2014. These two sides previously met only last month where the Spitfires ran out 2-0 winners at their Silverlake Stadium. Eastleigh are coming to Grosvenor Vale off the back of a two-week isolation period following a COVID outbreak at the club.
TEAM NEWS Stones lost Michael Phillips to injury in last weekend's 2-1 win over Weymouth, he joins Ross Lafayette, Connor Stevens, Moses Emmanuel and Danny Parish on the injured list, although Stones were buoyed by the return of Jacob Mendy to the squad in the 2-1 win, Dan Wishart made a return to the squad via the subs bench, whilst Ashley Charles has joined Concord Rangers on a month's loan.
FORM GUIDE Stones: Weymouth (H) 2-1 W (Lewis, Cawley) Barnet (A) 0-0 D Torquay United (H) 1-2 L (Parish) Notts County (A) 3-0 L Sutton United (H) 3-3 D (Lafayette 2, Mendy)
Eastleigh: Maidenhead United (H) 0-1 L Yeovil Town (A) 1-3 W (Barnett, Tomlinson, House) Wealdstone (H) 2-0 W (Miley, Smart) MK Dons (H) 0-0 L (Lost 3-4 on penalties) Bromley (A) 1-2 W (House 2)
WHAT WAS SAID Dean Brennan: On Eastleigh: "The draw could've been kinder. Eastleigh are a strong side that'll be knocking on the top 7 and we went down there a few weeks ago and saw how good they are. They've got good players, a really good front line and well managed by a top manager in Ben Strevens."
On the FA Trophy: "I won the this as a player back in 2005 with Grays and it was one of the best weekends of my life! I scored a penalty in the shootout at Villa Park and it was a great weekend and a brilliant competition. Hopefully we can win it [the game]."
WHO TO WATCH FOR? Michael Green: The left-back is an Eastleigh stalwart having been at the club since 2011, making over 300 appearances. He has played a key role in the Spitfires rise through non-league, making 45 appearances in all competitions in their 2013/14 Conference South winning season that also saw them make their furthest run in the FA Trophy. He had a good performance against the Stones last month, slightly spoilt late on by a stoppage time red card. Although, he is expected to have another good game as he approaches his testimonial year at the club.
Played - 3 Won - 1 Drawn - 0 Lost - 2
LAST THREE MEETINGS November 2020 - Eastleigh 2-0 Stones January 2005 - Stones 1-4 Eastleigh (Jolly) August 2004 - Eastleigh 1-2 Stones (Alexander, Jolly)
MATCH & BALL SPONSOR We would like to thank both Ray Corner & Pete Carter for being Saturday's match sponsors.
Preview by Chris Woods