Wealdstone v Eastleigh - Match Preview
THE DETAILS Wealdstone v Eastleigh Vanarama National League Grosvenor Vale Tuesday 23rd February, 7:45pm kick-off HOW TO WATCH Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the government, all elite football is required to be played behind closed doors. We are still streaming this fixture live and you can purchase your streaming pass HERE.
THE CONTEXT Eastleigh make their second visit to Grosvenor Vale of the season after meeting the Stones here in the FA Trophy 3rd Round back in December. The Spitfires looked to be cruising into the 4th Round after leading 3-0 at half time, but were pegged back by a Stones storm in the second half with the hosts completing an emphatic 4-3 comeback win, with Stuart Moore adding to the visitors woes by saving a 95th minute penalty for the Stones. The sides also met at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium in November where the home side completed a comfortable 2-0 win. The Hampshire club are on a seven-match unbeaten run at the moment and are sat in 4th place in the league, just seven points behind league leaders Torquay and with a game in hand. Wealdstone's 4-1 defeat to Sutton United on the weekend sees them stay in 19th position.
TEAM NEWS Wealdstone will be without Ashley Charles after he was sent off in the weekend's defeat to Sutton United, Connor Smith does return though after completing his suspension. Ross Lafayette and Josh Meekings completed their return from injuries in the Sutton game from the bench where they got some vital minutes in the second half. Michee Efete remains out with a knee injury but apart from that the Stones are near full-strength.
FORM GUIDE Stones: Sutton United (A) 4-1 L (Parish) Torquay United (A) 1-1 D (Mendy) Darlington (A) 4-1 L (Emmanuel) Altrincham (A) 2-0 L Aldershot Town (H) 3-4 L (Lewis, Dyer, Emmanuel)
Stockport County (H) 1-0 W (Tomlinson) Hartlepool United (H) 2-1 W (House, Barnett) Yeovil Town (H) 1-0 W (Hill) Solihull Moors (H) 1-1 D (Barnett) Wrexham (H) 1-1 D (Tomlinson)
WHAT WAS SAID Stuart Maynard: "I'd like a repeat of the 4-3 result, maybe not the scoreline! Defensively we've got to stop shipping goals and be more solid and resilient. They're in good form and they're a good team. There are no easy games in this league as we know, but we will go into Tuesday night with a game plan and will watch them properly over the weekend and we will give it a good go."
WHO TO WATCH FOR? Joe Tomlinson: Tomlinson was Spitfires' boss Ben Strevens first summer signing after joining from National League South side Hungerford Town. The 20-year old defender has taken the step-up in divisions in his stride and has cemented his place in the Eastleigh side this season as they look to challenge for the title. A defender with clearly a bright future ahead of him, he is also lethal from the penalty spot, scoring all of his six goals from 12-yards this season.
HEAD-TO-HEAD Played - 4 Won - 2 Drawn - 0 Lost - 2
LAST FOUR MEETINGS December 2020 - Stones 4-3 Eastleigh (Wakefield, Cawley, Lewis, Mendy) November 2020 - Eastleigh 2-0 Stones January 2005 - Stones 1-4 Eastleigh (Jolly) August 2004 - Eastleigh 1-2 Stones (Alexander, Jolly)
MATCH & BALL SPONSOR Tuesday night's Match Ball has been sponsored in memory of Jim Klarfeld.
Preview by Chris Woods