Fleet need to soar v Spitfires

The opportunity is there this weekend for the Fleet to make further upward movement in the Vanarama National League table if that elusive first home win can be claimed.

With Chesterfield away at unbeaten Bromley plus Aldershot and Barrow set to take points from each other, the sides immediately above the Fleet could be dragged nearer if Garry Hill’s side can do the job against Eastleigh.

From his post-match comments, the manager has been under no illusions about the unacceptability of the Aldershot performance but the games either side of it have yielded points.

“It’s two draws and a win in the last four,” said Hill. “Three games out of four. If someone said to me over the next four games would you take three results, I’d take them.

“Win, lose or draw, Tuesday night was the commitment I expect. We can take the workload out of the Dover game and into Eastleigh. That workrate wasn’t there last Saturday, it was Tuesday and we try and build on that and turn it round and move in the right direction in what will be a tough game against Eastleigh.”

Tyler Cordner’s impressive debut should see him keep his place in the starting lineup in a squad reduced by one as Sean Shields joined Bondz N’Gala through the exit door.

Cordner’s introduction and goalkeeper Jordan Holmes’ displays have given Hill encouragement and if Fleet can keep their first clean sheet of the season, that’s half the job done.

There has been some movement in the Eastleigh squad as well. Like the Fleet, they raided Bournemouth late on Monday to sign Cordner’s defensive colleague Charlie Seaman, the right-back making his debut on Tuesday night v Boreham Wood.

One of Eastleigh’s problems this season has been a lack of goals, with only Aldershot and Chorley scoring fewer. Manager Ben Strevens hasn’t yet found the replacement for Paul McCallum’s goals, the top scorer having moved on to Solihull Moors in the summer.

To that end, he brought in a second loanee in the form of Southampton’s Marcus Barnes to supplement a forward line that includes Ben Williamson – who got off the mark last week – and former Woking and Aldershot veteran Scott Rendell. The much-travelled front man – who tends to appear from the bench these days – played under Garry Hill for Woking and has a decent record of scoring against the Fleet, with the Spitfires having fired more than a goal a game only once this season.

Another striker Strevens could call on is Tyrone Barnett, who was the first man to find the net against Garry Hill’s Fleet when he scored for Cheltenham Town in last season’s FA Cup.

Jack Payne in action against his new club Eastleigh last season

Jack Payne returns to his former home ground in midfield for the Spitfires, who moved into 14th place with their midweek win over Boreham Wood, to add to impressive three-pointers against Notts County and away at Solihull.

A couple of injuries have kept players sidelined recently, with defenders Alex Wynter and Rob Atkinson plus midfielder Cav Miley potential doubts.

Eastleigh have won only once in nine attempts against the Fleet, that coming in their title-winning season of 2013/14 while their 3-0 defeat at the Kuflink Stadium at Christmas, still fresh in the mind, is sure to spur them on to try and reverse that statistic.

The match is not segregated and Eastleigh fans are free to use the Fleet social club. Car-parking is available at Ebbsfleet International Station Car Park C for £3. Drivers are advised to avoid parking around the premises of local business and to avoid leaving cars on the Thames Way clearway near the roundabout as that runs the risk of being ticketed.


Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on WhatsApp
Share on email
Email this article


Ed Miller

Ed Miller

Ed Miller has been Ebbsfleet United's communications manager and programme editor since 2014 and responsible for the club website since 2007. Contact him on ed.miller@eufc.co.uk

More News


match stats

Click to enlarge »

First-Team Squad