Ian Baird’s Spitfires will meet Sutton United FC on Saturday in the FA Trophy 1st Round having not played a match in 18 days after three games in a row were postponed with the most recent fixture at Havant and Waterlooville FC on Monday night being called off just 90 minutes before kickoff.
The Hampshire Senior Cup 3rd Round game will now be played on the 13th of November which leaves Eastleigh and Hawks fans confused as both their league games will now be played at a later date.
Ian Baird will be very happy going in to this game knowing that Tony Taggart is staying at the Silverlake Stadium.
After an unsuccessful spell at Blue Square Premier outfit Newport County, the left winger had a return loan spell at Eastleigh during which Ian Baird saw enough to approach the board to keep Taggs (Tony Taggart) playing for the Spitfires.
His fantastic performance at Woking, sealed the deal in Ian Baird’s eyes.
Sutton United on the other hand has had a better season than the Spitfires. They sit one league below Eastleigh but are currently first place in the Isthmian League Premier and are the 11/8 favourites to win the league and gain promotion to the Blue Square Bet South.
Paul Doswell, the U’s (Sutton United) current manager, previously led Eastleigh to win the Wessex League Premier in the 2002/2003 season but quit Eastleigh at the end of the 2007/2008 season after six years.
Five former Spitfires are involved with Sutton at the moment including Andy Forbes who is on loan from Woking FC.
Having scored 148 goals in 268 appearances over 6 years he will get a resounding welcome from Eastleigh fans – Forbes has already scored 7 goals for the U’s in 11 games during the three month loan spell.
Wayne Shaw who was a key goal keeper for the Spitfires before Jason Matthews came on the scene is Sutton’s reserve goal keeper and goal keeper coach.
Karim El Salahi, Karl Murray and Steve Watts are all former Spitfires that now play for Sutton United. The prize for this game is not only to show what Paul Doswell is missing at the Silverlake but there is also a hefty £5000 in prize money.
The winner of this game could face a Blue Square Bet Premier team and a possible return match with
Barrow AFC could be on the card – which is almost a 600 mile round trip.