Eastleigh take on old rivals Dover Athletic

Craig McAllister netted in Eastleigh's second on Saturday

Craig McAllister netted in Eastleigh’s second on Saturday

The Spitfires will go into this weekend’s fixture with full of confidence after last  Saturday’s 3-2 victory away to Gateshead.

James Constable got Eastleigh off to a flier last Saturday as the former Oxford United striker netted midway through the first half with a cool finish from Brian Howard’s pass.

Michael Rankine equalise to send both clubs level into the break however player/assistant manager Craig McAllister soon took the lead once again for Eastleigh with just 15 minutes to go.

The former Crawley Town target man scored from close range before Constable earned his brace following Jack Midson’s cross.

Gateshead managed to get a goal back late on through Jon Shaw however Hill’s men held on to three valuable points.

Eastleigh take on Dover Athletic at home on Saturday as they look to rekindle their home form at the Silverlake Stadium (3pm kick off) and Hill’s men will look to close in on that all important play-off spot.
Previous meetings: The last time these two teams met was at the Crabble Athletic Ground back in August and it was Dover that claimed all three points on that occasion.

Striker Jack Midson opened the scoring for the Spitfires early in the first half however Stefan Payne equalised for Dover just before the break. Nathan Elder then netted for the visitors 12 minutes before time that secured all a fine victory for the Whites.

There has been several encounters between the two teams in the past as both teams got promoted from the Conference South last season.

An epic clash between the two sides in 2013 in the play-off semi final saw Damian Scannell score a last minute equaliser in the second leg of the fixture.

Dover ended up winning the clash on penalties despite letting a 3-1 lead slip from the first leg.
Opposition’s history:  Nicknamed simply as the Whites Dover Athletic were formed in 1983 and replaced Dover FC in the Southern League.

The Kent based club went on win to win the competition in 1990 but to get promoted to the Conference National due to ground grading.

Dover ended up doing the same three seasons later where they were allowed to enter the Football Conference.

The Whites were transferred to the Isthmian League Premier Division in 2004 and then got relegated again the following season.

However back to back promotions saw the club eventually into the Conference South.

Dover beat rivals Ebbsfleet United last season in the play-off final to return to the Conference National after a 12 year absence.

Opposition’s manager: Chris Kinnear has won the Conference South with Dover Athletic as well as producing several FA Cup upsets with his side.

This most recently happened this season where the Kent side took on Premier League outfit Crystal Palace at home in the third round where they were defeated 4-0 respectively.

Kinnear managed Dover for 10 years between 1985 until 1995 where he won the Kent Senior Cup as well as the Southern Premier League twice.

Opposition’s form: Having got promoted the same time as Eastleigh from the Conference South last season, Dover have done well this season to secure their Conference National status.

The Whites currently sit in 10th place after a well fought point away to Wrexham on Tuesday night.

Wrexham took the lead in the first half however Ricky Modeste equalised with a half hour to go to ensure Dover left Wales with a least a point.

Kinnear’s men have won four out of their last five league games with the only defeat coming at home to Grimsby Town. Dover have picked up 11 points from their last eight league games on the road with nine of them points coming from victories.

Opposition’s top goalscorer: Stefan Payne has notched in 12 goals for Dover this season.

The striker signed for Fulham in 2009 from Sutton United before having a spell with fellow Kent side Gillingham a year later.

Payne went on to play for AFC Hornchurch in the Isthmian League last season where he scored an impressive 35 goals in 46 appearances for the Essex club.

Did you know? Manager Chris Kinnear’s son Chris Kinnear Jnr plays for the club as a midfielder.