Tuesday, 12 January 2016


The hugely talented Gareth Ewing contributed a match-preview for the recent Eastleigh vs Bolton Wanderers FA Cup clash. Unfortunately our internet died at the crucial moment meaning we were unable to run this at the required time, however the piece was too good to leave out, so here you go;

Eastleigh Facing Potential Banana Skin Tie
          'Number 6....Bolton'.
That is the moment the Eastleigh hearts sank.  Their FA Cup dreams potentially shattered.  Every cup cliché came to the minds of all associated with the Spitfires.  Banana skin.  Giant killer.  The last thing Eastleigh wanted was a cup tie against the so called underdogs that are Bolton Wanderers.  A cup shock in the making.  At least they were drawn at home.
Eastleigh v little old Bolton is a tie that epitomizes what the FA Cup is all about.  For Bolton, it is an opportunity to relax and enjoy the day.  There is no pressure for the Bolton team made up of, well, imposters .   Lets face it, Bolton are not expected to take anything from the tie.  If fact, Bolton fans have no expectation any longer.  Of anything.  Ever.  With 1 win in 325 matches, a strike force that consists of Emile Heskey (injured) and Shola Ameobi (injured) at a combined age of 167 and financial troubles that made Woolworths look positively 'in the black', Bolton take their squad of underachievers (I would call them overpaid however they, well, are not actually being paid in full by the club just now!) to the Silverlake Stadium to simply make up the numbers and give their fans a right good day out...probably in the rain...and the cold. 
Now, for Eastleigh fans who are perhaps not fully up to speed with the recent shenanigans of The Trotters, let me give you a whistle-stop tour.  We are skint.  Proper skint.  Not skint in a '4 days to pay day, we are eating beans on toast then it will all be ok' kind of skint.  I mean skint as in nowt!  We face a winding up order later in the month.  We have employed the king of administrators to oversee our demise.  Our only signing of the transfer window has been a chap whose sole job it is to oversee the departure of our playing assets.  Our playing squad are awful.  And I mean awful.  We have no strikers (correction, we have Zak Clough who, at roughly 13 years of age, is our only hope).  Our manager has, lets say, outside interests (allegedly) as you may have read in the Sunday Mirror recently.  The only thing going for us is our away kit which is rather smart and far too stylish for some of the vagabonds and bounders that have been wearing it recently. 
But its the FA Cup, is it not.  Anything can happen.  When painters and decorators by day become heroes at the weekend.   If only we had some of these tradesmen in our team, we may therefore show some willingness to work hard and fight for the cause.  Some have said the pitch at Eastleigh could be a great leveler.  No chance...we are rank rotten no matter what the surface is.  Don't be fooled by that one.  I actually feel quite sorry for Eastleigh.  They are in a no win situation.  Win...and it was just what was expected.  Lose...and I can hear the Bolton fans singing something like 'my goodness me, we have beat you therefore you must be rather poor old chaps'.  
For those Eastleigh fans attending the match on Saturday, enjoy the romance of the cup.  Spare a thoughts for the 1000 or so Bolton fans who are making the trip.  Make them feel at home.  They deserve some tender love and care because trust me, after a season watching Darren Pratley, Stephen Dobbie and Dorian Dervite, by Jesus they need it.

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