I’m sure you won’t need to be reminded of what happened the last time Eastleigh visited The Racecourse. A traumatic home defeat in the National League play-offs ended our season in controversial circumstances, as we conceded the only goal in extra time after a hotly-contested decision to disallow a Kieran Kennedy goal which would have won the game in normal time.
Ironically, that defeat came after a season in which we did the double over The Spitfires for the first time, a feat we’ll be looking to repeat tomorrow.
Last season we won 3-1 at the Silverlake Stadium. Manny Smith opened the scoring and we were 2-0 up after a quarter of an hour thanks to an own goal. Although Eastleigh pulled one back, a solo goal from Mike Fondop sealed a 3-1 win. We completed the double in December 2018, when James Jennings gave us a second minute lead, which Bobby Grant doubled to secure victory.
Our defeat in the play-offs last season ended a long run of success for us in this fixture. We’d previously gone games without defeat against Eastleigh, going back to September 2015 when we suffered our only other loss to them.
We were 2-0 down at half time but threw caution to the wind in the second half and managed to claw our way back into the game. With a quarter of an hour left we were level, thanks to goals from Wes York and Sean Newton, but were hit by a sucker punch, conceding the decisive goal with three minutes to go.
Our biggest win over The Spitfires came twelve months earlier. We were two goals up at the break, thanks to Eliot Durrell and York, whose two goals makes us our top scorer against Eastleigh alongside Newton. The scoring was completed in the second half by Andy Bishop.
Three players will bring up personal milestone tomorrow. Jay Harris makes his 450th league appearance, Shaun Pearson plays his 125th game for Wrexham and it will be the 50th league game of Tyler Garratt’s career.