Skip to main content

Baird gutted to see Hawks lose...

By Wendy Gee -

IAN Baird admits that for the first time since leaving Havant & Waterlooville he was disappointed to see them lose on Monday night.

The Eastleigh boss, who controversially swapped Havant's Westleigh Park for the Silverlake Stadium three-and-a-half years ago, was praying his old club would stop Blue Square Bet South leaders Braintree Town in their tracks.

But although the Hawks led the Essex table toppers for almost 70 minutes after Jon McDonald had headed them one up early on, Braintree hit back with two goals in the last 20 minutes to nick a tight match 2-1.

With ten games to go, it leaves The Iron seven points clear at the top, with the seven chasing teams - Ebbsfleet, Farnborough, Woking, Chelmsford, Welling, Eastleigh and Dover - seemingly battling it out for the four play-off spots.

Baird, whose Spitfires side face another colossal home test against Welling tomorrow, said: "Speaking to Daishy (Liam Daish) at Ebbsfleet and knowing what Steve King is like at Farnborough, they will think they can catch Braintree.

"But the result Braintree had at Havant the other night went against everyone.

"I was disappointed by it. It's the only time since I left Havant that I've ever wanted them to win.

"You'd have to say now that the title is Braintree's to lose.

"The you've got seven of us fighting it out for second to fifth places."

Tomorrow's Welling visit kicks off another key run of fixtures for Eastligh against their play-off rivals.

Next Saturday they are at the Silverlake Stadium again, this time against a Woking side who catapulted up to fourth with a 2-1 home win over Hampton & Richmond on Tuesday.

Then the following Tuesday (March 29) they come face to face with Welling again at the south-east Londoners' Park View Road home.

"I'm not going to talk about Woking or the Welling away game, it's all about focusing on tomorrow and taking one game at a time," said Baird, whose seventh-placed side are locked on 57 points with sixth-placed Welling following a solid 0-0 stalemate at Dartford on Tuesday.

"Since Christmas every game has been important and, the nearer you get to the finishing line, the more critical each game becomes - especially when you're playing opposition in and around you," Baird added.

"But I'm very, very confident in our lads. They've done brilliantly since the beginning of December, only losing three league games, and they've bounced back really well from the disappointment of back-to-back defeats by Braintree and Dover.

"We've got plenty of confidence at the moment, that's for sure, but we know we're up against a good footballing side in Welling.

"We've had them watched and they're very capable.

"They've been really consistent and what people forget is that they've had five points deducted (for a breach of competition rules). If it wasn't for that, they'd be right up there."

Eastleigh lose Brett Poate (hamstring) tomorrow, while on-loan AFC Wimbledon striker Mark Nwokeji is, in Baird's words, "99.9 per cent out with an ankle problem."

Danny Smith (hamstring) is still sidelined, but defender Warren Goodhind is fit again and there is a strong chance midfielder Anthony Riviere (groin) will return.

Baird is trying to extend Nwokeji's loan as well as midfielder Ian Herring's from Forest Green Rovers. "They've done well," said the boss. "They're two good lads who have mixed in well with the others."


Popular posts from this blog

AFC Fylde 2-2 Eastleigh

Ryan Broom scored twice to help maintain Eastleigh's unbeaten run, which now stretches to nine games in the National League.

Spitfires boss Andy Hessenthaler reflecting on the point said: “I think it was a fair result.

“The way we started the game was tremendous. We pinned them back and we got the goal.

“But Fylde are a good side. They’re young, they have very good movement and they take risks. It’s hard to stop their flow of play, but we dug in and defended really well.

“They equalised, but we responded straight afterwards with an absolutely fantastic goal. It was a sublime finish by Ryan who had an exceptional afternoon on his first start.

“It (Fylde's late equaliser) was a little bit frustrating when we were so close to getting all three points, but this was a good point and a valuable one against a decent side.

“My target when I took over was two points a game. I’ve had eight games and we’re actually two points ahead of that target with 18.

“We’ve now got to build on that …

Eastleigh 1-1 Wrexham

Ten-man Eastleigh fought back from a goal down to earn a point with a dramatic late equaliser at the Silverlake.

EASTLEIGH: Graham Stack, Sam Togwell (Ben Williamson, 65), Sam Wood (Michael Green, 82), Cav Miley, Ryan Cresswell, Andrew Boyce, Mark Yeates, Ryan Broom, Paul McCallum, Sam Matthews, Chris Zebroski (Reda Johnson, 72). Subs (not used): Ross Flitney, Danny Hollands.

Referee: Adam Bromley.

Attendance: 1,765 (205 from Wrexham)

Reaction from Andy Hessenthaler, Graham Stack and Ryan Cresswell:
REACTION: Thoughts from the #Spitfires boss Andy Hessenthaler, Graham Stack (@GrahamStack1) & Ryan Cresswell after their clash with Wrexham...

Listen: — BBC Solent Sport (@solentsport) April 7, 2018

Tranmere 3-1 Eastleigh

Eastleigh fell to a third successive away defeat in the National League with a 3-1 loss at Tranmere.

Reaction from Andy Hessenthaler:
Eastleigh boss Andy Hessentalher says the 3-1 scoreline against @TranmereRovers wasn't a fair reflection of the #Spitfires performance

More @EastleighFC reaction 👉 — BBC Solent Sport (@solentsport) March 24, 2018

Barrow 3-2 Eastleigh

Eastleigh almost came away with a point despite being 3-1 down at Barrow. 
Ben Williamson made it 3-2 late on to add to Chris Zebroski's earlier strike before Ross Flitney headed the ball against the crossbar in the final seconds.