We are just a few days away from the biggest game in FC Halifax Town’s history. A place in the historic 3rd round draw in the Emirates FA Cup is potentially 90 minutes away from that dream becoming reality.
Standing in the path of Billy Heath’s side will be National League side Eastleigh. A gruelling 506 mile-round trip to the Silverlake Stadium is in store for the travelling supporters and media team alike, but before the action takes place here’s a quick fact file surrounding our cup opponents.
1) Until 2015 Eastleigh were without a nickname (founded in 1946). The supporters were given the chance to pick the club’s official nickname and Spitfires was chosen as the winner.
2) The 2nd round of the FA Cup will be the Shaymen’s first outing, as for Eastleigh this came in the 2014-15 season. Eastleigh beat Lincoln City in the first round before losing to Southport in the 2nd round.
3) However last season in the second round, Eastleigh won 2–0 at minnow Stourbridge to record their first ever appearance in the Third round. On 9th January, Eastleigh drew 1–1 with Bolton. The game took place after much speculation that it would be postponed, the game sold out giving Eastleigh a new record attendance of 5,025. Ten days later Eastleigh travelled to Bolton and lost 3–2, having led 1–0 through a Joe Partington strike. As Eastleigh exited the FA Cup, league form dipped and they eventually finished 7th, missing out on a playoff place.
4) Transfer news now involving Eastleigh’s mascot. In 2005 Eastleigh gained their first mascot
named Spitfire the Dog, however ten years later they changed their mascot to Brooksy the
bear. This was in honour of Derik Brooks who founded the Spitfires.
5) They reached the top tier of non-league for the first time in 2014.
6) Nuneaton Town were Eastleigh’s first opposition in the National League. This was a 3-0 victory on 9 August 2014. The next game Eastleigh played was against Aldershot live on BT Sport and they came out 1-0 winners in the game.
7) The borough has a population of 126,800, with local business dominating the landscape. 4,300 businesses are located within the economy of the borough and small businesses account for around 98.0% of all business.
8) It has a rich history too- Roman remains including a lead coffin have been discovered in the area and there was probably a settlement at Eastleigh between 100 and 400 AD.
9) Slight bizarre one here – 4 ½ miles north of the ground you will found Hensting Alpacas – an alpaca walking experience that allows you, the public, to go and get up close and personal with them. (Certainly, an alternate pre-match activity).
10) We said it would be a long journey down – Eastleigh is just under 3 miles from Southampton Sailing club. There you can sail along The Solent- the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England.
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