Fans return “played a big part” says captain Danny Hollands as Eastleigh FC win continues their play-off push

By Hayden Baker

Eastleigh Football Club finally welcomed back supporters this Saturday, following a five-month absence of fans at the Silverlake Stadium.

The 1,500 strong crowd had a huge influence on the proceedings, helping the Spitfires through a gruelling 93 minutes before a late penalty from Joe Tomlinson gave them a priceless 1-0 win over Boreham Wood.

The club were also celebrating their 75th anniversary on the day, adding another layer of pressure to an already important clash for Eastleigh’s Football League promotion dream.

Eastleigh Players huddle up before the kick off

Eastleigh Players huddle up before the kick off – Credit: George Power

Following the match Eastleigh captain Danny Hollands reflected on how crucial the fans were throughout the 90 minutes: “People say that it’s a bit of a cliche but they’re the twelfth man, when things were tough, especially on Saturday, when we’re drawing 0-0, going into the last 20 minutes.

“It’s nice to hear that roar and the people getting behind you, you’re a little bit tired especially when you get to my age, it takes a bit out of the legs! But it’s nice to have them behind you give you that second wind. Thankfully for us they played a big part in us collecting the three points on Saturday.”

It was a massive win for Eastleigh as it now puts their play-off promotion dream in their own hands heading into Tuesday night’s away game at Altrincham.

Joe Tomlinson reels away in celebration after his 93rd minute penalty

Joe Tomlinson reels away in celebration after his 93rd minute penalty gives Eastleigh the win – Credit: George Power

A victory there would put them in a play-off place ahead of the final day of the season where five teams will be trying to stake their claim for the final two available spaces.

“Maybe the fans were a bit under appreciated when we had them there week in and week out,” Hollands reflects. “Until something gets taken away from you, you don’t realise how much of an impact they make, it’s certainly a better place with football having those fans there week in and week out.”