Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
  • Description
  • Submit a review
  • See 10 reviews
  • Ground Layout

Silverlake Stadium

Capacity: 5,500 (Seats 3,210)
Club Nickname: The Spitfires
Year Opened: 1957
Pitch Size: 111 x 73 yards
Address: Ten Acres, Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 9NW
Phone: 02380 613 361
Pitch Type: Grass
Shirt Sponsors: Utilita
Undersoil Heating: No
Manufacturer: Errea
Home Kit: Blue and White
Away Kit: Orange
Last Update: April 30, 2024

What Is The Silverlake Stadium Like?

Silverlake Stadium has undergone some major changes over the past 15 years, with new stands erected and other developments on three sides of the stadium. Although two of these stands, on the East side and South End may be of a semi-permanent nature in construction, they have very much improved the overall look of the ground, as beforehand these areas were largely open to the elements.

On the West Side of the stadium is the Main Stand. During 2017, this stand which originally was a small, raised covered seated stand that sat astride the halfway line, has been extended down towards the Mackoy Community (South) Stand, more or less trebling its original size, having a capacity of 1,170 covered seats. Comprising of mostly eight rows of seats, the seating areas are raised above pitch level, meaning that supporters need to climb a small staircase to reach them. The stand is also cantilevered, meaning that there are no supporting pillars, so supporters can enjoy unobstructed views of the playing action. The stand also incorporates a small press box/area for the stadium announcer. On the other side of the Main Stand towards the Clubhouse End is an open flat standing area. The team dugouts are located in front of this stand.

On the East side is a covered terrace that was purchased from Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club and transported to the Silverlake Stadium in 2014. Although only a few steps high, it is covered and has a capacity of 1,250. On the roof of the terrace above the halfway line, there is a television gantry. A more substantial covered all seated stand has been built at the South End. The Mackoy Community Stand has a capacity of 2,290. At the opposite Clubhouse End, a new tall club building has been built behind a small terrace, which overlooks the ground and terrace below. Looking somewhat out of place at a football ground and not the most attractive of buildings, it is used to how the club offices and has facilities for corporate clients. It has a high roof that has been extended out from the Club building over the terrace. The terrace runs for around a third of the width of the pitch and is located directly behind the goal. Although it does have some supporting pillars along its front it is an improvement on what was originally an open area. In the North East corner of the stadium, there is a fair sized electronic scoreboard. The stadium has a set of four modern floodlights.

The ground was originally known as Ten Acres but was renamed the Silverlake Stadium in a corporate sponsorship deal.

What is it like for visiting supporters?

Away supporters are mostly housed on the East side of the Mackoy Community (South) Stand at one end of the stadium. This all seated stand is covered and is of a good size, having a capacity of over 2,000, although the normal number of seats made available to visiting fans is around 500. The stand is quite tall and so you generally get a good view of the playing action, however it does have a couple of large supporting pillars at the front of it, that could get the way of your sightlines.

In addition, away fans are given a portion of the covered East terrace (towards the South Stand) so visiting supporters have a choice of standing or sitting. There is normally a good atmosphere generated inside the ground. There is normally a good atmosphere generated inside the ground. Food on offer inside the stadium includes; a range of burgers, hot dogs and chips.

Away fans are now allowed to freely move around the stadium to access other facilities such as toilets.

Pubs near the Silverlake Stadium

There is a club bar at the ground called the Hangar, which welcomes both home and away supporters. Nearby pubs include:

  • Cricketers Arms (232 Chestnut Ave, North Stoneham, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3HN)
  • The Spitfire (18-20 High St, Eastleigh SO50 5LD)
  • The Station (36-38 High St, Eastleigh SO50 5LE)

Directions and Car Parking

Leave the M27 at Junction 5 and take the Stoneham Lane exit towards Eastleigh. You will pass the back of the stadium on your left. Continue to the end of the road and at the roundabout go completely around the roundabout to come back on yourself, back towards the motorway. Just as you pass the Concorde Club on your left turn right into Stoneham Lane. The entrance to the ground is around the bend on the left. However, the Club close this north part of Stoneham Lane from 12.30pm for Saturday kicks offs and 5pm for evening kick offs. An alternative route is as follows:

Leave the M27 at Junction 5 and take the A335 towards Swaythling and Southampton. At the next set of traffic lights turn right onto Bassett Green Road and then take the second right onto Stoneham Lane. The Club entrance is located half a mile up this lane on the right.

Car Parking
There is a good sized car park at the ground which holds 600 cars, however only 125 are these are available on a first come first served basis at a cost of £5 per car (free for Blue Badge holders).

By Train

The closest railway station to the Silverlake Stadium is Southampton Airport Parkway, which as the crow flies is only about half a mile away from the ground and takes about a twenty minutes to walk. Myles Munsey informs me; ‘Although it would seem natural to turn left as you come out of the station, it would be foolhardy to do so as the pedestrian pathway soon runs out along that way. Instead, as you come out of the station, turn right and then cross over to the other side of the road. Turn left at the brown sign advertising the Lakeside Miniature Railway and follow the road and footpath through the Lakeside County Park. You will come out of the park onto a main road, which you crossover at the pedestrian crossing and then proceed down Stoneham Lane in front of you. This will probably be closed to traffic. On your right you will pass St Nicholas Parish Church which is famous for its One Handed Clock. Silverlake Stadium is on the left shortly after the church.

There is also taxi rank outside the station, in case you don’t fancy the walk. Southampton Airport Parkway station is served by trains from Southampton and London Waterloo.

Book Train Tickets With Trainline

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Ticket prices

Eastleigh ticket prices 2023/24:

  • Adults: £18-20.50
  • Over 65s: £12.50-15
  • 17-20s: £12.50-15
  • 7-16s: £5-7.50
  • Under 7s: £2-5.50

Programme Price

Official Programme £1

Local Rivals

Havant & Waterlooville, Salisbury City.

Fixture List

Eastleigh FC Fixture List

Record and Average Attendance

Record Attendance

5,250 v Bolton Wanderers
FA Cup 3rd Round, 9th January 2016

Average Attendance

2022-2023: 2,376 (National League)
2021-2022: 2,566 (National League)
2020-2021: N/A (Covid)
2019-2020: 1,832 (National League)
2018-2019: 1,849 (National League)
2017-2018: 1,960 (National League)
2016-2017: 2,242 (National League)

Find and book your Southampton Hotel or nearby and help support this website

If you require hotel accommodation in Southampton then first try a hotel booking service provided by They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going.

Map showing the location of the Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh

Club links

Official Web Site:

Silverlake Stadium Eastleigh Feedback

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.


Special thanks to Edward Prosser a visiting Hereford FC supporter for providing the photos of the Silverlake Stadium Eastleigh.


Avatar of Mark Whines Mark Whines
Game AttendedEastleigh v Southend United
CompetitionVanarama National League

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?

Although a die-hard Gooner, I always follow Southend's results and try to get to get to watch them occasionally as I saw my first football match at Roots Hall in 1976 (Southend v Crystal Palace) and spent the majority of my schooling and football-playing days in and around Southend. Great memories of watching Southend on a Friday night and then going to Arsenal on the Saturday. Now living in Poole, so was keen to try and watch Southend 'locally' this season, as there was a bit of choice in the National League. Never attended a game at Eastleigh FC, so it was a good opportunity to get a game in and tick off another ground visited!

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Looked at previous reviews and took the advice of one reviewer who suggested parking in the nearby Lakeside Country Park car park. Turned out to be good advice. Easy to find off the M27/A335 (directions given on the park's own website) and nothing to pay after 6pm! Reviewer suggested taking a torch, which was also good advice, as the path through the park is unlit.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

After parking up, walked straight to the ground (15-20 minutes). Quick walk around the stadium (bit quirky to see the manager's room, gym and boardroom all facing out onto the carpark) to the away end. easy access via the turnstiles. Couple of quick photos and then off to find the 'Spitfire Special' (see below). Good to be able to buy a printed programme (£2), although it turned out to be a pretty disappointing effort with lots of adverts. Home fans sitting in the other half of the away stand were quiet compared to the Southend supporters. Their was a little banter between the fans, but to be honest it looked as though most of them were out on a school trip!! To be fair though, we've all been there as young supporters, so credit to them for supporting their local non-league team!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

The photographs give a pretty good impression of the stadium, although there have been some developments since they were taken. I have been to better non-league stadiums, but have also been to worse. The away stand (sitting) was pretty good, certainly the equivalent to similar stands in the football league - the Ted McDougall Stand at Bournemouth AFC for example. The standing stand for away supporters is, I guess, what you'd expect from a non-league ground. Not sure I'd be wanting to stand directly underneath the TV gantry on top of the stand however, looked as though it could go through the roof at any moment!

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

A previous review left me savouring the thought of a 'Spitfire Special' burger. Unfortunately, only pies and sausage rolls were available to away fans. Chicken balti pie at £3.50 'filled a hole', but it wasn't quite what I'd been expecting - shame! The stewards were noticeably friendly and welcoming. Didn't avail myself of the 'facilities', so can't comment on them. Great atmosphere provided by the Southend fans, which continued throughout most of the game. The only lulls came during some poor periods of play from Southend. Game itself was okay, perhaps what was expected from two mid-table teams, although I think the Southend support probably expected a little more form the team given the decent run they've been on. Fair play to Eastleigh who, given their recent form, hassled and harried for the full 90 minutes. A special mention must go to the unknown Southend supporter who sat next to me. He had obviously enjoyed a few bevvies before the game, but fortunately he turned out to be one of football's more amusing characters, rather than a drunken pain in the arse. However, such were his first half-exertions, that he completely blew himself out, falling asleep at half-time. Fortunately he woke up to see Southend's equaliser! He probably won't remember too much of the game, but he will be always be remembered by me and my mate for his little spitfire song (with actions) directed at the Eastleigh fans. Nothing malicious, just very amusing!! Thanks 'Mr Spitfire!'

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

No problems getting back to the car. Again, the torch came in useful walking through the park! Easy drive away from the stadium. Journey home would have been a little quicker had I not taken the M27 to Portsmouth!!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

A decent night out for a game. Great atmosphere provided by the Southend fans and a special thanks to Southend's 'Mr Spitfire' for adding to the enjoyment. I'm sure you must be a regular supporter, so I shall look out for you the next time I'm at a SUFC game! I'd love to see Poole Town FC playing at Eastleigh again in the near future, but that looks like a bit of a pipe-dream at the moment, so it looks more likely I'll be supporting the mighty Shrimpers next season, unless they get to the play-offs!!!!
Avatar of Stefan Cox (Neutral) Stefan Cox (Neutral)

Eastleigh v Sutton United
National League
Tuesday 13th August 2019, 7.45pm
Stefan Cox (Neutral)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Silverlake Stadium?
Having a rare evening free to tick off another non-league ground myself and my brother decided on the Silverlake.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Coming from near Basingstoke the journey was an absolute doddle. We parked at Southampton Airport Parkway Railway Station (£7) and then walked across the country park which took 15 minutes. It's worth noting that a lot of people were using the parking at the country park (which is less of a walk and is free, you live, you learn!).
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We had considered going to the Cricketers pub which is close by but on foot with no footpath to use, we decided to drink at the clubhouse instead. The beer was reasonable and reasonably priced (£3.50) and there was a good atmosphere with a mix of Eastleigh (and a few) Sutton fans.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Silverlake Stadium?
The ground for this level is impressive. There has clearly been a lot of money spent on the seated areas, of which the away team gets half behind one of the goals and a stretch of the main run of terracing (the East Stand) which runs up one side. We decided upon terracing (as is a rare treat from watching Championship football!) There was a food hut in one corner selling a wide variety of hot and cold snacks and you could get back into the clubhouse at half time for another pint if your heart desired!
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game itself would go into the realms of 'proper football' big centre backs wrestling in the air and sending the ball into Row Z if necessary! It was very entertaining, after taking the lead from a corner Eastleigh completely switched off about 30 seconds later when a fortunate free-kick was awarded (blatant handball by the Sutton striker!) The set-piece was scuffed into the box causing an almighty melee before being poked home via a deflection (a village goal I would suggest!). After that Sutton settled and had the better of the first half moving the ball nicely through midfield and was just missing the final finish. The second half was a different story as Eastleigh brought on a young winger who ran his man ragged the whole second half, a couple of excellent saves and some pure luck/poor finishing meant that deep into injury time it still remained 1-1. After 5 corners on the bounce (and the keeper once again pulling off several admirable stops) Sutton somehow survived, 1-1 full-time. The atmosphere throughout was good in the corner of the terrace we were in and there were around 1700 people in attendance so all in all a good evenings football!
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Getting away from the ground is a piece of cake, just re-followed our footsteps across the park and were away, all in all we were home within 45 minutes of the end of the game.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
The Silverlake Stadium is definitely worth a visit, and I know for sure I will be back when another free evening emerges! The only downer I would say was that each ticket was £18, and with the amount of other teams around that you could see for around that price if not cheaper and for a 'better' standard of football it makes you wonder if non-league clubs are missing a trick?
Avatar of Jim Burgin (Neutral) Jim Burgin (Neutral)

Eastleigh v Reading
Pre-Season Friendly
Saturday 30th June 2018, 12.30pm
Jim Burgin (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Silverlake Stadium?
It was another ground to tick off.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I took a train from Eastbourne to Brighton, then Brighton to Southampton Central. It was then a short six minute hop up to Southampton Airport Parkway. The walk to the ground is easy, as described elsewhere on this page, through the Country Park. As this was a friendly the Stoneham Road section was not closed until almost kick off time but usually would be closed from 2pm.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
Knowing the almost lack of pubs in the area, I had a long slow pint at the Airport which is about 50 paces from the station. It had a lovely bar area and it was a nice game to attempt to guess where all the passenger were heading. The airport is small but does have a WH Smiths and some toilets to make use of before the 20 minute walk to the ground. I did not see any fans of either team until reaching the ground but both sets mixed in the ground and clubhouse wearing colours and all was well.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Silverlake Stadium?
As it was a friendly only the North and West sides were open which was a shame as they were the ones exposed to the 27 degree heat, the shaded areas would have been more appreciated. I liked the look of the East side terracing running the whole way down the touchline and the green seated South Stand looked impressive for a National League ground, thought the North End with its minimal section of terracing was poor. The Main West Stand was almost full and looked like a typical Main Stand at his level.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was the first for both clubs and the whole sides were changed at half time, generally the play was good as some players were obviously wanting a contract, the teams in the first half were mainly first teamers, the trialists appeared after half time and did not know each other so well and the game became disjointed. The stewarding was plentiful but officious, senior stewards carrying the same protocols as if it were a first team league match, should have been more relaxed for a friendly but feel they had everything in hand and should be able to control most crowds that go there. Had a sausage and chips from one of the two mobile vans there, saw a separate tea shack but did not participate. The Hangar Bar is at the north end of the ground, but fans are stopped from taking drinks into the viewing area.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Stoneham Road was closed to traffic upon departure, so it was a much safer walk back to the airport. Arrived back in Eastbourne at 17:30.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
The Silverlake Stadium is a nice ground, and I enjoyed the day very much. Just a shame they could not have opened the shaded terrace.
Avatar of Brian Scott (Neutral) Brian Scott (Neutral)

Eastleigh v Barrow
National League
Saturday 18th November 2017, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Silverlake Stadium?
I'd been avoiding Eastleigh for some time due to the lack of a suitable walking route from the railway station to the ground being available on this guide. Now one has been provided on this website I decided to go, and to get it completed before it is pitch black darkness after the end of the match.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I was on a train from Cambridge to London which had electrical problems, meaning that I was an hour later than planned, but still arrived at the ground at 2.30pm. My built in 'problem time' was needed today. I followed the walking directions to the ground with no problem, but part of the route was very muddy through an unlit footpath.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
Before arrival at the Silverlake Stadium I noted the one-handed clock on St Nicholas Parish Church in Stoneham Lane, which is a notable landmark in this area. The north end of Stoneham Lane was closed to football traffic, so making this part of the walk clean and easy.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the one-handed  clock on  St Nicholas Parish Church?
I was greatly impressed with the Silverlake Stadium. I've been going to a lot of lower league games recently and it was nice for a change at this level to be able to sit high up in the South Stand at one end. Tickets were not on sale at turnstiles, you needed to go to the ticket office in the North Stand first. A steward told me that the extension to the Main Stand should be completed within weeks, as the final (blue) seats are now being installed. He thought that there would not be any seating on the lower part, matching the original part of this stand. The electronic scoreboard in the north-east corner of the ground is impressive also. After I sat down in the back row of the South Stand a steward asked me to move because no one was allowed to use the back row. I asked him why, but he said he didn't know. If rules are to be enforced then it should be for a reason and the persons responsible for enforcing them should be able to explain why!
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Barrow scored in the 31st minute. Eastleigh tried hard to equalise but the game was all over once Barrow had scored a second in the 54th minute. There was a reasonable atmosphere from the 1,708 crowd.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Even though Eastleigh were pressing hard for a goal right to the end, the result of the game was clear, so I left a few minutes early so that I could catch a fast train to Waterloo at 17.08. It was still not properly dark so I did not need my torch to get through the unlit footpath and access road to the Lakeside Country Park. I got back to Cambridge on time, but my final train from there to Stowmarket was cancelled and I had an additional hour to wait for the 21.44 departure. At least I should get 100% refund on my tickets outward and return, but would rather travel on time and pay my way.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
As there wasn't anything else to do in the area before the game, (had I arrived on time), and with my two disrupted journeys, this was not the most successful day out! However, I was impressed with the Silverlake Stadium.
Avatar of Gary Draper (Aldershot Town) Gary Draper (Aldershot Town)

Eastleigh v Aldershot Town
National League
Tuesday 28th February 2017, 7.45pm
Gary Draper (Aldershot Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Silverlake Stadium?

An important game in Aldershot's chase for play off places. Eastleigh is a sensible drive distance wise and according to sources there are 500 free parking spaces to make an away fan 's drive convenient. What was not mentioned was car parking mentioned on websites is only available to home fans by prior agreement. The access roads were barred to traffic other than the permitted drivers.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Do not rely on postcode for the club. No problems until my satnav told me I was just a few minutes away from the postcode for the ground. From this point it turned difficult and I met with several barred roads close to the ground. Fortunately I had taken precaution of also noting a local church postcode as a back up as this did get me "close" to the ground. I managed to find a recently vacated car parking space in a local residential road. There were no other free places I could see.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

From a satellite map it is possible to see the ground is not located in an urban environment. However, comments on sites including this one stated it would be possible to obtain a drink at the clubhouse bar. Not so as advised to me by an attendant at the door of the clubhouse – it was necessary to access the bar from inside the ground, i.e. for home supporters only. Polite entreaty rejected. Burger van served purpose of providing acceptable hot dog. An unexpectedly large away support took forever to get through two turnstiles manned by 3 young lads who took forever to process each entrant. Long queues formed.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Silverlake Stadium?

Typical ground for a small but ambitious and privately funded club. Away end access permitted either seating or standing. 679 Aldershot fans made the trip which made the covered terracing cosy. The gate was announced as 2550 which makes me wonder whether the club is counting the home fans on the way in and out. There certainly did not appear to be nearly 2,000 fans spread thinly around the home sections.

Comment on the game itself, atmos phere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Aldershot lost a player to a red card decision after 24 minutes (a robust challenge and the sending off is not disputed by me) before and after which Aldershot managed to comfortably dominate the game against a side which had lost its last 4 fixtures. Aldershot scored in the first half with 10 men and conceded after 79 minutes.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Other visitor's notes regarding getting to the ground and leaving afterwards should be taken very seriously, particularly for evening matches. The narrow winding road approaching the ground from the South is a veritable death trap. No lighting, pavements, and visiting drivers uncertain of where to go or where they might park, adds to the difficulties. The only positive comment is that the Police detain the home fans from leaving the stadium by car for 10 minutes after the game. This is insufficient time to clear the area and evidently causes impatience in the motorists. Certainly for mid winter evening matches, this is an accident waiting to happen.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

If you are going to, or leaving the ground, in the dark, DO take a torch or a mobile phone capable of alerting drivers of your presence. DO NOT run the risk of a serious accident. Plan parking carefully in advance if you are driving to the ground.

Avatar of Paul Dickinson (Neutral) Paul Dickinson (Neutral)

Eastleigh v Northampton Town
Pre Season friendly
Saturday 30th July 2016, 3pm
Paul Dickinson (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Silverlake Stadium?

As I was staying with family just up the road, this was an easy one to get ticked off and became new ground number 296.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We had travelled down the day before so matchday couldn't have been easier, with my Sister dropping myself and my Brother-in-law at the Cricketers pub at 1pm.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

A couple of pints and some food at the pub and then a ten minute stroll to the Silverlake Stadium. There were home and away fans in the pub and all seemed friendly – as you'd expect for a preseason game in the sunshine Its also worth pointing out that Stoneham Lane was closed off to traffic, so some of the issues identified by other fans didn't arise and it was a very pleasant stroll past the church to the ground,,,,,perhaps this is now a permanent change to the matchday arrangements?

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Silverlake Stadium?

The Main Stand was by far my favourite although the large size of the away end also surprised me. The Silverlake Stadium it a neat and tidy ground and it was good to see both sets of fans happily mingling in the clubhouse before the game.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Although it was only a friendly, the Northampton fans who were there will not have been impressed by a 4 1 defeat to a team two leagues below them – especially with a start in League One just around the corner.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We booked a taxi and left slightly early as had a night out in Suthampton planned with our "other halves."

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I'm always pleased to get another ground ticked off and this was my 5th in the last two weeks, so I've had a good start to the new season! It gets harder from here though as my Leeds United commitments start next weekend….. I liked the set up at Eastleigh and would recommend it to any fans who are planning to go there this season.

Avatar of Myles Munsey (Ground Hopper) Myles Munsey (Ground Hopper)

Eastleigh v Bolton Wanderers
Saturday 9th January 2016, 3pm
FA Cup 3rd Round
Myles Munsey (Ground Hopper)

Reasons for visit:
Put simply, the lure of the FA Cup. The first appearance by Eastleigh in the third round, the last non-league club left, the possibility of a sell-out crowd (5,250) and the very real prospect of an upset, meant I was on the phone to the club very soon after the draw was made.

Getting there:
A rather problematic journey by train seemed likely owing, yet again, to engineering work between Basingstoke and Southampton affecting the journey. Despite there being a bus replacement part of the way, it was a pretty trouble free journey and my companion and I alighted at Southampton Airport Parkway in good time.

And now a recommendation. By all means cross the road at the pedestrian crossing outside the station but do not turn left and attempt to walk to the ground along the road. There is no pavement, only a very narrow grass verge. This would be risky enough in daylight and very foolhardy after dark.  Instead, do what the Eastleigh fans do and turn right outside the station. Proceed north (towards Eastleigh) then turn left at the brown sign advertising the Lakeside Miniature Railway. Follow the road and footpath past the railway (can be muddy but is safe), cross the stream and then cross the road at the lights. Carry straight on past the church and the ground entrance is on your left soon after. You will find after dark that the locals carry torches to helpfully light your way for the return walk. 

Before the game:
Allowing for the disrupted travel was a good thing. I find I always need time in the bank. The extra time was useful in order to fulfill a very necessary requirement. I had ordered three tickets but one of our group was unwell and with a game of this significance I did not wish to see the ticket wasted. It is in my nature to help people out.

I spotted a lady by the ticket office chatting to one of the officials. Putting two and two together I detected her need and offered the spare ticket at face value. I am no shark and it would be beneath me to charge more than I paid. The offer was gratefully received and this lady was well pleased, as she had been trying for ages to get one. I took a packed lunch which was consumed at half time.

First impressions:
This wasn’t a first visit – I had been there in August for a National League fixture. The Silverlake is I’m afraid functional and modern, rather disjointed and with a degree of confusion as to how to find your seat. The reality is that there are only a few turnstiles therefore a bit of a tour round the ground is necessary. I will say that the seat was comfortable with plenty of legroom (yes that old chestnut again!) and the view immediately behind the goal in the Mackoy Community stand was excellent. Back in row H was good as this was just far enough back to avoid the rain which was pelting down at one point. 

Silverlake Stadium

For this match the ground was bristling with TV cameras – at least five, the one in the corner on a temporary podium being particularly annoying as it nearly eliminated my view of Eastleigh’s goal. I saw the goal, at least part of it, but only just.

The ground is in a nice quiet location and the juxtaposition of the church is strange given the noise and bustle of the nearby airport. And in a tongue in cheek reference to flying there is are signs behind the goals stating ‘beware low-flying balls’ – a nice touch.

The game:
The Silverlake Stadium seemed rather aptly named given the recent downpours.  Three pitch inspections had to be passed and the agreement of both managers reached before this game went ahead. It showed. The pitch was very heavy. The conditions may have been awkward, but my goodness was this a great game.

In the first half Eastleigh more than held their own and made life very difficult for the championship visitors on a bog of a pitch. Bolton came more into it towards the interval with Ross Flitney pulling off two very good saves. 

Six minutes into the second half the place erupted when Jai Reason’s cross was diverted into his own net by Dorian Dervite past the helpless Ben Amos. The second half ebbed and flowed and Eastleigh nearly made it two when following a scrambled Andy Drury effort was cleared off the line by David Wheater, the ball regrettably holding up in the mud. This passage of play took place with an intruder on the pitch. Sensibly advantage was played and the culprit was apprehended soon afterwards. Unfortunately with time ticking away Bolton scored following a corner, Pratley sweeping home. There were just three minutes left on the clock.  

The Spitfires can be rightly proud of their efforts, nearly pulling off a famous victory, and if they continue to perform with this passion may well earn a place in the Football League.

Getting away:
A little bit of a log jam to get out (well it was a record gate) but that aside we retraced our steps to the station. The journey back to Basingstoke and Newbury was somewhat protracted, but otherwise uneventful.

Overall thoughts:
The stewards here are very engaging and friendly and there was no bother whatsoever. I was impressed by the catering and toilet facilities which had to be boosted for the larger than average crowd. This is not a ground for the purist, but you will get a hassle-free day at a well-run friendly club with an honest set of supporters.

There are those who say there is no magic left in the competition these days. They should have been here!

Avatar of James Sweeney (Barnet) James Sweeney (Barnet)

Eastleigh v Barnet
Conference Premier League
Saturday, 14th March 2015, 3pm
James Sweeney (Barnet fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Silverlake Stadium?

Barnet were away to fellow promotion chasers Eastleigh and we did not hesitate to make the short trip down the M3 to the Silvelake Stadium with the Barnet Army I was also looking forward to the match because both teams are very strong and were both on good form going into the game.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

It was a very easy car journey with no problems except speed restrictions on the M3. As you leave for Southampton Airport, you pass the ground on your left but as there is no left turn into Stoneham Lane, we had to go up to a roundabout and head back on ourselves towards the airport to turn into Stoneham Lane. What I recommend for any supporter travelling to the stadium is to leave the M3 at Junction 13 (A335 exit), heading right towards the town centre. Then turn right at the roundabout then left at the next roundabout onto Stoneham lane. This way you don't have to go an extra 2 miles, pass the airport and go almost 360 degrees round the roundabout to turn right into the road for the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

I had brought a packed lunch down to the ground and ate it when I arrived. There is a good sized car park at the stadium that holds over 500 cars and is free however it does fill up quickly so you have to get there with at least 45 minutes to spare. The stewards were very friendly and helpful as we had to walk around the perimeter of the ground to get to the away end. And £at 12 for and adult £4 for a child it was a very good price!

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Silverlake Stadium?

Barnet fans were housed in one corner of the new South Stand, at one end, which was seated and could accommodate up to 600 fans. Some extra terracing was made available in the new East Terrace with about 200 standing spaces available. The South Stand was very neat but did have some supporting pillars but they didn't impede my view. Opposite to where the 500 Barnet fans were, there was a small terrace which was packed with Eastleigh supporters and opposite to the East Terrace was a small seated Main Stand which straddled the half way line with terracing either side.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game finished 2-1 to Barnet with goals from John Akinde and Curtis Weston. Barnet conceded a late penalty which was slotted home by former bee Ben Strevens but I wasn't enough for the home side as we held on to claim a brilliant win at our fellow promotion chasers Eastleigh. It is fair to say that the Barnet fans made more noise than the home supporters especially when the second goal was put in by John Akinde, but I guess they didn't have a lot to shout about. The Barnet fans also had some great banter with the Easleigh mascot which I think was a bear but I'm not too sure!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

We had to trek back around the perimeter of the ground and as we were low on petrol we found a petrol station close to junction 13 of the M3. We were closely followed by the Barnet coach and overtook the Wolverhampton Wanderers coach who had just played at Brighton. Again no problems but speed restrictions and we were home for 19:30 pm.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I thought the South Stand that we were in was very impressive and the rest of the ground was decent enough and with a win under our belt and the news that Bristol Rovers got a late draw at Halifax (who we have on Tuesday) meant we were back on the summit of the table on goal difference.

Avatar of Martin Rawlings (Neutral) Martin Rawlings (Neutral)

Eastleigh v Aldershot Town
Conference Premier League
Thursday, August 14th, 2014, 7.45pm
Martin Rawlings (Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had visited Eastleigh before but this was their first game in the Conference Premier, so I wanted to see what if anything had changed. I should also say that at £12 to get in, then think its a bargain in this day and age.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Because of the expected large crowd and the fact I had been before I tried the train. Got off at Southampton Airport Parkway. It took about 20 minutes to walk to the ground. Turn right out of the station, then left through the lakeside country park. This was unlit, but not a problem going but very dark coming back. Then left a few 100 yards down a lane with no pavement. The queue of cars for the car park made me feel I had made the correct decision. Saying that the ground is about a mile from junction 5 of the M27. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy…. home fans friendly?

There is potential, a café en route through the country park, however it was closed by the time I got there as this was an evening game. Otherwise its pretty barren from the station to the ground.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Away fans had been given the new side terrace stand. I got the impression that this might only be the case when there was a good following. The stand is new, covered and gives the impression that you get a good view. One end was still being built and may be the away end in future. Its a neat and tidy looking ground everything looks fairly recently built.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Good atmosphere for this "derby" game, plenty of Aldershot fans who rarely go quiet. Food was burger van fare. The club house was open for home fans, however I didn't partake. The game was very tight Eastleigh scoring a very late winner.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I got away okay. The path through the country park is very very dark, but others were also going that way. Not sure about people who went by car. It looked difficult to say the least.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed the experience. With 1900 in the ground it felt packed. I will go again possibly the Bristol Rovers game which is also in the evening. Going by car I'd consider parking slightly away from the ground if there is anywhere. I did notice a few people parking up a lane near a church about 100 yards before the car park and they were getting away no problem at all.

Avatar of Ronan Howard (Swindon Town) Ronan Howard (Swindon Town)

Eastleigh v Swindon Town
Pre-Season Friendly
Thursday, July 17th, 2014, 7pm
Ronan Howard (Swindon Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Not one I’d been to before and above all else, very close to home – Basingstoke to Eastleigh being only around 30 miles, I didn’t even have to take any time off work which is unheard of for a midweek game! Glorious weather as well so would be rude not to

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking? 

The ground is very easy to get to – turn left off Junction 5 of the M27 if coming from the West, straight to the top of the road, double back on yourself at the roundabout and turn right at the sign for Eastleigh FC. Traffic was an absolute nightmare that time of the evening so would allow plenty of time if midweek. Being well used to the M3 it’s a busy road on a weekend also so would want to factor that in. Car parking was ample for a crowd the size of a friendly game but still seemed to be fairly full, so would advise getting there early for a league game, especially now Eastleigh have been promoted to the Conference Premier. Parking free at the ground which is always a bonus, though would wonder how long it will remain so. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy…. home fans friendly?

Very little in the way of pubs, restaurants or anything else near the ground, certainly not within walking distance. Went to the Cricketers just up the road (turn left at the roundabout instead of doubling back towards the ground and you can’t miss it) for a quick pre match pint. Other than that Eastleigh town centre would probably be your best bet, although the ground itself is well outside the town. 

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Bit of a contrast from league grounds I’ve been to – presumably things will get more professional since Eastleigh’s promotion but the ground is a bit like a school sports field with a couple of stands – one very basic looking terrace running the length of the pitch, one more modern seated area on the opposite side running midway through the pitch length, a covered terrace at one end and an uncovered flat standing area at the other. Beautiful open area given the weather but could be a bit grim in the winter.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Wasn’t expecting a fiercely competitive game or free flowing football as this was a friendly and I wasn’t wrong – the heat may have played a part, or cumulative fatigue from playing a few other games in the past few days but Swindon were very poor throughout – lethargic, sloppy passing, not a pretty site. A neutral may have thought Eastleigh were the league one club as they played with energy, drive, and quite rightly got a goal in each half. Good luck to them, and looks as if they will do ok in the coming season.

Facilities were basic as you’d expect, tickets from a raffle book, no turnstiles, rather we were shown through a corrugated iron fence, small but functional clubhouse incorporating toilets, a bar and a club shop. Serviceable at this level but will doubtless want to make improvements to the ground should they remain in the conference premier. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No real problems – car park fairly full and with only one exit but within a few minutes was back on the motorway and heading home

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Nice little friendly club, basic facilities, decent enough views of the pitch (better than at some other clubs at non-league level I’ve seen) and an easy trip home. The manner of defeat would have been gutting if it had have been a competitive game, however there’s not much you can gauge from a friendly. If we happen to get drawn in the cup (or if Eastleigh have a fantastic season and us a catastrophic one, both finding ourselves in League 2 next year!) I’d be the first to revisit.