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Club News

Eastleigh vs. Latics

27 February 2024

Club News

Eastleigh vs. Latics

27 February 2024

Oldham are set to return to action as National League football continues to come thick and fast when they make the trip to face Eastleigh in midweek.

The playoff race remains finely in the balance leaving no room for inconsistency at such a crucial stage of the season, whilst Micky Mellon and his Oldham side must keep focus.

Latics conceded a 2-1 defeat at Boundary Park last weekend to Kidderminster after they had previously gone four games unbeaten in the National League.

2024-02-24 OAFC (1) v Kidderminster (2)-0675 Large.jpg

It is becoming perhaps a worry for Mellon, his men have now lost twice in their last three at home whilst their away form ranks as one of the best on the road in the league. Athletic head to the Silverlake Stadium unbeaten in their last eight trips.

Oldham now sit nine points adrift of third placed Barnet who occupy the final automatic playoff spot, whilst they must return to winning ways swiftly with red hot Halifax side right on their heels.

The Opposition

The side from Hampshire have endured a rocky start to 2024 but have seemingly turned a new corner under the fresh guidance of new boss Kelvin Davis.

Davis has led his side to impressive consecutive league victories, most recently securing an impressive 2-0 win over Bromley at Silverlake courtesy of timely strikes from Scott Quigley and talisman Paul McCallum.

Before changes in the dugout were made, the Spitfires were in a tough place in need of results. Under former boss Richard Hill Eastleigh had gone winless in 11 seeing the need for a shift in personnel.

FA CUP ROUND UP: OUR JOURNEY TO NEWPORT | Eastleigh FC

Eastleigh since have won successive National League games for the first time in two months, whilst the Bromley triumph saw a first league clean sheet staggeringly since September.

It certainly bodes well for this Eastleigh side, who have been injected with confidence at a critical point in their campaign. Now 11th, it leaves the Spitfires with an outside shot at the playoffs, whilst a win against Latics would see the gap between the two sides reduce to just five.

Key Threat

There is no question Eastleigh’s successes this season can largely be attributed to their leader from the front, McCallum’s ruthless nature in the box has seen the striker soar to the top of the National League rankings.

26 of his efforts have found the net in league action whilst the forward has 30 in all competition this season, his reliability under pressurised circumstances is admirable.

His goalscoring is certainly not his only impressive attribute, McCallum seems unshakable when facing adversity. His return this season after returning from a difficult loan spell at Chesterfield last season is frankly superb.

Eastleigh 2-1 Reading: Paul McCallum double sends National League side into  FA Cup third round - BBC Sport

McCallum meanwhile is relentless leading the line for Eastleigh. His pressing and sense for danger is second to none, and often tends to be the one anticipating mistakes, certainly a hallmark of a strong centre-forward.

His trademark runs yet another, whilst his ability to be an effective outlet for his teammates simply goes under the radar. It makes McCallum a nightmare to defend against, coupled with his physicality.

Athletic will have a handful to deal with on Tuesday evening, whilst Mellon will recognise his players must be at their sharpest to deal with a man who has been the sharpest all season long.

In the dugout

Whilst a brief tenure thus far 47-year-old Davis has settled seamlessly into life at the Silverlake Stadium, winning his first two fixtures in charge.

He is also a man who will be searching for experience in senior management roles, his appointment at Eastleigh is his first in the hot seat on a permanent basis though he has been alongside managers at the top level.

During his time at Southampton, Davis was assistant to Mauricio Pellegrino, Mark Hughes and Ralph Hassenhuttl in the Premier League and even took on the mantle of caretaker manager once in a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham, though valuable.

Davis hoping Eastleigh can keep moving forward after win over Bromley |  Daily Echo

The former Southampton, Sunderland and Ipswich Town player will be eager to kick his management career off in good stead, whilst it has begun in impressive fashion.

Nine goals and just two conceded in his opening two fixtures is an encouraging return and something to build on, Davis is set to embark on a challenging journey, with Oldham his next test.

Match Details

The referee will be Sam Mulhall, with assistant officials Marcus Carmichael and Thomas Holden. The fourth official is set to be Shelby Elson.

Match coverage and information 

Live audio commentary is available on Latics Player, guiding you through the match. 

For more information, visit the Latics Player page by clicking here

Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC 

As this game is not being played within the blocked broadcast hours stipulated by UEFA, live streaming will be available through National League TV for supporters in the UK and overseas.

Matchday passes are available for £9.50, with further details here.

As always, we will endeavour to ensure confirmation of the line-up is published as soon as possible on social media. 

However, supporters should note that team sheets in the National League are not exchanged until an hour before kick-off. This is 15 minutes later than in the EFL and as a result, the line-up is likely to be published slightly later than in previous seasons.


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