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Success story for Spitfires

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There was a record attendance of 4,126 at the Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh for the visit of Macclesfield Town last Saturday.   The BT cameras were also present for a live screening of the game.  Eastleigh won 4-0 and are just outside the play off places in the Conference.

It is a little over a decade since the Spitfires were playing in the Wessex League and getting three figure crowds.   Admittedly, a sponsor bought 2,000 tickets for local junior clubs for the game which saw the opening of the new Mackoy Community Stand.

Eastleigh owner has ploughed millions into the club with the aim of giving something to the community. The town was perhaps once best known for its railway works, but also now enjoys attention as a highly marginal Parliamentary constituency.

Some are resentful of the success of Eastleigh and see it as a result of their spending power.  This worked out well for former non-league clubs Crawley and Fleetwood now in League One.  Rushden & Diamonds also reached League One, but fell down the leagues when the money ran out.   Their stadium at Nene Park is scheduled to be demolished, although the phoenix club AFC Rushden & Diamonds is progressing well.

The population of Eastleigh is 125,000 whereas Rushden & Diamonds were located in an area 'lacking chimney pots'.   Nearby Southampton play in the Premier League, but many fans adopt a non-league club as a second team.