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Address: Ten Acres,
Capacity: 5,192 (3,200 Seated)
Image Source: https://www.eastleighfc.com/ground-guide-aldershot/
A decent little football ground in southern England that you could hypothetically fly to.
Currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Silverlake Stadium, it has been the home of Eastleigh Football Club since opening in 1957.
The Spitfires made the move here from their previous home Walnut Avenue, and multiple renovations have taken place in the decades since, including the installation of floodlights in 1976.
The construction of new stands and expansions to the capacity have come as Eastleigh have begun to play higher up the pyramid. One of the most major come in 2014, when a new South Stand was built and officially opened in front of a then-record crowd of 4,126.
Further work has created the Ten Acres that is in place today.
Location and Getting There
Ten Acres is located off Stoneham Lane, around 1.5 miles southwest of Eastleigh Town Centre. Shrubbery Pond and Park Pond are within 0.3 miles west of the ground, the River Itchen is around one mile away to the south and Southampton Airport is within 0.5 miles to the east.
Coming to Ten Acres by car is certainly possible, but finding parking for free could be tricky.
There is a good-sized car park around the ground’s vicinity, but its location on the outskirts means that residential streets are not that close by. The car park offers around a quarter of its spaces to supporters, available for £5 each on a first come first served basis.
I have known some fans make use of the car park at Southampton Airport, itself costing £5 per vehicle, and then taking the 20-25 minute walk west to the football ground.
If you do find free parking, it is likely to be a good distance away on foot.
Southampton Airport is where you can also find the closest train station to Ten Acres, Southampton Airport Parkway which is served by South Western Railway, CrossCountry, GWR and Southern Rail.
The walk from here to the football ground is between 20 and 25 minutes, requiring you to head north up Wide Lane (A335), turn left onto Doncaster Drove, head all the way along, pass the University of Southampton Sports Ground to your left and the Lakeside Country Park to your right, head briefly right and then left at the roundabout, then right onto Stoneham Lane and down to the ground’s car park entrance.
It is a not particularly simple route to navigate, and isn’t helped by the fact that you have to be on the western side of Ten Acres in order to get into its vicinity.
Taxi services should be available from Southampton Airport Parkway for those who don’t want to walk, however.
Outside the Ground
Access into Ten Acres comes exclusively from off Stoneham Lane to the west. Perimeter fences, grass and trees prevents you from approaching it from any other direction.
Entering from off Stoneham Lane, you will find yourself on the same side as the ground’s West Stand.
Considered the Main Stand at Ten Acres, it doesn’t run along the full length of the pitch, using an exterior that consists of a brickwork base with light grey corrugated iron higher up.
Part of this Main Stand building has a light grey fence immediately outside of it, with a lone access point that leads to the Players and Officials Entrance. Car parking spaces immediately outside this fence are for VIPs.
The southern part of the Main Stand building does not have any fencing immediately outside of it. From left to the right, entrances to the Board Room, Manager's Office, Treatment Room and Gym can be found along here.
As you head up towards the northwest corner of the football ground, the Main Stand building ends and is replaced by a blue corrugated iron fence which has advertising boards in place along it.
There are two set of gates on this side of Ten Acres, both for home supporters to use. Home Gates 1 and 2 are beyond the southern end of the Main Stand building, next to the ground’s southwest corner and alongside two portacabins. Home Gates 3 and 4 are at the other end of the Main Stand exterior, near to the ground’s northwest corner.
The majority of Ten Acres car parking spaces are out beyond the Main Stand and northwest corner.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction from the Main Stand brings you to the North Stand. It is also known as the Clubhouse Stand or Sherwoods Stand.
It has a cream-coloured concrete base with grey corrugated iron and large glass windows higher up.
The entrance to Sherwoods Carvery, as well as Hospitality, can be found along this concrete base and next to the ground's northwest corner. The entrance which leads into the Main Reception, Ticket Office and Eastleigh Club Shop is immediately to the left of here.
Sherwoods Carvery takes up the rest of the Clubhouse Stand's base, including an outdoor eating area on artificial grass and bordered by a wooden fence.
The Clubhouse Stand does not run along the whole width of the space, with the space next to it being taken by The Hangar, a club bar that welcome both home and away supporters on a matchday. The Hangar can be accessed by a set of doors around the corner from where Sherwoods Carvery is based, and out beyond the Hangar is a fairly good sized car park.
Fans based on the northern side of Ten Acres typically use Home Gates 3 and 4 over by the ground’s northwest corner for entry.
Walking behind the Clubhouse Stand and The Hangar will bring you round to the East Terrace.
The stand has a very basic exterior design, consisting of blue corrugated iron with some advertising boards in place higher up.
There are two sets of gates on the eastern side of Ten Acres. Gates 5-7 are near to the Hangar Bar and are for home supporter use. At the other end of the East Terrace, near to the ground's southeast corner, are Gates 8-11 which are for away supporter use.
There is a large 3G pitch outside the East Terrace which has high fences around it and is often used by Eastleigh academy players for training.
The South Stand at Ten Acres is known as the Mackoy Community Stand and was opened in February 2015.
Similar in height to the adjacent Main Stand, it has a very basic design which uses light grey corrugated iron from top to bottom. The only things of note with this exterior are drainage pipes coming down from the top and two exit doors along its base.
Typically used by away supporters on a matchday, entrance into the Mackoy Community Stand comes via Gates 8-11 which are over by the southeast corner of the football ground.
The recommendation for away supporters upon arriving at Ten Acres is to head through the main car park, around the football ground's southwest corner, and along the access road behind the Mackoy Community Stand which will lead you to the required turnstiles.
Inside the Ground
The Main Stand is a single tier of entirely blue seating, additionally housing a small press box for the stadium announcer at one end. This seating area is elevated above ground and accessed via small staircases along the front. Ten Acres’ dugouts are tunnel are based down in front of this seating area, with the changing rooms located inside.
Your view from anywhere inside the Main Stand is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above.
The stand doesn’t have windshields in place at either end however, with just small walls in place to offer protection from the sides.
The Main Stand itself only covers a percentage of the western side of the pitch. The remaining space next to it is available for fans to stand on. They will often lean on the perimeter fence that surrounds the pitch.
Whilst the Clubhouse Stand includes a large club building, there is only a small standing terrace in front of it. This elevated terraced area includes two rows of metal bars across it for fans to lean on, and is protected by the club building’s roof which hangs overhead.
The rest of the space underneath this roof is also available for supporters to stand in, and they will usually lean on the perimeter fence that surrounds the pitch when doing so.
There are supporting pillars coming down along the front of this roof, but they are well spaced out and so it is certainly possible to get clear views when stood right by the pitch. It is a little trickier however to get clear views from inside the elevated terracing area as this is located further back.
In front of The Hangar is a large electronic screen that can best be seen by those at the other end of the ground. A lot of the space in front of this is available for fans to stand in, though there are yellow lines on the floor to show places where standing is not permitted.
Those stood in front of The Hangar will have clear views of the pitch, but no protection overhead.
The East Terrace, as the name implies, is a single tier of covered standing terrace. It was originally used by Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club but was transported to Ten Acres in 2014.
There are two rows of metal bars running across it for fans to lean on, and on top of the roof is the gantry which holds the matchday camera.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly along the front of the roof, and these will likely restrict your view somewhat if you are stood behind or near to them. Your clearest view is likely to come from being stood down at the front in the space between each pillar.
There are no windshields in place at either end of the East Terrace however, meaning that the sides can get exposed to the wind and the rain if present.
The Mackoy Community Stand consists of a single tier of green seating that goes a fair distance back.
There are two supporting pillars which come down at the front of the stand and these will restrict your view slightly if you are sat behind or near to them. The best views in this stand will come from the very front rows, in the spaces between each supporting pillar.
Large windshields are in place at either end of the Mackoy Community Stand which provide protection to every row inside.
Away fans are housed in what is considered the southeast side of Ten Acres.
This includes a section of seating in the Mackoy Community Stand to the south, sectioned off from home supporters nearby by large sheets, a section of the East Terrace, again sectioned off from home supporters nearby by large sheets. This gives away supporters the option of choosing seating or standing on a matchday.
The Mackoy Community Stand offers the higher up view and the better level of protection from the sides, but like the East Terrace has supporting pillars in place at the front which can restrict your view. Your best view will come from being on the front row in either section.
Away fans use Gates 8, 9, 10 and 11 in the ground’s southeast corner to access this away section. The recommendation for away supporters upon arriving at Ten Acres is to head through the main car park, around the football ground's southwest corner, and along the access road behind the Mackoy Community Stand which will lead you to the required turnstiles.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Hangar at Ten Acres itself (Home and Away Supporters Pre-Game, Home Supporters Only During and After Game)
-The Concorde Club (Stoneham Lane, SO50 9HQ) (Home and Away Supporters) (Located north of Ten Acres itself)
-The Cricketers Arms (232 Chestnut Avenue, SO53 3HN) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Eastleigh)
-The Spitfire (18-20 High Street, SO50 5LD) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in more central Eastleigh near to Eastleigh Station)
-The Wagon Works (28 Southampton Road, SO50 9FJ) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Eastleigh Station)
*There are no pubs within very close range of Ten Acres itself and you will need to head north towards more central Eastleigh in order to find a drink that isn't at The Hangar.
It can be a little tricky to get into Ten Acres with access only along one side, but once inside you will find a decent football ground.
Offering a good combination of seating and standing across its four side, Eastleigh’s home can accommodate many different needs, and offers away supporters the choice of seating or standing on a matchday as well.
Ten Acres has held football matches for over half a century, and with notable redevelopments forming the ground that is in place today, you can expect football matches to be held here for many years to come as well.
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