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Eastleigh plan £10m, 9000-seat stadium

Eastleigh enjoyed a lucrative run in the FA Cup Credit: ITV

Non-league side Eastleigh FC have launched a £10 million plan to expand their Silverlake Stadium to a multi-purpose 9,000 seat stadium.

After a heroic FA Cup run, the Hampshire side are aiming to put the club firmly on the footballing map with the multi-million pound stadium, which is currently being drawn up by designers.

Eastleigh are currently fourth in the National League, aiming to gain promotion into the SkyBet League 2 after meeting the league’s criteria with the introduction of the 2,290 seat Mackoy Community Stand last year.

Chief Executive Mark Jewell said the plan is to ensure the facilities offer something for the community as well as increasing the stature of the club.

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Johanna Konta beaten in Australian Open semi-final

Johanna Konta lost to Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-2 Credit: Reuters

Britain's Johanna Konta has been knocked out of the Australian Open after losing her semi-final match.

The British number one was beaten 7-5, 6-2 by Germany's Angelique Kerber.

The 24 year old was the first British woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open.

Kerber will now face Serena Williams in the final.

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Johanna Konta reaches Australian Open semi-finals

Johanna Konta will face Germany's Angelique Kerber in the semi-finals. Credit: Reuters

British No.1 Johanna Konta has secured her place in the Australian Open semi-finals with a straight-sets victory over Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai.

Konta won the match 6-4, 6-1 on Rod Laver Arena.

The 24 year old is the first British woman in a Grand Slam semi-final since Jo Durie at the 1983 US Open and the first at the Australian Open since Sue Barker in 1977.

She will now face Germany's Angelique Kerber, who earlier beat two-time champion Victoria Azarenka.

Konta began her run to the semi-final with a first-round victory over seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams.

Football referees 'face less criticism from commentators than they think'

Referees face less criticism from commentators than they think Credit: Nigel French/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Football referees do not receive as much criticism from sports commentators as they believe, according to new research. A study carried out at the University of Portsmouth found that professional pundits do not make as many negative comments about the decisions made by referees as the officials think they do.

Dr Tom Webb, a senior lecturer in sports management and development, analysed live commentaries and post-match discussions for 20 English Premier League matches and found the amount of time spent discussing the referee during live commentaries was a total of 37.5 minutes during the entire 20 matches.

And of the 267 total comments made about the referee during the matches, only 29 were judged negative.

Dr Webb said:

"Most people will be surprised by these statistics. We analysed 20 live matches, including the post-match analysis, which is a significant amount of coverage - at least two hours of content per match. The negative comments were minimal compared to the positive or neutral comments. That was really unexpected."

– Dr Tom Webb, Senior Lecturer

However, interviews with referees in previous academic studies have found that match officials believe the media was responsible for much of the pressure they felt.

And an online survey of referees found that 60% reported being verbally abused at least every couple of games.<

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Eastleigh fans optimistic ahead Bolton clash

Coachloads of Eastleigh fans have made the long journey north for tonight's FA Cup clash with Bolton.

Eastleigh are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition but face a Bolton side in poor form. The Lancashire club are 3 divisions higher in the Championship but will be without their goalkeeper Ben Amos, who is suspended.

Around 350 fans gathered at Eastleigh's stadium to travel up to this evening's match. Sam Holder went to them and see whether they think the Spitfires can make it to the fourth round for the first time in their history.

Eastleigh fans prepare for trip to Bolton

Eastleigh fans set off for Bolton Credit: Sam Holder

Eastleigh fans have been leaving for Bolton today, to cheer on the National League side in the FA Cup.

Bolton scored a late equaliser in the first match against Eastleigh, securing a third-round replay against the Hampshire side.

Darren Pratley scored following a corner with just three minutes left to play. The game almost didn't go ahead because of concerns over the muddy condition of the pitch.

An own goal by Dorian Dervite had earlier given Eastleigh a 1-0 lead.

Saints sign Charlie Austin from QPR

Charlie Austin has signed a four and a half year contract with Southampton Credit: Southampton FC

Charlie Austin says his mind was made up the second he heard of Southampton’s interest.

The striker completed a move to St Mary’s on a four-and-a-half-year contract on Saturday, sealing a return to the Barclays Premier League.

Austin scored 18 goals during his first spell in the top flight last season, but despite plenty of interest from elsewhere, the Englishman knew Saints was the right step for him.

Austin came up against Saints during his time with Swindon Town and says seeing the club’s rise and ambition, which has in many ways matched his, was a key factor in his decision-making.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to move until the summer, but as soon as Southampton showed an interest in me, it was the one club I wanted to go to.

“If we could get the deal as soon as possible I was ready to go, and lucky enough it’s now and I’m delighted.

“You see the progression from when I was playing for Swindon against Southampton back in League 1 five or six years ago. You just look at where they’ve gone from then – straight up to the Premier League, Europa League last season.

“So for me it’s important to come to a club on the up and I can’t wait to be involved. When Southampton came in it was a no-brainer. I think the last five years have shown the ambition the club has and I just want to be part of that now.

“I’m delighted to join forces and hopefully bring my quality into a team with a lot of quality players already here. I can’t wait to meet the lads and show them what I can do on the pitch.”

– Charlie Austin
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