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Eastleigh defeated at home to Maidstone

September 12, 2017

Richard Hill’s Spitfires were defeated tonight by Maidstone United 1-0 at home. After four straight draws in the Vanarama National League, Eastleigh tried to break that at a wet and windy Silverlake Stadium in front of 1,820. Jai Reason lined up against The Spitfires as he returned to the club he won the Conference South with all those seasons ago. Maidstone’s Delano Sam-Yorke had a golden opportunity after six minutes however Graham Stack made a point blank save to deny him. Moments later, however, Eastleigh looked to have won a penalty when the referee pointed to the spot but it was deemed only a free kick on the edge of the box after the linesman thought otherwise. Eastleigh’s left back Michael Green then came close with a drilled cross. Joe Pigott then darted through the middle of the Eastleigh defense but it came to nothing after 20 minutes played. Maidstone’s Reason had a chance on goal as did Eastleigh’s Sam Matthews had a speculative effort wide just under the half hour mark.

The game started to quiet down a little with both sides having very few chances. Cavaghn Miley looked dangerous for Eastleigh and darted through the midfield led only for his long range effort to go wide. Reason lined up for a signature free kick for the visitors late on in the first half but instead, he dinked it in the box but it came to nothing. Eastleigh won a corner in stoppage time but It remained 0-0 at half time with another draw on the horizon.

As the rain began to bucket down, the players came back on to the field after the break and it was a slow start to the half with Maidstone’s Sam-Yorke halting play after 50 minutes with an injury and had to be replaced by Johan Ter Horst. Gary McSheffrey did find the net for Eastleigh but it was deemed offside as the recent signing from Doncaster Rovers just mistimed his run. McSheffrey then had a golden chance to take the lead for Eastleigh just after the hour mark but his curling effort was just wide. With it being a slippery surface, both teams were making mistakes. Maidstone then came the closest as Zavon Hines had a thunderbolt of a shot that rattled the corner of the post. It didn’t take long however before Hines found the net for Maidstone with a crisp finish to put the visitors in front with 20 minutes to go. Mark Yeates and James Constable got replaced by Chris Zebroski and Craig McAllister for Eastleigh in the hope of getting something in the remaining ten or so minutes. Ross Stearn then came on for Ayo Obileye as Hill’s men attempted to go all out attack. Zebroski snatched at a chance moments later so couldn’t quite direct his shot on target. Despite a brace effort by Eastleigh and some good saves from Stack it remained 1-0 to Maidstone, with Eastleigh without a win in five.

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