Spitfires salvage a point away to Staines

A brace from Bradley Bubb from the penalty spot secured Eastleigh a share of the points

Ian Baird’s Spitfires take on second from bottom placed Hampton & Richmond Borough in the Blue Square Bet South at The Beveree Stadium (3PM kick off).

Eastleigh made the trip to Staines Town on Valentine’s day at Wheatsheaf Park and The Spitfires didn’t get of to the best of starts, David Wheeler put the home side in front and things went from bad to worse when former Spitfire loanee Mark Nwokeji doubled The Swans lead in the second half.

Second half substitutes Jamie Brown and Graeme Montgomery made way for Jamie Slabber and Michael Green and Eastleigh went three at the back, Damien Scannell got pulled down in the box and earned The Spitfires a penalty and Bradley Bubb scored his fifth goal in five appearances for The Spitfires.

However the on loan Aldershot Town striker wasn’t finished there, Damien Scannell went down yet again and earned his side another penalty, Bubb stepped up to the mark and salvaged Eastleigh a point in a game where The Spitfires were lucky to escape with a share of the points.

While The Spitfires were struggling to get a point away to Staines, The Beavers were away in the FA Trophy 3rd round where they crashed out of the competition to Evo-Stick Northern Premier out Northhich Victoria.

With a low cross allowing to reach to Northwich, Nathan Woolfe made the Beavers pay with a well taken finish from 15 yards out 15 minutes into the game.

Just over twenty minutes later Northwich doubled there lead with Woolfe again on the score sheet, once again  the former Bolton Wanderers striker latched on to a good pass to crash the ball past Beavers goalkeeper Craig Ross from 25 yards.

Seven minutes past the restart and The Beavers went 3-0 down, Northwich won a corner and the cross found midfielder Wayne Riley who swept the ball in to the net leaving the defence helpless.

Dave Tarpey got one back for the visitors with a deflected shot however Lewis Ferrell pulled back Woolfe in the penalty box and Kyle Armstrong converted Northwich’s fourth goal of the night and sent Hampton’s dreams of making the forth round of the FA Trophy crashing.

The last time The Spitfires and The Beavers met was this season at The Silverlake Stadium, Jamie Slabber broke the deadlock that day from a Graeme Montgomery free kick.

The former Aldershot Town winger swung a free kick into the box and former Tottneham Hotspur striker Slabber with his back to the goal used the back of his head to find the net with a good finish.

Six minutes from the restart, Nathan Coller equalised for the visitors with a fine individual effort in a game where Eastleigh were left wondering how they didn’t claim all three points.

The last time these two teams met at The Beveree Stadium was more than one year ago, The Spitfires went 1-0 down after 32 minutes.

A free kick  from twenty-five yards was swung in to the far post where central defender David Stevens who rose to head home his first goal for the club at the time.

The second half came and The Spitfires got an equaliser ten minutes after the restart, Ross Bottomley (now at AFC Totton) fought for the ball on the edge of the box and the ball finally broke free to Richard Graham (now at Dartford) allowing the winger to glide a left foot strike low past Joe Talbot.

Two minutes later Bottomley met Tony Taggart’s (now at Sutton United) corner to put the visitors in front however The Spitfires hard work was undone by second half substitute Lawrence Yaku.

James Simmonds collected the ball and lofted a pass over the heads of the Eastleigh into the path of the Yaku, the striker lifted the ball over Jason Matthews  (now at Bath City) and watched the ball bounce into the back of the net before setting off on a somersault run to celebrate the equaliser.

In other news the match between Eastleigh and Tonbridge Angels that got called off due to a frozen pitch last Saturday has been rearranged for Tuesday 20th March (7:45 PM kick off).

In injury news, Canadian midfielder Philip Appiah returned from injury on Tuesday and will be available for tomorrows match.

This is going  to be a great game to watch so male the journey up to The Beveree Stadium and roar on those Spitfires!

COME ON YOU SPITFIRES!!!

Photo by Graeme Horobin

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