Ian Baird’s Spitfires will take on rivals Salisbury City in the Blue Square Bet South tomorrow night (7.45 pm kick off) at the The Raymond McEnhill Stadium with great confidence after a 0-4 convincing away win to second from bottom placed Hampton & Richmond Borough on Saturday.
Baird went with a different side to the one that disappointed away to Staines, Greame Montgomery replaced Scott Rogers (out with flu) in midfield and left back Michael Green made way for Gary Elphick for his first start since he signed from Eastbourne Borough.
These changes pushed Andy Forbes to left back so captain Tommy Jordan could partner with Elphick and the new defensive partnership was a successful one as The Spitfires defended well throughout the game giving on loan Southampton goalkeeper Jack Dovey more or less an easy game.
It took just five minutes for the deadlock to be broken, Daryl McMahon who filled in for the absent Rogers in central midfield and Damian Scannell combined together on the left wing allowing the former West Ham United midfielder to cross a ball into the area where Jamie Slabber done well to flick a header just inside the post to score his tenth goal of the season in all competitions.
The first half saw very few chances after the goal, after 15 minutes the home side had a corner taken by Ryan Blake and his cross met by the head of Beavers captain Dean Inman but his effort on goal was saved by the post, Graeme Montgomery’s shot was saved by former Eastleigh reserve keeper Craig Ross however much of the first half comfortably in Eastleigh’s half.
The half time whistle was approaching and Hampton won a corner however suddenly linesman Rob Smith signalled to referee Chris Powell that he had a groin problem, luckily qualified linesman Gareth Heighs was in the crowd and saved the game much to the delight of the Eastleigh supporters.
Eastleigh doubled their advantage twenty minutes after the break, Jamie Slabber released Damien Scannell who done well to run down the right wing to lay a ball across the face of goal where Bradley Bubb made no mistake with the simplest of tap-ins however Bubb in the right place at the right time scored his seventh goal in six appearances on his loan spell at the club from Aldershot Town.
Andy Forbes has scored the most goals in Eastleigh’s history with 145 goals and the former striker collected the ball in the left back position after 72 minutes and ran down the wing to the edge of the box before placing a shot past goalkeeper Craig Ross.
After second half substitute Jamie Brown picking up a harsh tenth yellow of card of the season in all competitions, the utility man was fouled just outside the box with minutes to go and creator of the opening goal Daryl McMahon curled a free kick past The Beavers keeper which put the icing on the cake for The Spitfires.
While The Spitfires were cruising to their fifth match unbeaten, 13th placed Salisbury City were in a tough battle against relegation threatened Bromley at The Raymond McEnhill Stadium where The Whites lost their first league game in six league outings.
After Salisbury having the better of the first halves, Bromley’s Anthony Thomas gave the visitors the lead just five minutes after the restart.
Winger Albert Jarrett made a run down the left wing, beating two players before putting a great cross into the box, which was parried away by Smith into the path of Joseph-Dubois.
The midfielder saw his shot hit the crossbar and fall to Thomas, who made no mistake by shooting home to give the visitors the lead.
Just four minutes later, Bromley doubled their advantage, Jarrett did well to beat his man down the line and whipped a cross into the box, which Hakeem Araba left for Thomas.
Thomas back heeled the ball to Joseph-Dubois who finished at the second attempt after his first shot was blocked by Salisbury keeper Tommy Smith.
Eastleigh’s last game against Salisbury was at home at The Silverlake Stadium which proved to be a tough opposition after The Whites made The Spitfires battle for a share of the points.
It took seventeen minutes before former Spitfire Robbie Matthews put the visitors in front, Eastleigh’s Andy Forbes missed an interception which led to Matthews finishing of a awkward long ball from the right.
After a disallowed Salisbury goal in the second half and much pressure from the visitors, former Aldershot Town winger Graeme Montgomery came on as a substitute on the 80th minute.
Montgomery popped up with the late equaliser with a superb 30 yard strike that curled in the bottom right corner six minutes after he came on, much to the delight of the Eastleigh management team and players.
There was still time for a late winner however both teams just couldn’t get past the opposition goalkeepers who played a key part of the game including Eastleigh’s Jack Dovey who made a fantastic double save in the dying minutes to secure a share of the points.
Coming to this game Salisbury have secured the signings of three new players, former Portsmouth defender Ugo Udoji on a non-contract basis, Mark Scott on loan from Swindon Town who previously played on loan at the club this season and Charlie Griffin on loan from Forest Green Rovers who has also played for the club two seasons ago scoring 21 goals for The Whites.
This is going to be a great game so come to The Raymond McEnhill Stadium tonight roar on The Spitfires to 6th place in the Blue Square Bet South.
COME ON YOU SPITFIRES!!!
Photo’s by Paul Paxford
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Match photos by Paul Paxford of Eastleigh’s last game away to Hampton & Richmond Borough.