Eastleigh’s seven match winning streak has come to an end, as they failed to get anything away to Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday.
The Somerset side ran out 3-2 winners at the Woodspring Stadium in a game Eastleigh’s manager Richard Hill described as their ‘worst performance of the season’.
It took 35 minutes before the hosts took the advantage as Martin Slocombe made a magnificent solo run from his own half and eventually put Chez Hemmings through on goal who made no mistake with the finish.
Eastleigh almost responded straight away however they had a goal disallowed from a corner which the referee awarded a free kick the other way.
Craig McAllister equalised for the Spitfires with 15 minutes to go and looked to have salvaged a point for Hill’s men however it was far from over.
Moments later the Seagulls were in front again as Dayle Grubb tried a speculative effort outside the box which bounced awkwardly for keeper Ross Flitney who couldn’t do anything to prevent the goal.
Weston’s second half substitute Alec Fiddes made sure Eastleigh’s run finally came to an end as the midfielder curled in a left-footed shot with two minutes left on the clock.
Eastleigh however didn’t give up and like they have all season, they finished strong with a late consolation goal.
Second half substitute Yemi Odubade got on the end of Damian Batt’s cross to half the deficit however there was no time left on the clock to get an equaliser.
Hill spoke to Jamie Graham for after the game and said: ‘We’ve got to stick together, re group and come back out Saturday.
‘We’re getting these chances but we’re not good enough in front of goal at the moment.
‘We just wasn’t good enough with the ball, we can do better with the ball and when we tried to pass the ball, we just kept on getting it cut out.
‘When we got back in the game at 1-1, we shot ourselves in the foot by not defending properly.’
Commenting about the controversial decision leading to the disallowed goal, he continued to say:
‘It’s a perfectly good goal in my opinion, apparently the referee told Guy (Butters, assistant manager) that Reece (Connolly) fouled the goalkeeper but I think if you have a look, there’s a defender between Reece and the goalkeeper.’
Eastleigh will now look to bounce back as they take on third place Ebbsfleet United tomorrow at a ‘new look’ Silverlake Stadium (3pm kick off).
The fleet have only lost five games all season and last played Bishop’s Stortford at home where they won 2-1 over fellow promotion candidates.
Second half goals from Ben May and former Leyton Orient defender Aiden Palmer was enough for Steve Brown’s men after trailing in the first half.
Tomorrow opponents will see some familiar faces return to the Silverlake Stadium as former Spitfire captain Daryl McMahon and right back Osei Sankofa both feature for the Kent side.
This week, the ground has been placed with temporary terracing which is set to be used for the rest of the season.
Owner Stewart Donald commented on the fans forum last week saying:
‘It will be temporary but in time for the Ebbsfleet game and then replaced with permanent terracing at the end of the season.
‘It is in for two games but may be extended for the remainder of the season if it proves popular in the short term.’
Help is required from 8am tomorrow to remove the pitch covers to see if the pitch is in need of a inspection so get down to the Silverlake Stadium and roar on those Spitfires!
COME ON YOU SPITFIRES!!!
If you cannot make the game tomorrow then you can listen to the game on Radio Spitfire where you can find full match coverage from 2.20pm, see here.
See below for Tuesday’s match highlights and Jamie Graham’s full post match interview with manager Richard Hill.