Eastleigh earn crucial win at Halifax

James Constable scored his 18th goal of the season on Tuesday. (photo by Tony Smith)

James Constable scored his 18th goal of the season on Tuesday (photo by Tony Smith)

Eastleigh are in touching distance of an impressive play-off spot in their début season in the Vanarama Conference after a 2-0 away to FC Halifax Town on Tuesday.

The Spitfires currently sit in fourth with a two point cushion as well as a healthy goal difference on sixth place Macclesfield.

Richard Hill’s men got off to a flier on Tuesday as Halifax’s Marc Roberts headed in to his own net from Jai Reason’s free kick after just eight minutes.

Eastleigh’s top goalscorer James Constable then doubled the Spitfires’ lead on the hour mark with a cheeky chip as Hill’s men held on to three vital points towards their play-off spot.

The Spitfires now travel away to Lincoln on Saturday (12.15pm kick off) in their second consecutive away fixture at Sincil Bank.

This will be the Spitfires last scheduled away fixture in the Vanarama Conference this season in what has been a truly memorable season for Eastleigh and will be shown live on BT Sport 1.

Previous meeting: Both teams have met twice this season however the closest being in January this year as the Spitfires came out on top at the Silverlake Stadium.

Brian Howard missed a first penalty as Jack Midson finally put the home side in front five minutes before the break. Two goals in quick succession from James Constable and Midson again ensured Eastleigh a 3 goal advantage before the hour mark.

However in the Spitfires were awarded another two penalties with Midson and Will Evans both missing them.

Player/Assistant manager Craig McAllister did manage to extend Eastleigh’s lead seconds before the final whistle as the Spitfires ran out 4-0 winners.

Two months before this fixture and both teams met for the first ever time in the FA Cup First Round.

McAllister opened the scoring for Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium before Delano Sam-Yorke equalised in the second half.

However it was the Spitfires who had the last laugh with Ben Strevens scoring a late goal for Eastleigh that out them in to the second round of the FA Cup for their first ever time.

Opposition’s history: Nicknamed the Imps, after the legend of the Lincoln Imp, Lincoln City were founded in 1884 and currently play at Sincil Bank with a capacity of 10,120.

The former league club has highest ever position in the Football League was in 1902 where the club finished fifth in Division Two.

Lincoln City’s last season in Division Two was in 1961 however the Imps hold an unusual record that has seen them being demoted to the Football Conference more than any other club – that being five times.

Their most recent demotion from the Football League came in 2011 with five heartbreaking play-off finishes coming to nothing in League Two.

The failure to succeed in five successive play-off competitions is a record for Lincoln reaching the final twice in 2003 and 2005.

The Lincolnshire club have also been runners up in the Football League Trophy in 1983 and have won the Lincolnshire Senior Cup an impressive 37 times.
Opposition’s manager: Manager Chris Moyses first took over the club as a caretaker role last year following the departure of Gary Simpson.

The former Lincoln City and Halifax Town defender became a part of the youth set up at Sincil Bank and took on a role as first team coach before being made manager permanently.
Opposition’s form: Lincoln currently sit in mid-table after Tuesday’s 1-0 away defeat to Torquay United.

The Imps home form has not gone according to plan as of late with just ten points coming from their last eight league games at home.
Top goalscorer: Former Macclesfield Town striker Ben Tomlinson currently has 13 goals for the club this season and has currently made more appearances for Lincoln than any other club since joining in 2013.
Did you know? Lincoln City’s highest ever attendance in the league was 23,146 against rivals Grimsby Town in the Football League.

Travel info for Eastleigh fans: Two coaches are running for this fixture from 6am at the ground or 6.15am from Station Hill.

Prices are £10 for members or £15 for non members whereas under 16’s pay half price travelling with an adult.
To book your place on the coach please call the travel line on 07780858529 or 02380613361.