Eastleigh move into play-off spot after Southport win

Andy Drury scores the winning goal on his Birthday (photo by Tony Smith)

Andy Drury scores the winning goal on his Birthday (photo by Tony Smith)

 

Eastleigh have leapfrogged into fifth in the Vanarama Nation League following a 1-0 victory at home to Southport on Saturday.

Andy Drury got the only goal of the game on his 32nd birthday to seal all three points for the Spitfires in front of 1,755 spectators at the Silverlake Stadium as well as the game being shown live on BT Sport.

Drury thought he scored early on when James Constable’s effort struck the post and the former Luton Town man followed up with the rebound however it was deemed offside in a very tight call.

Southport were defending for their lives early on in the first half with Jai Reason floating in a dangerous corner for Jack Midson to knock on to the path of defender Paul Reid who’s diving headed effort got cleared of the line.

Reason could of got on the scoresheet himself moments later as the attacking midfielder was denied by Southport’s on loan goalkeeper  Max Crocombe who played superbly all game to try and  keep out the Eastleigh strike force.

Southport were pressing for a goal themselves late on in the first half however both teams went into the break goalless.

The Spitfires had a massive penalty appeal early on in the second half as Midson was being pinned down in the box by Southport’s Matthew Challoner however referee Brett Huxtable awarded nothing.

Eastleigh’s pressure finally paid off however with just ten minutes to play as birthday boy Drury this time found the net onside in similar fashion as Josh Payne’s effort on goal was saved into the path of the winger who made no mistake with the finish.

Chris Todd’s men saw the narrow victory out that has put them in good form for this Saturday’s crucial FA Cup second round fixture away to Stourbridge.

Eastleigh will travel to the West Midlands side as both sides are looking to get into the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.

Stourbridge sit two leagues below Eastleigh in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League and currently mid-table having won only three games at home this season in the league.

The Glassboys however won their last cup tie in the FA Trophy on Saturday in convincing style to get into the first round of the cup beating Spennymoor Town 4-2.

Stourbridge beat Eastleigh’s league rivals Dover Athletic last month in a 2-1 away victory to get to this stage of the FA Cup.

BBC Football Focus will be live from the War Memorial Athletic Ground and will focus on the fixture at 12.10pm with the match itself starting at 3pm.