Eastleigh took on relegation threatened York City at the Silverlake Stadium today in front of 2,341 spectators as Ronnie Moore’s Spitfires couldn’t quite keep all three points in a 1-1 draw in the Vanarama National League. The Spitfires now sit four points from that all important fifth spot as York City managed to escape the drop zone for the time being.
On an emotional weekend for all, Eastleigh put on a touch of class with a remembrance presentation before the game along with a minute silence. Moore handed a debut to Brazilian Derby County Loanee Alefe Santos who wore the number 32 shirt, the midfielder will be at the club until January. Eastleigh started off the game the brighter of the two sides with Luke Coulson coming close with a great effort and with James Constable being hit by the ball which nearly resulted it being in the back of the net. Mikael Mandron came even closer with a flying header just after 20 minutes which was The Spitfires’ best chance over the half hour mark. Coulson had a good chance after 35 minute however is curling effort just missed by inches to the right post. It was mainly Eastleigh in the first half with York City having very few chances to test Ryan Clarke in goal. The half finished 0-0 with The Spitfires well on top with possession.
After the break, Eastleigh thought they had scored when Mandron’s shot fell for Constable but the striker was found offside. It was end to end stuff and York had a penalty appeal shortly after for hand ball but it was waved away. It was the ever threatening Mandron that opened up scoring after 50 minutes with a glancing header and it was what The Spitfires deserved. York made a triple substitution on the hour mark in a bid to turn the game around and second half substitute Richard Brodie had a chance going wide for the visitors. Robbie Mcdaid was then clean through for York only for it to be deemed offside. Santos was looking dangerous for Eastleigh and came close with an audacious effort after 70 minutes. Eastleigh went a bit more attacking with 15 minutes to go with Ryan Bird and Jamie Cureton coming on for Santos and Constable. There was heart beak for Eastleigh however when York’s Simon Heslop was picked out perfectly and the midfielder slotted away to equalise. With ten minutes to go, there was a few tired legs on both sides with end to end half chances being created. Man of the match Michael Green had a good chance to get a winner however his low cross couldn’t quite reach anyone. With 6 minutes stoppage time announced Moore brought on Jai Reason to replace Andy Drury. Eastleigh had a free kick late on at the right hand side however the glancing header narrowly missed. The Spitfires had the final few chances however it would certainly feel like two points lost rather than one gained as it finished 1-1. Eastleigh take on Swindon Town on Tuesday in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Replay away in what is set for Eastleigh’s biggest ever away following in history.