Three straight losses for Eastleigh

It was a third straight home loss in the space of a week for Eastleigh as Macclesfield Town proved too good with a 1-0 win. With four wins out of five from the previous encounters, you’d like to think this would be a good omen for Eastleigh. Goalkeeper Ryan Clarke was back to full fitness and started for Martin Allen’s men and a bumper crowd of 2,345 watched on at The Silverlake Stadium as The Spitfires looked for their first home win since October. The visitors started off the stronger of the two sides with a shot on goal and a free kick that came to nothing. James Constable started for Eastleigh and the striker was nearly put through on goal however the opposition keeper Scott Flinders done well to gather the ball safely. Macclesfield won the first corner of the game despite none of their players getting on the end of it. Chris Holroyd had the first shot on target of the game but it proved no problem for Clarke. Winger Rhys Browne did however cause havoc and he put the visitors 1-0 up after just seven minutes with a great strike. Moments later Holroyd was through on goal only for Hakeem Odoffin to block last minute. It looked to have been a dodgy few minutes for the Eastleigh back four as once again a ball cut through the defence despite Clarke doing well to recover. The Spitfires won a free kick after ten minutes that was over powered by Sam Togwell and missed everyone for a goal kick. Another free kick a couple of minutes later was awarded on the right side but it was quickly blocked by the Macclesfield defence. It started to get a bit quiet for both sides with some scrappy passes on show. The visitors’ Hancox had a close range effort saved halfway through the first half despite the referee awarding a goal kick. The Eastleigh supporters started to get into full voice to try and encourage their low morale looking team. It was Macclesfield however who had a free kick on 30 minutes that was swung in but caused no problem for Clarke. Constable came close to equalising moments later however Flinders pulled of a great close range save to keep the one goal deficit. Eastleigh had a corner from the resulting save as Ayo Obileye guided a header straight in the keeper’a hands. Eastleigh started to look dangerous with Odofin receiving a ball across the box but Flinders pulled off another good save to deny the winger. The Spitfires won a free kick just inside the opposition box after 40 minutes but once again it came to nothing as Macclesfield started to counter attack. Macclesfield had a good chance to make it 2-0 late on in the first half however it finished with the visitors going one goal ahead at half time. 

Allen made a half time substitution with Scott Wilson replacing Constable in a attempt to inject some much needed pace into Eastleigh’s strike force. Tyler Garratt had a speculative shot a minute into the second half however his effort would of probably much suited a rugby match. Wilson started to look dangerous and won a corner for Eastleigh after failing to find anyone in the box but nothing came off it and Macclesfield soon won one down the other end. With it taken short, a few neat passes found it’s way in the box but luckily for Eastleigh it came to nothing. Macclesfield did the find the net once again moments later however it was deemed offside around two seconds before the strike. The Spitfires then took off Craig McAllister for Mekhi Leacock-McLeod in the hope for something different up front. Ben Strevens won a corner that was met superbly by Obileye however Flinders had it covered. Suddenly there looked to be some fight in the Eastleigh team as Strevens then got a shot blocked. With an hour gone it was end to end stuff and Clarke kept out a header from Hancox that  looked destined for the back of the net. Leacock-McLoud started to look very dangerous with some pacey runs down the left flank. A quick throw caused havoc with Sam Muggleton providing one of his signature throws as it found Wilson who looked to have got brought down in the box however the referee waved it away. Togwell was then replaced by Ben Close in what was Eastleigh’s third and final substitution with over 25 minutes remaining. Perhaps Eastleigh’s best chance came when Garratt swung in a ball for Obileye as his looping header had Flinders finally beaten but not the post. Macclesfield started to attack again with a header which narrowly missed. Leacock-McCloud then won a corner that was taken short but Macclesfield were on hand to cut it out like they did most of the game. Macclesfield scorer Browne hobbled off with ten minutes to go and was replaced as they looked to secure their one goal lead. Wilson nearly got on the end of a well worked pass late on however keeper Flinders gathered it up. A few chances came both ends but it remained 1-0 Macclesfield on a dismal night for Eastleigh. October last year seems a long time away now with hopes of play offs in full sight for Eastleigh. Now The Spitfires must focus on securing their place in the Vanarama National League. The Spitfires now travel away to high flying Dover Athletic on Saturday.