Eastleigh won their first league game in 2017 at The Silverlake Stadium in a 2-0 win against Barrow AFC in front of 2039 spectators. Goals from Sam Togwell and Matt Tubbs ensured of the victory. Richard Hill welcomed defender Paul Reid into the starting 11 alongside striker Tubbs who both signed yesterday. New signing Ryan Burge also started with yet another new look Eastleigh side took to the stage. Tubbs probably had the first chance of the game but the striker couldn’t quite connect with his strike on a boggy pitch. The Spitfires won a corner after four minutes that was swung in by Burge however Michael Green couldn’t quite keep his header down and proved no worries for Barrow keeper Flatt. The visitors’ Jordan Williams was proving to be dangerous with some pacey runs. Green won a corner after 10 minutes but it came to nothing as Barrow win a free kick shortly after on the right wing which was scrambled away. It was then Eastleigh’s turn with a free kick that was delivered in dangerously by Close but Flatt had it covered. It was end to end stuff as Barrow started to counter attack and could of gone in front if it wasn’t for some brave defending. The Spitfires states to look attacking with Ben Close being denied twice. Their attacking spell finally paid off however when captain Togwell provided a bit of magic with a 25 yard thunderbolt of a shot that gave Flatt no chance after 20 minutes. Barrow’s Nick Anderton looked to have put a dangerous ball in the box just under the half hour mark however it resulted in Eastleigh keeper Graham Stack being brought down for a free kick. Craig McAlister was putting in a great shift up front chasing down every ball.the game was starting to die down a bit with very few chances coming either side. Barrow’s Anderton put in a dangerous long throw with minutes to go in the first half however 11 could only find the side netting. Hakeem Odoffin put in a decent cross late on but it remained 1-0 to Eastleigh going into the break.
It took less than 2 minutes before Eastleigh doubled their lead, keeper Flatt kicked the ball at Tubbs and the striker found the net by kicking the ball through his legs. There was much controversy from Barrow but the referee let it stood. Barrow’s Williams then had a chance but couldn’t connect properly and proved no trouble for Stack. Again the game went through a quiet spell as it approached the hour mark with Eastleigh looking like they decided to sit back a bit and protect their two goal lead. Barrow’s Moussa Diarra nearly halved the deficit just past the hour mark with a testing header how fed Stack done well with the save. Burge then got replaced by Ben Strevens in an attempt to bring some experience in the side and man of the match Tubbs also got replaced by Scott Wilson moments later. The striker’s pace and flair was starting to show and he nearly made a instant impact but could quite curl his effort in. Strevens won a corner with just over 20 minutes to go which Close swung in and Reda Johnson had to attempts blocked from it. It was difficult conditions out there and you could imagine there was a few slip ups but Eastleigh really started to grind out the victory. Odoffin then got brought down by Barrow’s Williams who received a yellow card, the resulting free kick however came to nothing. It was Barrow’s centre back Diarra who was getting in to the most attacking positions and nearly came close with 10 minutes to go but Stack was determined to keep a clean sheet. Wilson continued to press for a third with some pacey runs and eventually the Spitfires won a series of corners with very few minutes to go. Eastleigh held on to their two goal lead and three vital points in a well earned victory.