Josh Hare’s spectacular late goal saw Eastleigh come out 2-1 winners against local rivals Havant and Waterlooville on New Years Day in front of 2,104 spectators at The Silverlake Stadium.
Eastleigh got off to a bright start as Cav Miley broke away down the left flank but was denied by the onrushing Havant keeper Ben Dudzinski.
The Spitfires had a early penalty appeal when Paul McCallum claimed the bad had hit one of the visitors’ hand however nothing was given.
Mark Yeates looked lively as ever as the winger skipped past two Havant defenders and let fly but it proved no problems for Dudzinski.
Both Joe Jones and Yeates were then denied as Dudzinski pulled off a brilliant save to keep things level. Ben Strevens’ men were continueing to press as both Ben Williamson and Jones came close once again with efforts just before the half hour mark. Eastleigh won a free kick just before half time which was met by Jones but it went just over as both teams went into the break level.
The Spitfires started the second half as they finished as Yeates’ free-kick was whipped in and found McCallum but his header was just wide. Another Yeates set piece was then met by Alex Wynter whose header was saved well from close range but you could tell that something was in the air as Eastleigh looked hungry for that goal. And it looked as though Eastleigh were on course for the victory after Reda Johnson had given them the lead in the 57th minute, heading in from another Yeates’ delivery, this time being a corner.
The visitors however then started to pile on the pressure for the first real time in the game. In due course, The Spitfires were pegged back when Hassan Jalloh tapped in from close range with just nine minutes remaining as Eastleigh fans started to look in despair.
But that soon changed as Hare was on hand to fire into the top corner from outside the area after fine work from Yeates. The right back arguably scored Eastleigh’s best goal of the season so far. Despite late pressure from Havant, Eastleigh went on to win 2-1 as they earned a vital three points towards that all important play-off spot. The Spitfires now take on Solihull Moors this Saturday away before they have a much needed two week rest.