Eastleigh beat Hartlepool 3-2 to extend play-off chances

Ben Strevens’ Spifires maintained their National League play-off push with an entertaining home win over Hartlepool at The Silverlake Stadium in front of 1863 spectators.

Ben Williamson put Eastleigh in front in just the second minute following a well-worked corner routine as Mark Yeates played it short to the striker as Williamson placed a well hit shot in the back of the net.

But the visitors were back level within four minutes when Mark Kitching, who only started after Fraser Kerr was injured in the warm-up, slotted home from close range.

Eastleigh restored their lead in the 14th minute when Alex Wynter tapped in after Joey Jones nodded on another Yeates’ delivery at the back post. It is clear that The Spitfires have been working on set pieces this week with two well worked goals.

The Spitfires’ goalkeeper Luke Southwood then produced stunning saves to deny Luke Molyneux and Nicke Kabamaba, twice, with Pools stopper Scott Loach foiling Josh Hare at the other end.

Shaun Hobson, on loan from Bournemouth, extended Eastleigh’s lead three minutes into the second half from another Yeates corner before Williamson hit a post.

Kabamaba reduced the deficit with a back-post header in the 71st minute but Eastleigh as it was a nervy last 20 minutes at The Silverlake Stadium.

Eastleigh held on to claim an eighth win in 10 games despite Andrew Boyce finding the net but the officials disallowed it.

Strevens’ men now take on Barnet at home again on Tuesday as they look to extend their play-off hopes even more.