Eastleigh fell to a 2-0 defeat to Macclesfield at the Silverlake Stadium in their penultimate fixture of the National League season.
The visitors were crowned league champions, and opened the scoring early when Tyrone Marsh turned home David Fitzpatrick’s low cross.
Eastleigh had their chances, but The Silkmen made it two on the hour mark with Mitch Hancox sweeping the ball home.
Macclesfield were quick out of the blocks, and left-back Fitzpatrick’s run down the wing ended with a low ball across goal that Marsh converted.
Eastleigh reacted well to the early setback though, and the chances came thick and fast for The Spitfires.
Chris Zebroski’s teasing ball across the face of goal was lashed clear by Keith Lowe, before Sam Matthews played a neat ball into the feet of Paul McCallum, who couldn’t quite pull the trigger under pressure.
McCallum then forced Shwan Jalal to make a good save with a powerful header from Zebroski’s cross after Ryan Broom had worked the ball up the right wing.
Jalal then saved from Mark Yeates, and McCallum’s follow-up was somehow kept out by Fitzpatrick’s head on the goal line, though the defender didn’t know much about it.
McCallum was dominant in the air, and again got to a cross from Zebroski. He and Jalal met the ball together and it looped towards the goal line, but the goalkeeper was able to scramble back and maintain the visitors’ clean sheet.
Yeates then showed great feet with a mazy run in from the left, and whipped in a pinpoint cross that was just flicked over McCallum’s head by Danny Whitehead.
Matthews nearly netted a glorious equaliser with the first action of the second half, but his long-range effort curled just over the crossbar.
Reda Johnson showed his defensive grit with a block that denied Danny Whittaker’s goal-bound effort, but Macclesfield doubled their lead soon after when Whittaker cushioned the ball down and Hancox swept it home.
Danny Hollands had the Eastleigh fans on their feet immediately after the second goal, but his dink over the keeper’ went agonisingly wide of the post.
Eastleigh perhaps could have had a penalty on 75 minutes when Zebroski appeared to be brought down in the box by Marsh, but referee Carl Brook waved away the appeals.
The Boys in Blue continued the pressure in the later stages, with Gavin Hoyte nearly pulling one back with a header that was narrowly over the bar.
Eastleigh’s final game of the season is away to Solihull Moors on Saturday 28thApril at 12:30.
Written by Ashley Gregory.