Match report

Two Paul McCallum goals and a first half strike from Joey Jones was enough to return the Spitfires back to winning ways as they defeated Maidstone 3-1.

The Spitfires travelled to the Gallagher Stadium looking for an improvement from their last fixture against Chesterfield, which resulted in a hard fought 1-1 draw.

Ben Strevens made two changes to the starting eleven with Max Stryjek, who picked up an illness, and Reda Johnson being replaced by Ross Flitney and Oscar Gobern.

The Spitfires travelled to the Gallagher Stadium for a 3-1 victory

United began the first half with an early long range effort but pressure from a hard working McCallum forced the strike wide.

A strong challenge from Eastleigh captain Danny Hollands soon followed in the second minute as the Spitfires began to enjoy some short spells of possession.

Joey Jones made an impressive run from his own half to pressure a struggling Maidstone defence in the 7th minute but the ball eventually slipped out for a goal kick as the weather continued to cause problems for both sides.

Cav Miley kept the score level by denying an open chance for Jack Powell with a last minute header to send Blair Turgott’s cross out for a corner.

Miley was once again called into action with a sliding challenge to stop the run of a driving Jake Cassidy.

The home side created the first clear chance of the game after Turgott’s quick cross was pushed away by a diving Flitney, the ball was heading straight for Elliot Romain who would have surely made it 1-0 to United.

Tensions were raised after Hollands’ high boot caught the head of Romain in the 19th minute however no card was given to the Eastleigh captain.

Eastleigh saw their fine passing lead to a close range chance for Holland’s but the midfielder’s half volley was fired over the bar in the 26th minute.

Josh Hare continued to cause problems for the Maidstone defence with a succession of crosses, the tough weather didn’t make it easy but the backline managed to clear the danger.

Maidstone new signing Dan Wishart almost put the home side ahead after the defenders deflected shot just hit wide of the post in the 34th minute.

Flitney had a strong first half after returning to the starting eleven making several clearances as the pressuring Turgott continued to break into the box.

United had a goal denied in the 39th minute after Romain’s acrobatic finish managed to beat Flitney but was caught offside by the linesman.

Turgott was forced off through injury after colliding with Flitney in the 42nd minute, being replaced by the debuting Sean Shields who joined from Ebbsfleet on loan.

Fourth official Neil West gave three minutes of stoppage time for the first half as both sides struggled to draw first blood.

But it was Eastleigh who broke the deadlock just seconds before half time through Joey Jones. The defender managed to score his first goal of the season by flicking Miley’s effort from the edge of the box perfectly into the bottom corner, putting the Spitfires ahead at the break.

Eastleigh began the second half strongly with Gobern seeing his close range effort cleared well by Grant Smith in the 48th minute.

The visitors continued to press as Hare once again played an inch perfect pass across the Maidstone goal but McCallum failed to make the final touch as the ball rolled out for a throw in.

McCallum also came close to scoring seconds later after meeting Mark Yeates’ corner, the striker made good connection but saw his header fire over the cross bar.

Gobern came to Eastleigh’s rescue in the 57th minute after diving across to block Shield’s close range effort, the midfielder cleverly tricked his way through the Spitfires defence but the score remained 1-0.

Eastleigh finally added a second after McCallum fired in his 10th goal for the season, connecting with a powerful header from Yeates’ corner in the 60th minute and making it 2-0 to the Spitfires.

Joey Jones started the scoring just before half time to make it 1-0 at the break.

Harry Wheeler made the first change of the game in the 63rd minute as Olu Durojaiye was replaced by Aryan Tajbakhsh.

Flitney was called into another reaction save after Miley’s clearance almost fired into his own net, the ball was moving fast across the surface but goalkeeper was faster.

Eastleigh managed to survive some pressure from the hosts in the 80th minute and shouts for a hand-ball from the home fans were denied by referee Sam Allison.

Alex Wynter received the first booking of the game after committing a foul on the edge of the box, Powell stepped up to take the free kick but the ball was easily cleared by the Eastleigh defence.

McCallum added to Maidstone’s misery with another header past a helpless Smith, the forward once again met a Yeates cross and rose above every player to make it 3-0 to the Spitfires in the 85th minute.

Eastleigh were straight in the action at the other end of the pitch with Wynter making a last ditch block to deny a close range effort from the hosts.

There was excitement for the Eastleigh squad and supporters as Strevens made two substitutions with a few minutes to go, Hare and Yeates were replaced by Ollie Dennett and defender Callum Baughan who made his National League debut.

Maidstone scored a consolation goal in the 88th minute through Michael Phillips but it was too little too late for the home side.

The Spitfires saw goal scorer McCallum substituted in the 90th minute with James Constable being brought on for the final minutes.

After an impressive 3-1 victory the Spitfires will now be looking to their next league fixture at home against Dover Athletic and the return of former manager Andy Hessenthaler.

 

 

 

 

By James Worthington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season Stats