Spitfires Dominant in the Air to Secure Victory
Gary Elphick helped Eastleigh to secure their first win in five games with a close-range header against his former club.
Tommy Widdrington was hoping to extend his sides’ five game unbeaten run at the Silverlake Stadium, whilst Ian Baird’s men were looking for their first win in five league games.
The Spitfires started the stronger of the two teams, attacking from left to right with a slight wind blowing in their favour. The advantage showed in the early stages as Aldershot loanee, Bradley Bubb played a one-two with Damien Scannell. As he received the ball back, Bubb went for placement but stand-in ‘keeper, Clark Masters was on hand for Eastbourne to push the shot wide for a corner.
Three minutes into the game, Daryl McMahon floated in a corner which the Sports failed to clear, inviting more pressure onto themselves. As Damien Scannell whipped in the cross from the right-hand side, Gary Elphick was in the right place at the right time to head in against his former club, which he left in January.
With the early goal under their belts, Eastleigh were looking comfortable. As chances were few and far between, neither side had any real clear-cut chances. Bradley Bubb appeared to be the most lively man on the pitch, showing pace, power and agility.
As Borough broke on the counter, Matt Crab carried the ball forward until a poor touch allowed the it to get away from him, he over-stretched, and the striker dived into the tackle on Danny Smith which looked dangerous but not malicious. Bizarrely, the referee decided to book both players involved, rather than just Crab, who seemed to be the culprit.
Half Time: Eastleigh 1-0 Eastbourne Borough
Likewise the first half, Eastleigh didn’t take long to set the tone. Just five minutes after the interval, a corner by McMahon was floated in towards Spitfires’ skipper, Tom Jordan, who scored with a bullet header to put the home side 2-0 up.
Baird’s men were looking even more comfortable with a two-goal cushion, although it was the final ball which was letting them down. Lee Peacock and Bubb were linking up brilliantly at times, but the finishing wasn’t on par.
Tommy Widdrington decided to freshen things up just over the hour mark, bringing on Ellis Remy for Crabb, who didn’t have the best of games.
Widdrington’s substitution worked wonders for Borough, Remy was in action straight away as a long throw-in by Gary Charman was met by the substitute. An athletic over-head kick saw Eastbourne pull one back with less than twenty minutes remaining.
With a reduced defecate; the away side had their tails up. After a forced corner, there were shouts for handball from the travelling fans as former Eastbourne man; Gary Elphick, appeared to make contact with the ball illegally.
In added time, the Sports thought they had levelled the scoring. Charles Ademeno chipped Jack Dovey and almost started celebrating until the ball was thumped away off the line by an Eastleigh defender, securing the win for the Spitfires.
Full Time: Eastleigh 2-1 Eastbourne Borough