Eastleigh sink to Yaku second half double
Hampton & Richmond Borough 3 Eastleigh 1
Match Report by Ray Murphy
It was a highly disappointed Eastleigh side that trudged off The Beveree playing fields on Saturday some thirty minutes after the game had finished. Following a bright start the Eastleigh game plan ended up with a highly disappointing outcome.
With player manager David Hughes making his first start of the season, striker Paul Sales made way taking his seat on the bench. It started so well. Within the first minute Matt Hann missed a golden opportunity from inside the six-yard box, firing wide. In the third minute it appeared Hann had given Eastleigh the lead converting a Chris Piper pass but the assistant referee’s flag was in the air for an offside decision. It was all Eastleigh though. Andy Forbes was first thwarted by a save by home goalkeeper Matt Lovett then the striker rose to head a Hann cross just wide of the upright.
Eastleigh deservedly took the lead on twenty minutes. A cross from Danny Smith to beyond the far post was headed back by Forbes to give Hann the simplest of tap ins for his first Eastleigh goal. Two minutes later a Piper free kick from twenty-five yards took a heavy deflection off the defensive wall, which saw Lovett backpedalling and looking on thankfully that the ball had only carried on to the roof of the net.
The home side who had spent the first quarter of the match encamped in their own half were reliant on any breakaways that they could muster. With twenty-nine minutes played and somewhat against the run of play they grabbed an equaliser. It was another deep cross from the right flank by Orlando Jeffrey that saw midfielder Alan Inns rise highest and floated a header over the diving James Pullen into the top corner. Eastleigh should have restored their lead a minute later when Damian Scannell was sent through one on one with Lovett but the keeper won the contest.
The game suddenly turned on forty minutes. An aerial midfield challenge saw the home side’s Inns catch Hughes with an elbow. The Eastleigh player manager fell to the floor and then had to be helped from the field as referee Paul Forrester handed Inns a straight red card.
Eastleigh then produced an extremely poor second half performance. Within two minutes of the restart, Robbie Marshall brought down Francis Quarm giving the busy match official Forrester again no option than to award a penalty. Fortunately for Eastleigh Pullen guessed the correct way to dive to his right to smother the spot kick from Elliott Godfrey.
Eastleigh then created a couple of opportunities with Forbes seeing another header saved by Lovett and then Piper lofting a free kick wide of the goal. On the hour though it was the home side that took the lead. Another cross to the far post from Godfrey saw a powerful header from Lawrence Yaku initially stopped by Pullen but the power saw the ball bounce up and over the line despite valiant attempts from Danny Smith to clear his lines and despite claims that the ball never fully crossed the line the goal was awarded.
Eastleigh rarely threatened the home goal again in their search for an equaliser. Scannell had one run and shot that went wide but Lovett remained mainly untroubled. As Eastleigh were stretched, the home side made a couple of chances in the final minutes. In the final minute of the ninety Yaku had an overhead shot saved by Pullen, then in the third minute of stoppage time a breakaway which saw Alex Haddow intercepting a pass deep in his own half, released Shaun McAuley who laid the ball back for Yaku to fire home his second goal of the afternoon. Eastleigh just had enough time to kick off again before Forrester blew the final whistle.