Welling 3-1 Eastleigh
Welling United 3 Eastleigh 1
Match Report by Ray Murphy
Eastleigh crashed to their third successive defeat and their third two-goal defeat in seven days. It was yet another change in personnel with new signing Craig O’Connor from Lewes getting a debut in front of the Eastleigh leading goalscorer for the past two seasons Andy Forbes.
The home side had new players in their side too following a disappointing start to the season. With new formations and new players settling in it was hardly surprising that the opening quarter of the match was very low key. Eastleigh just about held the upper hand, Paul Sales had a header from a Chris Piper free kick saved by home goalkeeper Clark Masters on twenty-four minutes then four minutes later another Piper free kick saw a direct shot just off target.
It was against the run of play when the home side took the lead after thirty-seven minutes. A run on the left flank by Fabian Quintyn saw him break into the area before setting up on loan Dagenham & Redbridge winger Marlon Patterson to roll the ball intro the path of Leon Solomon who planted a shot beyond James Pullen for his first goal for Welling United after two seasons with the club.
The game shocked Welling into more action as they suddenly found a new confidence, their best chance for the remainder of the first half though fell to Fabian Quintyn who failed to capitalise on a defensive error from Piper.
A minute into the second half and Eastleigh were almost level. A right wing cross from Andy Harris saw a header from Paul Sales just off target. Play soon switched to the opposite end with Ross Montague just starting a months loan from Brentford and already a thorn in Eastleigh’s side this season having netted twice for Sutton United whilst on loan there in their 2-1 win at Eastleigh three weeks earlier, sent a half chance into the side netting.
With fifty-five minutes played, the home side did double their advantage. A cross from Robbie Ryan was headed back at the far post by Montague to allow Quintyn to score his first goal for the club. Worse followed four minutes later. Robbie Marshall conceded a free kick in a harmless looking position out wide. Richard Carpenter’s lofted free kick completely deceived James Pullen and the ball nestled into the back of the net to give Welling a three goal cushion.
Eastleigh immediately made changes. With a reshuffle Eastleigh started to take the game to their hosts. David Hughes rolled a shot just wide of the goal on sixty-one minutes then six minutes later Forbes set up a Sales header that was saved by Masters.
Welling still had their own chances. With twenty minutes remaining a Montague rising drive from thirty yards thundered against the crossbar but then away to safety. Eastleigh reduced the arrears ten minutes from time. Matt Hann was given time to run at the Welling defence from the half way line before planting a low shot past Masters.
Eastleigh still had a chance in the last ten minutes. Hann again cutting in from the right flank fired a shot over the bar; Forbes sent a header just over the bar whilst Karim El Salahi headed a Piper cross just wide of the target.