Eastleigh back to winning ways at Silverlake
EASTLEIGH v DORCHESTER TOWN
SATURDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2008
Blue Square South
SATURDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2008
Blue Square South
By Jamie Montigue
With Luke Byles injured and Adam Everitt suspended, Eastleigh made two changes to the starting line up from the eleven that saw off Bognor Regis Town last weekend by three goals to nil.
Peter Adeniyi and Chris Piper were the two brought in, playing right midfield and left back respectively. Jamie Brown of course, who scored a week ago in the said win, today lined up against his former club where he spent six seasons making over 200 appearances.
Eastleigh went into this game with a struggling Dorchester Town side at the Silverlake Stadium looking to finally end their poor home form of late, a run which saw the club without a win in five games on their own turf.
The first half was tightly contested, and it seemed the Magpies had set out to play for a draw, looking to sit deep but break on the counter attack whenever possible.
Dorchester made a promising start with early pressure inside the opening ten minutes but gradually the hosts settled and tried to take the game to their visitors. Mark Marshall, as ever was a constant threat and the tricky winger always seemed to be at the heart of everything positive in Eastleigh’s attacking play.
Only two minutes were on the clock when a cross from James Rowe on the right saw a neat combination between Tom Clarke and Jones Awuah produce the first attempt on goal of the afternoon. David Wilkinson making his home debut looked assured and dealt with the shot accordingly.
Rowe started another attack for the Magpies soon after with a chipped ball down the left flank. Clarke gave chase, beating the offside trap and sent across a dangerous delivery that Andy Harris deflected behind.
Peter Adeniyi might have caused an embarrassment to Martin Horsell, the man between the sticks for Dorchester, when he charged down a lost cause on ten minutes blocking Horsell’s kick, which ricocheted back to a very relieved goalkeeper.
Dorchester’s right back, Gary Bowles was up against the flying winger, that is Mark Marshall and could only stop him with a late challenge to pick up a yellow card. Five minutes after this incident, Bowles was substituted just 23 minutes into the game by assistant manager Paul Compton who clearly realised his side had a real possibility of going down to ten men so long as Marshall kept running at his marker.
Prior to this substitution, sublime skill from Marshall, reminiscent of the famous Damian Scannell dribble in his last game for the club against Eastbourne Borough, saw ‘Eddie’ past one defender and then another leaving them in his shadow before crossing. The ball broke loose to the edge of the penalty area where Fitzroy Simpson fired narrowly over the cross bar.
Eastleigh beginning to show signs of their capabilities might have gone ahead on 24 minutes. Peter Adeniyi held the ball up cleverly on the edge of the penalty area before turning nicely where Anthony Riviere took over on the overlap sending a low ball into the near post only to see there was no white shirt gambling on his delivery to challenge the goalkeeper.
Mark Jermyn, the Dorchester skipper was the next to attempt to nullify, albeit to no effect, the threat of Mark Marshall. He too picked up a yellow card. Chris Piper’s delivery was headed behind by Awuah, and then the versatile, former Fisher Athletic man took the resulting corner but did not pose any threat with the delivery.
Capitalising on a defensive error, Marshall used his pace to bear down on goal and sent over a telling cross to pick out an unmarked Paul Sales ten minutes before the break. The experienced striker went for the acrobatics and his shot bounced over the cross bar when it might have been better to have taken a touch first, which he had time to do.
Nearing the end of the half now, Eastleigh were by no means at their best but were still on top of the proceedings in terms of possession.
Jamie Brown was brought down a yard outside the penalty box, giving Eastleigh an excellent opportunity to grab a well-timed goal just before the break with a well-placed free kick. Andy Harris fired straight at the wall, who looked to have encroached.
The last action of the half saw Jon Docker’s dipping shot produce a smart save out of Wilkinson.
HALF TIME: Eastleigh 0-0 Dorchester Town
Dorchester took a surprise lead to break the deadlock just seven minutes into the second half. Danny Clay sent a splendid pass to find JON DOCKER down the left. When the latter got into the penalty area, what seemed a weak and harmless attempt at goal saw the ball creep in at the near post off the unfortunate Anthony Riviere, who had slid in to challenge.
Momentum momentarily had swung into the visitors favour with this ‘soft’ goal. Mark Jermyn came close to extending the lead with a wonderful curling attempt having combined with James Rowe.
Marshall was soon running freely once more and a strong direct run with pace saw him split the defence in two as he set up Adeniyi on the far side. The former Bromley man had taken up a good position but got his feet in a muddle allowing Horsell the opportunity to block and save well at his feet.
Andy Forbes came extremely close to pulling Eastleigh level when an accurate long kick from Wilkinson went all the way through falling kindly for the striker. Forbes connected well on the half volley going for the lob, but was denied by an instinctive reaction save from Horsell who did extremely well to claw the powerful attempt away at point blank range.
At the opposite end, Andy Harris stopped dead in his tracks, either looking for a foul or offside, the expression ‘play to the whistle’ comes to mind, which didn’t come and instead Tom Clarke was surprised to find himself one on one with Wilkinson as play continued. The Magpies forward lacked composure as Harris’ blushes were spared by the assured and confident goalkeeping of the on-loan Crystal Palace stopper.
Had Dorchester gone 2-0 up at this point, things may have ended up a little differently. Instead Ian Baird’s side rallied and came back all the more stronger as they fought back to get an equaliser just after the hour mark. Andy Forbes popped a header off to Adeniyi whose miss-hit cross looped up in front of goal. Jamie Brown challenged the goalkeeper for the high ball on the goalline when the ball spilled to PAUL SALES, who was on hand for a simple finish from close range.
This proved to be Brown’s last involvement owing to injury. Matt Hann was his replacement and the move reaped instant benefits from this highly effective substitution.
A free kick on the near side from Piper saw David Hughes rise high to power a header towards goal only for Mark Jermyn to find himself well placed to block and clear off the line.
MATT HANN made an immediate impact. On the pitch a mere five minutes, Hann fired Eastleigh into a 2-1 lead as he raced clean through, latching on to Adeniyi’s through ball, his pace taking him well beyond Jake Smeaton, before finishing clinically.
Moments later Marshall fired narrowly over the cross bar from Hughes’ delightful cross field pass. It is fair to say the substitutions came at just the right moment to bring that extra something to Eastleigh’s play with Hughes steadying the ship in the midfield and Hann’s positive attacking wing play and pace also giving his opponents a little extra to think about.
Alex Browne had a header hacked off the line by Piper who was covering the near post from a corner kick on 76 minutes.
SALES wrapped the game up eleven minutes from time as he stroked the ball home calmly for his second and Eastleigh’s third. Martin Horsell came flying out of his goal but made a hash of clearing the ball with his kick going straight up in the air and then back to him once more where again he didn’t get it right. The ball veered off to the right with the poorly sliced kick where Forbes was fouled. The referee played good advantage allowing Riviere to bring the ball forward for the assist for Sales. This goal ultimately sealed the points.
Jones Awuah flashed a great header across the face of goal two minutes from time from Taraq Kahlil’s right flank cross.
Tom Price, a promising product of the clubs youth academy and a regular for the second team, was handed a debut for the final stages of the game. A much needed home win for Eastleigh in a second half performance that drew many positives.
FULL TIME: Eastleigh 3-1 Dorchester Town