Spitfires on wrong end of hiding - A miserable afternoon


Blue Square South

By Jamie Montigue

A week is a long time in football! Eastleigh played themselves up to 3rd in the table last weekend - the highest position they have ever held in this division, with a 5-0 demolition over Maidenhead but were given a stern reality check this afternoon at the Silverlake Stadium.

The only change from last weekend’s triumphant starting eleven saw Adam Everitt replace the suspended Luke Byles. Former Weymouth pair and new Spitfires signing duo, Jason Matthews and Ashley Vickers both made their home debuts.

Miserable weather coupled with poor performances all over the park from the Spitfires made for a very long and disappointing game as the extremely well organised Hayes & Yeading took charge.

Eastleigh did however have the first opportunity of note in the fourth minute. The towering Vickers flicked Andy Harris’ long throw on from the right to the back post where Mark Marshall arrived to fire just wide of goal with great power.

Marshall was by far Eastleigh’s best player throughout with his tireless running not only in attack but in closing down and working extremely hard all over the pitch. He saw a lot of the ball in the opening stages and left Danny Allen-Page for dead, skinning him on the far touchline only for his cross to be very well claimed by the extremely confident young goalkeeper, Alessio De Angelis.

This proved to be a repetitive theme throughout as De Angelis, the former Lazio stopper dealt with everything thrown into the box, in particular at corner kicks where he won everything in the air to take full command of his goal area. Nevin Saroya the Hayes & Yeading skipper was also in fine form in front of him and was a colossus at the heart of the visitors’ defence.

Garry Haylock’s side put together a very good move in the eleventh minute to give the hosts a scare. The flag stayed down as Ram Marwa burst through to beat the offside trap only for his touch to take him wide and towards the corner flag. Marwa recovered well to hold the ball up and play it back to Allen-Page who delivered an excellent cross into the centre. Staforde Palmer, who scored twice when the two sides last met (back in November when Eastleigh won 4-2 away at Hayes & Yeading), had got into a great position to connect with the cross, his header flashing wide of goal. It was a sign of things to come as the pressure from Hayes and Yeading gradually built up.

At the opposite end Marshall whipped in a free kick at speed which Karl Murray did all he could to get on the end of, but was pulled back for a foul for his efforts.

Kieran Knight and Liam Collins created a good chance in the seventeenth minute when simple but effective interplay in attack saw the ball come in from Collins for Staforde Palmer, who was completely unchallenged but slightly off balance as his half volley sliced harmlessly over the cross bar.

A short back pass from Warren Goodhind put Matthews in all sorts of trouble and was charged down enthusiastically by Knight moments later. Fortunately the Spitfires came away from this incident unscathed. Goodhind so nearly put the error firmly behind him as he headed goalwards from a Mark Marshall corner kick, only to be denied a moment of glory by a crucial goalline clearance.

NEVIN SAROYA struck the opening goal on 29 minutes capitalising on a sleepy Eastleigh defence from a quickly taken corner.

Palmer was instrumental in winning the corner kick in the first place with a mazy run inside the Eastleigh penalty area skipping past the challenge of Vickers twice before having his pass cut out and deflected into the side netting. The set piece was taken quickly catching the Eastleigh defence off guard. The centre half, Saroya, made no mistake from 25 yards as the ball was rolled across to him by Liam Collins, the Hayes & Yeading captain picking out the top left hand corner of Jason Matthews’ goal with a perfectly placed side-footed strike that left the former Terra motionless.

Eight minutes before the break, the visitors may well have taken a further step to putting a bit of daylight between themselves and Eastleigh. De Angelis again claimed the ball brilliantly from an Eastleigh corner and in one fell-swoop soon had defence turned into attack with a giant drop kick, route one style. Goodhind allowed the ball to bounce letting in Kieran Knight to race through one on one with Matthews. Matthews spared Goodhind’s blushes saving with his legs as he rushed out well to meet Knight at the edge of his penalty area to make an important stop.

Hayes and Yeading doubled their lead at a crucial time just seconds before the end of the first half through STAFORDE PALMER. The 19-year-old striker held off his marker Everitt and with his back to goal turned sharply and neatly to find the net with a low, crisp drive for 2-0 with an excellent finish.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 0-2 Hayes & Yeading United

Eastleigh needed to act quickly in their second half response if they were to salvage anything from the game as they had done two weeks earlier when they overturned a 2-0 half time deficit at the hands of Maidenhead United to go on and record a 3-2 win.

It was asking an awful lot on the first half showing for them to repeat the same kind of comeback and they would have needed a dramatic overhaul to change things around, a quick goal after the break would have helped matters no end. This nearly came just a minute in. Adam Everitt’s throw from the left was knocked down by Andy Forbes for his strike partner Sales whose controlled volley was well saved by De Angelis.

Sadly despite early signs of improvements the stuffing was knocked right out of Eastleigh when they fell three goals behind with just 51 minutes on the clock. RAM MARWA was the scorer with a cool lofted finish, hooking the ball over the committed Matthews to guide into an unguarded goal. A long ball forward from left back Peter Collins had the Eastleigh defence in disarray, and Marwa took full advantage.

Kieran Knight so nearly made matters worse for Eastleigh with an excellent looping header that had beaten Matthews but missed the goal by a matter of inches only a minute after the goal. It was clear Hayes were by no means finished yet and not satisfied with putting their feet up settling for holding on to their three goal advantage.

A quickly taken free kick caught Adam Everitt totally out of position as he was still arguing with the referee about the foul he committed close to the half way line. Steve Perkins threaded the ball into the empty space created by the otherwise occupied Everitt for Staforde Palmer who strode forward to pull the ball back. Were it not for the final ball being just a yard behind the two men running in Eastleigh would have been another goal down for sure.

David Hughes who came on at the break for Goodhind looked to have won a penalty when the referee blew up as the midfielder was sent tumbling to the ground inside the box. Bizarrely the referee gave it the other way to reaffirm that it was definitely not going to be Eastleigh’s day.

It was all Hayes & Yeading in terms of possession. Eastleigh just couldn’t stamp down their authority or class on the game.

James Mulley dribbled skilfully inside the left channel and managed to get his shot away despite the seemingly tight angle. Matthews stood tall to make the save and cut out the danger, for the time being at least.

Mark Marshall continued to give his all as he created a rare chance for Eastleigh in the 67th minute with a trademark run and cross. Only a vital intervention in front of goal to take the ball away from Paul Sales prevented the Spitfires from pulling one back. The ball came loose for Karl Murray whose shot was comfortably dealt with.

Eastleigh appeared to be sat far too deep which only drew Hayes & Yeading at them, leaving an awful lot to be desired.

In the 90th minute JOEL LEDGISTER, a pacy striker on loan from Blue Square Premier side Oxford United, had been on the pitch just ten minutes when he put a fourth past an off colour Eastleigh.

Alessio De Angelis was pinpoint in his distribution from the back once more with a long kick up the field. Ledgister had all the time in the world to rub salt into the Eastleigh wounds, which he did applying an excellent lofted finish.

WARREN McBEAN restored some pride at least with virtually the last kick of the game from a splendid overhead kick from Paul Sales’ chipped cross. A mere consolation and probably the only bright moment from Eastleigh in an otherwise very poor performance. Hayes & Yeading thoroughly deserved the points and handed out a reality check to bring Eastleigh back down to earth from their all time high of last week.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 1-4 Hayes & Yeading United


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