Spitfires suffer setback


Blue Square South

Report by Ray Murphy

Do not read too much into this scoreline, few present in the 466 attendance would argue that the final result reflected very little on the ninety minutes played. Eastleigh paraded new loan signing Matt Bodkin from Grays Athletic and with the wingers assistance, pegged the home side back for the opening twenty-five minutes.

Eastleigh forced fourteen corners in the opening half hour but somehow left the field at half time trailing by two goals. Inside the opening five minutes following a sustained spell of pressure, James Baker had a measured shot saved by home goalkeeper Gareth Williams. Despite the early Eastleigh pressure some lapses in the Eastleigh defence gave Bromley the better goalscoring chances. One such slip on eleven minutes from the normally reliable skipper Andy Harris, saw Anthony Joseph get in behind the Eastleigh defence but his low drive to the left of Jason Matthews saw the Eastleigh stopper produce a good save.

Tom Jordan had a header from a Tony Taggart corner on thirteen minutes just off target then a minute later, Harris’ short corner to Bodkin saw a dipping shot into the top corner pushed over by the back pedalling Williams. The Eastleigh pressure continued, a Harris long throw was half cleared allowing Taggart to produce a shot that flew just wide.

Midway through the first half, a long clearance from Matthews was flicked on by Matt Groves falling into the path of former Bromley midfielder Peter Adeniyi, but his effort was not good enough to beat Williams. Taggart played another ball into Groves whose lay off saw Anthony Riviere fire just wide of the goal.

Another warning for Eastleigh came on twenty eight minutes when Harris’ short back pass allowed Joseph another run on goal but Matthews was out to save at the feet of Joseph. A minute later though Eastleigh were behind. With Bromley relying on quick counter attacks, one such break saw them switch flanks allowing Mark Corneille, unmarked to clip the ball over the advancing Matthews.

Eastleigh were visibly shocked. Worse was to follow for them on the stroke of half time Warren McBean saw his effort saved by Matthews, Nic McDonnell’s shot struck the bar and fell for Corneille to head the ball home for Bromley's second goal.

For the second period Eastleigh were without Harris who had to be replaced owing to an Achilles, which meant a switch in positions for Anthony Riviere, a move that had to be reversed for Riviere fourteen minutes into the second period when Bodkin limped away from the action after a heavy challenge. By this time though Eastleigh were further in debit with one of their old boys McBean producing a close range shot that was too powerful for Matthews to prevent crossing the line. After fifty one minutes, Matthews having to be alert to prevent Joseph adding a fourth two minutes later and then immediately seeing an attempt from McDonnell hitting the back of the net but disallowed for offside.

Bromley substitute Danny Hockton piled on the misery when with his first touch of the ball looped a shot over Matthews for goal number four on sixty-six minutes - a clinical finish, then eleven minutes on Hockton took his time to compose himself before delicately lifting a shot beyond Matthews and goal number five after the Eastleigh defence were the victim of over playing the ball out of defence.

Adeniyi headed home a cross from Trevor Challis ten minutes from the end of the match but as it was the fortune of Eastleigh for the afternoon, another assistant's flag saw the ‘goal’ disallowed for an offside decision. This was then followed by a Jamie Brown header from a Taggart cross well saved by Williams and then Riviere fired wide when well placed.

It was the second minute of stoppage time that Groves did manage to get Eastleigh on the score sheet, good work from Adeniyi allowed the ball to run to Groves to prod the ball over the line for a mere consolation.


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