Goal bonanza ends in a draw


Blue Square South

By Jamie Montigue

This top of the table clash saw sixth placed Eastleigh take on third placed Hayes & Yeading United.

Eastleigh have had a troublesome week or so with the exit of two important cup competitions leading to several cut backs being made due to the loss of what has been estimated at approximately £20,000.

Spitfires legend David Hughes has already left the club this week by mutual consent as has six goal striker James Baker who is believed to have moved to Welling United.

Warren Goodhind meanwhile, who was said to be released in a club statement last weekend, looks to see out the remainder of the month at the club before the reduction in wages at the beginning of November. The South African centre half lined up along side Tom Jordan this afternoon in the heart of the defence in place of the injured Trevor Challis.

In attack Jamie Brown came in to fill the void left by the departed James Baker. These the only two changes from the starting line up who failed to beat Burgess Hill Town last weekend.

The first half was somewhat eventful with four goals shared between the two sides and it was Eastleigh who started the game at blistering pace looking to keep their 100% home league record running.

Barely two minutes had been played when ANTHONY RIVIERE capitalised on a defensive error by Steven Perkins winning possession in front of goal and with it presenting himself with the simple task of slotting past an unguarded Delroy Preddie for the opening goal of the game.

It really could not have got much better for Ian Baird's Spitfires who doubled their advantage just six minutes later.

Hold up play down the left hand side by firstly Matt Groves, and then Matt Bodkin saw the ball rolled back to Luke Byles who delivered the perfect out-swinging cross to pick out JAMIE BROWN with precision. Brown glanced the ball back across the goalkeeper and into the corner of goal much to the delight of the Eastleigh faithful.

The Spitfires really should have made it three when Peter Adeniyi forced a corner kick in the 11th minute. Tony Taggart's delivery saw Tom Jordan win the header well, knocking the ball down into the path of Luke Byles who was just two yards out, but the former Havant & Waterlooville defender didn't connect and his tame effort was kept out.

Fifteen minutes in, Riviere won possession high up the park nicking the ball off James Mulley but failed to trouble Preddie with a sliced effort.

Hayes & Yeading's first two opportunities came in the 19th and 20th minutes. Kieran Knight backed in to Andy Harris, spun well but fired harmlessly high over the cross bar and a minute later captain Nevin Saroya headed wide from a corner.

Matt Groves and Jamie Brown combined to good effect in attack, the latter latching on to a good ball into feet and volleying towards goal only to see the effort fly wide of goal.

A further positive move from Eastleigh saw impressive build up play with a Brazilian flick by Bodkin, the ball was then sprayed out wide and when the cross came in Brown met it with a decent downward header that was saved low down by Preddie.

Out of nothing midway through the half, a surging run through the middle of the park saw the powerful JOSH SCOTT leave his markers behind him as he kept his composure and slotted the ball past Jason Matthews to pull a goal back and halve the deficit.

A minute later a clever ball over the top from Taggart set Groves free who flicked the ball over the goalkeeper's head though it was unfortunately slightly off target.

It was the visitors who ended the half the stronger side having gained the ascendancy from Scott's goal. On the half hour mark Knight out-muscled Goodhind, knocked the ball over his marker before unleashing a powerful volley that Matthews could only parry straight out in front of goal. A couple of red shirts were sniffing around for the rebound but Tom Jordan had got back well to get their first and head behind for a corner kick.

Nine minutes before the break a corner from Steven Gregory was flicked on by Saroya at the near post for JOSH SCOTT to help himself to his second goal of the game as he arrived unmarked and couldn't miss with the side foot effort.

The bubble had suddenly burst for Eastleigh after an excellent start.

On the stroke of half time a flowing move from Eastleigh with Byles at the heart of it building the move up from the left, the patient approach saw the ball worked into the penalty area where Adeniyi let the ball run for Brown whose attempt was well saved.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 2–2 Hayes & Yeading United

Matters took a further turn for the worse as Eastleigh fell behind for the first time in the game just two minutes in.

The second half began in similar fashion to the way the game started, only this time it was the visitors who grabbed the early goal. Josh Scott did well down the left but Eastleigh made a mess of getting the danger clear. The ball falling to KIERAN KNIGHT 8-yards from goal who blasted the ball into the top corner with a ferocious strike.

Eastleigh hit back through JAMIE BROWN who grabbed his second of the game turning home Tony Taggart's pin point cross to level things up once more at 3-3.

The game was proving to be thoroughly entertaining and the end to end action brought a lot of chances for either team.

Hayes & Yeading were looking dangerous on the counter attack and on one such quick breakaway, the visitors squandered a good opportunity two minutes short of the hour mark. A cross from the right by James Mulley found Ram Marwa free in the middle who, fortunately for Eastleigh, scuffed his shot.

Two minutes later, Matt Groves landed awkwardly twisting his leg and could not play any further part, Andy Forbes came on to replace the former Dorchester Town forward.

Eastleigh, this time made a swift break up the field with Byles and Bodkin bringing the ball forward. It came out to Taggart who picked out Forbes in the middle, but the goal-getter got his feet tangled as he slid in and could not find the finish the attacking move deserved.

Warren Goodhind had his head in his hands as he missed a real chance from a Matt Bodkin corner in the 65th minute. Preddie came for the ball and missed it, though Goodhind at the far post could only slice the ball off target.

Adam Roberts replaced Bodkin shortly after, before a Taggart free kick was unluckily headed narrowly wide of goal by Tony Taggart.

With twenty minutes remaining, Andy Forbes forced a fine save out of Preddie following some great football as his shot across goal from the edge of the area had to be tipped round the post for a corner kick. From the resulting set piece, Goodhind was unable to turn the ball home as he again found himself in space.

A superb intervention from Byles broke up a dangerous attack from the visitors, and Luke continued with the ball out of defence and playing a delightful ball over the top for Tony Taggart. Taggart was on side and in space, but as he bore down on goal he decided to cut inside which allowed the defence to get back into position and the chance was gone.

Seven minutes from time, Andy Forbes headed just wide from an Andy Harris right wing cross.

Right to the final whistle there was goalmouth action as both sides tried to steal all three points.

In the 89th minute, a long drop kick from Preddie sat up for Scott Fitzgerald, who brought the ball down and went for goal with an overhead kick trying to catch Matthews out. The speculative effort was a mere inches away from goal.

Neil Davies replaced the excellent Jamie Brown in the closing stages, and it looked as though the late substitute had done enough to turn the game Eastleigh's way when he was tugged in the penalty area, his shirt nearly ripped off his back. The referee wasn't interested and instead play continued with Hayes & Yeading looking to catch Eastleigh out on the break.

Goodhind brought down Josh Scott picking up a yellow card and conceding a free kick. Will Hendry wasted the chance from a decent position, striking the ball into the wall. The follow up was then deflected for a corner ball, which was headed home and could so cruelly have undone all of Eastleigh's hard work and been such a nightmare end to the game for Eastleigh.

However, the referee this time was well placed and noticed an infringement and thankfully it finished 3-3.

An excellent team performance against an in-form side, and still Eastleigh have yet to lose at home in the league.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 3-3 Hayes & Yeading United


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