High five! Five straight league wins for flying Spitfires


Blue Square South

Report by Ray Murphy

It was second placed Eastleigh travelling to third placed Hayes & Yeading for this Blue Square fixture on Saturday and with an eighty-sixth minute Tom Jordan goal, Eastleigh cemented their second place position with a four point advantage over Hampton & Richmond Borough.

This was Eastleigh’s fifth successive Blue Square South victory and in a space of three weeks seen them record away victories at Maidenhead United, Team Bath, A F C Wimbledon and now Hayes & Yeading all of which were occupying places in the top six of the table at the time of meeting each other.

Andy Forbes had recovered from a dead leg and returned to his central defensive role with Aaron Martin dropping to the substitutes bench as the only change to the starting eleven that had won at Wimbledon earlier in the week. Martin was joined on the bench by Joe Maxwell following his recent loan spell at Brockenhurst. Hayes & Yeading were dealt a blow when their leading scorer Josh Scott had to be withdrawn less than half an hour before the start of the game owing to injury his place being taken by Esmond James.

The home side started well and in the third minute Will Hendry's corner to the edge of the Eastleigh area saw a shot from Peter Collins saved by Jason Matthews. Jamie Brown and Tony Taggart combined well in the ninth minute to set up Peter Adeniyi but the tall midfielder fired his shot over the bar.

In a game that saw the top placed sides together it was no surprise that it never lived up to the expectations of the six-goal thriller between the two sides at The Silverlake Stadium back in October. Chances were limited. Hayes striker Kieran Knight allowed a chance for James on seventeen minutes but his effort was saved by Matthews.

The closest to anyone scoring in the opening period fell on thirty-one minutes. A sweetly struck free kick from Hendry from thirty five yards saw Matthews just manage to push the free kick up onto the bar and then away to safety. A minute later Knight wasted a good chance on the edge of the box.

Hayes and Yeading lost another striker shortly before the interval when Scott Fitzgerald had to leave the field following a collision with Matthews. Another free kick this time spinning away by Hendry caused Matthews a little concern as the half ended.

Hendry wasted a golden opportunity three minutes into the second half when well placed in the six-yard area, Hendry managed to blast the ball high over the bar. Ten minutes later substitute Ram Marwa fired over after Matthews had taken the ball off the feet of Knight only for the ball to fall kindly to Marwa.

With sixty-six minutes played arguably the turning point of the game that appeared to be heading for a stalemate. The influential Hendry provided a challenge on Luke Byles that saw the defender writhe in agony and referee Sean Feerick showing no hesitation in producing a red card to bring Hendry's afternoon to an abrupt end.

Two minutes following the dismissal, Matt Groves fired over the bar when inside the area. The home side still produced a couple of chances, an acrobatic overhead kick from Marwa was saved by Matthews but Eastleigh were making the most of their man advantage.

Matt Bodkin's cross on eighty-three minutes was controlled by Groves before the striker shot across the face of goal. Then three minutes later the all-telling event that was to separate the two sides. Adeniyi chased a seemingly endless cause but managed to win a corner. Taggart's corner kick from the left hand flank was met by the rising Jordan on the edge of the six-yard box guiding his header past Hayes goalkeeper Aaron Howe.

An excellent victory for Eastleigh though maybe not their best performance of recent weeks.


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