Eastleigh 0-1 Havant & Waterlooville


Blue Square South

Report by Jamie Montigue

In this eagerly anticipated Hampshire derby between local rivals Eastleigh and Havant & Waterlooville, it was Shaun Gale's Hawks who left the Silverlake Stadium with all three points leaving Ian Baird's Spitfires empty-handed.

Owing to the adverse weather, this was only Eastleigh's second game of 2010 and their first at home since that Boxing Day demolition of Basingstoke Town over five weeks ago.

Ian Oliver retained his place at left back following his return from a loan spell with Gosport Borough and a strong performance in the 3-0 away over Maidenhead United last weekend on his return to Eastleigh. In fact it was an unchanged starting eleven for the hosts from the side that scored three goals in the first 18 minutes against Johnson Hippolyte’s side 7 days ago.

The game began at a frantic pace with both sides looking eager to force an early goal.

With five minutes on the clock, Eastleigh fans watched on as a hairy moment unfolded. Havant Striker Manny Williams raced clean through on goal with just Jason Matthews to beat, having escaped the offside trap. The Eastleigh stopper blocked the initial shot at the edge of his 18-yard box but the danger was far from over as a goalmouth scramble followed. Fortunately for Eastleigh, the visitors were unable to turn the ball home thanks in the main for the positioning and awareness of young defender Steve Cook who made a vital goal line clearance with Matthews beaten.

A minute later, Richard Gillespie twice came close after an Eastleigh corner. His first attempt was half cleared from a header, but neat footwork from Shaun McAuley saw the ball crossed back into the box from the left where Gillespie arrived in the centre only to see his looping header go narrowly wide.

More good work from Eastleigh saw Gillespie force a corner, from which Tom Jordan came so close to breaking the deadlock against his former club with an excellent diving header. Were it not for a crucial defensive header to clear the ball off the line and save a certain goal, the Spitfires would surely have taken the lead.

Havant looked dangerous from set pieces with long throws and a number of corners in quick succession. Eastleigh were momentarily pegged back defending inside their own box.

In the 12th minute, Manny Williams struck the cross bar with a speculative effort from 25 yards. An inch lower and the Hawks would have been celebrating - a fine effort from the visitors as Matthews was well beaten and had to rely on the frame of his goal to keep the strike out.

Just over a quarter of an hour into the game, Andy Forbes was brought to the ground just outside the area gifting the Spitfires a free kick in a promising position. Tony Taggart struck it well meaning goalkeeper Aaron Howe had to beat the curling effort away. Peter Adeniyi picked up on the loose ball but saw his tame effort headed off the line from close range. As the ball came back into the box, Tom Jordan failed to direct his header.

Mustafa Tyriaki went for goal in the 18th minute but pulled his half volley comfortably wide of the far post.

In the 20th minute, lacklustre defending from Eastleigh saw the hosts struggle to get the ball clear from an attacking throw by Jake Newton. Jordan miscued his clearance straight to Ian Simpemba who perhaps should have done better with his shot to the right of goal.

The game was played at a very high tempo, with both sides already having a number of clear chances. Richard Gillespie was the next to pose a problem or two to the opposition back line as he latched on to Anthony Riviere's quick throw and sent an inviting low cross across the face of the six-yard box. Unfortunately for Eastleigh, nobody was there to apply a finishing touch and complete Gillespie’s hard-working approach play.

Midway through the half, Ian Oliver sent a fine cross into the Havant penalty area that Shaun McAuley attacked well only to see his header fly over the cross bar.

Soon after, Wes Fogden evaded a challenge from Steve Cook following a cross-field pass by Tyriaki. The wide midfielder did well to make room for the shot but could only fire straight at Matthews when well placed, having done the hard work.

On the half hour, Taggart's corner for Eastleigh came back out to him which saw Tony unleash a powerfully driven strike that landed just the wrong side of the post.

Another good cross from Oliver followed, but as Forbes rose high to head at goal, Howe did just enough to keep the looping effort out from under his own cross bar.

Ten minutes before the break, a neat exchange by Riviere and Adeniyi high up the pitch saw Eastleigh win a corner, that had to be punched away by the goalkeeper.

Four minutes later, Tom Jordan caught Fogden with a late tackle and received a stern telling off from Paul Kelly, the match referee. Matthews gathered the resulting free kick safely under pressure from Simpemba.

The last action of the half came when Manny Williams squirmed his way into the penalty area forcing Jordan to thump the ball clear for a corner. Havant again threatened with Eastleigh failing to clear the ball allowing Williams to find half a yard of space only to fire wildly over the bar from 8 yards out.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 0-0 Havant & Waterlooville

Tony Taggart was the first to make an impression on the second half with a jinxing run through the heart of the Havant defence, but his expert dribbling was brought to an end by a perfectly, well-timed challenge from Simpemba.

A deep cross from Oliver from the left back position was collected by Aaron Howe under pressure from Forbes soon after the break.

In the 53rd minute, yet more pressure and grafting from Gillespie won the Spitfires a corner kick that so nearly led to the opening goal of the game. Taggart’s in-swinging delivery was whipped in with great pace and had to be headed clear off the near post.

Tom Jordan was then left writhing on the ground from a heavy challenge attacking a ball in to the Havant box. Play was allowed to continue and barely ten seconds had passed when Aaron Cook was caught late by Tyriaki. The Havant striker was promptly booked but Eastleigh were left bewildered at the decision not to give a free kick just outside the box for the foul on Jordan.

A number of strong challenges were now flying in from either side as is so often the case in a competitive, derby encounter.

Steven Walker crossed the ball from the right just after the hour, which Tyriaki attacked with a diving header. Matthews made the save, though the flag went up for offside anyway.

WALKER found the breakthrough to send the away support into wild celebrations with a 64th minute goal. The Havant winger cut inside from the right leaving his marker standing, before planting a crisp, low strike into the bottom corner beyond the despairing dive of Matthews.

The tackles and in particular bookings, were now gathering pace in this hotly contested derby full of fierce rivalries. There was certainly no love lost between the two sides.

Steve Cook picked up a yellow card after clashing with Wes Fogden, who was left in a heap on the ground as the match became very stop, start due to the excessive number of fouls.

Havant’s match winner Walker turned from hero to villain for the Hawks as he picked up a second yellow card for a tackle on McAuley. His first booking came for over-celebrating his goal, but the referee gave the goal scorer his marching orders forcing Shaun Gale’s side to play out the game with ten men.

Danny Smith came on for the injured Jamie Brown, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes after coming on as a second half substitute himself.

Gillespie missed a chance to equalise; as the ball bounced kindly his way for a header after a long throw by Steve Cook on the right was launched into the danger zone.

With 77 minutes played, a magnificent piece of individual skill from Tyriaki saw the towering centre forward skip past his marker before letting fly with a shot that rattled the wood work.

Gillespie had a header saved by Howe before Tom Jordan went into the referee’s note book for a tussle with Williams.

Five minutes from time, a teasing Shaun McAuley cross from the right looked promising but neither Gillespie nor the unmarked Taggart could take advantage of the delivery as both players missed a free header.

McAuley came close himself when he picked the ball up 20 yards out and fired a left-footed strike just inches wide of the post.

Meanwhile, Steve Hutchings had a similar attempt at the opposite end for the Hawks but dragged his shot agonisingly wide of the mark.

A minimum of four minutes were added on as Eastleigh began throwing men forward in the hope of getting something from the game, including centre back and skipper Tom Jordan joining the front line of attack.

The Spitfires had a late free kick on the far side, which Smith swung into the box. Howe punched the ball clear for a throw in as Havant ran the clock down and held on for all three points.

This defeat now leaves Eastleigh in ninth place, five points adrift of the playoffs, albeit with games in hand. Ian Baird will now be turning his attention and focus on getting his side back on track starting this Tuesday night, as Eastleigh play host to Weymouth.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 0-1 Havant & Waterlooville


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