Weston-Super-Mare 2-2 Eastleigh


Blue Square South

Report by Ray Murphy

Following their midweek home reversal against top of the table Newport County, Eastleigh travelled to bottom of the table Weston Super Mare to face a side that has been defeated in all of their last nine outings. Eastleigh were still without Brett Poate and Jamie Brown so manager Ian Baird named the same back four that had played against Newport, Danny Smith was recalled into the centre of the park, Pete Adeniyi moving out wide at the expense of Tony Taggart. Staforde Palmer and Richard Gillespie kept their front pairing in tact.

Anthony Riviere had the first chance of the match in the second minute but home goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer saved his low shot. Smith, Ian Oliver and Shaun McAuley all had shots off target before on the fifteenth minute a dipping half volley from Weston’s Danny Burnell on loan from Chesham United was tipped over the bar by Jason Matthews.

Three minutes later Palmer’s acrobatic overhead kick from Matt Day’s cross was just off target. On the half hour Gillespie had a shot blocked on the line following a corner and a minute later Tom Jordan headed a McAuley corner just over the bar.

Matthews saved Jermaine Clarke’s header from a Mike Green cross on thirty-seven minutes whilst three minutes later Gillespie capitalised on a slip by Josh Ford but only fired his effort over the bar. On the stroke of half time Darren Mullings headed a free kick from Ben Cleverley just wide as the half ended goalless.

Four minutes after the restart Palmer saw another shot saved by Sawyer, the follow up by Riviere then being blocked. Taggart came on to replace the injured McAuley but within two minutes Taggart was limping off the field with a hamstring injury which thus saw Eastleigh in their last four matches having to substitute substitute players in three of them.

Eastleigh went ahead on fifty-five minutes with a goal set up by the second substitute Andy Forbes. Oliver’s corner went too far but Gillespie hammered Forbes neat downward header home. Four minutes later and Palmer was again denied by Sawyer.

On the hour Cleverley’s free kick saw Mulling's head the ball back across the six-yard area where Oliver managed to scoop the ball up over his own bar. Ten minutes later and Oliver was not so lucky. Cleverley’s right wing corner saw Oliver inadvertently send a header past Matthews for a Weston equaliser.

Eastleigh held most of the possession. On seventy-three minutes Oliver’s corner was flicked on at the near post by Adeniyi and Forbes’ volley whipped back across the face of goal. A minute later and this time an Adeniyi cross was met by the head of Forbes but Sawyer saved this attempt.

Riviere had a low drive straight at Sawyer on seventy-five minutes. Two minutes later Clarke had not composed himself and fired an effort high and wide for Weston then five minutes later the same player wasted a better chance for the home side.

Eastleigh thought they had claimed all three points when they went ahead for the second time with only six minutes remaining. Palmer’s shot was blocked but the ball fell for Forbes to plant a low shot into the corner of the net. The downside for Eastleigh from the goal was Palmer having to leave the pitch with an injury, which left Eastleigh playing the last minutes with ten men having used all their substitutes.

There was a total of eleven minutes stoppage time played by the referee. In the fourth minute of that stoppage time it was Weston player manager Andy Gurney who dived to head home a deep cross from Richard Evans for an equaliser.

The final chance of the game fell to Riviere but another wayward attempt brought no successful conclusion.


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