Eastleigh 1-1 Weston-Super-Mare


Blue Square Bet South

Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh may not have lost any of the thirteen encounters that these two sides have competed over the past five years, but this result totals the amount of draws in those fixtures to six. Eastleigh did not get their own afternoon off to a very good start with Will Hendry failing a late fitness test though Gareth Barfoot surprisingly took his place in goal nursing a broken finger at the expense of the injured Jason Matthews. Joe Collins and Alex Easton took their places on the substitutes bench.

For Eastleigh the game could not have started better. One minute forty-two seconds had been played when RICHARD GRAHAM fired home the first goal of the afternoon after Jamie Slabber had flicked on Ross Bottomley's cross.

For a while it seemed as if Eastleigh were going to stroll through to another treasured home victory. Despite Justin Porter having an effort saved by Barfoot in a brief raid on the Eastleigh goal, it was Eastleigh who looked much more likely to add to their early goal.

Slabber's header from a Graham free kick was just over the bar, whilst Tom Jordan's header from Bottomley's long throw was also just shaving the bar. Brett Williams was also met with the same fate from another Graham cross all inside the opening ten minutes.

The game then suddenly fell flat. Weston were content to play the ball passing all the way but never really playing a penetrating ball through the Eastleigh rearguard. Richard Gillespie limped away from the action shortly before the interval with an ankle injury to be replaced by Chris Mason, the young midfielder's first action in the game was being shown a yellow card for failing to retreat from the award of a free kick that Weston took quickly. The half time whistle was blown with just the opening ten minutes to reflect on for action.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 1 Weston-super-Mare 0

The opening of the second half saw a chance for Weston. Immediately from the restart the impressive Sahr Kabba raced on to a through ball but Barfoot saved his shot. The game then fell quiet again. Slabber saw a header from a Graham cross saved by Weston goalkeeper Lloyd Irish on sixty-three minutes then six minutes later Jamie Brown shot over when well placed.

Slabber set up Williams on seventy-one minutes but again Irish was equal to the attempt as Eastleigh tried for an all important second goal. Chris Holland then headed a Graham corner over the bar. A minute later though tragedy struck for Eastleigh and in particular Holland. With his thirtieth birthday being sandwiched inbetween this game and the Monday trip to Havant & Waterlooville, the defender rose at the near post to meet an in-swinging Dayle Grubb corner but only succeeded in glancing a header past Barfoot for the equalising goal.

The goal summed up the afternoon really for Eastleigh. A final chance some twelve minutes from time saw a Williams cross headed wide by Brown.

The game never saw another chance that was created to give either side the opportunity to take all three points though at the end of the game it was clearly visible that the visitors thought much more about the end result than the disappointed Spitfires. 

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 1 Weston-super-Mare 1

Weston Super Mare - 280810


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