Eastbourne 3-0 Eastleigh


Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh fell to their third successive away league defeat, not having found the back of the net in any of them. Maybe the more worrying statistic is that Eastleigh have failed to score in seven of their twelve league games to date.

Henrik Breimyr returned to the starting line up having missed the previous weeks win against Cinderford as his parent club Aldershot Town do not want the player cup tied. Breimyr was also celebrating his midweek call up for the Norwegian Under 19 squad. Andrew White also returned to the starting line up following his arrival as a scoring substitute the previous Saturday.

The home side started well with Simon Johnson and Eddie Hutchinson orchestrating the midfield whilst the Eastbourne strike partnership of Ben Watson and Gary Hart caused the Eastleigh rearguard all kinds of problems.

Eastbourne showed their intentions early on when on eight minutes, Hutchinson’s quick run into the box to get his head to Matt Crabbs free kick went just over the bar. Eastbourne did take the lead on eleven minutes and quite fortuitously. Ross Bottomley was off the field receiving treatment to a head cut. An Eastbourne corner was only partially cleared with Johnson finally firing a shot from the edge of the area through a crowd of players. Johnson’s shot with the help of a couple of deflections landed in the six yard box where Borough centre back Ollie Rowe had the easiest task of tapping the ball home.

Eastleigh tried to get themselves immediately back into the game with the hard working Richard Gillespie racing on to a Breimyr pass before firing across the face of goal.

With twenty-one minutes played Eastleigh conceded a second goal. A perfectly weighted pass from the right back slot by Steve Brinkhurst glided over the head of Tom Jordan allowing Watson in behind the Eastleigh defence to slide the ball low down past the advancing Gareth Barfoot.

Gillespie had the next chance of the match on thirty-three minutes collecting a Bottomley pass before seeing his low shot saved by Eastbourne goalkeeper Rikki Banks.

Ex-Brighton striker Hart then had two chances where Eastbourne might have increased their lead. On thirty-five minutes finding himself unmarked in the area, Hart turned Johnson’s free kick wide of the target. Two minutes layer Brinkhurst's cross saw Hart head just wide.

Eastbourne keeper Banks then made an excellent save to deny Jamie Slabber. With forty minutes played Brown's cross from the right saw Slabber's header from two yards kept out as Banks somehow clawed the ball away.

Eastleigh had the majority of the play in the second period. Within a minute of the restart Graeme Montgomery fed the ball into Slabber who chested the ball down for Danny Smith, but the midfielder's shot had no accuracy.

Eastbourne then had two further chances. Hart's header from a Crabb cross was saved by Barfoot on fifty minutes then three minutes later Watson’s cross to the far post saw Brinkhurst fire a half volley over the bar.

Montgomery saw a dipping thirty-five yard shot just over the bar on fifty-five minutes whilst on sixty-one minutes a Crabb shot took a deflection and was saved by Barfoot.

Banks produced another stunning stop on sixty-seven minutes, this time Brown was the unlucky Eastleigh player. A twenty-five yard drive from Brown saw Banks again flying through the air to tip over the bar. White set up Gillespie on seventy-eight minutes but Gillespie only managed to fire over; the striker not finding any luck that his current work rate deserves.

With Eastleigh throwing caution away to try and get themselves back into the game, they left themselves short in defence. On eighty-five minutes Eastbourne substitute Bailo Camara raced away behind the Eastleigh defence then slid the ball across the six yard box, but no Eastbourne player was on hand to turn home. Crabb then had another shot saved by Barfoot though not to be outdone, Crabb did add a third with a minute remaining turning home a cross by Hart.

Eastbourne almost added a fourth in stoppage time, Matt Smart curling a shot just the wrong side of the upright.
Eastbourne - 081011


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