Home comforts - Spitfires seal another win at the Silverlake

EASTLEIGH 3-1 TRURO CITY
SATURDAY 25th FEBRUARY 2012

Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Jamie Montigue

Eastleigh bounced back from defeat at Salisbury City to claim all three points against Truro City and move up to sixth in the Blue Square Bet South.

The Spitfires have been in excellent form at home in the league for a long spell now and today's victory was Ian Baird's third win in a row at the Silverlake Stadium.

Eastleigh made one change to the side beaten 2-0 on Tuesday night with Jamie Brown replacing Philip Appiah in midfield. Gary Elphick made his home debut partnering Tom Jordan at the heart of the Eastleigh defence.

Before the game, a minutes silence was well observed in the memory of ardent Truro City supporter Gillian Alderman who tragically passed away last week.

In the opening stages of the game - Truro’s Les Afful managed to get goal-side of Mitchell Nelson and looked to be held back in the area, though referee Adrian Quelch waved play on.

Eastleigh’s first attacking threat saw Jamie Slabber skip past the challenge of Arran Pugh and cross from the right which had to be cut out by Truro.

BRADLEY BUBB opened the scoring in the 17th minute following good work from Damian Scannell. Scannell worked space for the cross on the left hand side and found Bubb with a pinpoint delivery to the back post. The on-loan Aldershot Town forward stole in unattended to meet the ball with a glancing header past goalkeeper Oliver Chenoweth.

Eastleigh, relaxed by the opening goal of the game after a fairly scrappy start to the match, began to work further openings with Bubb leading the way. In the 25th minute Bubb's pace took the striker past Arran Pugh where he then rounded the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line.

Scannell had a shot deflected for a corner, whilst a header from Pugh went wide of Jack Dovey’s goal at the opposite end of the pitch.

JAMIE BROWN doubled Eastleigh's lead in the 27th minute following a fine assist from powerful right back Mitchell Nelson. Brown popped up in the six-yard box to turn the ball into an empty net after Nelson's run and dangerous delivery across the face of goal.

On the stroke of half time Scannell had a chance to extend the advantage further after playing a neat one-two with Danny Smith. Scannell got himself into a great position but sent his shot into the side-netting to end a comfortable first half for the hosts.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 2-0 Truro City

After the break Truro came right back into the game following a 64th minute strike from JAKE ASH. The Truro captain reduced the arrears when he pounced on Pugh's headed flick from a free kick to slam the ball home from close range.

Before the goal, Les Afful threatened with a stinging shot from the edge of the area and Jamie Slabber dived on a cross from Scannell but couldn’t steer his header on target.

In the 53rd minute the ball fell for Andy Watkins in the Eastleigh penalty area who failed to keep his volley down.

Two minutes shy of the hour, a low speculative strike from distance by Bradley Bubb was comfortably saved by Chenoweth.

Afful, who was one of Truro's most threatening players this afternoon, then fired high over the bar.

With renewed hope from pulling a goal back through Ash, the visitors began to grow in confidence and put Eastleigh under a lot of pressure. The Spitfires struggled at times with the low sun in their eye sight which Truro looked to use to their advantage by playing numerous balls into the penalty area.

There were one or two problems caused as Eastleigh conceded far too many free kicks, but there was to be no equaliser as the Spitfires weathered the storm to see out the game.

Eastleigh made the decision to change to a five-man defence as the game wore on with Tom Jordan, Gary Elphick and Andy Forbes all in the centre and Michael Green and Mitchell Nelson as the full backs. This tactical switch allowed Eastleigh to cope with the increasing attacking threat of Truro as the Spitfires defended their box manfully.

Barry Hayles saw an effort tipped over the bar by Jack Dovey and in the 73rd minute Scott Walker’s free kick was flighted over the wall but well held by the Eastleigh goalkeeper.

Tom Jordan had a chance to regain Eastleigh's two-goal advantage but a dubious offside decision was made, though the skipper saw his effort saved well anyway.

Fifteen minutes from time, Mitchell Nelson’s cross was met with a bullet header from Danny Smith and had to be kept out by Chenoweth in the Truro goal.

The pressure was taken off Eastleigh when BRADLEY BUBB was played through on goal from a counter attack in the closing minutes of the game. There was only going to be one outcome once the striker had sprinted past the last defender as Bubb slotted home his second of the game and Eastleigh's third to seal the points and a 3-1 victory.

It was yet another cool, composed finish for Bubb's ninth goal in just eight games. An incredible ratio of goals to games, but this latest strike proved decisive at a time when the game was in the balance and it looked as though Truro may have gone on to claim a point.

Just a minute after putting Eastleigh 3-1 ahead, Bubb was again sent one-on-one with a chance to net a hat trick in an almost identical situation to the goal, but this time he sent his shot just inches wide of the post.

It was a productive afternoon’s work for Eastleigh with three good goals and picking up all three points. The character of the team again shone through in an efficient workman like display. Next weekend Eastleigh play host to Farnborough.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 3-1 Truro City
Truro City - 250212

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