Eastleigh 1-1 Basingstoke Town

Tuesday 21st August 2012

Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Jamie Montigue

EASTLEIGH: Jack Dovey, Mitchell Nelson, Michael Green, Callum McNish, Tom Jordan, Andy Forbes, Moses Ademola, Daryl McMahon (c), Craig McAllister, Jai Reason (Damian Scannell 66), Marvin Williams (Dale Binns 83). Subs (Not used): Adam Everitt, Glen Southam, Gary Elphick.

Goals: Eastleigh - Craig McAllister (30). Basingstoke Town - Matt Warner (72).

Attendance: 608

Eastleigh welcomed Basingstoke Town to the Silverlake Stadium for the Spitfires' opening home game of the new campaign, and were looking to bounce back from a disappointing  first result of the season at Boreham Wood.

Ian Baird made one change to the starting eleven from the side defeated 3-0 at the weekend. Former Southampton youngster and current Braintree Town loanee Callum McNish came in to the side at the expense of Glen Southam to make his home debut for Eastleigh.

In an otherwise quiet opening to the game, a long kick up the pitch by visiting goalkeeper and Basingstoke captain Ashley Bayes went in search of ex-Eastleigh forward Jordace Holder-Spooner; who has been in prolific form in pre-season for the Dragons and bagged a goal against Sutton United on Saturday. Jack Dovey was alert to the potential danger to gather the ball safely.

Matt Warner saw his tenth minute free kick evade everyone in the penalty area with the ball landing just wide of Dovey's right hand post and behind for a goal kick.

Eastleigh tried to find a way to unlock the Basingstoke defence with Craig McAllister looking to feed the ball through, but with both Moses Ademola and Marvin Williams well-placed in front of goal, Warner got back to help his defence by making an important interception and in so doing prevented an opportunity for a strike at goal.

The hosts pushed on with a couple of half chances. Skipper Daryl McMahons enticing corner kick delivery was met by Andy Forbes who was penalised for a push as he went up to head at goal.

With fifteen minutes played, McMahon's turn and shot from distance failed to trouble Bayes, whilst two minutes later the Spitfires were on the attack once more. Mitchell Nelson had got forward well from right back to send a cross into the penalty area where the ball bounced awkwardly and fell at the feet of Ademola who in turn miscued his shot.

Former Eastleigh winger Shaun McAuley was forced to withdraw from the action with what looked to be a hamstring injury with just 21 minutes on the clock.

Midway through the half another excellent cross from Nelson was attacked well with a diving header from McAllister that went wide of the target.

McNish was impressing on his home debut looking extremely tidy in possession for Eastleigh using the ball well on numerous occasions, slotting in alongside McMahon and Jai Reason comfortably.

Andy Forbes' threatening cross had to be punched away by goalkeeper Bayes, and with Basingstoke on the back foot, McMahons drive was then deflected behind for a corner.

From the resulting set piece, Eastleigh made their pressure count as CRAIG McALLISTER opened his account for the season with a bullet 30th minute header to convert McMahon's corner. The header had too much power on it and beat the goalkeeper as well as the defender on the line, who could do little to stop the effort from hitting the back of the net.

Stuart Lake tried to level things up within minutes of Eastleigh breaking the deadlock, but couldnt keep his header down from a Basingstoke corner.

Four minutes before the break, intricate build up play from Eastleigh down the left saw the ball worked into the box and laid off to goal scorer McAllister. On this occasion the target man fired high over the bar with his weaker foot, but it was his goal that separated the two sides at the half way stage.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 1-0 Basingstoke Town

The first chance of the second half fell the way of the visitors as Tim Sills snatched at a decent opportunity, putting his effort wide at the far post in the 51st minute.

The ever-reliable Andy Forbes made a good challenge on Delano Sam-Yorke to concede a corner. Forbes went on to be named as man of the match.

There were some good spells of passing from Eastleigh with Ademola, Reason & McAllister all playing neat one-twos in quick succession, though the hosts couldn't find a way to push on to double their advantage.

In the 62nd minute Ademola teed up a shot for Jai Reason whose 18-yard strike forced Ashley Bayes into making a low save.

Three minutes past the hour mark, Basingstoke came very close to drawing level. A defence-splitting pass from midfield carved open the Eastleigh defence to find the run of Jordace Holder-Spooner down the left. The pacey forward had time and space to the left of goal and was inches away from an equalising goal for the visitors striking a low shot across Dovey and narrowly wide of the post.

In a busy few minutes, Jai Reason struck the ball well from a central position only to be denied by Bayes diving at full stretch to keep his effort out.

Damian Scannell came on for Jai Reason in the 66th minute and went on to see a lot of the ball where his dribbling at the Basingstoke full backs looked to make things happen for Eastleigh.

A free kick was awarded to Basingstoke on the edge of the Eastleigh penalty area in the 72nd minute for what appeared to be an innocuous foul. The Spitfires were punished for conceding a set piece in a dangerous position, especially with the threat of Matt Warner's left foot. WARNER served up a treat for the travelling Basingstoke contingent by hitting a stunning free kick into the top corner, leaving Dovey helpless, to restore parity in the game.

Warner then tried his luck from even further out this time, but saw his free kick well watches and saved by Dovey fifteen minutes from time.

Dale Binns replaced Marvin Williams for the last seven minutes of the game to make his first appearance in an Eastleigh shirt.

Scannell passed to Ademola in the final ten minutes but Moses' shot was well held by Bayes.

Eastleigh piled on the pressure in search of a winning goal in the closing stages as Basingstoke held on. McMahon had a goal bound shot blocked before Nelson crossed superbly in to the 6-yard box only for no one to gamble to get on the end of it.

Four additional minutes were played out with Eastleigh coming closest to a winner through Moses Ademola whose low shot across goal from a tight angle was so close to sealing all three points.

Next up is another home game on Saturday against Weston-super-Mare where the Spitfires will look to register their first win of the season.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 1-1 Basingstoke Town
Eastleigh v Basingstoke Town - 21.08.12


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