Eastleigh 4-3 Staines Town

EASTLEIGH v STAINES TOWN
Wednesday 10th October 2012

Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Jamie Montigue


Three games at the Silverlake Stadium have now produced three wins for Richard Hill's Eastleigh after a seven-goal thriller was played out against Marcus Gayle's Staines Town side. Tonight was all about responding and bouncing back from a disappointing couple of results in the league at Farnborough and being knocked out of the FA Cup at the weekend by a solitary goal at Gloucester City.

In a high-scoring game, Eastleigh came out on the right side of a positive result to earn all three points, and in so doing - moved six places higher in the Blue Square Bet South up to 7th in the table.

As Eastleigh made it three home league wins on the spin, the stats for those three games make interesting reading. Winning 4-2 against Maidenhead United and then 3-1 versus Hayes & Yeading in addition to this evenings 4-3 win, has seen high-scoring, entertaining games with 11 goals scored and six conceded in this spell.

Two changes were made to the Spitfires starting eleven with Leigh Mills handed a debut following his move from Winchester City. Mills came in to the defence along side Andy Forbes in place of Tom Jordan. Moses Ademola was recalled into the side at the expense of Dale Binns.

The first chance of the game fell the way of Staines centre forward Louie Theophanous who had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring with just nine minutes played, but nodded comfortably over the bar from 6-yards following a cross from the right.

A couple of dangerous corners from Jai Reason saw Staines Town have to withstand some pressure from the hosts. From his second set piece in the 11th minute, Reason's delivery found Craig McAllister at the back post where the target man rose above his marker only to angle a powerful header just wide of goal.

This was followed by a great flowing move by Eastleigh as Damian Scannell and Glen Southam exchanged passes in the middle of the pitch before opening out the play to the right. Southam's perfectly weighted pass found Osei Sankofa, who had made a good overlapping run. Sankofa then floated an excellent cross into the middle to pick out McAllister whose header could only be parried by Jack Turner in the Staines goal.

In the 18th minute, Moses Ademola ran on to McAllister’s flick from a long ball up the pitch by Jack Dovey. Ademola controlled the ball and touched it back into the path of McAllister who in turn saw his dipping effort from just outside the penalty area sail narrowly over the bar.

Leigh Mills was shown a yellow card for a mistimed challenge midway through the half to give Staines a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the box. It was a case of déjà vu as Elliot Godfrey’s free kick beat the wall and wasn’t dealt with cleanly by Jack Dovey - the goal all too similar to that conceded at Gloucester. The ball was parried as far as TONY GARROD who fired home the rebound gratefully to open the scoring.

Just past the half hour mark, Scannell cut in from the left and guided a curling shot just the wrong side of the far post from an angle, before a powerful shot from Godfrey from 25-yards out was well charged down and blocked by Eastleigh midfielder Mark Hughes.

Seven minutes before the break, Eastleigh showed the class and character needed to get back in the game with an equaliser from MOSES ADEMOLA. The scores were level when a ball in from the left found McAllister who instinctively flicked the ball neatly into the path of Ademola. The former Woking forward needed little invitation to shoot as he finished emphatically to beat the keeper and put away his sixth goal of the season.

There was barely time for the restart before JAI REASON fired Eastleigh into a lead that saw his team go from one-nil down to two-one up within a matter of minutes. Reason latched on an accurate long ball from Dovey route one style to beat the offside trap and apply the finish to continue his rich vein of goal scoring.

Reason has really taken to the role further up the pitch playing as a second striker along side Craig McAllister where he has excelled as a striker.

Eastleigh responded well to falling behind to hit Staines with two quick fire goals to lead 2-1 at half time.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 2-1 Staines Town

Having gained forward momentum with two late first half goals, Eastleigh looked to begin the second period on the front foot. A great cross from Craig McAllister, low across the face of goal, just needed a touch in the middle as Staines cleared off the line.

Eastleigh were forced into making a first substitution in the 53rd minute with Tom Jordan coming on to replace the injured Mark Hughes, who took a blow to the nose and was unable to continue. Leigh Mills pushed forward into central midfield as a result of the change to accommodate Jordan in the centre of defence, and went on to put in a strong display on his first appearance for the club.

A free kick from Jai Reason was just cut out ahead of Tom Jordan by a good piece of defending, whilst at the other end of the pitch Eastleigh let their lead slip. A misplaced pass from Jack Dovey failed to reach an Eastleigh player and instead went straight to the opposition. Unfortunately for Dovey and the Spitfires, the mistake was punished by DAVID WHEELER as he gleefully found the net to capitalise and bring Staines back into the game at 2-2.

It took Eastleigh just seconds to respond to the set back. And respond they did through a screamer from captain GLEN SOUTHAM with what is fast becoming a trademark power strike. It was an unstoppable, stunning first time shot to leave the goalkeeper helpless and nearly broke the back of the net such was the speed the ball was traveling at and the power of the sweet strike. Damian Scannell rolled the ball across the 18-yard box and captain to provide the assist for Southam's third goal of the season.

Man of the match Southam was in the thick of things again on the hour as he sent in a cross from the right which beat a Staines defender in front of goal but agonisingly evaded a touch from McAllister in front of goal.

A snapshot from Tony Garrod was saved by Dovey in the 63rd minute and the pulsating entertaining end-to-end football continued with a cross-shot from Scannell needing to be headed off the line by Jordaan Brown.

The next action of the game saw superb vision from the impressive Scannell pick out Jai Reason with a 40-yard pass. Staines cleared their lines and got away with what looked to be hand ball in the process as Reason bore down on goal.

Marvin Williams was brought on for Moses Ademola fifteen minutes from time, whilst Jack Dovey was kept busy and had to be sharp to deny Staines Town a goal with a fine reaction save from. Jack then safely claimed the ball from the resulting corner to alleviate a moments pressure from the visitors.

A great turn and shot from the fresh legs of substitute Williams saw a ferocious strike from 20-yards crash against the post with Jack Turner beaten all ends up.

The game looked to have been put to bed when a second goal of the game for JAI REASON and a fourth for Eastleigh saw Richard Hill's side open up a two-goal advantage in the 82nd minute. It was yet another composed, controlled finish from Jai to beat the on-rushing keeper and notch his fifth league goal of the campaign.

A 90th minute strike from Staines set up a tense finale as REECE HALL pulled a goal back to reduce the arrears. Dovey did well to save David Wheeler’s shot but Hall was on hand to slam home the loose ball as it came back out.

Hall went from goal scorer to being given his marching orders from the referee following a dangerous foul on Michael Green.

Dale Binns came on for Andy Forbes in stoppage time before an entertaining seven-goal encounter was brought to a close much to the delight of the Eastleigh faithful who enjoyed seeing their team pick up an important three points.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 4-3 Staines Town
Eastleigh v Staines Town - 10.10.12

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