Truro City 1-3 Eastleigh
TRURO CITY v EASTLEIGH
Tuesday 9th April 2013
Blue Square Bet South
By Wendy Gee
EASTLEIGH’S remarkable transformation from potential relegation fodder to serious promotion contenders continued tonight as they muscled their way into the Blue Square Bet South play-off zone.
Richard Hill’s side – second to bottom at the start of the year – are up to fifth place after triumphing 3-1 at relegated Truro City.
Jai Reason was the star of the show, opening and closing the scoring with what defender Chris Todd later lauded on Twitter as “some unreal finishes.”
The highly-rated midfielder/forward netted a superb 30-yard strike to give the Spitfires a ninth-minute lead.
Substitute Craig McAllister doubled the advantage midway through the second half, chasing the ball down and knocking it round the keeper, and Reason rounded off a memorable night with a sublime 81st-minute chip.
There was still time for Stewart Yetton to pull a late goal back for the gutsy Cornish hosts, but it could not dent the confidence of an on-song Eastleigh side who have won 12 and drawn two of their last 17 league matches.
Delighted manager Richard Hill hailed it a “good, good team performance”, but was also generous in his praise for Truro.
“They’ve gone right up in my estimation for actually trying to beat us tonight,” he said.
“It would have been easy for them to have sat behind the ball, but they contributed to a good game of football.
“They put us under pressure for the first 15 minutes of the second half, but we weathered the storm and scored a second at a good time which deflated them.
“Fair play to Truro for trying to win the game and fair play to our lads too. It’s difficult to play a side in Truro’s position who are expected to lose and can play with no pressure.”
Having dislodged Chelmsford from fifth spot, Hill’s men – away to Bath City on Saturday – now have their sights set on fourth-placed Weston-super-Mare. Although Weston remain three points ahead after winning 3-1 at Basingstoke last night, they have played two games more than the Spitfires.
Second-placed Salisbury City needed a stoppage-time Dan Fitchett goal to salvage a 1-1 home draw with third-placed Dover, while Lee Bradbury’s Havant & Waterlooville dented Boreham Wood’s play-off hopes with a 2-1 win in Hertfordshire.
“At the moment it’s looking like three teams (Eastleigh, Weston and Chelmsford) going for the last two play-off spots, but the league’s that strange this season that I wouldn’t rule anything out,” said Hill.
“Two weeks ago we lost away at Tonbridge and everybody had written us off. That’s how quickly things can change.”