Tyrone Barnett’s 90th minute penalty gave Eastleigh their third equaliser of the match and ensured they finished the 2021-22 Vanarama National League campaign with a 4-4 draw.

The Mariners controlled the first half with goals from Jordan Maguire-Drew and Mani Dieseruvwe’s penalty giving them a convincing lead.

An incredible second 45 minutes followed, firstly with half time substitutes Danny Whitehall and Sam Smart squaring the game 11 minutes in, before Dieseruvwe’s second restored Grimsby’s lead.

Hesketh’s 70th minute strike made it three a piece, but Dieseruvwe bagged his hat-trick with only three minutes to go.

Lee Bradbury’s side battled valiantly and were given a penalty in the last minute which Barnett dispatched, ending the season with a draw.

It was an even beginning to the match with both teams enjoying spells of possession, but 15 minutes in the visitors came close when Jordan Maguire-Drew found Max Wright in the box who managed to flick the ball on, however some strong defending by Tom Bragg denied the effort hit the target.

Grimsby looked the team most likely to score in the first half and did 31 minutes in through Maguire-Drew who found the bottom left corner.

Eastleigh went through the half without a shot on target coming the closest through Bragg who met Jake Hesketh’s corner, but couldn’t test Ollie Battersby.

Maguire-Drew caused the Spitfires’ defence a lot of problems down the right side and almost bagged a brace in the 41st minute, lobbing Ross Flitney, however some exceptional defending by Bragg heading the ball over, off the line kept it at 1-0.

A penalty to Grimsby was awarded two minutes before half time after Dieseruvwe beat Flitney to the ball inside the box and the striker stepped up to take the spot kick and clinically dispatched it into the bottom right corner giving the Mariners a two goal lead.

Lee Bradbury’s side started the second half brightly and came close as Barnett’s strike from distanced forced Battersby to tip his effort wide.

Whitehall halved the deficit for Eastleigh in the 54th minute having the time and space inside the box to pick his spot and blast the ball into the bottom left corner.

The Spitfires continued their fantastic second half start and 56 minutes in Smart equalised, after a great passing move between Hesketh and Whitehall with the ball eventually finding its way to Eastleigh’s number seven alone in the box, who fired it past Battersby.

Grimsby’s lead was restored only three minutes later when Jordan Cropper’s low driven cross found Dieseruvwe who clinically found the back of the net to make it 3-2.

The drama continued in the 70th minute when Brennan Camp won the ball back on the halfway line and played a pass which Barnett dummied for Hesketh, whose strike was too powerful for Battersby to keep out as he pushed the ball into the top left corner levelling the scorings at 3-3.

Dieseruvwe should have had a hat trick as he beat Andrew Boyce to the ball, but Flitney did well to deny him his third.

That hat-trick did come seconds later though when Cropper again found the striker who made no mistake.

One minute before the 90′, Eastleigh were awarded a penalty after Ryan Hill’s shot was handled in the box.

Barnett stepped up and smashed the ball down the middle giving the Spitfires another equaliser and a 4-4 draw to finish the season off.

Report by Sam Holmes

Eastleigh: Flitney; Camp, Bragg (46′), Boyce, Willson, Harper; Hollands, Yang, Hesketh (85′); Barnett, Simpson (46′)

Substitutes: Smart (46′), Hill (85′), Smith, Whitehall (46′), Pitman

Grimsby Town: Battersby, Cropper, Pearson, Bramwell, Crookes, Jones, Burgess, Coke (46′), Wright (87′), Maguire-Drew (65′), Dieseruvwe

Substitutes:Tomlinson (87′), Braithwaite, Khouri, Raikhy (46′), Abrahams (63′)