The Spitfires fell to defeat fellow play-off hopefuls Barnet as goals from Ryan De Havilland and Ben Wynter sealed all three points for the visitors.

Eastleigh looked to make a fast start, as Charlie Carter forced an early corner as both teams pushed on, but struggled to forge any goalmouth action.

Barnet tried to produce an opening of their own, as a cross was pinballed around the penalty area and subsequently cleared by Eastleigh’s defence.

The visitors won a free kick just outside the 18-yard box following a foul on the Barnet attacker; the subsequent free kick was easily blocked.

The Spitfires hit on the break from the resulting, which was brought to a halt as Jake Hesketh was hacked down outside the box.

As the visitors broke through the middle, Barnet managed to force a corner; Christian Maghoma put his body on the line and pushed Nicke Kabamba’s first touch behind.

Barnet managed the closest effort of the game so far, as Ryan De Havilland’s long-range shot worried Joe McDonnell in the Eastleigh net, but rocketed inches wide of the post.

JJ McKiernan in action. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

Marvin Armstrong scored for Barnet, only for it to be ruled out for offside; as the visitors clustered a flurry of attacks, resulting in no more than a long-range free kick.

Lee Bradbury’s men came agonisingly close, with their best chance of the encounter so far falling to Hesketh, his half shot, half cross flew wide of the post.

Moments later, Corey Panter’s free kick from the edge of the box troubled goalkeeper Laurie Walker as he flew across his goal to make the top corner save.

Whilst Eastleigh were pushing for the opener, it was Barnet who took the lead on the stroke of half-time, a low-driven cross picked out De Havilland, who converted the chance.

Eastleigh trailed at the break. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

Eastleigh came out with real intent to the second half, with a strong penalty appeal dismissed as Vincent Harper was dragged down in the area.

The visitors countered moments later but the subsequent cross was met excellently at the front post by skipper Aaron Martin.

Dean Brennan’s men came close again as a fumbled clearance was headed behind, skimming the crossbar.

With almost an hour on the clock, Eastleigh broke forward in numbers, Idris Kanu received a booking for the visitors following his foul on Vincent Harper.

The resultant free kick was almost converted for the Spitfires as Harper’s ball in was met by the head of Alfie Lloyd who came agonisingly close, his bullet header rising just over the crossbar.

Barnet doubled their lead with 65 minutes on the clock as their floating corner was flicked on at the front post, to be met at the back stick by Ben Wynter, who fired home from point-blank range.

Debutant Lewis Payne pushing on for the Spitfires. Image by Graham Scambler Photography

The Spitfires reacted quickly, forcing a quick succession of corners, but still struggled to create anything clear-cut against a strong Barnet defensive unit.

With 15 minutes to go, Harper received a booking for his tackle near the halfway line; the free kick forged a chance for Armstrong who forced McDonnell to spring into action and make an excellent save from the header.

An excellent block by Martin prevented an almost certain third goal for the visitors, as he lunged in and threw everything on the line to keep Bradbury’s side in the game.

It was a stalemate towards the end of the game, with no real chances and Barnet happy to sit on their two-goal lead; and it was the visitors who took all three points at the Silverlake.

Report by Matthew Benton-Smith

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Martin (c), Maghoma, Carter, Cisse, Hesketh, McKiernan, Harper, Panter, Payne, Lloyd. Subs: Atangana, Langston, Flitney, Willson, Simpson

Barnet: Walker, Collinge, Armstrong, Okimo, Gorman (C), Kabamba, Kanu, Pritchard, Wynter, Revan, Havilland. Subs: Hall, Moyo, Beard, Woods, Azaze

Goals: De Havilland 45′, Wynter 66′

Attendance: 2051