The Spitfires took a point from fellow play-off hopefuls Bromley in a hard-fought goalless draw at the Silverlake, after going down to ten men.

The visitors got the game underway but it was Eastleigh who made the faster start. Kairo Mitchell saw his fifth-minute effort blocked by a Bromley head, the ball fell to Ousseynou Cissé but his effort from the edge of the box flew over the bar.

The Spitfires came close again as Oscar Rutherford’s pinpoint cross found the head of Charlie Carter, who couldn’t beat Reice Charles-Cook in the Bromley net.

Lee Bradbury’s men seemed to be edging closer to the opening goal; Danny Whitehall controlled excellently, but his half shot half cross evaded Oscar Rutherford who threw everything at it as the ball travelled just wide of the far post.

Moments later, Ryan Stirk found himself on the edge of the box in space and managed to get away a shot that was excellently saved by in-form goalkeeper Joe McDonnell.

Bromley came close again, Corey Whitely floated a cross towards the back post that found the head of Michael Cheek. The forward could only find the outside of the post from close distance.

Excellent footwork from Kairo Mitchell saw him play Whitehall through for what looked to be the opening goal as the goalmouth gaped in front of him; the striker took one touch too many though as the ball was put out of play by a Bromley defender.

Danny Whitehall tees up a shot. Image by Sajidur Rahman

The resultant corner saw the ball fall to the feet of Alfie Lloyd, his effort was excellently blocked as a red shirt put their body on the line to clear.

Lee Bradbury’s men found themselves in more goalmouth action as Rutherford’s excellent footwork fooled three Bromley defenders, his shot from the edge of the box was easy for Charles-Cook to gather.

With just over ten minutes left in the half, Eastleigh had a strong penalty appeal as Lloyd was pushed in the back facing away from goal on the edge of the six-yard box. The officials, however, adjudged him to have dived and awarded the visitors the free-kick.

Bromley found another opportunity as the ball was played back to Whitely on the edge of the box but he could only scuff his effort across goal. The ball stayed in play and Andy Woodman’s men attacked again. Besart Topalloj’s cross found Jude Arthur who threw himself at the ball and directed his diving header wide.

Bromley managed to force a handful of corners, but a strong Eastleigh defence ensured it remained goalless at the break.

Goalless at the interval. Image by Graham Scrambler Photography

An unideal start to the second half for Christian Maghoma, as he went to ground for the second time in the game bringing his afternoon to a premature end. He was replaced by George Langston.

Eastleigh looked the brighter side from the off as they forged a number of attacks and corners, but couldn’t create the clear-cut chances they wanted.

Corey Panter was shown red for a hard challenge on Cheek near the sideline. Bradbury’s appeals to the decision also earned him a yellow card.

The visitors found themselves a half chance as Charley Kendall fired from the edge of the box, his shot was easily blocked by blue bodies, however, and put behind for a corner.

Eastleigh also had an opportunity on the 65th minute, Carter tried the spectacular with a bicycle kick but couldn’t properly connect.

Moments later the referee awarded the hosts a free kick for a foul on the edge of the box. It was Carter again who stepped up to take, only to be blocked by the mountainous Bromley wall.

Charley Carter takes on Corey Whitely. Image by Sajidur Rahman

Bromley found the best effort of the half so far, Kendall again struck from outside the 18-yard box, this time brushing past the far post.

Lee Bradbury’s men were awarded another free kick from a dangerous area for Kelley Fisher’s tackle on Carter, JJ McKiernan’s effort looked to be heading goalwards but was blocked by a stray Bromley man.

Cissé looked almost certain to have opened the scoring for Eastleigh as his darting effort headed through bodies to the bottom corner but was pushed onto the post by an outstretched goalkeeper.

After a flurry of dangerous attacks from Eastleigh, Andy Woodman’s men managed to hit on the counter. Whitely found himself in the box using his footwork to try and wrong-foot defenders but he couldn’t fool Vincent Harper who blocked expertly.

Louis Dennis found himself through on goal for the visitors as he was pressured by Eastleigh’s defence which meant his rushed shot could only find the side netting.

Bromley looked to create an opening but two excellent blocks on the edge of the box by Harper denied the visitors an opening. Carter had a chance on the stroke of 90 minutes which was blocked and turned behind for a corner, which could only find the gloves of Charles-Cook.

Report by Matthew Benton-Smith

Attendance: 2,433 (185 away)

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Maghoma, Carter, Cissé (C), Whitehall, McKiernan, Harper, Mitchell, Panter, Rutherford, Lloyd

Subs: Camp, Atangana, Martin, Langston, Scrimshaw

Bromley: Charles-Cook, Sowumni, Cheek, Dennis, Kendall, Stirk, Webster (C), Whitely, Arthurs, Topalloj, Fisher

Subs: Marriott, Bergkamp, Vennings, Krauhaus, Reynolds