Eastleigh made it four unbeaten in the league with a win on the road. Goals from McKiernan, Whitehall, and Scrimshaw ensured the Spitfires travelled back from Kent with maximum points.

There was action from the off, as Maidstone screamed for a penalty in the opening twenty seconds following a challenge on James Alabi, but the referee adjudged him to have dived and instead awarded the Spitfires a free kick.

Eastleigh won another free kick on the edge of the box, but couldn’t capitalise, Corey Panter’s effort was blocked by a leaping wall; his follow-up flew over the bar.

The hosts got a dangerous effort away as Jack Barham found himself unmarked on the edge of the box, his effort was brilliantly put behind by an outstretched Joe McDonnell.

Lee Bradbury’s men had to deal with another dangerous attack, the cross came in from the right and found Roarie Deacon, whose shot whiskered just over the crossbar.

The Spitfires came very close to taking the lead, however, as Danny Whitehall’s optimistic volley from almost 40 yards out beat Dan Barden, who found himself in no-mans-land and bounced agonisingly wide of the post.

Maidstone found another opportunity, it was Deacon again who this time forced McDonell across his goal into making an excellent bottom-corner save.

The visitors came close, Panter’s free-kick caused problems for the Maidstone back line, as they blocked Kairo Mitchell’s effort but only managed to clear as far as Oscar Rutherford; his rifling effort drifted over the crossbar.

Another effort came for Eastleigh, with ten minutes left in the half as Charlie Carter’s effort on the turn was easy for Barden to deal with, another attack seconds later saw Mitchell’s attempt from close range fly past the post.

On the stroke of halftime, Eastleigh gained the lead courtesy of JJ McKiernan, who got on the end of Oscar Rutherford’s cross from the left and looped his header home.

The game flowed end-to-end as the second half began, but both sides failed to create anything clear-cut.

The first chance of the half fell to Alabi, ten minutes in, he converted his chance for the hosts but was stood miles offside as the ball was played through.

Minutes later Maidstone equalised, and the cross came in from Josh Shonibare, for Barham to header home from point-blank range.

George Elekobi’s men found themselves with another opportunity. A ball was played across the 18-yard box, looking to find Alabi, who was excellently dealt with by Cisse.

Barham found the net again for the home side only a minute later, however, the linesman already had his flag raised.

After another well-worked attack, Deacon rattled the inside of the post, and the ball bounced back out and was smothered by McDonnell, much to the Spitfires’ relief.

Captain, Binnom-Williams came close again for Maidstone, his tricky footwork saw him through on goal, only to result in him missing the target from close range.

Charlie Carter had the first real effort of the half for Eastleigh, his 71st-minute strike from the edge of the box shot just over the crossbar as he looked to trouble Barden between the sticks

Eastleigh broke the hosts down and managed to string together some attacks. Following a goalmouth scramble, Lee Bradbury’s men found the net. Much to their frustration, an attacking player was offside in the move.

Another bit of excellent play saw Whitehall receive the ball in the penalty area, his shot could only find the side netting with a quarter of an hour to go.

The night wasn’t over for Whitehall though as his beautiful effort found the net with a snapshot volley from distance, regaining the lead for the Spitfires.

New signing Jake Scrimshaw then extended that lead only five minutes later as Carter’s low cross picked out the striker, who fired home into an almost empty net.

Maidstone won a penalty as Sol Wanjau-Smith was brought down in the area. Regan Booty stepped up to take but McDonnell fired across his goal to make the save, maintaining Eastleigh’s two-goal lead, as Eastleigh took all three points.

Report by Matthew Benton-Smith

Attendance: 1463 (24 away)

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Maghoma, Carter, Cissé (c), Whitehall (81), McKiernan (45′), Harper, Mitchell, Panter, Rutherford, Lloyd

Subs: Atangana (82′), Martin, Langston, Payne, Scrimshaw (82′)

Maidstone: Barden, Fowler, Alabi, Barham, Booty, Binnom-Williams (c), Deacon, Bone, Jobe, Shonibare, Lawson

Subs: Mersin, Brown, Wanjau-Smith (79), Marshall, Walters