The Spitfires put in a spirited performance to see off Oldham Athletic in a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Silverlake Stadium.

Danny Whitehall’s superb 72nd minute curling strike was enough to secure all three points for the hosts.

After an even opening 10 minutes, John Rooney’s free-kick for the visitors deflected narrowly wide in the 11th minute, as Oldham had the first real effort of the game.

Two minutes later, Michael Kelly whipped in a corner for the hosts that Charlie Carter connected with nicely, only to see his attempt go over the bar.

Eastleigh continued to fire crosses in from both sides of the pitch, as both Kelly and Oscar Rutherford played threatening balls into the box, with Oldham’s defence dealing with the pressure.

Rooney again threatened to break the deadlock, as his shot from the edge of the area appeared to be creeping in, until Joe McDonnell’s fine save nudged it onto the post and away from danger.

The Latics nearly took the lead, five minutes into the second half, when Rooney’s teasing low free-kick was met by Mike Fondop, who couldn’t direct his effort goalwards.

Spitfires boss Lee Bradbury was forced into a substitution in the 63rd minute, as Jake Scrimshaw replaced the injured Alfie Lloyd.

Debutant Gerry McDonagh saw his header trickle wide from a Kelly corner in the 70th minute, as Eastleigh started to come into the game a bit more.

Just two minutes later, Whitehall curled in a wonderful strike from the edge of the box, which proved to be the winner, to send the majority in the Silverlake Stadium into raptures in the pouring rain.

With just under 10 minutes to play, Rooney tried to bend a shot into the bottom corner for the visitors, but it crept wide and out for a goal kick.

Whitehall nearly added a second for the Spitfires when his goalbound effort was heading in, but for a last-ditch block by an Oldham defender.

Kelly had a free-kick go narrowly wide in stoppage time as Eastleigh pushed for a second goal.

Scrimshaw was then through one-on-one deep into added time, but Oldham keeper Magnus Norman saved well and the substitute then shot wide on the rebound.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Kelly, Atangana, Martin (c), Maghoma, Carter, Whitehall (88), Langston, Rutherford, Lloyd (63), McDonagh

Subs: Flitney, Tshaka, Bragg (88), Stock, Scrimshaw (63)

Oldham Athletic: Norman, Hogan (c), Sheron, Shelton, Rooney, Fondop (84), Kitching (77), Sutton, Clarke, Yarney, Nuttall

Subs: Hudson, Green (77), Abraham (84), Couto, Chapman

Attendance: 2670 (447 away)

Report by Tom Humphrey