The Spitfires fall to defeat to AFC Fylde, with goals from Josh Kay and Nick Haughton being enough to secure the win for the visitors.

A quiet first half which saw Fylde lead at the break was countered with an electric second half that saw midfielder Ben Reeves score from a 30 yard volley.

The first real opportunity for the Spitfires came in the 10th minute after the ball broke loose for Chris Maguire in the right hand side of the box but the cross intended for Paul McCallum at the back post was cleared.

Ben Reeves gave the ball away just inside the Spitfires half in the 12th minute and Fylde nearly capitalised as Nick Haughton beat McDonnell but struck the post and was cleared away by the spitfires defence.

Two great chances in the space of 30 seconds for the Spitfires in the 20th minute as Ben Reeves has one tipped away by Richardson before Enzio Boldewijn collected the loose ball and demanded another great save by the away teams goalkeeper.

Eastleigh v AFC Fylde in the National League at Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh. Saturday 10th February 2024. © Image by Graham Scambler Photography

Everyone inside the Silverlake Stadium thought the deadlock had been broken inside the 35th minute as Scott Quigley passed the ball past Richardson in goal but the linesmen had his flag up on the nearside.

Seven minutes later the deadlock is finally broken after Joe Westley stole the ball off Atangana inside the Spitfires half and played through Josh Kay who calmed placed it past a diving Joe McDonnell into the bottom right corner.

The away team started piling on the pressure towards the end of the half with Danny Whitehead striking a vicious shot just outside the box over the Eastleigh goal being the final highlight of the first half.

Fylde didn’t take long after the restart to double their lead as Nick Haughton played a quick one two with Westley inside the spitfires penalty box and poked it home past a helpless McDonnell in goal after only 90 seconds of the second half.

The away team continued their dominance 12 minutes after the restart as Josh Kay’s distant effort is blocked Scott Quigley on the line

Despite the early dominance in the second half the game started to drift as neither side was making chances however Fylde had another chance cleared off the line this time by Longe-King

It took until the 74th minute for the Spitfires to finally take a chance and it came through Ben Reeves who’s first time volley from around 40 yards out went into the back of an empty net after Richardson’s clearance didn’t go as far as he may have intended for it to.

Eastleigh v AFC Fylde in the National League at Silverlake Stadium, Eastleigh. Saturday 10th February 2024. © Image by Graham Scambler Photography

It took until the 87th minute for the Spitfires to have their next shot on target as Richardson is forced to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Calls for a penalty in the 90th minute were waved away by referee Andrew Humphries.

Despite the eight minutes of additional time Eastleigh couldn’t find an equaliser and Fylde take home all three points.

Eastleigh: Mcdonnell (GK), Atangana(83), Reeves, McCallum, Boldewijn (C), Langston, Hodson(55), Maguire, Longe-King, Quigley, Greenwood(61)

Subs: Taylor(55), Croll, Nwabuokei(83), Rutherford(61), Dotse

AFC Fylde: Richardson (GK), Davis (C), Haughton(88), Westley(80), Kay(73), Graham, Barrett, Ustabasi, Walker, Whitehead, Mitchell

Subs: Long, Hosannah, Adshead(88), Hunter(73), Ormerod(80)

Attendance: 1,851 (44 away)

Report by Zach Miller