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Eastleigh 0-1 Dorchester Town


Blue Square Bet South

Match report by Jamie Montigue

The Spitfires were defeated by a stoppage time own goal from centre back Gary Elphick on this Bank Holiday Good Friday fixture against Dorchester Town.

Ian Baird named an unchanged starting eleven from the side that beat Eastbourne Borough 2-1 last Saturday.

The first chance of the game fell Eastleigh's way as Bradley Bubb broke down the left and cut the ball back for Chris Flood, whose effort from six-yards was cleared off the line by Jake Smeeton.

In the 22nd minute a set piece from the visitors saw Neil Martin play a short pass for Kyle Critchell to shoot. The former Southampton youngster's shot was deflected for a corner.

Neither side were able to conjure any clear cut chances in a poor first half with Dorchester perhaps looking the more threatening side with Martin and Nick Crittenden providing width and deliveries from the flanks.

On the stroke of half time former Spitfire Ashley Nicholls' miscued shot fell into the path of defender Nathan Walker, who was presented with a good chance for Dorchester only to fire over the bar from 18 yards.

HALF TIME: Eastleigh 0-0 Dorchester Town

Jamie Brown was brought on at the start of the second half in place of Damian Scannell.

Chris Flood, who was later named as the sponsors man of the match, forced Dorchester goalkeeper Nick Jones into a save in the 53rd minute from a snapshot that had to be turned over the bar.

A good run from Mitchell Nelson eventually saw the ball fall to the feet of Daryl McMahon whose tame shot trickled safely through to Jones.

Two minutes before the hour mark, a run and cross from Flood forced an Eastleigh corner. From the resulting set piece McMahon's delivery was met by Andy Forbes whose header was narrowly off target.

Eastleigh had a decent opening in the 65th minute as Bradley Bubb picked out McMahon in the centre, who had time and space in the penalty area at the back post. The former Boreham Wood midfielder dwelled on the ball just a little too long before shooting and seeing his effort kept out by the legs of Jones to keep the scores level.

Twenty minutes from time, Max Worsfold attempted a curling shot that appeared to be goal bound but for a strong header by Gary Elphick to divert the ball to safety.

As the game wore on, Eastleigh had a sight at goal when Tom Jordan came up for a set piece and hooked the ball over his head and into the six-yard box. Elphick threw himself towards the ball but Magpies skipper Mark Jermyn got there first to make an important intervention.

In the 84th minute, Jamie Brown went into the book shortly after Ashley Nicholls raced through as Dorchester broke up the field on a counter attack.

Kyle Critchell's free kick beat the Eastleigh wall but was well watched by Jack Dovey who made the save.

With a minute of normal time remaining and the game looking to be heading for a goal less draw, the Spitfires were reduced to ten men when Brown was shown a second yellow card for a mistimed challenge against his former club.

To make matters worse, Eastleigh added to their own downfall when conceding late in the game through a stoppage time own goal. Gary Elphick was the unfortunate player to be credited with Dorchester's goal as he added the final touch to Neil Martin's dangerous low cross. Elphick's sliced, attempted clearance flew past the helpless Jack Dovey, who otherwise had a comfortable afternoon between the sticks and showed good handling.

Eastleigh now have a trip to Weston-super-Mare on Monday to try and bounce back.

FULL TIME: Eastleigh 0-1 Dorchester Town
Dorchester - 060412


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