Words Alex Birch (at Silverlake Stadium)
ALTY's impressive 10-game unbeaten run in the Vanarama National League came to an end this afternoon at Eastleigh.
The Robins played well for long spells on the south coast, but were ultimately undone by the one-two punch of Spitfires' strike duo Scott Quigley and Paul McCallum,
The opening chance of the first half fell to the game's driving force, Chris Conn-Clarke. After neat interplay between Alex Newby & Elliot Osborne, Alty's number 10 was freed in the box only to see his piledriver spectacularly tipped over by Joe McDonnell in the home goal.
Despite the positive opening by the visitors, the Spitfires hit the front on 12 minutes when Quigley fired home low from the edge of the box off a McCallum knockdown.
The goal didn't change the pattern of play as Alty continued to press and probe in and out of possession. Newby saw an angled effort blocked by the foot of McDonnell, with Eastleigh replying via a scramble in the box that Jake Cooper managed to clear off the line.
Newby was again involved towards the end of the first half when he cut inside and clipped a delicious ball to the back post for Lewis Baines, who headed over under pressure. A Conn-Clarke free kick that whistled just over brought an end to a half where Alty could feel unlucky to be behind.
Ethan Ross had to be alert to tip a Jake Taylor long ranger over the bar as the second half slowly came to life; followed in quick succession by a breakaway that saw Newby tee up Conn-Clarke to hit the post.
Dior Angus then worked McDonnell after Justin Amaluzor had got in down the right side; Alty now putting the pressure firmly on their hosts.
That pressure finally told on 66 minutes. Dior Angus was felled in the box and Conn-Clarke stepped up to coolly send McDonnell the wrong way for his ninth of the season.
The teams traded half chances through McCallum and Conn-Clarke, as Alty still looked the more likely to score a second, only for Eastleigh to hit the front again and win the game with four minutes left.
Quigley broke through the middle and managed to squeeze a pass off for strike partner McCallum to sweep under Ross from close in, snapping Alty's impressive unbeaten streak in the process.
Eastleigh McDonnell; Atangana (Nwabuokei, 88'), Francillette, Taylor (c) (Barlow, 70'), McCallum, Boldewijn, Langston, Hodson, Maguire (Harris, 38'), Quigley, Rutherford. Subs not used: Scott, Panter.
Alty Ross; Banks, E.Jones, Baines, Osborne, Marriott (c), Conn-Clarke, Amaluzor (Linney, 62'), Angus (Sithole, 86'), Cooper, Newby. Subs not used: Ja.Jones, Roscoe, Wilson.
Goals Quigley (McCallum) 12', McCallum (Quigley) 86' | Conn-Clarke 66'
Yellows McCallum 55', Taylor 56', Quigley 80', Barlow 81' | None
Reds None | None
Referee Dean Watson
Assistants Sean Rothwell & Mark Senior
Fourth Official Lewis Sandoe
Attendance 2,121 (98 away fans)
A quick turnaround as we head for Rochdale on Tuesday evening (7:45pm). Tickets are available from our hosts here. Away travel for this one is SOLD OUT. Thank you for the support.