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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 19 Dec 15 at 16:45 PM

Eastleigh 3-1 Harriers - The Report

An improved showing for Harriers at Eastleigh on Saturday got scant reward as, despite Ben Whitfield's second half goal, the team fell to a 3-1 defeat.

With changes in personnel and positions, Harriers set about the task of out-working Eastleigh from the off in what was a competitive beginning.

Early chances were at a premium, though, the first coming with just a dozen on the clock when ex-Harriers hero, James Contsable, charged down a ball and took aim at Dean Snedker's goal, some 18 yards out, before blazing a shot just over the upright.

With 21 played only a fine save from Snedker kept the score at nil, he extended himself wonderfully to tip away a rising shot from experienced front-man Jack Midson after he'd been smartly set-up by Michael Green to cap a strong Spitfires attack.

The visitors always looked alert going forward and, past the half-hour mark, they had a couple of 'half' sights of goal when, through a Jared Hodgkiss pass, Omar Patrick saw a shot blocked by the defence before Ben Whitfield lifted a shot high over the bar.

Just as Harriers would have been preparing for the half-time team talk, they were dealt something of a hammer blow when their resistance was broken; Constable with the goal as he arrowed a quickly-taken effort from fully 20 yards that blasted into Snedker's bottom corner.

A few minutes after the re-start, a lively one-two between sub Barnes-Homer and Patrick looked to open Eastleigh up only for a last-ditch block to keep out the winger's shot.

A bizarre moment two shy of the hour mark almost saw Harriers draw level; a driven centre by Barnes-Homer looked to have been gathered by Ross Flitney only for the stopper to drop the ball on the line where it sat until Green smashed it clear.

Just after, though, Harriers were level and it was as a result of more industry by Barnes-Homer; he chased down and won a lost cause superbly before squaring at the by-line to Whitfield who did the rest by sweeping a finish into the back of the net.

For the first time in a while, Harriers had their tails up going forward and in Patrick and Francis-Angol they had real outlets - though the momentum wasn't to sit with them for long as, on 72 minutes, they fell back behind when Lee Cook's run and pass supplied Andy Drury who finished neatly beyond Snedker.

Yet Harriers still ventured forward and, three minutes later, they so nearly had a second equaliser for the day after Patrick supplied Whitfield - the on-loan Bournemouth man driving at goal with a 20-yard shot that beat Flitney but bounced off the inside of the post and away.

Gallingly, Harriers were made to pay for not taking that chance as Eastleigh extended their lead with a third with just five minutes remaining - the visitors hesitant in clearing Constable's cross as Cook picked up the ball up before rifling it home.

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