Venue: Silverlake Stadium
Tuesday September 13th, 7.45pm kick-off
Conditions: Dry after a couple of days of rain
Attendance: 1,977 (291 away supporters)
Scorers: Sam Pearson 7 (1-0), JJ McKiernan 72 (1-1)
Yeovil Town: Jamie Reckord 15, Ben Richards-Everton 22
Eastleigh: Vincent Harper 25, Ousseynou Cisse 60
Eastleigh: Brennan Camp 90
Referee: Paul Johnson
Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)
Morgan Williams Owen Bevan Ben Richards-Everton Jamie Reckord
Lawson D’Ath (for Jake Scrimshaw, 90) Josh Staunton Matt Worthington
Charlie Wakefield (for Alex Fisher, 76) Malachi Linton (for Chiori Johnson, 89) Sam Pearson
Substitutes: Max Hunt, Gime Toure.
Eastleigh: McDonnell, Oyenuga (for Hesketh, 72), Camp, Cisse (for Carter, 62), Panter (for Langston, 62), Martin, Harper, McKiernan, Hill, Whitehall, Abrahams. Substitutes: Rutherford, Ebanks.
An early goal from Sam Pearson earned Yeovil Town a point after a backs-to-the-wall performance against an Eastleigh side who did more than enough to win the game.
The on loan Bristol City winger took advantage of a mistake from goalkeeper Joe McDonnell to open the scoring after just seven minutes, but it was the home side who were completely dominant with goalkeeper Grant Smith pulling off three exceptional saves.
But, in the 77th minute on loan Watford midfielder JJ McKiernan fired home a deserved equaliser and set up a kitchen sink affair.
W*ymouth-born Brennan Camp saw red for a crunching tackle on Lawson D’Ath in added time and the visitors held on for a point.
Chris Hargreaves made three changes from the 1-0 home defeat to York City ten days earlier and reverted to the 4-3-3 formation which saw Sam Pearson returning to the starting XI as part of a three-man forward line alongside Malachi Linton and Charlie Wakefield.
Other changes saw AFC Bournemouth loanee defender Owen Bevan replacing Max Hunt in the centre of defence while Matt Worthington who replaced Sam Perry, who was left out of the squad with the manager revealing he suffered a concussion in the York match.
After a fairly uneventful opening seven minutes, it was a howler from Eastleigh keeper Joe McDonnell which gifted the visitors a lead. Malachi Linton was alive to the error from the gloveman and teed up Sam PEARSON who did superbly to fire home an early opener.
Six minutes later, a mistake by Josh Staunton in midfield gifted the ball to striker Tristan Abrahams, who has two goals to his name since joining from Carlisle United in the summer, but the former Glovers’ loanee fired his effort wide.
Then, three minutes later, a carbon copy error from Staunton gave Abrahams another opportunity to shoot and this time forced Grant Smith in to action.
The keeper was in action again after 20 minutes to deny Spitfires’ striker Danny Whitehall. The reaction from the home side to going behind was strong with the visitors pinned inside their own half.
Another mistake from a slip by an Eastleigh defender gave Yeovil another opportunity which saw Charlie Wakefield, back in his favoured position on the right side of attack, break through and have a shot which was blocked with Linton in a decent position.
Defender Corey Panter’s free-kick forced another fantastic stop out of Smith soon after and the ball dropped to defender Aaron Martin, who has seen service with Yeovil, but his effort was superbly blocked by visiting debutant defender Owen Bevan.
Despite the advantage, it was Eastleigh in the ascendancy with some attractive football with the pace of Abrahams a real thorn in the side of his former club.
As the game pressed towards half-time, a good spell of pressure saw an opportunity break to Malachi Linton whose effort went wide on 40 minutes.
Half time: Eastleigh 0 Yeovil Town 1
Smith was in action again on 52 minutes when Abrahams’ effort was turned over the bar by the keeper to add another outstanding save to a string of them.
The linesman had his flag up for a handball against the home side, but referee Paul Johnson overruled his assistant. To say that the visitors’ bench let the fourth official know their views would be a mild way of saying it.
Shortly after the hour mark, Eastleigh had two good opportunities through first substitute Charlie Carter, whose effort was blocked by Worthington, and then full-back John Oyenuga went over the bar.
The pressure that had been mounting since Yeovil took the lead continued to mount and on 70 minutes the home side’s forwards seemed to be queuing up to turn a ball across the face of goal with Ryan Hill perhaps best placed. None of them did and the ball broke to Smith.
But, the goal that had been coming finally came with 72 minutes gone. Staunton was outmuscled by on loan Watford midfielder JJ McKIERNAN who hammered an effort across the slippery surface past Smith. It was nothing more than Eastleigh deserved.
There was no drop off in intensity from the home side after their equaliser whilst Yeovil still could not get a foothold in the game. Defender Brennan Camp – who was born on a rock south of a Dorset coastal town – was the latest to have a chance as headed just over on 76 minutes.
Attacks at the other end were a case of having to take what you could find and a half chance from Pearson as the game ticked over 90 minutes – with six added on. With the home side still (yes, still) piling on the pressure, that was all Yeovil needed to hear.
With a couple of minutes of the added on time gone, Camp saw red after a crunching tackle on Lawson D’Ath which left the play-maker in a pile on the floor. Referee Paul Johnson had no hesitation in showing the card. Dirty W*ymouth…..etc.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Jamie Reckord was well positioned to deflect a goalbound effort wide and that was (mercifully) the final opportunity for the home side.