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It's a blank holiday for the Spitfires
1:10pm Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Hampshire Sport
EASTLEIGH’S let slip their fifth point of a disappointing bank holiday weekend when held 0-0 by south coast neighbours Havant & Waterlooville yesterday.
After losing their first Hampshire derby 2-0 at Basingstoke Town on Saturday, Richard Hill’s title fancies needed a positive response against Lee Bradbury’s men at the Silverlake.
But the Hawks have yet to concede in three games this season and the Spitfires were unable to break them down.
Ben Strevens came closest to doing so six minutes from time when he headed Dan Spence’s tempting delivery against the crossbar and sub Craig McAllister had a follow-up effort saved.
But Havant’s influential Italian Christian Nanetti was the pick of the attacking players on view and had earlier clattered the woodwork with a fiercely struck 25- yard free kick.
Eastleigh were dealt a blow before kick-off when defender Dean Beckwith – recently described by manager Hill as “this club’s best ever signing” – had to withdraw with a groin problem.
It opened the door again for ex- Christchurch defender Chris Dillon to line up in central defence alongside the fit- again Chris Todd.
Two ex-Saints featured in the early action for Havant with Pedro Monteiro – AKA Pele – testing Ross Flitney with a fifth- minute strike which the home ’keeper did well to push away. Then Scott Bevan safely collected Stuart Fleetwood’s 24th-minute delivery as it narrowly evaded Jai Reason.
Having made one good run down the left on the half-hour, Nanetti sprinted away again four minutes later and unleashed a shot which was deflected narrowly wide.
Eastleigh underwent another defensive reshuffle just after the hour when new signing Romone Rose replaced Todd.
Ten minutes later McAllister went on for Yemi Odubade and, on 81 minutes, Bevan parried away the big targetman’s shot, but Reason couldn’t cash in on the follow-up.
After Strevens had hit the bar, Havant’s Scott Jones failed in his attempt to lob Flitney.
The stalemate leaves Eastleigh seventh in the table with seven points from four games.
Ex-Saint Tommy Widdrington’s Eastbourne Borough head the table with ten points and are one of just three teams – along with Maidenhead and Havant – who remain unbeaten.
Basingstoke suffered their first defeat as Naby Diallo netted a 76th-minute winner for Weston-super-Mare who triumphed 1-0 at the Woodspring Stadium.
Newly-promoted Gosport Borough notched their second point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Dorchester Town at Privett Park.
Dan Wooden gave Borough a first-half lead which was wiped out by Steve Walker 17 minutes from time as the Magpies finally opened their points account.
Ten-man Salisbury City had Theo Lewis sent off and survived a late penalty miss by Joe Healey in an incident-packed 0-0 draw at Welling in the Skrill Conference Premier.
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