Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 30 Jan 16 at 19:39 PM

Missed Penlty Proves Costly

While both clubs scored in the first half, it was Connor Jennings' late penalty miss that will be the main talking point.

The Wrexham skipper had the chance of sending the Dragons home with all three points and closing the gap on their hosts, but his effort skimmed the top of the Eastleigh crossbar.

This came after the Spitfires' captain had opened the scoring early on with a top notch effort that gave Rhys Taylor no chance, but was cancelled out by Sean Newton's fierce effort from distance that the home keeper failed to hold onto. 

Really the game should not have been played, as heavy overnight rain had left the surface in a poor state, despite sheeting. It was though a credit to both sides that the crowd was suitably entertained. 

As the game kicked off, an early first time effort from Jack Midson, curled high, and forced Taylor into a fly save to make sure the home side didn’t grab an immediate advantage.

Wrexham responded a minute later with a low shot from Simon Heslop that the keeper could only scramble away.

The Spitfires did though take the lead on nine minutes, when a throw in was recycled to Andy Drury and he curled the ball home a shot over the despairing Taylor from outside of the box. It was a spectacular effort and the only place he was going to beat the Wrexham keeper, from 20 plus yards.

The Reds were back in the game on 17 minutes, when Sean Newton hit a powerful effort from 20 yards. It was straight at keeper Ross Flitney, but the Eastleigh man failed to deal with it and let the ball slip through his legs for the leveller.

Taylor was quickly off his line on 20 minutes to collect a short back pass from Manny Smith, who did well to deal with the ball under heavy pressure from Jai Reason.

The game’s first yellow card went to Mark Beck for an enthusiastic tackle on the halfway line. And he was soon followed into the notebook by Jamal Fyfield for a case shirt pulling.

Eastleigh fired another low ball across the Wrexham six-yard line and it took a late clearing effort by Javan Vidal to avert the danger at the back post.

A Wrexham free kick saw Heslop chip the ball over the home defenders, allowing Hudson to turn and shoot from 12 yards, but this time Flitney held onto the ball.

At the other end, a flowing home move was initially blocked but the ball ran back out to Payne and his thunderbolt from distance was superbly turned away by the flying Taylor.

Even on a pudding of a pitch (a technical term from the 1970’s) the home side were playing some neat football and making light of the heavy conditions.

Ht 1-1

Wrexham went on the attack from the restart and as Evans drove in along the goal line, his cross was too high for the waiting yellow shirts in the middle of the home goal.

From a Reason corner, Taylor came through bodies to punch it away and collided with a post, the post came off worse!

Just short of the hour, Drury fouled Vidal in front of the dugouts, after which it took a long lecture from the referee to calm the Eastleigh captain, who was not at in agreement with the decision! 

Drury got over his anger to once more test Taylor with an effort that the Wrexham keeper tipped away for a corner. When the flag kick came out to him, Drury tried another delicate chip, but this time it carried over the crossbar.

There was a lucky let off for the Reds on 67 minutes, when concerted home pressure saw the ball eventually drop for Midson, but the striker’s effort from 15-yards flew high when he really should have done better.

Having survived a final warming for the match official for a series of fouls, the previously booked Fyfield made an important interception to take the ball away from in between the looming pair of Ben Strevens and Midson.

A double change for Wrexham saw York and Jackson on for Beck and Gray with five minutes remaining.

Reason was once again right in the mix, as his low effort flew across the face of the Wrexham goal, eventually evading everyone and going safely behind for a goal kick.

With a few minutes to go, Will Evans was all over York and conceded a penalty as the forward got in behind the Eastleigh rearguard. The defender survived with a yellow card, but when the spot kick was taken, Jennings' effort skimmed the top of the home crossbar and ended up in the stand behind Flitney’s goal!

There was still time for Manny Smith to block a Flitney clearance from a corner, but with the keeper well out of his goal a chip at the open goal was knocked away for another corner. 

Although four minutes of added time were played, the two teams had to settle for a point each on an afternoon when both sets of players deserved more. 

Eastleigh: Flitney, Partington (Strevens 46), W Evans, Turley, Payne, Reason, Midson, Drury, Harding, Mohamed (Cook 78), Coulson. 
Subs: Poke, Green, Griggs. 

Wrexham: Taylor, Vidal, M Smith, Hudson, Fyfield, Newton, Heslop, Jennings, R Evans, Beck (York 82), Gray (Jackson 82). 
Subs: Fowler, Vose, Briscoe. 

Referee: C Hatzidakis (London) 
Attendance: 1,904 
Away: 195 

Bookings -
Eastleigh: W Evans (88 foul) 
Wrexham: Beck (23, foul), Fyfield (27, foul), Smith (90, time wasting) 

    Latest Match Reports