City shot down by Spitfires
Eastleigh 3 (Jonny Dixon 13, Jamie Brown 22, Tony Taggart 59p) St Albans City 0 James Ronayne at the Silverlake Stadium CITY s eight game unbeaten run was bought to an almighty halt as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at promotion chasing Eastleigh. Two cli
Eastleigh 3 (Jonny Dixon 13, Jamie Brown 22, Tony Taggart 59p)
St Albans City 0
James Ronayne at the Silverlake Stadium
CITY's eight game unbeaten run was bought to an almighty halt as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at promotion chasing Eastleigh.
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Two clinical first half strikes from the Spitfire's frontmen Jonny Dixon and Jamie Brown and a second half penalty from Tony Taggart ensured that Ian Baird's side took the points and closed the gap on league leaders AFC Wimbledon to just four points.
City were left to rue their lack of efforts on goal as they failed to test Eastleigh stopper Jason Matthews all game. It's a problem that has left the team hamstrung on several occasions this season and with the normally reliable defence having an off day it was always going to be tough for City to get a win.
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Steve Castle's side actually started the brighter, with Paul Hakim and Gary Cohen linking well up front and finding plenty of space in the channels.
However with 13 minutes gone the home side broke the deadlock thanks to a wonderful finish from Dixon. The Spanish-born striker, who is on loan from League Two outfit Brighton, picked up Taggart's clever pass to rifle the ball past Lee Butcher from the right hand side of the penalty area.
City looked to hit back immediately, with Hakim latching onto Scott Cousins' long ball. Hakim lifted the ball over Matthews but unfortunately for City there was no one in the box to take advantage and the home side were able to clear.
The Spitfires soon doubled their lead with a fantastic team goal. Peter Adineyi dissected the City defence with an accurate through ball for Ashley Carew. The former Barnet man got to the by-line and fired over a cross that evaded Butcher and gave Brown an empty goal to head into.
Butcher was called upon to produce a smart save low down at his near post from Taggart after Dixon had kept the ball alive at the byline and the young Tottenham stopper had to get down quickly to keep out Carew's 30-yard drive.
City should have reduced the deficit on the stroke of half time but Ben Martin headed over from ten yards out following a Cousins corner.
Castle, eager to try and find a way back into the game, introduced Hector Mackie for Cousins at half time but Mackie had little chance of helping City salvage a point as the home side got their third goal nine minutes into the second period from the penalty spot.
Referee John Busby adjuged that Adam Everitt had fouled Brown and Taggart stepped up to send the ball into the back of the net. It seemed a harsh decision on Everitt and it certainly didn't warrant the yellow card that accompanied the decision.
From then on the game stagnated. Both sides made changes at regular intervals disrupting the flow of the game and, with Eastleigh happy to sit on their 3-0 lead and City unable to break their defence down the game fizzled out.
That's not to say that City didn't have chances. Everitt headed over from a Mackie corner and then headed across the face of goal following James Quilter's neat cross.
Butcher was forced to tip substitute Brett Williams' drive around the post and Adeniyi's fierce drive went narrowly over the bar.
Solomon Shields picked up a nasty knock to his knee, and despite playing on, he was eventually substituted.
The last chance of the evening went the way of City, when Mackie won the ball in midfield and played in Simon Martin but Matthews was out quickly and the chance was gone. It sort of summed up City's night.
Eastleigh: Matthews; Goodhind, A.Martin, Jordan, Byles; Carew, Adineyi, Heeroo, Taggart (Clark 69); Dixon (Williams 76), Brown (Groves 60).
St Albans City: Butcher; Bailey, B.Martin, Quilter, Cousins (Mackie 46); Sulaiman, Fisher, Shields (Mortimer 87), Everitt; Cohen (S.Martin 73), Hakim. Subs not used: Frater.
Referee: John Busby (Wallingford)