Clinical Eastleigh edge out Boreham Wood in 2-0 victory


Eastleigh leapfrogged their Tuesday night counterparts Boreham Wood following a hard-fought 2-0 triumph at the Silverlake.

In a match of fine margins, Eastleigh highlighted the importance of being ruthless in front of goal. Strikes from Ben Williamson and Danny Hollands proved decisive as the Spitfires were rewarded with their second home win of the season.

Eastleigh welcomed Boreham Wood to the Silverlake Stadium where both teams were in desperate need of a win to halt their National League free-fall. The Spitfires sat in 20th whilst the visitors were three places above them but on the same points.

However, from an Eastleigh fan perspective, their morale was boosted by recent arrivals from their southern neighbours. Charlie Seaman of Bournemouth joined whilst Southampton striker Marcus Barnes was announced just hours prior to the fixture. With the lack of goals the main cause of their concerns, the incoming of the latter could prove instrumental to their campaign.

In the sixth minute, goal issues suddenly disappeared as Eastleigh opened the scoring. Ben Williamson grabbed his first goal of the campaign after some excellent centre-forward play. Williamson peeled off his man and was slipped through by his partner up front, Tyrone Barnett. The scorer finished off the move with aplomb and drilled the ball in at the near post.

It was a much-needed goal for the former Port Vale and Gillingham man after a recent goal drought. It may also have underlined to manager Ben Strevens that his striking duo are able to form a potent partnership this season.

A minute after the re-start, Williamson could and should have had his second. An excellent cross from debutant Charlie Seaman was missed at the front post, leaving Williamson free at the back; however, his header raced off the watered surface and went narrowly wide.

The Hertfordshire based outfit could have counted themselves unfortunate to be behind so early. Despite the deficit the away side posed a threat, troubling the hosts with their direct style of play. The lack of cutting edge was becoming ever more apparent as Kabongo Tshimanga hit the side netting before stinging the hands of Max Stryjek a few minutes later.

Just before half time, Boreham Wood continued to hunt for the equaliser. Sorba Thomas went close with a deflected effort before Mark Ricketts tested Max Stryjek from the resulting corner. In a tight affair, both sides trudged down the tunnel knowing the three points remained in the balance.


Ben Williamson’s sixth minute strike was the difference at half-time – photo: @_GSPhotography/Twitter

The visitors picked up where they left off, immediately snatching the second half initiative. They pushed the Spitfires back, gaining a number of free-kicks in dangerous areas. Yet they were made to pay moments later.

An out-swinging Jack Payne corner was met by the head of captain Danny Hollands whose header looped over David Gregory in the Boreham Wood goal to double Eastleigh’s lead. Whilst it was against the run of play, Ben Strevens would argue that the shoe was finally on the other foot after being the victim of similar scenarios in recent weeks.

In the 66th minute, Boreham Wood had three clear cut chances in a matter of seconds. Reda Johnson cleared a header off the line before the attempted rebound was brilliantly saved by Stryjek. With the ball still alive in the Eastleigh box, Ricky Shakes blazed over the bar from just six yards out. That five seconds or so of pure chaos summed up the away side’s attacking efforts. They were packed full of energy and eagerness, but their finishing left little to be desired.

Boreham Wood had another chance to half the deficit ten minutes from time. A clever ball was slipped into the path of Tshimanga, who saw his first-time shot hit the top of the woodwork.

In the dying embers, referee Samuel Allison compounded the visitors’ misery. After a high-footed challenge on Scott Rendell resulting in an altercation, Tom Champion was shown a red. With the post-match hand-shakes moments away, the two managers then found themselves at loggerheads and had to be separated by members of their respective coaching staff. The ref brandished the pair yellow cards and left a sour taste to the conclusion of the match.

Nonetheless, the Blues picked up a valuable three points in their quest to climb up the table. For Boreham Wood, it was the simple case of what might have been.

Team Lineups:

Eastleigh (5-3-2): Stryjek; Seaman, Partington, Boyce, Johnson, Green; McKnight, Payne, Hollands; Williamson (Barnes 78′), Barnett (Rendell 86′).

Subs unused: Baughan, Flitney, Bearwish.

Boreham Wood (3-5-2) : Gregory; Ilesamni (Champion 57′), Stephens, Thompson; Ricketts (c) (McDonnell 57′), Murtagh, Thomas, Shakes, Smith; Marsh (Shaibu 66′), Tshimanga.

Subs unused: Huddart, Wickham.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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