6th August 2019

With thunder in the air, the green and whites were like lightning out of the blocks and took the lead with just two minutes on the clock courtesy of an emphatic Courtney Duffus finish.

Chasing an equaliser it was the Spitfires who then had more joy in attack, but the hosts went into the break with their goal advantage.

Becoming a tightly contested battle after the restart the green and whites had to show real grit and determination to hold off the Spitfires who kept firing.

With some backs to the wall defending in the closing stages the game was seen out to see a positive start to National League life in BA22.

Far from disgracing themselves in the opening day defeat at Barnet, Darren Sarll was forced into making just one change to the starting eleven. 

Suffering from a concussion, Myles Hippolyte was denied a home debut as Duffus took his spot up front after being omitted from the matchday 18 altogether at the weekend. 

Clearly with a point to prove, the striker wasted no time in justifying his selection as he neatly beat Alex Wynter in the box before drilling a striker under Max Stryjek. 

Proving to be something of a handful for the Spitfires, the number 14 had a strong looking penalty appeal waved away 10 minutes later after being bundled over by Andrew Boyce, only for referee Lloyd Wood to wave away the appeals. 

Having been slow to get going after arriving from Hampshire, Ben Strevens’ side teased at what they’re capable of soon after with a swift counter-attack. 

Turning a Yeovil corner into an attack of their own it ended with Ben Williamson charging in on goal at a slight angle, only to lack composure and blaze his effort well over the bar. 

Looking comfortable with their lead the green and whites continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession before Eastleigh enjoyed a golden patch around the half-hour mark. 

Racing forward from wing-back, Michael Green twice drew Stuart Nelson into smart saves with efforts from inside the box and from long range.

Getting his angles spot on to keep his cleansheet intact, Town’s number one had a more routine save to make from a Tyrone Barnett header as the visitors continued to tease at drawing level before the break.

Needing to swing the pendulum of momentum back in their favour, the Glovers started the second 45 in a determined manner backed by the home crowd of 2,813. 

With the home faithful in full voice they almost a second goal to celebrate when Craig Alcock’s sumptuous delivery couldn’t quite be headed on target by an advanced Matt Worthington. 

With the hour-mark passed and Nelson not called into further action, Town’s defence were doing a good job at diffusing the attacking threats of Eastleigh. 

However, unable to find the final pass at the other end the game remained in the balance to tee up a tense final quarter-of-an-hour.

Having patiently had to wait for a meaningful attempt on goal in the second half, we then had two in quick succession at either end.

Firstly, Strevens’ side went close when Reda Johnson beat Nelson to a high ball which allowed substitute Scott Rendell to slide in and steer a shot wide of the target at full stretch, before a cleverly taken free-kick from Worthington resulted in Rhys Murphy testing Stryjek from the angle.

With the visitors then sacrificing a defender for an attacker in the closing stages, it was a rearguard action from the hosts as five additional minutes were shown but green and whites dug in to get their campaign up and running.

Yeovil Town: Nelson; Skendi, Collins, Bradbury; Alcock, Worthington, Whelan, Hutton; D’Ath (Ojo 90′); Murphy, Duffus.
Bookings: Whelan 77′
Subs not used: Driscoll, Rogers, McCoy, Seager.

Eastleigh: Stryjek; Wynter, Boyce (Smart 81′), Johnson; Partington, Hollands (McKnight 72′), Payne, Green; Miley; Williamson, Barnett (Rendell 46′).
Bookings: Green 51′, Wynter 55′
Subs not used: Atkinson, Bearwish.