Strevens fires late winner to keep Eastleigh title challenge on track

BEN STREVENS

BEN STREVENS

First published in Sport

Eastleigh left it very late to continue their promotion push in the Skrill Conference South after beating a busy Maidenhead side 3-2 through Ben Strevens’s last gasp winner at the Silverlake Stadium tonight.

Maidenhead went into the break 2-1 up through Reece Tison-Lascaris and Matt Ruby. Reece Connolly equalised for the second place Spitfires before an injury-time header gave the away team the lead.

It was Stuart Fleetwood who fired in the leveller as Eastleigh piled on the pressure before Strevens fired in the 90th minute winner. Spitfires boss Richard Hill admitted before the match he didn’t know which Maidenhead would turn up; the Berkshire side have been inconsistent all season, sometimes spectacular, other times woeful.

But if the first-half was anything to go by a very dangerous side had travelled to the Silverlake Stadium.

After the home side took an early grip on the game, the Magpies were in the ascendancy. Danny Green fired in a dangerous cross and Tison-Lascaris planted a drilled shot into the side netting. That was just a warning shot, however, as his second effort put his team 1-0 up. A through ball found the attacker who took one touch to his right and slotted past Ross Flitney with aplomb after 13 minutes.

The Conference South promotion chasers then turned it on, hunting for a way back into a game they were starting to become frustrated with. They were then level just past the half hour mark. Connolly, played in by Wright’s slick square ball to just inside the area, thundered home a left-footed drive past Elvijs Putnins in the Magpies’ net.

On the brink of the break the Conference South strugglers were back on top. Green’s stunning corner found Ruby, who glance home – top left.

At half-time the Silverlake faithful were seriously concerned that their title chase was about to take another dent following defeat last week to Tonbridge Angels.

The perfect tonic for their fears came soon into the second half however.

A wonderfully worked team goal ended in Fleetwood shooting powerfully into the roof of the net. Eastleigh piled on the pressure to no avail for much of the half but, finally, in the 90th minute, Strevens worked space inside the penalty area, firing a blistering effort home.

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