Eastleigh 3-1 Welling United

Malachi Hudson scores from the edge of the box. Pictures by Dave Budden.

Kieron St Aimie beats two defenders to set up the Wings goal.

Malachi Hudson opens the scoring for the Wings.

Hudson turns away after scoring.

Malachi Hudson is congratulated by team mates.

A rain-soaked Harry Beautyman applauds the away supporters after the final whistle.

First published in Sport
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Eastleigh inflicted Welling's third consecutive away defeat, but the Wings can take heart from a performance from which they should probably have taken something.

An injury for Jamal Fyfield meant he had to be replaced with Ben Jefford coming in whilst Malachi Hudson was given a full league debut in place of Affy Obafemi.

Straight from kick off, Welling attacked and Harry Beautyman got beyond the Eastleigh defence to lay off for Hudson. His effort took a deflection beyond a struggling Ross Flitney. Chris Bush then rose to head over from the corner.

Paul Reid wasn't picked up from Eastleigh's first corner, taken by Jack Midson but went for a spectacular volley that was scuffed wide.

Tyrone Marsh failed to connect cleanly with a shot as Welling enjoyed a good start.

Marsh then turned Reid and was brought down just outside the penalty area. Beautyman's free kick came back off the wall and Loui Fazakerley, following up, fired well over.

Ben Jefford fired a free kick wide after Ben Strevens fouled Hudson before Welling came close again.

Beautyman was set up by Marsh, but his low shot was well saved by Ross Flitney.

Hudson, making his full Wings debut, put the team ahead 22 minutes in with a fine finish but credit must go to Kieron St Aimie who held off two defenders before laying it off.

Sadly for Welling, the deserved lead lasted less than two minutes. Jai Reason's free kick was tipped onto the inside of the post by Lee Butcher and James Constable was the first of the three onrushing players following up for the tap in.

After that the first half settled down and there were fewer clear cut chances.

Free kicks looked dangerous at both ends with Welling scrambling Zach Fagan scrambling one away for Welling, then Jamie Collins rose well to head away a Beautyman delivery.

Torrential rain was falling as the second period started but Eastleigh didn't seem bothered and scored immediately when Will Evans' deep cross was headed home by Constable.

Flitney was called into immediate action to keep the scores level when making a great save from Jake Gallagher.

Fagan made a crucial headed interception, at the cost of a corner, as two strikers converged on Constable's cross.

Two young players, Sam Corne and Hudson combined to win a corner, and after it was half cleared Corne's cross was tipped away unconvincingly for another.

There was nothing unconvincing about his save from Fagan at the near post from Beautyman's second delivery as the former Arsenal academy player connected cleanly at the near post.

Strevens became the first player booked for a crude tackle on Fazakerley as he tried to break out of defence.

Marsh picked up a misplaced clearance and advanced unchallenged before firing narrowly wide then Reason attempted a chpped effort for the Spitfires that Butcher claimed easily.

Collins was cautioned for a clumsy challenge on St Aimie then Welling were robbed of a great opportunity when the referee stopped play for a clash of heads and Eastleigh hoofed the uncontested drop ball the length of the pitch.

Eastleigh netted but two offsides in the build up ensured the goal didn't stand.

Afolabi Obafemi then brought another save out of Flitney when meeting Beautyman's free kick with a clean header.

Yet another Flitney save from St Aimie's header from Beautyman's free kick kept the scores level before Eastleigh hit the Wings with a sucker punch.

Evans broke down the right hand side, cut in and fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net,

Ben Wright had two chances in injury time as a deflated and unlucky Wings team tasted away defeat again.

Welling United: Butcher, Fazakerley, Jefford, Gallagher, Fagan, Bush, Beautyman, Corne (Gorman 81),  St Aimie, Marsh (Obafemi 72), Hudson (Nouble 81). Unused substitutes: Turner, Williams.

 

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