A brace for Ross Stearn and a goal apiece for Craig McAllister and James Constable handed Eastleigh a dominant victory in their opening pre-season fixture against Basingstoke Town.
The Spitfires traveled to the Cramrose Stadium to kick-off their National League preparations with a near-full strength side, experimenting with substitutions as Manager Richard Hill assesses his side ahead of the upcoming campaign.
Paul Reid was unlucky not to open the scoring within the opening five minutes with a headed effort from new signing Mark Yeates’ cross. James Constable also saw an effort sliced wide as Basingstoke narrowly missed at the other end after Aaron Jarvis failed to turn in George Bennett’s ball to the near post.
A long thrown-in from Michael Green just before the half-hour mark was headed in by forward Craig McAllister, looping over Basingstoke’s keeper and into the net via the crossbar and post to give the Spitfires the lead.
Richard Hill made six changes to his side at half-time, but his side retained their hunger after the break, soon doubling their advantage.
Ross Stearn opened his season in fine fashion, cutting inside the left flank before firing in from 25 yards to make it 2-0.
Strong build-up play from James Constable then provided Stearn with the chance to double his money and make it 3-0, which the midfielder duly grasped with both hands.
The roles then reversed for Eastleigh’s fourth as Constable latched onto the end of Stearn’s free-kick to complete the rout.
The victory provides a much-needed lift for Eastleigh after a frustrating start to pre-season, with the Spitfires forced to cancel their opening three home fixtures against AFC Wimbledon, Portsmouth and Newport County as their newly-laid pitch at the Silverlake Stadium beds in before the new National League season.
The club’s pre-season programme continues this coming weekend as Hill’s squad travel to Loop Meadow to face Didcot Town on Saturday [15th July] with a 3pm kick-off.