Football: Eastleigh 3-0 Bournemouth XI

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Eastleigh triumphed over Bournemouth’s U-21 side 3-0 in their first home game of pre-season, with goals from Ayo Obileye, Paul McCallum and Chris Zebroski sealing the victory.

With Friday’s encounter against EFL Championship side Sheffield United the Spitfires only remaining fixture against a high-profile team, manager Richard Hill elected to organise a game against the Cherries’ reserves at short notice.

Their youth and energy proved difficult to contend with, however resolute defending and experience – particularly from Eastleigh captain Reda Johnson – went some way to securing the win.

Both sides went close in the opening exchanges, with James Constable’s header after Michael Green’s cross failing to trouble Bournemouth keeper Jordan Holmes, before Jamie Green charged into the box for the Cherries but failed to find a finish.

A backwards header released Constable moments later, but he elected to shoot from range and the lack of power made it an easy collection for Holmes.

Bournemouth had the first half-chance, with a lofted ball in from Diaz finding Cornick at a tight angle, the latter forcing a corner off the legs of Eastleigh shot-stopper Graham Stack.

Mark Yeates was gifted the first real chance for home side after taking the ball down inside the box but a last-ditch tackle from defender Tyler Cordner prevented him from getting a shot away.

A deep swinging corner just over ten minutes from half-time, however, was nodded down and Ayo Obileye reacted fastest to lash in a powerful effort high into the net to give Eastleigh a 1-0 advantage at the break.

Eastleigh brought on Paul McCallum, who notched 4 goals in Friday’s 9-0 victory away at Alton FC, along with impressive trialist Tom Leggett in place of Craig McAllister and Obileye.

The Spitfires also brought on Danny Hollands, Dominic Vose, Ross Stearn, Harvey Read, Sam Togwell and Gavin Hoyte as Hill continues to assess his entire squad ahead of the new National League season.

A second-half largely devoid of chances for either side burst into life twenty minutes from time as McCallum headed narrowly over the bar from Stearn’s lofted corner.

The forward made no mistake two minutes later, however, as Zebroski turned provider for his striker partner with a floated ball that McCallum met with his head and steered past Holmes to double Eastleigh’s advantage.

Zebroski then completed the comfortable performance with ten minutes to play, pouncing on a loose ball inside the Cherries’ box to make it 3-0.

The Spitfires conclude their pre-season preparations with a home tie against Sheffield United before making the short journey to AFC Stoneham next Wednesday.

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Sport Editor at the Wessex Scene. Often found in the racing paddocks of the UK as a freelance national motorsport journalist or PR. Self-titled comedic genius, notorious wearer of Union-branded clothing.

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