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Match Report: Gateshead FC 1-1 Eastleigh FC

A last minute Luke Hannant pressure penalty sent both teams home with a point in a frustrating match for the home side.

After a dull first half, Enzio Boldewijn put The Spitfires ahead with a long range strike before a last minute Hannant penalty found its way into the back of the net.

Possessing a game in hand, a win for Gateshead would have seen them catapult further up the play off spots against an Eastleigh side without top scorer Paul Mcallum and chasing their first win in five league matches. Loanee Kieron Evans would make his first start for The Heed with Harrison Bond between the sticks in replacement of Eddie Beach due to illness.

The first half started quiet with Gateshsead struggling to break down an Eastleigh team that had opted to sit back. The first chance came in the 21st minute when Connor McBride played Kenton Richardson on the overlap, his shot from close range would slam off the underside of the bar before being dealt with by the Eastleigh defence.

Eastleigh looked to threaten on the break in the 24th minute when Boldewijn, storming down the right side of the pitch, unleashed a shot that sailed over the bar.

Another close chance for The Tynesiders came in the 43rd minute when Mamadou Jobe’s header hit the crossbar from an Ed Francis in-swinging corner.

Just before the half-time whistle in a chaotic few seconds which included a close range stop from the keeper Joe McDonnell, the ball found its way to McBride whose header was well blocked by Eastleigh’s George Langston as the ball bounced off the crossbar for a corner.

Four minutes into the second half Callum Whelan looked to test the keeper outside the box, his low shot taking a deflection before narrowly missing the target.

Eastleigh shocked the home crowd in the 54th when Boldewijn capitalised on a loose ball outside the box and unleashed a fantastic curling strike that nestled itself into Bond’s top right corner.

Following the goal Rob Elliot turned to his bench, Richardson making way for Dajune Brown and Mcbride later coming off for Ben Worman. 

Both subs combined as Brown nearly equalised for Gateshead following a Worman cross after a sliding shot, Mcdonnel got low to deny. Following the chance, Kain Adom came on for Luis storey.

Eastleigh continued to show strong defensive play to leave the increasingly desperate home side still chasing an equaliser, Marcus Dinanga with his back facing the goal, turned into the box and unleashed a low strike that was stopped by McDonnell.

With the five minutes of added time coming to an end, an Eastleigh player handled the ball inside the box following a set-piece, with the penalty being given up stepped Hannant who calmly slotted the ball into the right hand side of the goal to tie the match up and sending both teams home sharing a point.