Jai Reason scored his second hat-trick of the season in a 6-0 win against rock-bottom Dorchester that took Eastleigh a step nearer the Conference – as Pompey slipped nearer the League Two trapdoor.
Bromley’s defeat at Staines Town means the Spitfires are two points clear at the top with two games in hand on their main rivals, who have just seven games left – including a visit from the Spitfires in a fortnight’s time.
Meanwhile, Pompey’s 3-0 defeat at League Two leaders Rochdale means they are just a point clear of the drop zone into the Conference. Like most of his teammates, Reason was outstanding last night, scoring twice in the first half before completing his treble ten minutes from time.
He reacted quickest in the penalty area when Ben Wright’s shot was saved by Alan Walker-Harris to give the Spitfires a 16th -minute lead.
And it was from Reason’s corner that Chris Todd doubled the lead a minute later, heading home at the near post.
Wright fired the third into the far corner after rounding Sam Lanahan in the 41st minute.
Then Reason had a shot saved before curling a wonderful second goal into the top corner to give Eastleigh a 4-0 half-time lead.
Charlie Losasso’s crosses from the left were the only real threat to Eastleigh in the first half and goalkeeper Ross Flitney had little else to deal before saving from Elliott Chamberlain late on. Reason must have thought he had scored his third in the 70th minute, only to see his powerful 18-yarder thud back off the inside of a post.
But in the 80th-minute he completed his hat-trick with a cleverly executed tap-in from substitute Yemi Odubade’s cross.
It was Odubade who completed the scoring with an emphatic swivel volley on a night that saw two players make their Eastleigh debuts; left-sided forward Dan Wishart, a loan signing from Alfreton, and 17 year-old left-back Jack Masterton.
The only disappointment for Eastleigh was a crowd of just 544, but the win was the biggest of manager Richard Hill’s 18 months at the Silverlake.
He said: “It was up there with some of our free-flowing performances at the end of last season but we had a 25-minute spell where I wasn’t totally happy.”