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EASTLEIGH 0 MAIDSTONE UTD 1

FORMER Burnley and West Ham frontman Zavon Hines condemned Eastleigh to their first home defeat of the National League season tonight.

Two minutes after leaving the woodwork rocking, Hines – a former AFC Bournemouth loanee – struck the 69th-minute killer blow, leaving the Spitfires without a win in five league games, having drawn the previous four.

It was all Eastleigh for the opening five minutes, yet it was home 'keeper Graham Stack called into action first, smartly turning away a shot by ex-Basingstoke frontman Delano Sam-Yorke.

Relief turned to high expectation on eight minutes when Eastleigh’s experienced new arrival Gary McSheffrey was brought down on the right edge of the area by Reece Prestedge and referee Alan Young pointed to the spot.

Ayo Obileye grabbed the ball to take it but, after consultation with the linesman, it was changed to a free-kick and McSheffrey’s drilled delivery was cleared.

The Spitfires were knocking the ball around confidently in swirling wind and rain but Maidstone looked dangerous on the counter and, after Stack had elected to punch a corner clear, big defender Magnus Okuonghae blasted wildly off target.

The Stones' ex-Spitfires favourite Jai Reason was marginally closer with a shot on the turn, though it was never likely to threaten.

Those efforts were trumped by positive runs and shots by Eastleigh bright spark Sam Matthews, but the on-loan Bournemouth midfielder couldn’t quite find his range.

It was decent stuff by Eastleigh but, with top scorer Ben Williamson still injured, they needed a new goal-scoring hero to step up to the plate.

Sam-Yorke’s second half was over almost as soon as it began.

The big striker went to ground under a well-timed tackle from Eastleigh skipper Callum Howe in a vain attempt to win a penalty. He was injured in the process and substituted after treatment, but not before seeing yellow for diving.

McSheffrey had the ball in the net for Eastleigh only to be flagged offside before both teams came within a whisker of scoring.

Maidstone sub Johan Ter Horst bent a shot inches over before Matthews curled one agonisingly wide of Lee Worgan’s left-hand post.

You felt a goal was coming but, alas for Spitfires, it was Maidstone who got it.

Having fired off one warning shot which clattered the upright, Hines produced a near identical effort from the edge of the box that scorched high into net.

Eastleigh gambled by throwing on attacking trio Craig McAllister, Chris Zebroski and Ross Stearn but, with the game getting stretched, it took two fine saves by Stack and near misses from Stuart Lewis and Joe Pigott to spare them further damage.

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Ayo Obileye (Ross Stearn, 80), Michael Green, Danny Hollands, Andrew Boyce, Callum Howe, Mark Yeates (Chris Zebroski, 76), Sam Matthews, Gary McSheffrey, James Constable (Craig McAllister, 76), Cavaghn Miley. Subs: Sam Wood, Ben Strevens.

Referee: Alan Young.

Attendance: 1,820 (159 Maidstone)