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Hughes injury mars Eastleigh win
CRAIG McAllister scored against his old club to set Eastleigh up for a 2-0 friendly win over Oxford United last night.
With less than two weeks to go before the big Blue Square Bet South kick-off at Boreham Wood, the Spitfires were good value for victory in their first home friendly of the pre-season campaign.
Watched by a crowd of just 290 at the Silverlake, Eastleigh created a host of first- half openings and eventually got the better of Oxford’s former Salisbury City keeper Ryan Clarke with 41 minutes gone.
Marvin Williams showed a good turn of speed to latch onto Michael Green’s throughball and McAllister finished off with a left-foot strike.
Oxford, who took another look at former Southampton academy defender Ryan Tafazoli, rarely troubled home keeper Jack Dovey in the first half.
And it was much the same story after the break with Eastleigh again enjoying the bulk of the chances, although Jon-Paul Pittman did send one powerfully struck effort just over for the visitors.
The Spitfires went close on 64 minutes when Daryl McMahon played in Jai Reason who struck the foot of the post and Williams blazed the rebound over.
But Reason was not to be denied. With just a minute of normal time remaining, McMahon crossed from the left and the prolific former Braintree midfielder turned home his fifth goal in six pre-season games.
The one dampener on Eastleigh’s night was an injury to new midfielder Mark Hughes. The ex-Barnet man fell victim to a bad tackle in the opening minutes and eventually limped off around the half-hour mark with a suspected broken toe.
Already sidelined are Adam Everitt, who is awaiting the results of an x-ray after damaging his arm in training, and Gary Elphick, who has heavily bruised ribs.
Summing up the Oxford game, manager Ian Baird said: “We missed at least seven good chances – and I mean good ones – but the pleasing thing is that we won and kept our first clean sheet.
“But Mark Hughes’s injury is disappointing to say the least. I’d imagine he, Adam and Gary are doubtful for the start of the season."