When Matthew Le Tissier made his first competitive Saints start as a 17-year-old in 1986 he found himself up against his boyhood idol Glenn Hoddle.

But on his Eastleigh debut in the Hampshire Senior Cup it was his new teammates and the players of Newport IOW who were privileged to be on the same pitch as a footballing deity - and he didn't disappoint.

His touch and vision helped to illuminate a dank evening for an hour before he and former Saints teammate David Hughes, the Eastleigh assistant manager, were substituted.

Wearing the Eastleigh number seven, the shirt number that became synonymous with his 16-year Saints career, Le Tiss played just behind two-goal Robbie Matthews, a 19-year-old target man who is attracting interest from Portsmouth.

Rarely did the 34-year-old break into anything more than an amble but his know-how was enough to help him find the space he needed, even if the standard was higher than he had expected.

The Channel Islander's expertise from dead-ball situations was best highlighted with his first significant touch, a right-footed free-kick delivered with whip, pace and bend that grazed the Newport bar from the left corner of the penalty area.

Newport custodian Joe McCormack managed a touch but, although that was as close as Le Tissier came to scoring, he was fully involved during his first run out since playing in a pre-season friendly against Bashley.

Le Tissier's glory years might be behind him but it was his strike partner, a 6ft 3 in hod carrier, who showed why his best days are ahead of him with a crisp finish to give Eastleigh the lead on 15 minutes.

Matthews converted Christer Warren's cross from the left with the outside of his right foot at the near post to give Eastleigh the lead against a Newport IOW side who arrived at Ten Acres bottom of the Dr Martens Eastern Division.

The Islanders might be in a higher division but Wessex League leaders Eastleigh continued to justify their status as pre-match favourites and Matthews again showed that he offers more than just a physical presence on 25 minutes.

His cross from the right was bundled past McCormack by Newport's Pete Tagg for an own goal that came within a minute of Le Tissier's attempted sliding tackle on the centre back.

Ten minutes into the second half Matthews grabbed his second and Eastleigh's third with a left-footed strike that trickled through a packed defence and into the bottom corner after several shots had been blocked.

Matthews could have had a hat-trick if he had hit the target with a free header from a Warren cross in the first half.

It was hardly a costly miss. Newport's passage into the third round of the Hampshire Senior Cup had already been assured but the crowd still wanted a Le Tissier goal - and so did Eastleigh boss Paul Doswell. "Let him have a go," shouted Doswell when the home side were awarded a free- kick from 35 yards out on the hour.

Le Tissier obliged, stinging the hands of McCormack, before walking off to warm applause.

Only the 83rd-minute sending off of Martin Beck for a two-footed lunge on Leigh Cole tarnished a memorable night at Ten Acres.