Despite their dominance Eastleigh’s unbeaten home record in the Vanarama Conference ended after a 2-0 defeat to a feisty Altrincham side at the Silverlake Stadium this afternoon.

The Spitfires went down to ten men with 20 minutes remaining after Michael Green was shown a second yellow and dropped out the play-offs after Kidderminster’s win at Dartford.

The Stoneham Lane side still have games in hand against the teams around them but after 13 games they were finally between by an in-form Robins side.

Jack Midson’s own goal just before the half and a glorious late free-kick by Alty skipper Shaun Densmore ended a run of four games without defeat.

Joe Partington, who looked safe and calm at the back throughout despite losing, made his debut after his loan move from AFC Bournemouth, coming in for Will Evans at centre back. Brian Howard, the former Saints trainee, started on the bench – coming on just past the hour but failed to have an impact.

Altrincham, who have been hovering around lower mid-table, had won two of the last three. Those victories came against Chester and they took momentum into this one.

Eastleigh, on the other hand, had climbed into the top five in the last few weeks after a series of good results.

Spitfires, the second highest scorers in the division, were in the driving seat for much of the first half – having 66 per cent possession and hitting six shots to Alty’s three.

The home side played in a number of dangerous crosses and were able to maintain possession in the final third well – Craig McAllister and James Constable both had shots at goal, but the visitors’ goal was unaffected by their efforts.

Unfortunately for Hill’s men, The Robins, who were mostly restricted to attacking on the break, took an unlikely lead with eight minutes left of the half.

Ryan Crowther hit, what looked like, a fairly innocuous corner from the left, and that should have been easily cleared by Eastleigh.

However, the usually prolific striker at the other end Midson, spooned his attempted near-post clearance past the helpless Ross Flitney and into the net with his right foot.

The former AFC Wimbledon man then attempted to atone for his mistake at the other end but Alty stopper Stuart Coburn palmed away.

As the half closed out Eastleigh continued their pressure but went into the interval a goal down due to that anomaly in proceedings.

And the Spitfires had their play-off spot and home record to protect and instantly imposed themselves at the beginning of the second 45.

From a Green corner Partington headed back across goal to Midson, who fired at goal. His shot was blocked. Altrincham were proving difficult to break down.

At other corner there was an altercation between Paul Reid and Coburn, both picking up a booking for their troubles.

Midson looked eager to make up for his earlier mistake and was working hard. Another corner saw Partington hit at goal, only for it be cleared away. Reason then darted to the edge of the box and shot at goal. It looked to be goal-bound but Marshall bravely blocked with his head.

Eastleigh were full-on piling the pressure on and as the hour-mark approached Hill introduced former Reading star Howard and Evans for Stanley and Dan Spence respectively.

Eastleigh’s task of coming back, something they’ve done on five occasions this season, became even harder when Green was shown a second yellow for pulling back Reeves as he looked to break through.

They were then consigned to their first home defeat as Densmore curled a excellent free kick from the edge of the box into the top right of the net past the outstretched arm of Flitney on 86 minutes.

ATT: 1204

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Dan Spence (Will Evans 62), Michael Green, Craig Stanley (Brian Howard 62), James Constable, Jai Reason, Craig McAllister, Jack Midson (Yemi Odubade 77), Ben Strevens, Joe Partington, Paul Reid (c). Subs not used: Chris Todd , Lewis Noice.