EASTLEIGH warmed up for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at home to League Two Crewe Alexandra with a fourth successive victory at the Silverlake - thanks to three goals in ten first-half minutes.

A Scott Rendell penalty gave the Spitfires a 26th-minute lead following a handball.

Captain Danny Hollands soon doubled it with a powerful strike from inside the area and it was 3-0 when a Joe Partington cross was deflected in by a defender in the 36th minute.

But the mood was dampened at the Silverlake by the sight of Reda Johnson limping off 34 minutes into his third game since coming back from injury,

Saints loanee Marcus Barnes was denied a fourth in a one-on-one with Lucas Covolan, having been tackled as he bore dow on goal in the 17th minute.

Frantic defending ensured Eastleigh led 3-0 at half-time but Torquay pulled a goal back in the 46th minute with a far-post header from Ruairi Keating.

Two minutes later, Jake Andrews made it 3-2

Keating went close to a 60th-minute equaliser with another header, which Eastleigh goalkeeper Max Stryjek tipped over.

Andrews sent a curler narrowly wide, while at the other end a great run from Charlie Seaman set up Rendell, who drove just wide.

Assistant manager Jason Bristow said: “We were far from our best but it’s a big, big three points after a long journey on Saturday. We were well worth a point at Halifax and to back it up with three points at home to a Torquay side that was going for us is a big result for us.

Hollands said: “It was a very mixed performance.

“We didn’t start great but got 3-0 up and then made things tough for ourselves, before showing good character.

“It was pleasing to get the three points but the manner of the performance was disappointing.”

EASTLEIGH: Stryjek, Partington, Atkinson, Johnson (Bearwish 30), Payne, Rendell, Smart, Miley, Hollands, Seaman, Barnes (Barnett 72).

Unused subs: Flitney, Scorey, Beale

Attendance: 1,888 (166 away)