A YOUTHFUL Spitfires side were gunned down at the Silverlake stadium by Farnborough in the Hampshire Senior Cup final.

Eastleigh looked to have salvaged the tie after heading into the final 10 minutes 2-0 down, but goals from Lyle Simpson and Tom Bragg were for naught as Farnborough went on to win 4-1 on penalties.

Back-up goalkeeper Ross Flitney was handed a rare start, with the 37-year-old offering Spitfires some much needed experience in a side made-up almost entirely of academy players.

First-team regular Sam Smart also started, but the majority of the side were either on the fringes of the first-team squad or dual registered with local Wessex League sides.

With one eye on a potential title decider with Hayes & Yeading on Saturday, Farnborough followed Eastleigh’s lead and also used the cup final as an opportunity to play a younger side.

Neither side truly controlled proceedings, with the opener arriving after 20 minutes of action.

Wing-back Selim Saied was on hand to poke home in a crowded box after his wing-back partner Terrell Egbri’s cross was not cleared by Eastleigh.

Before the close of the half, Smart had two chances thwarted by Watford loanee Dante Baptiste in the Boro goal.

Smart’s mazy run allowed the midfielder to pull the trigger from close range, but Baptiste was equal to the effort.

Shortly after, a misplaced pass from Mark Nisbet allowed Smart another opportunity, but the angle was too tight for the 23-year-old to beat Baptiste.

Proceedings continued in an end-to-end fashion, but goals were still at a premium as the game headed towards the final whistle.

Farnborough eventually found a second in the 75th minute, with Mitchell Parker keeping his cool to slot past Flitney one-on-one.

However, any chance of a comfortable finish for Boro was quickly vanished when Eastleigh were awarded a penalty four minute later.

Simpson stepped up to convert the spot-kick, before the Spitfires equalised via another set-piece.

Bragg was unmarked at a free-kick, meaning the defender found it too easy to tap home Cade Dyer’s cross.

The equaliser sent the tie to penalties, but despite being unable to see the job out in normal time, Farnborough eventually proved victorious in the shootout.

Eastleigh: Flitney, Torniainen (Burgess, 66), Dyer, Mann (Ebejer, 73), Bragg, Willson, Smart (Simpson, 66), Taylor, Smith, Yang, Munn

Unused Subs: Edwards, Philpott