EASTLEIGH wrapped up their pre-season campaign by running League Two outfit Northampton Town close at the Silverlake Stadium tonight.
Richard Hill’s Vanarama Conference new boys were narrowly beaten 1-0, losing to an eighth-minute John-Joe O’Toole goal.
Ironically Northampton's breakaway winner was set up by Cobblers’ trialist Lawson D’Ath, who had featured for Eastleigh earlier in pre-season. The 21-year-old ex-Reading man pulled the ball back for O’Toole, who slotted home from ten yards.
D’Ath had already hit the woodwork by then – his low, inswinging cross evading everybody, including Eastleigh keeper Ross Flitney, and striking the base of the far post.
Northampton, managed by ex-Saint Chris Wilder, were good value for their win, although goalkeeper Matt Duke bailed them out on a couple of occasions.
Pick of his heroics came on 23 minutes when he touched over Stuart Fleetwood’s dipping volley, diverting it away from the top corner.
Eastleigh: Flitney, Spence, Green, Reid, Beckwith (Evans, 46), Odubade (Stanley, 52), Reason, Strevens, Constable, Midson (Wright, 52), Fleetwood. Subs not used: McAllister, Todd, Smith, Lee, Weeks Cobblers: Duke, Alfei, Robertson, Diamond (Tozer, 62), Collins, D’Ath, Boucard, Robinson, Mohamed (Sinclair, 62), O’Toole (Nicholls, 62), Toney (Moyo, 62). Subs not used: Snedker, Carter, Richards, Hackett, Ravenhill, Roberts, Warburton, Jackson.