Eastleigh manager Richard Hill was “pleased” for James Constable after the striker scored his first goals for the Spitfires in a 3-1 home victory against Welling in the Conference Premier yesterday.
The 29-year-old bullish frontman, who arrived from Oxford United in the summer, scored his first ever goal for the club on 25 minutes to level the match – tapping home from close range after Jai Reason’s free kick bounced into his path off the post, writes PETER HOWARD.
And Constable powerfully headed home at the start of the second half to make the score 2-1 after Malachi Hudson put the 2012/13 Conference South champions ahead on 22 minutes.
Will Evans, who provided the assist for Constable’s second, then bagged one himself on 89 minutes.
The versatile 22-year-old, operating at right back in Dan Spence’s absence, went on a marauding run down the right and into the box. He skipped past the defence – leaving Jake Gallagher on the floor – before he nailed home into the roof of the net.
Another standout Spitfire was keeper Ross Flitney, who denied the Kent club with several high-class saves.
The Spitfires now have ten points from their opening five matches and sit fourth in the Conference table.
“I thought we made hard work of it,” said Hill.
“It was on the cards that we were going to concede.
“But it showed in the experiences of last season that you just have to keep grinding away and take your chances.
“It took 65 or 70 minutes for the game to open up a little bit, and we were able to move the ball round a bit quicker.
“I was a disappointed we didn’t move the ball better in the first half-an-hour.”
It was the second time this season that Eastleigh had come from behind to claim points after they did it in the 2-2 draw with Gateshead in their previous home game.
Hill was keen to point out the importance of never giving up.
“We have to keep going to work, even in adversity,” he said. “Not every day is going to be great.
“If you want to be successful or want to win something, I believe you’ve got to keep going to work and when you’re faced with adversity you’ve got work even harder.”
Hill was happy for Constable, who scored his first goals in his fifth appearance this season.
“I’m pleased for him,” said Hill.
“He’s been getting anxious and snatching at things.
“It’s reward for his persistence. He’s been facing adversity in the first four games – he hasn’t scored so he keeps working hard.
“He gets a nice little tap-in, the keeper made a good save from Reason but Constable stayed bright.
“He could have sulked, he could have gone into himself, but he didn’t - he stayed bright.”
Hill made one change to the team that started the 2-1 defeat at Dover on Saturday, with Spence dropping out due to injury. Injured captain Dean Beckwith and Craig Stanley were also out, while Michael Green served his second of a three game suspension.
Matt Fry made his home debut after his move last week.
The opening phases saw the visitors press Eastleigh well. The Spitfires conceded a number of free kicks in their half and The Wings looked the more likely to take the lead.
And on 22 minute they got the opener. Kieron St Aimie used his muscular build to hold off the tackles of Chris Todd and Paul Reid in the box, setting up Hudson who took one touch to set himself before curling a left footed shot into the goal.
It didn’t take long for Eastleigh to level. Three minutes in fact.
Reason curled in a free kick that hit the post. Welling stopper, Lee Butcher, had already dived to save and left the goal open for Constable to net.
Eastleigh carried their momentum into second half and were ahead on just 47 minutes.
Evans swung in from just past the halfway line from the right and Constable – Oxford United’s leading marksman for the past six seasons – produced a powerful header into the right of the goal.
Hill’s side never looked back and scored their third late on as Evans fired into the roof of the goal after a bombing run.
Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Jamie Collins - booked, Chris Todd, James Constable (Craig McAllister 76), Jai Reason, Jack Midson (Ben Wright 79), Stuart Fleetwood, Ben Strevens (c), Will Evans, Paul Reid, Matt Fry. Unused subs: Yemi Odubade, Jack Smith, Lewis Noice.
Ref: Colin Lymer. Att: 953