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McMahon: We mustn't feel too down after Dover defeat
SKIPPER Daryl McMahon insists Eastleigh shouldn’t be too downhearted in the wake of Saturday’s Blue Square Bet South 3-1 defeat at home to Dover Athletic.
The Spitfires were physically overpowered by the visitors in a costly last 25 minutes of the first half as Dover bulldozed their way from 1-0 down into a 2-1 lead.
The home side’s finesse shone through in a one-sided second half, but the woodwork twice denied them before they were cruelly floored by a sucker punch with three minutes of normal time to play.
McMahon who, along with Moses Ademola, had the crossbar rocking in the second half said: “I never thought it wasn’t going to be our day even when we hit the bar a couple of times. I don’t think like that. I always think that if you keep knocking on the door, it will fall for you.
“It didn’t today, but we shouldn’t be too downhearted about it. We battered Dover in the second half. We had the whole of play and they were dead and buried. If we’d got a goal, I’m sure we would have gone on and won it.
“We finished the first half poorly and that’s what cost us. But we’ve got to ignore this result because we’re doing a lot of things right as a team and as a club.
“We’ll roll on to Tuesday at Dorchester and go again.”
In a match billed as “the battle of the big spenders”, it was Eastleigh, the 4-1 pre-season title favourites, who drew first blood through Craig McAllister against a Dover side ranked 9/2 second favourites by league sponsors Blue Square.
Eastleigh boss Ian Baird summed up: “We started well, but then we seemed to fall into their trap of going direct and long.
“Dover have brought in four or five extremely experienced players and we didn’t cope with them in the last 25 minutes of the first half. I’m not very happy with how we dealt with their physicality today.
“But, saying that, the lads deserve massive credit for playing tremendously well in the second half.
“You can blame defenders, but it was lack of cutting edge as a team that cost us. We made chances and didn’t take them.
“People have made a big thing out of the players we’ve signed and the money we’ve spent, but if you look at Dover from numbers one to 21 they’ve got a lot of experience – and they’re spending a lot of money. They’re a good side and it was a tough game.”