EASTLEIGH remain unbeaten under new manager Andy Hessenthaler but will be kicking themselves for not making it a festive full house.

Two more points disappeared down the drain at a rain-soaked Silverlake Stadium this afternoon as ten-man Torquay United held out for a 1-1 Vanarama National League draw.

Buoyed by an excellent 2-1 result at high-riding Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, here was the chance for the Spitfires to kick-start their stuttering season with a long overdue two league wins on the bounce.

But, not for the first time, a 2,092 crowd went away pondering on what might have been from this frustratingly inconsistent Eastleigh side.

Having struck the bar with a Paul McCallum header from a corner on 29 minutes, the Spitfires survived a late first-half flurry of pressure from the relegation-battling Gulls - keeper Graham Stack twice repelling free-kicks from Luke Young.

But within a minute of the restart Torquay were awarded a penalty for a foul on Ruairi Keating and, this time, Stack was beaten as Jamie Reid coolly planted the spot-kick to the keeper's left.

Keating so nearly made it 2-0 with a header before the complexion of the game changed with the 64th-minute dismissal of Torquay’s George Dowling.

Having picked up a yellow card ten minutes earlier, the on-loan Bristol City man was punished again for a foul on Sam Wood, pushing his side onto the back foot.

Torquay somehow survived a major scare on 66 minutes, scrambling the ball off the line amid mayhem in the box.

Eastleigh kept pushing and finally got their reward seven minutes later when, following good work by Chris Zebroski, Jersey boy Cav Miley produced a composed finish from just inside the area for 1-1.

A succession of corners followed from substitute Mark Yeates but, as much as Eastleigh huffed and puffed, they couldn’t blow the Torquay house down.

Having punched away Yeates’ dangerous corner in stoppage time, Gulls keeper Vincent Dorel breathed a sigh of relief as Danny Hollands’ effort went over and then he saved at the second attempt from sub James Constable.

The draw leaves Eastleigh 17th in the table heading into another home game on Saturday against Woking (3pm).