EASTLEIGH’S long wait to break into the National League play-off zone is finally over.

Ben Strevens' Spitfires shot up to fifth with a superb 2-0 victory at Salford City this afternoon, catapulting themselves above the Ammies with a controlled and disciplined display.

It was their fifth win on the spin and, yet again, it was a personal triumph for master marksman Paul McCallum who helped himself to a brace for the third game in a row.

The former Leyton Orient targetman, one of several injury doubts in the build-up to the game, has now found the net 21 times this season.

The impressive Joey Jones had a hand in both goals as the Spitfires struck in the 24th and 52nd minutes at the Peninsula Stadium.

After Spitfires’ defender Alex Wynter had had an early header cleared off the line from Mark Yeates’ corner, the visitors were forced onto the back foot by Salford, who were looking to end a barren run of no wins since January 12.

Tom Walker was instrumental for The Ammies early on, flashing a dangerous delivery across the goal face, heading an effort over and then picking out skipper Liam Hogan, whose effort also cleared the bar.

But, having absorbed that spell of pressure, it was Eastleigh who seized the lead with McCallum’s fifth goal in three games.

Yeates’s corner was only half cleared and ex-Woking man Jones did superbly to retrieve the ball and cross into the centre of the six-yard box where the spring-heeled McCallum climbed high to net a trademark towering header.

More good work by Jones on 30 minutes picked out Yeates whose 18-yard strike was well saved by Salford No1 Chris Neal.

The game was being played at a breathless pace and, two minutes later, it was Eastleigh keeper Luke Southwood who took centre-stage with a smart stop from Matt Green after the Spitfires had been undone by a ball down the middle.

The Ammies began the second half positively and soon found the back of the net, but on-loan Reading stopper Southwood was deemed to have been pushed by Green as he dropped the ball over his line.

And any hope Salford had of getting themselves back on terms was sunk as the mighty McCallum struck again.

A beautifully worked goal it was too with Jones dribbling out of his own area and brushing off two challenges on his way down the pitch.

Having laid a pass off, he then continued his run before receiving the ball back from Josh Hare and teeing up the onrushing McCALLUM to bury for 2-0.

Salford’s Rory Gaffney volleyed over from ten yards before Yeates was only about a foot away from making it 3-0 with a curling effort just past the post.

The Ammies responded with a couple of substitutions and Eastleigh were briefly pressured again as Danny Whitehead fired wide from range and Walker appealed in vain for a penalty.

But the Spitfires remained strong and organised and took the sting out of the game with three late substitutions – Jack McKnight for McCallum, Ollie Dennett for Yeates and Tom Bearwish for Oscar Gobern.

Eastleigh: Luke Southwood, Josh Hare, Michael Green, Andrew Boyce, Alex Wynter, Joey Jones, Oscar Gobern (Tom Bearwish, 90), Danny Hollands, Paul McCallum (Jack McKnight, 86), Chris Zebroski, Mark Yeates (Ollie Dennett, 90). Subs (not used): Callum Baughan, Lewis Harvey. 

Referee: Joe Hull.

Attendance: 2,329.