AFC Fylde 4 Eastleigh 2.

EASTLEIGH frittered away a two-goal lead at AFC Fylde this afternoon as they slumped to back-to-back National League defeats for the first time since September.

The Spitfires’ play-off fate is still in their own hands with five games remaining.

But conceding seven goals in five days – following a 3-0 midweek home defeat by Barnet – will be a source of concern heading into Tuesday’s trip to title-chasing Leyton Orient, who have been overtaken by Salford City at the summit.

Just as against Barnet, Eastleigh got off to a storming start in this fifth-versus-seventh clash at Mill Farm - and, this time, they had the goals to show for their efforts as they led 2-0 with just a quarter of an hour gone.

Defender Alex Wynter bagged the first on ten minutes, heading in his fourth of the season from Josh Hare’s delivery.

And then, just five minutes later, Eastleigh’s other wing-back Michael Green sent in a terrific cross from the left which was met by a trademark bullet header from top scorer Paul McCallum.

It took McCallum’s tally to 23 and he could have had another after Dan Bradley had pulled Fylde back into it with a free header from a corner on 19 minutes.

But, having blatantly pushed McCallum inside the box with 40 minutes gone, Coasters’ keeper Jay Lynch instantly atoned for his error, diving to his left to keep out McCallum’s spot kick.

Eastleigh sent on Joey Jones for the injured Oscar Gobern after the break, but it was all Fylde at the start of the second half and it came as no great surprise when the hosts pulled level with just five minutes played.

Once again it was a headed goal from a set-piece with Jordan Tunnicliffe afforded way too much time and space to get on the end of Nick Haughton’s free-kick.

On 58 minutes, Lynch frustrated McCallum once again as the Eastleigh targetman met Hare’s cross with a downward header.

But Fylde were in control and, on 67 minutes, Haughton put the FA Trophy finalists in front with his first league goal for the Lancashire club.

Just for a change, it came from boot rather than head, with the Haughton picking up the ball 20 yards out and taking one touch to open up space before rifling into the bottom corner.

Eastleigh hoped the inventiveness of Sam Matthews, on in place of Ben Williamson, might turn the tide back their way and the substitute did clatter the crossbar from the edge of the box with 87 minutes on the clock.

But, by then, the Spitfires were 4-2 in arrears after Alex Reid had chested down a 77th-minute Danny Rowe flick and slammed the ball into the top corner.

Eastleigh’s third substitute Chris Zebroski drew a decent stop by Lynch on 82 minutes as the visitors tried everything they could to get back into the game.

But, as the final whistle sounded, the Spitfires were left wondering how on earth they had let such a position of first-half authority slip from their grasp.

Eastleigh: Luke Southwood, Josh Hare, Michael Green, Alex Wynter, Shaun Hobson (Chris Zebroski, 78), Andrew Boyce, Oscar Gobern (Joey Jones, 46), Cav Miley, Paul McCallum, Ben Williamson (Sam Matthews, 68), Mark Yeates. Subs (not used): Jack McKnight, Ollie Dennett.

Referee: David Richardson

Attendance: 1,525