Eastleigh's fourth successive defeat - a last gasp 3-2 loss at third placed Chesterfield - has knocked the Spitfires out of the National League play-off positions.

With only two matches left - at home to Solihull Moors on Saturday and away to FA Trophy finalists Halifax Town on April 29 - Eastleigh lie eighth in the league, one place below the final play-off qualifying spot, writes Mike Vimpany.

It's a dramatic change from the situation prior to Easter when they enjoyed a comfortable points lead over Bromley and Southend United.

Hampshire Chronicle:

But an ill-timed losing sequence, triggered by a 2-0 Good Friday defeat at Torquay United, extended by a 3-3 draw with Aldershot Town and magnified by a 5-2 thumping from Gateshead has knocked the promotion bid sideways.

Manager Lee Bradbury demanded a response from his side after the five-goal pasting from Gateshead and got it with two goals in the opening 33 minutes at Chesterfield.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The opener came in the tenth minute when a corner from Michael Kelly bounced around in the box before Kairo Mitchell slammed the ball through a sea of players and into the net.

Soon after, Oscar Rutherford charged down the right before cutting inside, shrugging off two tackles in the process before sending a shot into the hands of goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimonds.

Eastleigh silenced the 6,733 crowd by doubling their lead in the 33rd minute - with Mitchell, once of Chesterfield, having his shot spilled by the 'keeper and Charlie Carter, arguably Spitfires' player of the season, sweeping the ball home.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Needing a win to secure third spot behind Wrexham and Notts County, Chesterfield stepped up the pressure and clawed a goal back through a Ryan Colclough deflected header in the 72nd minute.

Eastleigh defended resolutely' clinging on to their 2-1 lead until a minute from the end of normal time when Colclough equalised.

With virtually the last kick of the match Chesterfield stole the points, substitute Andrew Dallas unleashing a fierce shot past Joe McDonnell for the winner.

"The result was tough to take," said Bradbury. "It was a really tough game but we made a fine start. We spoke at half-time about not letting them back in it, but Chesterfield kept their belief, and had the energy and confidence to go on and win the game."