Ludwig Francillette and Paul McCallum scored with headers either side of half-time as Eastleigh ground out a 2-1 win which lifts them to within touching distance of a National League play-off place.

But they had to repel some late pressure from Dorking, who enjoyed their best period of an undistinguished affair after substitute Seb Bowerman clawed a goal back with eight minutes remaining, writes Mike Vimpany.

The victory moved Eastleigh level on 36 points with seventh-placed AFC Halifax, a tally shared by Aldershot Town. The Hampshire pair trail the Shaymen on goal difference.

Dorking, uncomfortably only one point off the danger zone, have well chronicled injury problems, but the absence of Scott Quigley, Paul McCallum's strike partner in Eastleigh's attack was hugely significant for the hosts.

Reflecting on Quigley's abence, Spitfires manger Richard Hill said: "I've had to deal with a major disruption this week and everyone could see what that was. 

"We were missing a main component of our attacking force and had only a short time on the training ground to deal with Scott's absence and to try and find another attacking threat to go out and win a football match. The fact that we did was very pleasing.

"It really was a case of having to grind out a result."

With Eastleigh struggling to adapt and the game flow interrupted by a succession of fouls, it was Dorking who made the brighter start with Niall McManus having a shot blocked and Luke Moore firing into the side netting.

Eastleigh gradually worked their way into the game and after some neat build up play by McCallum, Dorking goalkeeper Harrison Male had to rush out from between his posts and save at Bailey Clements' feet.

Soon after, the lively Aidan Barlow fed Chris Magure, but the Scottish midfielder's shot was well off target.

A minute before half-time Eastleigh took the lead from a trademark set-piece, one Dorking should have dealt far better with.

McCallum won a free kick which Maguire invitingly floated onto the head of the unmarked Ludwig Francillette. Dorking's defence had gone AWOL.

Eastleigh doubled their lead near the hour mark, with Maguire again the creator, setting Barlow up for the run to the right-hand byline.  McCallum applied the final touch for his 22nd goal of the season.

The introduction of ex-Spitfire wideman Tom Blair and Harry Ottaway from the bench sparked life into Dorking, while at the other end Ryan Clampin spurned a gilt-edged chance to wrap up the points for Eastleigh.

Dorking responded with a fine goal by Seb Bowerman, set up by Blair, but Eastleigh weathered late pressure to clinch a seventh home Silverlake Stadium win.