Eastleigh meekly brushed aside in National League before huge FA Cup replay.

Jack Bridge’s second half penalty was the difference as a Southend swiftly sailed to victory at the Silverlake Stadium against a lacklustre Spitfires side.

Southend started the brighter, dominating possession and getting the shots off early in the game, striker Noor Husin tried his luck from 25-yards out which Joe McDonnell clawed away.

The visitors are made of stern stuff, they started the season with minus ten points, after financial problems, so don’t mind a battle. In the opening exchanges of the match, Kevin Maher’s side instantly had three glorious chances to take the lead. 

The first came after a sloppy back pass by Solomon Nwabuokei which left Marcus Dackers only needing to people the Spitfires’ shot stopper, Joe McDonnell, but he was unable to convert after trying to round the goalkeeper.

The second chance came when Husin poked an effort from an acute angle which flew wide of the post whilst the third opportunity didn’t squeeze in after inspired work by McDonnell and his stubborn defenders. 

Eastleigh struggled to get a foot hold in the game but an opportunity presented itself when Chris Maguire’s deflected free-kick found the league’s highest goal scorer, Paul McCallum, as he tried a spectacular over-head kick which whistled wide. 

A player who knows a thing or two about jaw-dropping goals is Alejandro Garnacho, his Manchester United side could be the visitors at the Silverlake Stadium soon, in the FA Cup, but that’s another story. 

Eastleigh manager Richard Hill made his first substitute of the game as Scott Quigley was replaced by Nigel Atangana, as the midfielder was rested for the third round FA Cup replay against Newport County on Tuesday. 

Southend started the second period as they started the first, fiercely and dominant, and were awarded a penalty after Nwabuokei fouled Cav Miley, following a scramble in the penalty area. 

Jack Bridge stepped up and coolly slotted home from 12 yards as he netted his sixth goal of the season whilst giving Southend a deserved lead. 

Eastleigh nearly struck with an instant replay, but Maguire just couldn’t find his feet and finish as the ball evaded him after the ball pin balled in the visitor’s penalty area. 

A home supporter brough a mug and a flask of tea, a fantastic idea on a freezing day, the football on show however was less appealing and uninspiring. 

Sea of yellow shirts kept bombing into the Eastleigh half and penalty area as Ollie Kensdale clattered the crossbar from only several yards out and the goal at his mercy. 

Eastleigh had to settle for their best effort at goal coming from 30-yards out and the ball thumping the top of the stand well over Collin Andeng-Ndi’s goal.

Hill gave Bridge a nod of appreciation as the match winner strolled around the pitch after being taken over, a good day at the office for him and his Essex team.

However, Hill won’t be giving his team such a warm embrace when they return to the changing room after a lifeless and poor showing. 

The Spitfires will be hoping for a change in fortunes and displays as Newport County come to the Silverlake on Tuesday for their Third Round FA Cup replay, the winners will be rewarded with a home tie against Manchester United.