Macclesfield Town missed the opportunity to go back top of the National League following a 2-1 defeat to Eastleigh on Saturday afternoon.
The Silkmen started the game slowly, and though Danny Whitehead’s late goal gave them a chance, the home side were left regretting minor errors which lead to two goals from Mark Yeates.
Danny Whitehead went down on the ten-minute mark after contesting the keeper for a loose ball. The referee was slow to react, but despite the protests of the Macclesfield players, nothing was given.
With Macclesfield still settling into the game, Eastleigh unleashed an onslaught of pressure. From the 17th to the 27th minute they managed six corner kicks, but failed to capitalise on any, much to the fortune of the home side.
With much of the first-half played in second gear, the breakthrough looked to be coming in the 42nd minute when Ryan Lloyd slid Scott Wilson through on goal. Wilson’s first touch was good and he had plenty of time, but he was forced too wide as he rounded the opposition keeper and his shot from a tight angle was cleared off the line.
Only a minute or so later the ball travelled the length of the entire box to find Durrell open at the back stick with acres of space, but Flitney was out quick to prevent him from opening the scoring.
With the resulting corner cleared Macclesfield keeper Shwan Jalal came out to claim the ball, but a miss communication between him and Hodgkiss saw the ball played straight to the feet of Yeates, who pounced on the chance to bag in an open goal from 20 yards.
The Silkmen came out for the second-half looking determined and direct but the wind was quickly taken out of their sails as Mark Yeates grabbed his second of the match.
Pilkington found himself in a three on one situation and covered the options well while forcing Yeates out wide, but the Eastleigh man was in fine form and fired across the keeper from an acute angle to double the score.
Scott Wilson thought he’d hit back almost immediately as he found the back of the net from a squared ball, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The majority of the remainder of the second-half was all Macclesfield. Scott Wilson found himself in good positions numerous times in the box but was unable to find the net.
With added time approaching, Danny Whitehead gave the Silkmen a chance with a long range drive which flew past Ross Flitney.
It wasn’t meant to be for the hosts though, as the clock ran down and Eastleigh saw out the result.
Macclesfield: Jalal, Hodgkiss (c), Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington, Durrell, Wilson, Lloyd, Hancox, Whitehead, Whitaker.
Subs: Ramsbottom, Marsh, Baba, Burgess, Arthur
Eastleigh: Flitney, Johnson, Cresswell (c), Constable, Yeates, Hollands, Boyce, Miley, Williamson, Howe, Mcsheffrey
Subs: Zebroski, Stevens, Obileye, McAllister, Dennett
By Adam Washbrook