TORQUAY United were in Bank Holiday Monday action as we headed to Eastleigh.
It was United who launched the first raid on goal when a cross from Dan Butler within the opening couple of minutes was scrambled clear at the near post.
Our hosts managed to get their noses in front with their first raid on goal in the fourth minute as Harding pulled the ball back into the path of Odubade who had the simple task of guiding the ball home from close range.
It was a blow, but United refused to let our heads drop and a pacy break from Joe Quigley gave Eastleigh cause for concern as we forced a corner which ultimately came to nothing.
Eastleigh were able to double their advantage just before the half-hour mark when Cook saw his attempt blocked only for the rebound to fall back into his path and he made mo mistake this time as he fired home.
Again, United continued to push forward as we looked for a way back into the game. We saw plenty of the ball and got a number of crosses into the area but the home defence stood firm to keep us at bay.
With half-time approaching, James Hurst saw a powerful strike fizz wide of the target as we went in at the break two goals down.
There changes for United at the start of the second period with Louis Briscoe replacing Josh Carmichael, Malachi Lavelle-Moore on for Quigley and Alex Fisher taking the place of Tyrone Marsh.
Eastleigh were able to increase their lead when Payne curled home a free-kick to give us a mountain to climb, but we almost had an instant response when Angus MacDonald saw a flicked header shave the woodwork.
The breakthrough finally arrived with 83 minutes on the clock as a corner from Butler was only half-cleared and Hurst was able to latch onto the loose ball and fire beyond the grasp of Poke.
The goal galvanised Paul Cox’s side and a trademark long throw-in from Exodus Geohaghon led to a second goal late on as Fisher was able to apply the finish to set up a tense period of stoppage time.
With the board showing a minimum of four minutes added time, another Geohaghon throw-in caused panic amongst the Eastleigh defence as Briscoe just failed to convert.
Try as we might, the elusive equaliser just wouldn’t arrive.