United earn a point on the road in a rain-soaked National League encounter against Eastleigh.
Gary Owers kept three at the back despite the loss of Jazzi Barnum-Bobb to suspension. Michee Efete returned from injury to take up the right wing-back berth. George Dowling retained his spot after making his return to the team in the FA Trophy.
The conditions didn’t help either team. After heavy rain overnight and just before kick-off, there were parts of the pitch that didn’t run true. United’s penalty box in the first half was one of the worst areas.
United started well, Michee Efete stormed forward from wing-back to shoot just wide of the far post.
Both sides looked pretty dangerous in the first half. The final ball was missing, though. On occasions United were their own worst enemy, getting caught short on numbers at the back.
Paul McCallum headed Eastleigh’s best chance against the bar in the 30th minute.
Efete had little choice but to bring down Chris Zebroski on the edge of United’s box in the 39th minute and he received a yellow card for his troubles.
United, however, finished the half in the ascendancy, as Young tested goalkeeper Graham Stack twice from free-kicks and the Gulls could not make the most of the balls that Stack tipped back into the box. Young kept his strikes low, hoping to get some benefit from the wet conditions.
United were quick out of the blocks in the second half. George Dowling showed quick thinking to take a free-kick and Eastleigh were caught out, and Reid found Keating who was clipped inside the box. Reid stepped up and confidently put United in front from the spot.
Dowling had picked up a booking in the 56th minute. Unfortunately for United, he picked up a second for bundling over an opponent in the 64th. It was an unnecessary challenge, and as soon as the whistle went, he knew his time was up.
Eastleigh equalized in the 72nd minute. A ball into the box was punched out by Vincent Dorel, but unfortunately for United it went straight to Cavaghn Miley, who took a touch and fired through a sea of legs to get the Spitfires back on level terms.
United were down to ten men, and had just conceded an equalizer. Eastleigh were full of confidence after scoring. The ball was only ever going to go one way. United survived at least three penalty box melees but towards the end of the game they were able to wrestle back some territory.
For all of the drama that fell before, United were able to see out the game and clinch a valuable point on the road.
TUFC: 30 Vincent Dorel, 2 Michee Efete, 3 Liam Davis, 4 Damon Lathrope, 5 Sean McGinty (c), 8 Luke Young, 10 Ruairi Keating [11 Jake Gosling 77′], 19 Jamie Reid [9 Jon-Paul Pittman 77′], 21 Alex Davey, 24 George Dowling, 26 Axel Andresson Subs Not Used: 1 Ryan Clarke, 22 Guy Gnabouyou, 27 Jennison Myrie-Williams
Booked: Efete 39′, Dowling [54′ & 64′]
Eastleigh: 1 Graham Stack, 2 Gavin Hoyte, 7 Sam Wood, 9 Paul McCallum, 11 Chris Zebroski [18 McAllister], 17 Bradley Hudson-Odoi [Yeates 58′], 19 Danny Hollands, 22 Andrew Boyce, 24 Cavaghn Miley, 26 Sam Matthews [8 Constable 90′], 27 Callum Howe (c)
Referee: Savvas Yianni
Attendance: 2,092 (254 Away)