MAKING HIS MARK!
Yeates at the double to complete week of misery for Silkmen
VERDICT: Mark Yeates was the hero of the day as Eastleigh finally showed what they are capable of. Macclesfield, on the other hand, need an immediate response after back-to-back defeats
MARK Yeates’ eyebrow-raising double either side of the half-time break gave Eastleigh a much-needed second away win at the expense of highfliers Macclesfield Town. The former Sheffield United and Bradford City man, 34, set Richard Hill’s men on the way with predatory strikes, deeming Danny Whitehead’s last-gasp goal back for Macclesfield as consolation. This game swung on a rather fortuitous opener when Yeates capitalised on a shanked clearance from keeper Shwan Jalal before coolly rolling the ball into an empty net from distance. “It was an outstanding effort,” said Eastleigh assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler. “It was always going to be difficult, but we came up without any fear and we showed we’re together. “Yeatesy is one of those players who flits in and out of games but I thought he was excellent, he had a bit of good fortune for the goal with the mistake but he didn’t panic, he had a touch and tucked it away. It was a great finish for the second goal too.” On a tricky afternoon the swirling winds and driving rain finally eased and Macclesfield also looked to have weathered the storm a dominant Eastleigh had been brewing early on. Jalal pushed the first effort of the day, from Ben Williamson, wide before defender George Pilkington helped out, preventing Yeates from finding the bottom corner. Macc had the best chances late in the half though, Johnson brilliantly rescuing his side once Scott Wilson had sprinted clear and rounded Spitfires keeper Ross Flitney. Elliott Durrell had a gilt-edged chance shortly after but Flitney charged out to smother the danger.
Moments later came the horror show from Jalal, who made a real hash of a routine clearance, presenting Yeates with the chance to roll the ball into the net.
Yeates’ second owed much to a perceived handball in the build-up, missed by referee David Richardson but not the Macc defence, who stalled and left the outnumbered Jalal to his own devices, Yeates finding the bottom corner with another neat finish for his third of the campaign.
Although Whitehead halved the deficit his goal simply came too late for Macc to mount any sort of salvage operation.
And though his side remain second in the table, boss John Askey hinted they’ll need some off-field backing if they are to stage a promotion bid. “In previous years when we’ve gone behind we haven’t had enough to come back at teams. This time, this team looks as though they can do,” he said.
“We need to get some in to strengthen, we’ve got a good squad but as the season goes on we’ll need more bodies. We should have had some money come in last year and if it isn’t there to strengthen then people need to answer why that is.
“But we’re still second and it’s great, hopefully it’ll be an enjoyable ride to the end of the season.”
LOFTY HEIGHTS: Two-goal Mark Yeates, right, is congratulated by towering team-mate Ayo Obileye