Eastleigh manager Ronnie Moore admitted his side were “lucky” to have gained a point away to Gateshead, despite leading 2-0 at the International Stadium.
The Spitfires boss witnessed his side surrender a two goal lead to draw with in-form Gateshead in a game which gripped the crowd.
A Scott Wilson rebound gave Moore’s men a 25 minute lead before Mikael Mandron doubled the visitors advantage with a well converted penalty on the brink of half time.
However a resilient Gateshead, chasing there tenth win of their National League campaign, reduced the deficit after 71 minutes courtesy of Sam Jones’ ninth goal in as many league appearances so far this season.
And a spirited fightback was complete just eight minutes later as the second penalty of the game, awarded to the home side after a Reda Johnson foul, was fired home by Danny Johnson.
“We’re very lucky we never lost the game” admitted Moore
“I thought we were fortunate to be 2-0 up anyway.
“Every time they attacked, their two strikers battered our back four.
“We warned them about it at half time, we said the game is not over, its far from over.
“We were too brittle, it was too easy and in the end we were very fortunate to come away with a point.”
Looking far from the team responsible for a mid-week FA Cup giant killing, Eastleigh were, for the majority of the game, dominated by a physically stronger Gateshead side.
Sky Bet League One Swindon were the opposition on Tuesday night as Eastleigh held on to record a 3-1 victory – the contrast in performance leaving The Spitfires boss all the more frustrated.
“Its like chalk and cheese” said Moore.
“We seem to be living on the cup, which is great but you have to do it week in, week out – the leagues our bread and butter.
“Theres two points gone again today, two at Woking, two went again against Southport and two went on Saturday against York.
“Eight points puts you bang in that top five.
“That’s our aim to get into the top five – right now were six points off.
“At the end of the day we are very lucky we’ve managed a point, when it could have easily been a defeat.”
Saturdays result leaves Eastleigh six places away from the play off positions and marked their seventh draw so far this campaign.
“I’m just frustrated that we cant seem to hold the lead” Moore commented.
“Normally the good sides in and around that top six, they don’t throw points away like that.
“I’m disappointed, it feels like a defeat.”
Next up for The Spitfires is a trip to the Recreation Ground to face an Aldershot side searching for there first win in four.
And Moore will be hoping for an improved display from his players in an effort to kick start their promotion push.
“We’ve got to move on and we’ve got to quickly because we’ve got a game on Tuesday” said Moore.
“We’re making it very difficult for ourselves to be in that 5th spot, but thats where we need to be, in the play offs this season.”
Article: James Bell (@jamescb90)