The Wanderers boss welcomed Matt Briggs back into the starting line up following recent injury lay off, he and Niall McManus were the two changes from last weekend in the wide position’s as George Francomb and Bobby-Joe Taylor respectively made way. Tom Blair also made his return to the matchday squad for the first time since picking up an ankle injury in October.
Luke Moore spurned a couple of early opportunities via set-pieces as Wanderers began brighter, going on to dominate possession for much of the opening forty-five but without carving out many clear cut chances.
As the half wore on, the hosts threatened increasingly from deliveries into the box; The Spitfires leading marksman and division’s current top scorer Paul McCallum heading one just wide, but a few minutes from the break it was a foul on the striker just outside the box which led to the opening goal. The resulting free kick from Chris Maguire was clipped towards the back post and Ludwig Francillette was able to head home.
Blair came on for Briggs after the restart for his first appearance in just over two months, but just before the hour mark Eastleigh doubled their advantage; McCallum netting his 22nd of the campaign with a header from Aidan Barlow’s cross.
Harry Ottaway and Seb Bowerman were introduced not long after the second goal as Wanderers sought to go more direct, the former slamming a strike wide as the game became increasingly more stretched.
It was Bowerman who would half the defecit with less than ten minutes to go, the ball falling at the edge of the box and winger clinically swivelling a low effort into the bottom corner of goal. He would go close again in the late stages curling an effort just wide of the post, but it was as close as Wanderers would ultimately go as they tried to salvage something from the game.
A point ahead of the bottom four but with a couple of games in hand, Marc White will be very much looking for his side to get back on track across the upcoming festive double bill as Wanderers face one of those sides in the relegation zone, Oxford City, with the home fixture at Meadowbank up first on Boxing Day.
Eastleigh: 1 Joe McDonnell, 4 Nigel Atangana (c), 6 Ludwig Francillette, 9 Paul McCallum, 10 Aidan Barlow (3 Ryan Clampin 67)’, 12 George Langston, 14 Lee Hodson, 15 Luke Croll, 17 Chris Maguire, 18 Bailey Clements, 23 Jayden Harris (16 Solomon Nwabuokei 67′)
Unused Subs: 13 Tommy Scott (GK), 19 Corey Panter, 21 Oscar Rutherford
Dorking Wanderers: 1 Harrison Male, 5 Tony Craig, 6 Niall McManus, 8 Matt Briggs (29 Tom Blair 46′), 11 James McShane (24 Harry Ottaway 64′), 16 Charlie Carter, 17 Josh Taylor, 18 Luke Moore (30 Seb Bowerman 67′), Haydn Hollis, 20 Dan Gallagher, 22 Barry Fuller (C)
Unused Subs: 2 Isaac Philpot, 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor
Referee: Greg Rollason