Chris Moyses made two changes to his starting line-up for this FA Cup First Round tie at Eastleigh with Marcus Marshall and Conner Robinson replacing Karl Ledsham and Delano Sam-Yorke. Ledsham and Sam-Yorke dropped to the bench where they were joined by Sahr Kabba, fresh from his loan at Whitehawk. Ben Tomlinson and Jon Nolan, however, were absent through injury and with Nick Townsend ineligible to play, David Preece took over the sub keeper role.
Heavy rain, which had being falling for the majority of the afternoon, greeted the players as they were led out on to the pitch by referee Nick Kinseley and once the pre-match formalities were completed play got underway following a minute's silence to mark Remembrance Day.
Eastleigh kicked off and were quickly on the offensive with a Jai Reason free-kick being headed behind by Jordan Burrow for a corner in the second minute. Reason swung the ball in and it was met by Paul Reid who saw his header crash against the bar before Arnaud Mendy cleared behind. This follow-up corner saw the ball go out for a goal-kick.
City had Paul Farman to thank in the seventh minute when he pulled off a superb one-handed save to deny Reason; the Eastleigh midfielder receiving the ball after James Constable muscled Nat Brown off the ball close to the touchline.
The hosts kept up the pressure though and as the clock ticked towards the 10 minute mark, Dan Spence swung in a cross and to meet it was Craig McAllister who rose before powering a header past Farman to edge his side in front.
City's response saw Will Evans foul Burrow but Newton's low delivery from the free-kick was headed away by Craig Stanley and from the next attack, Marshall fired into the side netting following a swift break forward.
The action quickly switched to the other end and after Stuart Fleetwood escaped the offside flag, he squared for Reason but Thierry Audel was there to clear off the line after Farman went out to close down Fleetwood.
Eastleigh's next attack saw Constable drag a low shot a foot wide from 25 yards whilst a minute later a low Reason cross took a deflection before going out for a corner. Two more corners immediately followed before the offside flag gave City the chance to regroup.
The Imps' response saw Marshall win a 29th minute corner at the other end but when Newton floated the ball in Bencherif was penalised for a push as he went up for a header. Two more Eastleigh corners were then dealt with but the hosts kept up the pressure with Fleetwood getting the better of Newton before forcing Farman to palm away his goal-bound effort
Three minutes before the break Newton volleyed over after the ball fell kindly for the advancing full-back 25 yards out. Power and Newton then fizzed in crosses and Robinson was inches away from connecting with a Marshall centre as the Imps finished the half strongly.
HT: EASTLEIGH 1 IMPS 0
Heavy rain fell throughout the half-time interval and with puddles starting to form on the surface the two sets of players emerged for the second half.
City restarted proceedings and were the first to press with Bencherif heading a Newton cross into Flitney's gloves before good work by Miller saw him win a free-kick on the right. Newton saw his inswinging delivery punched away by Flitney under his bar.
Five minutes into the second half a great City move ended up with Bencherif crossing only for Burrow fire over from six yards whilst shortly afterwards Power was denied by Flitney at full stretch after the skipper did well to gain space just inside the box.
The Imps kept up the pressure with a Newton cross being flicked wide by Burrow at full stretch before Robinson was dragged to the deck in the box by Green but the officials didn't give anything in City's favour.
On the hour mark a Newton effort was deflected out for a corner after a Power cross flew across a packed box and although the flag-kick came to nothing, City attacked again with Flitney somehow keeping out a downward Miller header after he was picked out by Newton.
It remained all City with a great Newton cross seeing Burrow somehow fire over and this was the striker's last taste of the action as with 69 minutes on the clock he was replace by Delano Sam-Yorke.
Sam-Yorke was quickly in the action, sprinting down the right before seeing his cross deflect out for a corner and when the Imps kept the ball in the attacking third, Sam-Yorke was flagged offside as Miller fizzed in a low centre.
Eastleigh's first chance saw Yemi Odubade replace James Constable in the 73rd minute but before he got his boots dirty, Marshall released SAM-YORKE who advanced forward and finished neatly past the advancing Flitney. The striker was booked for over celebrating before play restarted.
City remained on the offensive with Bencherif heading a Newton corner a foot wide but the defence had to remain on their guard with Fleetwood in particular looking to rally his troops going forward.
With seven minutes on the clock Robinson slid in to connect with a Newton cross but saw the ball fly just wide. Ben Wright then replaced Fleetwood for the home side before Mendy headed over a Robinson cross.
Robinson immediately went down with cramp and was replaced by Sahr Kabba whilst shortly afterwards Farman did well to deflect a Reason effort behind for a corner but City cleared their lines.
Despite City dominating the second half, it was the hosts who added to the scoring when, in the final minute, a ball into the Imps box ended up with Ben Strevens in possession and he duly drilled clinically past Farman.
The hosts then wasted 60 seconds by bringing on Chris Todd for Jai Reason as the Fourth Official indicated that a minimum of three minutes were to be added on.
City kept pressing and although Farman was pushed forward for three successive corners, the ball wouldn't fall for a red and white shirted player so Strevens' sucker punch fired the Spitfires through to a place in the Second Round.
FT: EASTLEIGH 2 IMPS 1
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Tom MILLER
23 Nat BROWN
24 Thierry AUDEL
3 Sean NEWTON
12 Arnaud MENDY
5 Hamza BENCHERIF
8 Alan POWER
22 Marcus MARSHALL
16 Conner ROBINSON
9 Jordan BURROW
7 Sahr KABBA (for ROBINSON 88)
10 Karl LEDSHAM
15 Delano SAM-YORKE (for BURROW 69)
17 Jake CAPRICE
31 David PREECE
GOAL: SAM-YORKE (73)
BOOKING: SAM-YORKE (74)
1 Ross FLITNEY
2 Dan SPENCE
16 Will EVANS
17 Paul REID
3 Michael GREEN
8 Craig STANLEY
10 Jai REASON
14 Ben STREVENS
13 Stuart FLEETWOOD
9 James CONSTABLE
11 Craig McALLISTER
6 Chris TODD (for REASON 90+1)
7 Yemi ODUBADE (for CONSTABLE 73)
12 Jack MIDSON
19 Ben WRIGHT (for FLEETWOOD 84)
22 Tony LEE
23 Hussien HEIDARI
24 Josh HELM
GOALS: McALLISTER (9), STREVENS (90)
REFEREE: Nick Kinseley
ASSISTANTS: Lloyd Wood & Paul Johnson
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Savvas Yianni
ATTENDANCE: 873 (155 City supporters)