Cisse marks Eastleigh debut with goal as Spitfires begin pre-season with win

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Ousseynou Cisse is unveiled at the Silverlake Stadium after joining Eastleigh FC (Pic: Tom Mulholland / Eastleigh FC)
Ousseynou Cisse is unveiled at the Silverlake Stadium after joining Eastleigh FC (Pic: Tom Mulholland / Eastleigh FC)

EASTLEIGH began their pre-season schedule with a comfortable win over ninth tier Abbey Rangers, with new signing Ousseynou Cisse getting off to a goalscoring start for the Spitfires.

Further goals from Danny Whitehall and defender Michael Kelly saw Eastleigh finish with a comfortable winning margin of 3-0.

The friendly, which came about due to Eastleigh’s relationship with Surrey-based Abbey Rangers that sees the Spitfires use their facilities for secure parking on away trips, gave boss Lee Bradbury the opportunity to cast an eye on seven trialists.

It took the Spitfires just 19 minutes to open their account for the summer, with Cisse on hand to nod home Lyle Simpson’s flick from a deep cross.

Eastleigh’s top goalscorer last term, Whitehall, was next to get in on the action, earning his side a penalty with a twisting run shortly before the break.

Whitehall dusted himself off to step up and slot home, sending his team into half-time with a two-goal advantage.

With young goalkeeper Charlie Philpott the only player to play the full 90, Eastleigh made sweeping changes at the break.

As such, whilst the Spitfires continued their comfortable grip on the game, they were unable to rack up a huge scoreline against semi-professional opposition.

Kelly was well placed to pounce after fellow full-back Brennan Camp had a shot blocked, with the left-back firing home at the back post.

That was the end of the goal scoring action, although Ryan Hill came close shortly after the hour mark, when his effort was cleared off the line.

Reflecting on the first week of Eastleigh’s preparations for the upcoming season, goalscorer Whitehall told the club’s website: “It was okay. Obviously, the first game’s never going to be perfect, but it’s minutes in the legs for everyone and a positive result.

“They’re all tricky in pre-season, every week’s tough!

“But, (it’s) miles back in the legs, and lots of testing and whatnot, and lots of running.

“Not too much ball work, but that’s to be expected and the lads have come through it and I think we looked alright.

“Obviously, still a lot to work on but the first game’s always going to be like that, and it’s nice to get it under the belt.”

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