IT’S a simple game. You’ve got to score more than the opposition.

There’s no lack of endeavour, will to win or belief, but Wrexham just can’t seem to put the ball in the back of the net - and that’s not a new problem.

You got the impression that the home side could still be there now trying to find a way past Luke Southwood.

A combination of the woodwork, last ditch-defending and some generous officiating prevented Wrexham from taking the lead, and for those that stuck with this slow-burner, the winner was a stunner.

Lionel Messi scored a wonderful free-kick 24 hours earlier, but this volley from Danny Hollands was as good - if not better.

The Eastleigh captain settled a nervy contest in style, arrowing an effort into Rob Lainton’s top corner from around 25 yards.

It’s an era when teams usually match up in terms of formations, or as near as damn it with one man’s 4-2-3-1, another man’s 4-3-3.

But Eastleigh’s decision to go 5-3-2 knowing Wrexham would pretty much be certain to use a variation of 4-3-3 was intriguing and created interesting conundrums for those in both starting XIs.

Mark Yeates was asked to play in a narrow three, but shifted wide to join forces with Michael Green, causing Kevin Roberts cause for concern and tempt Bobby Grant into doing more defensive work than he’d like.

Eastleigh’s five-man defence should have been able to deal with the attacking fare on offer from the home side, but Stuart Beavon was a nuisance, winning more than his fair share against three centre-halves considerably bigger than the striker.

Beavon’s willingness to work the channels did his team-mates a favour on more than one occasion, hopeful balls forward turned into ones of some promise.

With Lukes, Young and Summerfield, and Akil Wright in the centre of the pitch, Wrexham had more than enough to take control of proceedings, but the trio were ponderous at times, electing to wait for Roberts or James Jennings to free themselves of their defensive work before passing square.

Wrexham carved out the better chances of the first-half, Beavon, picking up the scraps, swivelling and bringing out a smart stop from Southwood, while Young saw a swerving shot from distance cause some issues for the Eastleigh number one.

Despite that, it was the Spitfires’ attack that looked to have more structure, there was a plan as the visitors’ went forward. Incisive passing in midfield helped create space for Yeates, or either wing-back, and the ball went into the box towards the front two of Paul McCallum and Ben Williamson.

Whether McCallum was fully fit remains to be seen, the 26-goal striker sporting tape on both thighs and his right calf, as well as doing minimal work in the warm-up, electing to go through a series of stretches with the physio.

McCallum was a mere passenger when Wrexham turned up the heat in the second period, the introduction of Paul Rutherford for the injured Summerfield proving a spark for the hosts.

The dependable Shaun Pearson cannoned a header off the crossbar, which was rattled once again by Grant, who hooked a well-worked effort off the goal frame after Wrexham were denied what looked like a perfectly legitimate goal.

Set-pieces looked Wrexham’s main weapon in the first period – even if nothing came of them – but they had more joy in the second-half as Pearson and fellow centre-half, Kieran Kennedy, caused problems.

Pearson and Kennedy were able to get the run on their trio of Eastleigh counterparts, but as the latter stabbed the loose ball home, referee Martin Woods blew for a foul on Southwood, who in truth looked to have let the ball slip from his grasp and gone down in shame rather than the head injury he was inspected for.

Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens fancied his side would be able to cope with The Racecourse atmosphere, citing the win at Chesterfield as reason to be hopeful, but there were almost 2,500 more packed in the old stadium, which reverberated when the hosts were on top, the supporters sensing a chance to book a play-off semi-final with Salford.

But there was a distinct lack of noise after the initial burst until the Reds went for the kill early in the second period, the fans feeding off that and roaring their team on.

Joey Jones - no not that one - didn’t come back to haunt Wrexham, but it was the same old failings that hurt Bryan Hughes’ men when it mattered.

You are susceptible to a freak goal if you can’t put the ball in the net at the other end and that’s what Eastleigh and Hollands’ conjured up.

Jermaine McGlashan worked a chance to be the hero for Wrexham after coming on as substitute late on in normal time, but he missed the gilt-edged chance and that put the crowd on edge. And the fans’ fears were then confirmed in the most emphatic manner.