Town bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup this evening after losing 3-1 to Eastleigh in their First Round Replay at The County Ground.
Jai Reason handed the Spitfires an early lead with the hosts slow out of the traps, before Andy Drury doubled his side’s advantage.
It was a scrappy second-half with chances few and far between but Eastleigh did add to their lead thanks to a Mikael Mandron penalty.
Nathan Delfouneso pulled one back for the Robins but it proved too little too late with the visitors progressing through to the Second Round.
Town named an unchanged side from the one that saw off Charlton Athletic so impressively at the weekend, with Luke Norris once again leading the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
It took a while for both sides to get going in the rain at SN1, although Jai Reason did see an early effort blocked for the visitors.
Sean Murray was able to claim the game’s first shot on target after sending an effort into the arms of Ryan Clarke in the Eastleigh goal, but it was the Spitfires who would land the first meaningful blow of the night.
Eastleigh strung together a well-worked passing move which allowed Scott Wilson to play in Jai Reason inside the area and the attacker’s effort looped over Lawrence Vigouroux and into the back of the net after taking a deflection off a Town defender.
Reason then went close again moments later but Vigouroux did well to get down low and hold the shot.
Town could and perhaps should have hauled themselves level just past the half-hour mark when Luke Norris was beautifully played in by Michael Doughty, but the striker’s lofted effort was blocked by Clarke.
Michael Green’s fizzing cross then crashed into the side netting but the hosts failed to heed that warning and soon found themselves two goals down.
Another flowing Eastleigh move resulted in Mikael Mandron picking out Andy Drury perfectly inside the area and the midfielder kept his composure to round Vigouroux before slotting home.
Anton Rodgers then replaced Yaser Kasim who had picked up a knock earlier in the first-half, with Town having it all to do heading in at the break.
There was a frantic start to the second-half with Town breaking forward at pace from an Eastleigh corner, but the visitors did well to get back and put an end to the attack before going on the offensive themselves, with Vigouroux doing well to parry Mandron’s powerful effort.
Green’s long-range drive looked to have got away from Vigouroux but the stopper did well to recover and scoop the ball up.
Town then threw on an extra attacker in the form of Nathan Delfouneso in a bid to get back into the contest.
However, despite plenty of huffing and puffing, the Reds were unable to create anything of note and were being frustrated by their guests.
Murray blazed over before the Spitfires added to their lead courtesy of Mandron’s penalty after Ormonde-Ottewill was adjudged to have brought down Wilson inside the area.
But Town did pull one back after Delfouneso chased down Clarke before winning possession and tucking home from close-range.
Ormonde-Ottewill curled inches wide just moments later and Norris sent an effort over the bar with Eastleigh emerging victorious at the final whistle.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SCORERS - Jai Reason (16), Andy Drury (35), Mikael Mandron (74), Nathan Delfouneso (79).
TOWN - Vigouroux; Furlong, Rossi-Branco, Jones, Ormonde-Ottewill; Thomas (Nathan Delfouneso 57), Kasim (C) (Anton Rodgers 35), Murray, Doughty, Goddard; Norris.
Subs Not Used - Henry, Barry, Smith, Iandolo, Evans.
EASTLEIGH - Clarke; Partington (C), Essam, Johnson, Green; Coulson, Drury, Taylor, Reason; Mandron, Wilson.
Subs Not Used - Huddart, Pipe, Obileye, Bird, Bearwish, Fee, Menning.
Referee - Christopher Sarginson
TOWN - Lloyd Jones
EASTLEIGH - Scott Wilson
ATTENDANCE - 4,321 (788 Away Fans).