ANDY Hessenthaler was keen to accentuate the positives rather than dwell on the negatives as Eastleigh’s nine-game unbeaten run was brought to an end.

Second-half goals from substitute Morgan Ferrier and Bruno Andrade saw Boreham Wood inflict the Spitfires’ first National League defeat since Hessenthaler took over the reins from Richard Hill in mid-December.

But the run was bound to end at some stage and, while disappointing, it was no great disgrace to lose to a Wood side who have now gone 11 games without defeat on the road.

The biggest choker from a home perspective was that Wood’s opener came at the very time when Eastleigh seemed to have taken a grip on a wet, windswept contest, creating three highly presentable chances in five minutes.

But it was the arrival of substitute Ferrier – brought back to Boreham Wood for a club record fee from Dagenham & Redbridge just days earlier – that changed the complexion of the game.

His cleverly worked 58th-minute finish came as a body blow to Eastleigh and, just eight minutes later, the Hertfordshire visitors finished the job from the penalty spot.

In trying to atone for giving the ball away, Spitfires skipper Ryan Cresswell got in a running battle with Bruno Andrade, eventually wrestling the smaller man to the ground.

The Boreham Wood No11 – scorer of the only goal between the sides at Meadow Park in October – got up to send Graham Stack the wrong way from the spot.

The result propelled Wood up the sixth, just six points behind leaders Macclesfield, while Eastleigh are down to 12th, eight points off play-off pace.

But to even be talking of the play-offs is a bonus considering the Spitfires’ stuttering start to the season and Hessenthaler said: “How can I be critical of the boys when they’ve lost one in ten?

"Would we have thought we could have done that ten games ago? Probably not with the way things were going.

“Can we put another unbeaten run together? Of course we can.

“We’ve got to stay positive and believe we can go to Chester on Saturday, get a result and bounce back.”

While the wretched conditions ruined the first half as a spectacle, Eastleigh still engineered three decent openings – a curling Sam Matthews free-kick well turned over by keeper Grant Smith, a thunderous Chris Zebroski drive that deflected behind and a Ben Williamson header that hit the side netting.

That list of Spitfires’ chances was doubled between the 52nd and 56th minutes, but the ball stubbornly refused to go in.

They were denied by a goalline clearance as Zebroski and Broom closed in on Sam Wood’s low cross and then Cav Miley rushed his shot and fired over when well placed.

Smith then pulled off an inspired save to repel Williamson’s header from Ryan Broom’s cross before Boreham Wood scored against the run of play.

Even at 2-0 down Eastleigh had their chances with another Matthews going inches over off the fingertips of the keeper and Cresswell’s deflected strike clipping the bar on its way behind.

The last five minutes belonged to the ’keepers as Stack foiled Andrade and ex-Spitfire Jamie Turley, while Smith saved well with his feet to deny Matthews.

“We had chances second half and we’d have got a lot of confidence had a goal gone in but, unfortunately, it’s gone the other way,” said Hessenthaler.

“Cav would normally have scored, but he didn’t realise he had more time than he took and, credit to their keeper who’s made a great save from Willo’s header.

“All in all, we’re disappointed….but we go again.”

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood, Sam Togwell, Andrew Boyce (Mark Yeates, 68), Ryan Cresswell, Sam Matthews, Cav Miley (Ayo Obileye, 80), Ben Williamson, Chris Zebroski (James Constable, 71), Ryan Broom, Subs: Ayo Obileye, Danny Hollands, Frazer Shaw.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Attendance: 1,751.