Adam Chicksen's seventh goal of the season and a fine Ruben Rodrigues finish inflicted Eastleigh's first home defeat of the campaign.
The wing back's second-half header was just reward for a dominant team display against an Eastleigh side who saw very little of the ball all afternoon.
And Rodrigues added deserved gloss to the scoreline when he rounded off a superb team move.
Luke Williams made four changes to the side that played out a 2-2 draw with Southend United in midweek.
Connell Rawlinson replaced Aden Baldwin in central defence, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling came in for Aaron Nemane, Geraldo Bajrami made way for Ed Francis and Cedwyn Scott was swapped with Sam Austin.
Our first opening of the game saw Rodrigues brilliantly release Adebayo-Rowling down the right with a trademark sliderule pass. The wingback played a low, dangerous cross into the area but the ball evaded Macaulay Langstaff, and everyone else, in the middle.
We soon assumed complete control of the match but had to wait until the 22nd minute for our first notable effort as Austin moved the ball neatly on to his right foot in the area, only for a defender to divert his goalbound shot wide with a header.
Eastleigh were camped inside their own half and struggling to halt some slick passing play in midfield, but their defence was proving a tough nut to crack with plenty of promising attacks dwindling out either due to a poor final ball or touch, or well-organised defending.
We did create a decent opportunity shortly before half-time when Rodrigues dropped into space to receive Matt Palmer’s pass before supplying Langstaff. Our top scorer shifted the ball on to his left foot and sent a shot narrowly over the angle of post and crossbar.
Eastleigh had mustered very few threatening attacks in the first half and would have been extremely fortunate to find themselves ahead after a looping ball dropped behind Palmer, presenting JJ McKiernan with a shooting chance on the edge of the area. He couldn’t meet the bouncing ball with a convincing strike, however, and Sam Slocombe made a comfortable save.
After the break, our former keeper Joe McDonnell did well to release Tristan Abrahams on a speedy counter-attack, with the forward sending a low shot across goal and narrowly wide.
And, shortly after Rodrigues had sent an overhead kick into the side-netting, Slocombe was called upon to make his second save of the game when Aaron Martin sent the ball goalwards after it had bobbled around our penalty area.
But we were still well in the ascendancy and, on 56 minutes, the breakthrough finally came when Adebayo-Rowling worked space for the cross, drifting the ball to the back post for Chicksen to head past a stranded McDonnell.
Rodrigues’ deflected effort looped wide and a defender made a tremendous last-ditch challenge on substitute Scott as we pursued a second.
And it came on 74 minutes as a result of brilliant interplay between Rodrigues, Scott and Austin – the latter eventually laying the ball off for the former, whose quick feet caught McDonnell off-guard as he guided the ball home.
Moments after Austin had sent a left-footed effort narrowly wide, McDonnell did brilliantly to deny Bajrami, on for Rodrigues, with a save low to his left.
And we came within inches of getting a deserved third when, with the game stretched, Austin showed brilliant awareness to release Adebayo-Rowling into acres of space down the right. The wing-back sent his shot crashing off the post and we had to settle for 2-0.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Rawlinson, Brindley; Chicksen, Adebayo-Rowling; Francis (Scott 64’), Palmer, Rodrigues (Bajrami 76’), Austin; Langstaff (Mitchell 76')
UNUSED SUBS: Baldwin, Nemane
BOOKINGS: Francis 33’, Rodrigues 42’, Brindley 58’
ATTENDANCE: 3,055 (502)