Wimbledon lost this top-of-the-table clash in the most frustrating and difficult of circumstances when Eastleigh centre back Tom Jordan scored the first goal with a handball that the referee and linesman miss, when almost everyone else in the ground saw it.
With injuries plaguing the Dons again, Jason Goodliffe was unavailable and Danny Kedwell was only judged fit enough for the bench, not to start. Ben Judge, having served his one match suspension, came in, while Kezie Ibe started alongside Jon Main. Terry Brown also made a tactical change, bringing in on-loan Rob Saunders for his first start, in place of Elliott Godfrey.
The Dons had the wind behind them in the first half and used it to good effect, keeping pressure on Eastleigh and denying them any chances. However, the Eastleigh defence held firm and Wimbledon had only limited opportunities, the best being when Main got to a curling cross from Jay Conroy only to volley it over the bar. Ibe looked to have broken through at one point but a superb last ditch tackle by Jordan denied him.
Eastleigh played their normal game, which was to hit the ball long for their strikers to compete and hope for knock downs and the run of the ball. Perhaps their tactics were to wait for the second half with the wind behind them as they were much more attack-minded and started to look dangerous. Nonetheless, James Pullen had not really been tested until the moment when Jordan went for a corner and, being unable to reach the ball thanks to Tom Davis's challenge, simply reached over David and punched the ball into the net.
After a brief pause, while they waited for the whistle to go, Eastleigh celebrated at length, while The Dons complained without success. And for the next ten minutes they lost their composure as Eastleigh strove to take advantage from their good fortune.
Terry Brown brought Kedwell into the game and on and Wimbledon started to get back into the game. But then the referee, who had struggled to keep up throughout the game, announced that he was unable to continue. It took nearly 20 minutes for a linesman to be found and when play resumed it was Eastleigh who scored again through Jonny Dixon, following a clever move down the left.
Wimbledon had their focus back now and Elliott Godfrey came on to score a fine volley. For an agonising half-second, it looked as if Ibe had saved a point but his last minute header was well saved. After the final whistle had gone, frustration re-surfaced and Alan Inns was red-carded for something he said to the replacement referee.
It is hard to assess any game like this when it is so distorted by one event. Such goals are rare indeed and it was the Dons' misfortune that it should happen in a game of such significance. They now had a week to regroup, lick their wounds and get back to winning ways against Team Bath.