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Dillon's the man for Hill
EASTLEIGH boss Richard Hill will have no qualms about throwing Chris Dillon back into the thick of it if he requires his services at Bath City tonight.
With defensive rock Chris Todd pulling a hamstring injury minutes before the start of the new Skrill Conference South season on Saturday, former Christchurch defender Dillon stepped in for his league debut alongside Dean Beckwith in the heart of the Spitfires defence.
And apart from one anxious moment when he earned himself a booking for bringing down Sutton United striker Jamie Taylor as he threatened to burst through, it was an otherwise sure-footed performance by the 23-year-old in a 1-0 win over Paul Doswell’s men.
After being introduced to the club by another of Eastleigh’s former Christchurch players, Michael Green, at the start of pre-season, Dillon linked up with Hill’s squad for training. He was unable to feature in the opening friendly against Wycombe Wanderers while the club awaited international clearance from Australia where he had been playing for Doveton Soccer Club in State Division Two.
But the Bournemouth-based defender made his presence felt in Eastleigh’s second friendly at Wantage Town, netting the fifth of his side’s six goals, and has been in and around the squad ever since, making his first start in the friendly against Southampton. Prior to going to Australia, Dillon had played his football in the United States on a four-year scholarship at the Univesity of Mobile. Speaking after Saturday’s game, Hill, pictured left, said: “Chris Dillon did well today, as did the whole team.
“Chris is a friend of Greener’s and he came along in pre-season and asked if he could come down.
“I said ‘yeah’ but I was honest with him from the start and said that, everyone being fit, I couldn’t see him in the starting line-up.
“But I’ve no qualms whatsoever putting Chris in, whether it’s for 15 minutes or the whole game.
“He got booked today, but he was learning out there, and he did well.”
Eastleigh tonight (Tuesday, 7.45pm) travel to an upbeat Bath City side who won their opening day fixture for the first time in seven years on Saturday.
The Romans triumphed 2-1 at Bishops Stortford thanks to a goal apiece from their new strike partnership of Andy Watkins and David Pratt.
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