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Defensive worries mounting for Eastleigh boss Hill
EASTLEIGH and Boreham Wood have problems in common going into tomorrow’s Skrill Conference South encounter at The Wood’s Meadow Park HQ.
Both clubs were besieged by defensive worries over a disappointing Bank Holiday weekend in which Richard Hill’s Spitfires banked one point of six against Hampshire rivals Basingstoke and Havant, and Wood suffered back-to-back losses against Hayes & Yeading and Staines.
Eastleigh’s troubles were all in central defence, Dean Beckwith pulling up with a recurrence of a groin problem in the warm-up before Monday’s 0-0 stalemate with Havant.
And they lost their first-choice pairing completely when Chris Todd, on his maiden appearance of the season after hamstring trouble, had to bow out midway through the second half having played through the pain barrier.
Hill shuffled his pack by putting new signing Romone Rose on at right-back, switching Dan Spence to the left and moving Michael Green into central defence alongside his former Christchurch teammate Chris Dillon.
But if Eastleigh think they’ve had it bad, Wood’s rearguard problems are worse. They are currently without three of their first-choice back four.
Already shorn of Callum Reynolds (foot) and Charlie McLoughlin (reaction to antibiotics), Wood suffered two more casualties at Staines in right-back Ben Nunn (back) and Luke Garrard (hamstring).
The good news for Eastleigh is that Beckwith will be fit tomorrow.
Todd, though, faces a fitness test and midfielder Will Evans, who injured a knee in pre-season, faces up to two months on the sidelines.
“Will hasn’t had an operation, but it was touch and go,” said Hill.
“He visited various specialists and they’re of the opinion that it will heal with rehab and time. If he’d needed an op, we’d have lost him for the season.” Reflecting on Eastleigh’s Bank Holiday games, Hill said: “If we’d taken our chances at Basingstoke, everyone would have said what a good performance it was.
“We never really got going against Havant on Monday but what frustrates me is that people seem to think Eastleigh should win their home games automatically.
“But, credit where credit’s due, that was the best Havant side I’ve seen in three or four seasons and these teams aren’t just going to turn up and let you beat them.
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