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Under-fire Eastleigh hit back
EASTLEIGH were spurred on by their critics in Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Boreham Wood which lifted them to fourth in the Skrill Conference South.
Despite the Spitfires winning their first two games, there were rumblings of discontent among some supporters after a loss and draw against Basingstoke and Havant over the Bank Holiday weekend.
“Our lads were disappointed with the intimation from one or two sections that seven points from four games wasn’t good enough and I think they took it a bit personally,” admitted manager Richard Hill. “But I’d hate those fans to take credit for Saturday’s win, which I’m sure some of them will.
“The lads were good at Boreham Wood in every way. They looked fresh and bright, played some good football at times and controlled the game.”
Stuart Fleetwood bruised the woodwork with a free kick as early as the first minute for Eastleigh and Craig McAllister and Jai Reason also went close.
But it took 41 minutes to make the breakthrough when McAllister’s glancing header from Dan Spence’s cross beat ’keeper James Russell at his near post.
The Spitfires struck again just after the hour with stellar summer signing Fleetwood clipping a low shot in at the far post.
The result was put beyond doubt when Mario Noto upended Strevens in the area and Reason buried the 82nd-minute penalty.
After packing four games into the opening ten days of the season, Hill felt title fancies Eastleigh had benefited from a midweek breather.
Dean Beckwith returned after sitting out the Havant game with a groin niggle, but his central defensive partner Chris Todd missed out with hamstring trouble, providing yet another opening for ex-Christchurch centre-back Chris Dillon.
“After the Havant game we didn’t train until the Thursday and, even then, we did very little because we’d picked up a few knocks,” said Hill.
“The Havant game was too soon for Dean Beckwith who’s had to manage his body over the past 12 months after suffering a little groin problem that kept him out for a while.
“Toddy wasn’t ready, but Chris Dillon’s done fantastic playing five games at a level he’s never played at before and he has to maintain that now.
“We’ve got no game until Saturday (at home to Bromley), so we’ll train on Monday, have Tuesday off and then bring them back in on Thursday. “It’s a chance for Glen Southam to get over his groin and hamstring niggles and for Dean to do more maintenance work on his body.
“Toddy was nowhere near fit on Saturday and I don’t know yet if he’ll be back for Bromley, but another week’s rest will do him good.”
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