JUST when Eastleigh boss Richard Hill looked close to getting a full squad fit and available, yet more problems reared their ugly head during yesterday’s bizarre 3-3 draw at FC Halifax Town.

Top scorer Ben Williamson limped off with hamstring problems after just 19 minutes of an extraordinary Vanarama National League showdown at The Shay.

With a trip to table-topping Sutton United coming up on Saturday, it’s touch and go whether the striker will be fit.

But what is definite is that goalkeeper Ross Flitney will play no part having got himself sent off for a second bookable offence in West Yorkshire.

Cautioned in the first half for clattering into Scott McManus, Flitney held onto the ball and sparked a melee after Tom Denton had trimmed Eastleigh’s lead to 3-2 with 17 minutes remaining.

Remarkably his dismissal came after Shaymen's stopper Sam Johnson had also got his marching orders for a second yellow.

Unlike Halifax, who had goalkeeping No2 Tom Nicholson on the bench, Eastleigh had travelled north without a sub ’keeper.

First-choice No1 Graham Stack had injured his shoulder against Maidenhead four days earlier, while young understudy Mark Childs is still a long way off fitness after damaging his knee in February while on loan at Gosport Borough.

It meant centre-back Andrew Boyce donning the gloves and, despite making one good save with his feet, the defender was beaten by Daniel Batty in the 90th minute as the Shaymen rescued an unlikely point.

“Stacky’s had a scan and his shoulder is not as bad as we thought, but we’ll assess the situation this week and do what we need to do,” said Hill.

“I’ll never slaughter my players, but let’s get it clear, Ross shouldn't have done what he did.

“But I’ve said for years that a directive needs to be issued saying there’s no point hanging onto the ball after a goal is scored because the time will be added on anyway.”

The shame of it is that Flitney was having an outstanding game. Had it not been for him and a goalline clearance by Boyce, Halifax would have been well in the clear before Sam Matthews and sub Chris Zebroski profited from corners to put the Spitfires 2-0 up after 22 minutes.

McManus replied from the penalty spot to make it 2-1 at half-time and then Johnson pulled off a superb double stop from Matthews and Paul McCallum on 50 minutes before taking his leave for a clumsy challenge.

It should have been game, set and match to the Spitfires when on-loan York City midfielder Simon Heslop scored his first goal for the club for 3-1 on 63 minutes.

But Eastleigh became disjointed and Flitney’s moment of madness was all the invitation referee Karl Evans needed to even numbers up.

“When it was 3-1, we stopped doing what we’d been doing quite well up to that point,” said Hill.

“When Halifax went down to ten men, two or three of our lads thought the game was over and could play how they wanted to, rather keep a good shape, get behind the football and do the good things that had got us to that point.”

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Gavin Hoyte, Frazer Shaw, Simon Heslop, Andrew Boyce, Callum Howe, Cavaghn Miley, Sam Matthews (Ayo Obileye, 75), Ben Williamson (Chris Zebroski, 19), Paul McCallum (Craig McAllister, 68), Mark Yeates. Subs (not used): James Constable, Bradley Hudson-Odoi.

Referee: Karl Evans.

Attendance: 1,407.