SATURDAY’S National League showdown at Maidstone United (3pm) will be something of a family affair for Eastleigh boss Andy Hessenthaler.

His brother-in-law Darren Hare is the Stones’ first-team coach and Hare’s son, Josh, plays in defence.

On top of that, Hessenthaler’s best friend and former Gillingham teammate Nicky Southall is assistant manager to Jay Saunders at the Gallagher Stadium.

Hessenthaler, who lives in nearby Gillingham, said: “Maidstone’s very close to me and I’ve got lots of ties there. I get on well with Jay the manager too.

“Sometimes it’s not great to play against friends and family, but at three o’clock it’s down to business with both sides trying to win. It’s work, but come five o’clock we’ll shake hands and have a beer together.

“It’s not going to be an easy game for us. We lost to them (1-0) at our place and they deserved to win and we’ll be trying to put that right.”

Maidstone’s match-winner at the Silverlake in September was Zavon Hines, who has since moved to Chesterfield. Earlier this week another Stones striker Joe Pigott joined AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed fee.

“Maidstone have been bringing players on and that comes down to the management team. They deserve a pat on the back,” said Hessenthaler.

“Jay and Nicky have had quite a few promotions on a tight budget there. In many ways they’re victims of their own success because of what they’ve achieved."

Graham Stack (adductor strain), Reda Johnson (hamstring) and Paul McCallum (abdominal strain) are still not fit for Eastleigh, while left-back Michael Green had an ankle operation today.

Midfielder Danny Hollands is 50-50 with a groin problem and fit-again centre-back Ryan Cresswell will be in the travelling 16.

Cresswell's return is timely, coinciding with loanee Callum Howe going back to his parent club Lincoln.

For winger Bradley Hudson-Odoi, tomorrow marks the end of his initial two-month loan spell from Sutton United.

Eastleigh are still buzzing from last week's 2-1 result at Torquay United which gave them back-to-back league wins for the first time this season and extended their unbeaten run to six games.

"The boys ground it out and it kept the momentum going," said Hessenthaler.

"Confidence is good and we've got to keep it going."

Howe's departure and Craig McAllister's move to Gosport Borough has lightened the squad and Hessenthaler is not ruling out a new addition or two.

"We're down ln numbers a bit and we're talking about players every day in the office," said the boss.

"We have spoken to a couple of players but there's nothing for this weekend - maybe next."