EASTLEIGH discovered that what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts yesterday.

The Spitfires managed their first National League clean sheet in 27 games against FC Halifax Town.

But, in keeping things tight at the back with three central defenders, they lost some of their attacking impetus and had to settle for a drab 0-0 draw, leaving them ten points shy of the play-offs in 13th.

Boss Andy Hessenthaler, though, was just pleased to arrest a slump of three straight defeats and get a decent 90 minutes’ work from his side.

“That’s our first clean sheet since September, so that’s a bonus,” he said.

"We’ve worked hard on the training ground since Tuesday night (a 3-1 defeat at Maidenhead) and we’ve been trying to get the balance right.

"I suppose we sacrificed a little bit of our offensive play to keep that clean sheet.

“We didn’t create as much as I’d have liked, but I was pleased with the performance. I can't fault the effort.

"Perhaps in the first half we could have played a little bit quicker in terms of the possession we had. We gave them (Halifax) the opportunity to get into their shape.

“They came for a point and they got their point. They came here to make life hard for us. Credit to them for that.”

After a quiet first 45 minutes, Eastleigh keeper Graham Stack made a couple of saves but, in truth, Halifax rarely threatened a back three reinforced by the return of man mountain Reda Johnson after a long spell out with hamstring trouble.

“He does make a difference,” said Hessenthaler. “That’s been the frustrating thing for us as a management team.

" Even when Rich (Hill) was manager, we couldn’t get Reda on the pitch enough. He’s played a very good level, he talks, he’s a good size and he did make a difference today.”

Fellow centre-back Ryan Cresswell was not in the squad due to a slight hamstring problem, while winger Ryan Broom ended his initial month’s loan from Bristol Rovers as an unused sub.

Hessenthaler, though, is hopeful of extending Broom’s stay for a further month if the player is agreeable.

Meanwhile, striker James Constable has joined National League South strugglers Poole Town for an initial month’s loan.

Constable made his Dolphins debut at Braintree Town on Saturday, but it was another new signing, the Irons’ Dan Thompson, who settled matters 1-0 in the Essex outfit’s favour.

It leaves the Poole deep in trouble, third to bottom of the table and four points off safety.

Promotion-hunting Havant & Waterlooville were held to a goalless draw at Hemel Hempstead. Rory Williams and Jason Prior hit the bar for the visitors, who have slipped to third with games in hand on the top two.

Eastleigh: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood, Sam Togwell (Mark Yeates, 77), Reda Johnson, Andrew Boyce, Ayo Obileye, Sam Matthews, Cavaghn Miley, Paul McCallum, Chris Zebroski (Ben Williamson, 65). Subs (not used): Ryan Broom, Danny Hollands, Ross Flitney.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.

Attendance: 1,825.