BEN Stevens’ hopes of landing the Eastleigh job on a permanent basis have been boosted – by a member of the departed boss’s family.

A second-half header by Josh Hare – nephew of Andy Hessenthaler – gave the Spitfires’ board plenty to think about in the wake of a highly professional 1-0 National League win at FC Halifax Town yesterday.

Strevens, who had lost his previous two games in caretaker charge, had stated publicly that he didn’t rate his chances of becoming Hessenthaler’s permanent successor.

But, asked his thoughts on whether victory at The Shay will have swayed opinion in his favour ahead of Tuesday's home game against league leaders Leyton Orient (7.45pm), he said: “I’ve honestly got no idea.

“If I’m in charge on Tuesday, we’ll be ready for Leyton Orient. If I’m not in charge, someone’s going to be a lucky man getting this group of players.

"We’ll just have to see how the next 24-48 hours goes but, in my mindset, I’m getting ready for Leyton Orient.”

Hare, who had missed the defeats against Aldershot (league) and Hampton & Richmond Borough (FA Cup) with a toe problem, underlined his value to the side with 57 minutes gone, heading home a Mark Yeates free-kick.

It was no less than the tenth-placed Spitfires deserved for a dominant performance which saw Yeates have a long-range blast well saved by keeper Sam Johnson and then a low shot parried, following a strong run by Ben Williamson, which neither Paul McCallum nor Oscar Gobern could force home.

The quality of the display came as no surprise to Strevens, who said: “Taking the FA Cup out of the equation, that’s now seven games unbeaten out of eight and five wins out of the last six - and that’s not me, that’s the players.

“Like I said to the boys, we didn’t all just arrive at Eastleigh the day before the Aldershot game.

“We were the ones doing the hard work before that alongside Andy Hessenthaler.

“The boys haven’t changed and I haven’t changed in two weeks.

“We know what we’re doing behind the scenes and we had to transmit that to a Saturday and we did that today.

“I see these boys each and every day in training and I know the work I’m putting in and they’re putting in. They got what they deserved today and I’m really happy for them.

“It was a big win and a big performance. From the first minute, you could tell our boys were on it today. We were the better team and we defended really well as a group.

“To a man – and I’m talking every single person that’s travelled up - they’ve been different class.”

Eastleigh: Max Stryjek, Josh Hare, Michael Green, Danny Hollands, Andrew Boyce, Alex Wynter, Oscar Gobern (Joey Jones, 87), Cav Miley, Paul McCallum, Ben Williamson (Ollie Dennett, 90), Mark Yeates (Tom Bearwish, 90). Subs (not used): Ross Flitney, Tom Bearwish, Lewis Harvey.

Referee: Tom Reeves.

Attendance: 1,343.