EASTLEIGH boss Richard Hill insisted Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Altrincham was "not acceptable" as the Spitfires lost ground in the race for the National League play-offs.

After a quiet opening, the hosts were rewarded in the 32nd minute as Regan Linney burst through on goal before selflessly squaring for Lewis Banks to slot home from close range.

The provider then turned goalscorer in first-half added time, although he had a bit of fortune as his strike took a wicked deflection before nestling in the bottom corner.

Eastleigh goalkeeper McDonnell made a hash of gathering Chris Conn-Clarke’s shot and Alex Newby tucked away the rebound six minutes into the second period.

Conn-Clarke added the finishing touches to the scoreline in the 87th minute after bundling the ball past McDonnell.

Speaking to club media, Hill said: "Firstly, let’s give a lot of credit and congratulations to Altrincham. They are a good team. We knew it would be tough here today.

"We didn’t realise it would be that tough. We didn’t lay a glove on them from start to finish. We didn’t get close to them.

"They just kept picking us off. They have got good players in the team, they’ve got pace in the team, and Altrincham showed a desire to close the ball down.

"But we were poor from start to finish. It’s back to another performance where it’s not acceptable on any level from any of us. We have to take ownership of that.

"We have to go home and lick our wounds but at the moment we’re good or we’re bad. Over the last few weeks, there have been too many times where we’ve not been particularly good."

The Spitfires have conceded 11 goals in their last three matches in all competitions and Hill knows that needs to improve going into a crucial stage of the campaign.

He continued: "I keep saying about how we do a lot of work on defending. It didn’t look like it today, it didn’t look like it the other day.

"We’re just making too many fundamental mistakes. Sometimes I think we’re trying to play our way out of trouble.

"I do think we expose our defence in the way we play. You have to be mindful of the fans who made the trip up here."

Eastleigh are now in 11th position in the table and they face a battle to make the play-offs - with only the teams finishing second to seventh having a chance of getting the final promotion spot.

It does not get any easier for Eastleigh as they host runaway National League leaders Chesterfield next Saturday, who are currently 16 points clear at the top.