MANAGER Richard Hill has no new Eastleigh injuries to report for tonight’s home game against Bath City (7.45pm) – apart from “a few bruised egos”.
There were some home truths spoken after Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Eastbourne Borough – the Spitfires’ fifth league defeat out of seven on the road this term.
It dropped the pre-season title favourites to an underwhelming 14th in the Blue Square Bet South, making it imperative that they bounce back tonight and in Saturday’s home game against Paul Doswell’s Sutton United.
In Hill’s book, hard work holds the key to climbing the table and he has left his pedigree playing staff in no doubt what’s expected of them.
“Not everyone can play well in every game, but they can work harder than their opponents,” said the boss. “If you’re playing well – especially at home – you can maybe afford to take a few liberties. But even if you’re having a bad time of it, you can make sure you work harder and still contribute to the team.
“I’m not saying we didn’t work hard at Eastbourne, but because everyone wants to beat us, the players have got that to cope with too,” he said.
“After we’d drawn at Chelmsford their manager came out and said that’s the best they’d played all season and you’re not telling me that Farnborough have played as well as when they beat us 6-2.
“I go out and watch BSB South games and wish teams would play against each other like they do against us.
“Against Eastleigh they fight like hell for the ball all over the pitch and Eastbourne celebrated on Saturday like they’d won the play-off final.
“Our players have got to work their nuts off in the next two games and prove to me that they want to play for Eastleigh.”
Andy Forbes is in the reckoning tonight having been named on the bench on Saturday after a groin strain.
Given their tendency towards travel sickness, Eastleigh will be glad to have landed a home draw in the FA Trophy third qualifying round. League rivals Hayes & Yeading will visit the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday, November 10.
The area’s other clubs are also at home with Steve Riley’s AFC Totton hosting BSB South strugglers Basingstoke Town, while Southern One South & West outfit Sholing will open their Silverlake Arena doors to BSB North new boys Oxford City.
League leaders Salisbury City host an all-BSB South tie against Weston-super-Mare, while Poole Town will stage a Dorset ding-dong against Dorchester if they get through tonight’s replay at Didcot.
Lee Bradbury’s Havant & Waterlooville have been drawn away, but make the short trip to Bognor.
FA TROPHY – Third qualifying round - southern ties (matches to be played on Saturday, November 10): East Thurrock Utd or Thurrock v Brackley Town, King’s Lynn Town v Eastbourne Borough, Histon v Boreham Wood, Cray Wanderers or Arlesey Town v Welling Utd, Sutton Utd v Ramsgate, Uxbridge or Canvey Island v Chesham Utd, Bromley v Staines Town, Kingstonian v Brentwood Town or Lewes, Maidstone Utd v Whitehawk or Grays Athletic, AFC Hornchurch v Bishop’s Stortford, Wealdstone v Corby Town, Tonbridge Angels v Wingate & Fincley or Hitchin Town, Billericay Town v Enfield Town, Chelmsford City v Dover Athletic, Leiston or Metropolitan Police v Hampton & Richmond Borough, Gloucester City v Maidenhead Utd, Sholing v Oxford City, AFC Totton v Basingstoke Town, Poole Town or Didcot Town v Dorchester Town, Eastleigh v Hayes & Yeading Utd, Farnborough v Truro City, Leatherhead v Bath City, Shortwood Utd v Merthyr Town, Bognor Regis Town v Havant & Waterlooville, Salisbury City v Weston-super-Mare.