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Eastleigh hailed as 'force to be reckoned with'
EASTLEIGH have been paid the ultimate compliment by Ian Allinson, manager of play-off rivals Boreham Wood.
Acknowledging that his fifth-placed side did well to escape with a point from the Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday, Allinson admitted the Spitfires had caused his side more headaches than Blue Square Bet South title favourites Welling United.
After taking the lead with a brilliant team move polished off by a Jai Reason volley, Eastleigh should have had more to show for their first-half domination.
Instead they were pegged back for a 1-1 draw when Charlie O’Loughlin headed home a 73rd-minute corner to keep fifth-placed Wood three points ahead of the Spitfires in the race for the play-offs.
Allinson said: “Eastleigh caused us more problems than Welling.
“They never gave us a moment on the ball.
“Full credit to Eastleigh, they are a force to be reckoned with.”
Spitfires boss Richard Hill wouldn’t disagree with those sentiments, but believes Welling are top on merit.
“We’re playing well, but we’re still averaging roughly the same points per game as Welling and the difference is that they’ve been doing that for the whole season,” he said.
“It shows you how good Welling are that they’ve been able to do consistently what we’ve been doing for the last 11 or 12 games.”
“Mind you,” Hill, right, added. “If we had the team we’ve got now when we played Welling at our place in December and lost 3-1, I think we’d have gone on and won that game given that we were one up at half-time.”
With eight wins and two draws pocketed from their last 12 league matches, Eastleigh hope to keep the momentum going at rock-bottom Truro City tomorrow.
The Cornish side have been playing catch-up all season having been docked ten points for entering into administration and will surely finish in bottom spot.
But out of nowhere, Truro have won two of their last three league matches, following up a 3-1 win over Hayes & Yeading with a shock 1-0 success at Paul Doswell’s Sutton on Tuesday.
“Truro have had a lot of adversity this season,” said Hill. “But looking at their recent results, they must have a bunch of players who are playing without fear or pressure.
“If they win, it surprises everyone, and if they lose it’s to be expected.”
Eastleigh are travelling to Truro today for an overnight stay and stopping off to train at Devon club Cullompton Rangers en route.
Targetman Craig McAllister rejoins the squad after hamstring trouble and, apart from a few weary limbs, there are no added injuries to report.