Eastleigh boss Hill expecting fight from struggling Magpies

Daily Echo: RICHARD HILL RICHARD HILL

Eastleigh manager Richard Hill has given huge credit to Boxing Day opponents and Skrill South strugglers Dorchester Town.

The Spitfires, who have been in potent form all season, sit second in the league and continue to pursue leaders Bromley, as well as chasing FA Trophy glory after beating Skrill Premier side Gateshead 2-0 in the last round.

In contrast, their opponents are struggling at the foot of the division but are nonetheless battling hard to get out of the position they are in by beating Tonbridge Angels 2-1 at the beginning of the month.

That was only their fourth win in 18 league games.

The Magpies have also been boosted by the signing of young Saints left-back Frazer Colmer, who has come in on a one-month loan deal from St Mary’s and will be available for action on Boxing Day.

In their last match Dorchester recorded a 2-2 draw with Concord Rangers, a stark contrast to their first two fixtures of the month – a 4-1 and 5-1 defeats to Hamworthy United (Dorset Senior Cup) and Havant & Waterlooville respectively.

Hill has spoken of his admiration for the Magpies’ spirit despite being rock-bottom. “You wouldn’t expect them to give up, would you? I wouldn’t expect them to at all. Big credit to them and good luck to them,” he said.

“I speak to Phil Simkin (Dorchester manager) quite a bit and I know his frustrations and listen to what he’s going through.

“Phil’s got a lot of enthusiasm for his football club and a lot of enthusiasm for football.

“He’ll keep going and I’m sure Dorchester will keep going.

Even more so now, and I don’t mean this arrogantly or rudely, but Dorchester are playing Eastleigh, aren’t they.”

The Spitfires travel to the Magpies on Boxing Day (3pm), with the return match on New Year’s Day.

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