“BEING top of the league now means nothing if we’re not top at the end of the season.”

Richard Hill’s response to Eastleigh taking pole position in the Skrill Conference South on Saturday was typically guarded.

But deep down the Spitfires boss is proud of his players for turning round an 11-point deficit on former league leaders Bromley to sit top of the table, one point clear with two games in hand, heading into tonight’s trip to Whitehawk.

“The lads have done absolutely fantastic and I take my hat off to them for closing the gap,” said the boss.

Bromley’s 2-1 loss at Farnborough on Saturday was the stuttering Kent side’s fourth straight league defeat. In fact they have banked just four points from the last available 21.

Eastleigh have had some wobbles too, but they head to relegation-threatened Whitehawk buoyed by back-to-back home wins over Chelmsford and Bishops’s Stortford.

“There’s been misfortune on Bromley’s part, but you still have to maintain momentum to overtake them. For us to close the gap on them is an unbelievable achievement,” said Hill.

“But we won’t tempt fate by getting carried away because, as soon as you do, it comes back to bite you on the backside.”

Third-to-bottom Whitehawk, now managed by ex-Lewes and Farnborough boss Steve King, have parted company with five players including ex-Saint Jason St Juste, who has left after just two appearances, and former Spitfire Ashley Carew, who has returned to his parent club Dover Athletic.

The Spitfires, meanwhile, have received an international transfer request for Jack Dovey from Australian side Cobram Victory. Ex-Saints academy goalkeeper Dovey recently left the Silverlake to travel Down Under.