Spitfires' target in sight

Daily Echo: Richard Hill Richard Hill

EASTLEIGH boss Richard Hill says people shouldn’t be too quick to wish the season away.

With excitement building as the title-hunting Spitfires home in on automatic promotion from the Skrill Conference South, Hill is urging everyone to keep calm and take things step by step until the job is done.

Speaking after Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hayes & Yeading at Woking, which put Eastleigh two points clear at the summit with two games in hand over second-placed Bromley, he said: “It’s important to keep our feet on the ground and not get carried away and be wishing the season was over.

“Seasons like this don’t come along very often and, no disrespect to clubs like Basingstoke, but it’s far better to be in our position with something to play for than just seeing the season out.

“We mustn’t wish the season away.”

Hill leads his table-toppers to Bishop’s Stortford tonight looking to build on two draws from their last two away games at Staines and Hayes.

On both occasions a slightly more adventurous approach might have nicked a victory. But, on the other hand, it could have cost them defeat. Hill said: “I made a statement at the start of the season that we would try and win every game. But I’m at a point now where, if we’ve got a point with 15 minutes to go, I’ll try and keep that point – especially if information’s coming in that (third-placed) Sutton and Bromley are drawing or losing.

“We’ve picked up good points recently at Eastbourne and Staines and we got another good point on Sunday, whereas last season we would have got beat.

“So long as we don’t lose the next game after a draw it’s fine, but it’s going to be tough at Bishop’s Stortford playing just 48 hours after Hayes through no fault of our own.

“It’s been a long season but we’ve got eight games to go and we need to finish as strong as we can.

“We know what our target is and we’ll see how many points we end up with.”

Reece Connolly is available again tonight after serving a three-match ban, but forward Stuart Fleetwood and centre-back Dean Beckwith may be rested once more after hamstring trouble.

“Both felt they were okay on Sunday, but I wanted to give them a bit more time and I might do the same for Tuesday,” said Hill. “We have to be careful because if they’re not completely ready we risk losing them for the rest of the season.”

The Spitfires will be looking to complete a quick double over Stortford, having beaten them 4-2 at the Silverlake on March 15.

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