BY the time Sutton United and Bromley kick a ball again, Eastleigh could be home and hosed as Skrill Conference South champions. But in the event the Spitfires do not get the four points they need at home to Dover Athletic tonight and Basingstoke Town on Good Friday (3pm), manager Richard Hill has made it clear he expects those clubs who have raised their game against Eastleigh this season to do the same against their promotion rivals, writes Wendy Gee.
Sutton return to action at Bishops Stortford on Saturday while third-placed Bromley visit a Tonbridge Angels side who have done the double over Eastleigh this term.
Hill said: “It’s in our hands. If we get a point or a win tonight we’d need either three or one on Friday.
“But if it (the title race) does go further, I hope these teams that have played to their maximum against Eastleigh will do the same against Sutton and Bromley.
“Tonbridge were magnificent against us – twice – with their enthusiasm and ‘over my dead body’ attitude. Let’s hope they do the same against our direct opposition, otherwise celebrating a result over Eastleigh means nothing.” Considering the magnitude of their achievements this season and the quality of football on show at the Silverlake, Eastleigh’s average home attendance of just over 600 has been a tad disappointing. But the club would love as big a crowd as possible tonight to roar them towards the finishing line.
“I can’t make people come to the Silverlake, but we’ve been top for a while now and it would be nice to see a few people there,” said Hill.
“I’ve done my bit and the fans have to do their bit now and come and support us.”
Dean Beckwith, Stuart Fleetwood, Reece Connolly and Jamie Collins all remain injury doubts tonight, but there is some hope for targetman Craig McAllister (groin) who was an unused sub in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Chelmsford.
“Dover are on the edge of the play-offs and it’s going to be tough tonight,” said Hill. “We won’t take them lightly and haven’t done all season.”