Eastleigh manager Richard Hill was full of praise for his team after coming away with a point against Gateshead less than 48 hours after their last match.
Hill, who led the Spitfires to the Conference South title last term, has achieved an unbeaten start to the season in the Conference Premier after three games.
But the boss, admitted that his side was “dead on its feet” after playing on Thursday – the 1-0 win over Aldershot – and on Saturday in the 2-2 draw against the Tynesiders.
“The team’s performance was brilliant,” he said.
“These two games have been an enormous workload for the team and, yet, we still had decent chances to win the game.
“It’s been difficult having two games in a short space of time. For us to get a point against them, less than 48 hours after the previous game is quite an achievement.
“We were dead on our feet in the last 20 minutes. You could see Strevens (Ben Strevens), Reason (Jai Reason), Constable (James Constable), Spence (Dan Spence) and Reidy (Paul Reid) were all dead on their feet.”
After playing Shots, Hill felt they couldn’t have welcomed a tougher side to the Silverlake Stadium in their third match of the campaign.
“I think Gateshead will win the league,” he said. “They are without doubt the champions.
“They play football in the right way. They can pass the ball; they’ve got the players to do it. They’re always moving; they’re always probing.
“You’ve got to give Gary Mills (Gateshead manager) credit; he’s got them playing very well.”
Eastleigh currently sit in fourth place alongside Gateshead in third after both achieving an unbeaten start and are only separated on goal difference.
New summer signing from AFC Wimbledon Jack Midson got his first Eastleigh goal against Gateshead – with a header that gave the Spitfires the lead – but he did that playing through the pain barrier. “Jack Midson is a very good player,” said Hill. “What I need to stress is that Jack Midson has played the last two games with a migraine.
“He played Thursday with a horrible migraine. It was the first one he’d ever had and today it wasn’t a lot better.
“I gave him Friday off. He slept for two days and he’s a bit better.
“That’s testament to Jack that he wanted to play despite the migraine.
“Anyone that suffers from migraines will know what an achievement that is.”
Eastleigh’s next game is at Dover this Saturday.