GETTING pegged back by a goal in the eighth minute of stoppage time is a painful way to wave goodbye to two precious Vanarama National League points.

But while Eastleigh boss Richard Hill will never be convinced that yesterday's 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient should have run 71 seconds over the allotted minimum of six minutes' added time, he felt the Spitfires earned a ‘victory’ of sorts at Brisbane Road.

After surviving a scare when Os skipper David Mooney squandered a 32nd-minute penalty awarded for Sam Wood’s foul on James Dayton, the Spitfires scored one of their own on the stroke of half-time – ice-cool defender Ayo Obileye firing straight down the middle after Alex Lawless had brought down Mark Yeates.

Eastleigh fought like warriors to protect that lead until, with seven minutes and 11 seconds of added time showing on Hill’s trusty stop-watch, Craig Clay rescued his side a last-gasp point after Rommy Boco’s header had been cleared off the line.

Suffice to say Hill viewed it as a “kick in the teeth” but, having had time to sleep on Saturday’s events, his overwhelming emotion was immense admiration for his evolving Eastleigh team.

“It’s disappointing to think you’ve won a game of football and then, for whatever reason, it’s taken away through no fault of your own,” he reflected.

“People might say we rode our luck at times, but I don’t think we did. We got in that position, ‘winning’ the game after 96 minutes, through sheer hard work. We looked solid behind the football – that’s not riding your luck.

“Orient were the home team remember and we defended solidly as individuals and as a group.

“When I came back to the club in February my first game was at Dover, we lost 3-0 and we had no chance.

“It’s nice now that we can go to a place like Orient and be in with a chance of winning.

“We’re not always passing the ball as well as I’d like, but I’m trying to give us a base to build on for next season and the one after that and I really like these lads at the minute – and I’ve told them that.

“I’ve got to say that our fans were great at Orient too. Along with the work ethic of the players, they were a contributing factor."

The draw leaves Eastleigh tenth ahead of tomorrow's Hampshire derby at home to Aldershot Town (3pm).

“It’s going to be another tough one,” Hill predicted. “I saw Aldershot a couple of times while I was scouting for Aston Villa and I really enjoyed watching them play. They’ll pass the ball very well and we’ll need to be at our best or we'll get nothing.”

Aldershot are fifth, a point better off than the Spitfires, coming off a 2-1 home defeat by Chester.