EASTLEIGH midfielder Ben Strevens has been hit with a seven-match ban following his sending-off in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Forest Green Rovers.

The 35-year-old, one of the experienced ‘old’ heads in the Spitfires side, was shown a straight red for spitting in the direction of FGR's two-goal match-winner Jon Parkin during stoppage time at The New Lawn.

The offence carries an automatic six-match suspension and an extra game has been added because it is Strevens’ second red card of the season.

The former Dagenham & Redbridge, Barnet and Wycombe Wanderers man previously got his marching orders for a bust-up in the half-time tunnel during the 2-1 home defeat by Gateshead in mid-September.

Strevens, who has captained the side on occasion this season, is also walking a disciplinary tightrope where bookings are concerned. He has seen yellow nine times this term and one more would trigger an additional two-match ban.

His seven-match suspension begins next Tuesday when Vanarama National League leaders Cheltenham Town visit the Silverlake Stadium and he is not due back until the Easter Monday game at Torquay United.

He also misses home games against Woking, Chester, Bromley and Welling and trips to Braintree and FC Halifax.

Strevens maintains he did not spit directly at the player, but nevertheless the club has opted not to appeal.

Chairman Stewart Donald confirmed: “The club did not appeal as we had zero chance of success.

“We have dealt with the matter internally and taken what we feel is appropriate action, bearing in mind the circumstances.”

Strevens’ lengthy ban is another blow to the stuttering Spitfires as they bid to turn round a poor run of results that has seen them bank just four of last available 24 points.

Eastleigh remain tenth in the VNL table, but Tuesday night brought wins for Forest Green Rovers, Grimsby, Wrexham and Braintree, who are all above them, while Cheltenham were held 0-0 by Gateshead.

Forest Green's 1-0 result at Guiseley was settled by an 82nd-minute strike from ex-Spitfire Brett Williams.