EASTLEIGH assistant manager Ben Strevens was chuffed with the first-half performance against Gillingham last night.

Although the eventual 4-0 scoreline weighed heavily in the Gills’ favour, it did not reflect the quality of some of the Spitfires’ early play.

They were unlucky to be trailing to a first-half penalty and it was only towards the end of a hot and humid evening that the roof caved in.

“We were really pleased with the first half,” said Strevens. “At times we produced the best stuff we’ve played all pre-season.

“Looking solely at the first half, there were some really good signs.”

The Sky Bet League One visitors struck three times in the last half-hour after the pacey Elliott List had prised open the dam.

“They were lively up front and our back three played the full 90 minutes on a hot night against some very sharp players,” said Strevens.

“We weren’t happy with Gillingham’s fourth (a header from a corner). With the size of our players that shouldn’t be happening. We want to be a threat from set-pieces of our own.

“We’re not going to get carried away, but it’s been a very positive pre-season.

"We’ve only lost the one, although we did play Millwall in a behind-closed-doors game and lost that 1-0. That was another good test for us because they put out their first team as well.

“Each team we’ve played has put out their best side.

“The boys have worked really hard in pre-season with plenty of double sessions and we’ve got a lovely gym now that we didn’t have before.

“I was part of the playing squad this time last year and I’m glad I wasn’t involved in the running sessions this year!

“The boys deserve a bit of down time now and we’ve given them a couple of days off.”

Next up for Eastleigh is a trip to Winchester City on Saturday (3pm).