OLLIE Dennett could find himself in Eastleigh’s starting eleven at Harrogate Town on Saturday if things don’t perk up on the injury front.

The 19-year-old Lymington lad was summoned off the bench during Monday’s 1-0 home defeat by Ebbsfleet and did not look out of place in the Vanarama National League.

The young striker, who has gained Southern League experience with Bashley, showed in an excellent 30-minute cameo that he possesses both the physical strength and tenacity to succeed in non-League’s top tier.

He signed a professional contract for Eastleigh at the end of last season having come through the club's scholarship programme and then joined the apprenticeship scheme in 2017/18. 

“Young Ollie’s getting stronger and more confident,” said manager Andy Hessenthaler.

“He almost scored on Monday, but was unlucky to come up against a keeper (Ebbsfleet’s Nathan Ashmore) who pretty much covers all the goal.

“He’s not a big lad, but he’s strong for his size and credit to him for working so hard in the gym.

"He does a lot of individual work himself, so credit to the kid. His performance on Monday shows his progress over the last few months. It's great.

"This league is full of big centre-halves and they don’t want to come up against someone like Ollie who’s small and tricky and runs in behind. They want to face big strikers who can't move.

“Ollie’s a big asset to us and we know he’ll be going on again on Saturday – he may even start.”

Goalkeeper Graham Stack is okay again after a shoulder injury, but Eastleigh are without suspended centre-back Alex Wynter (sent off against Ebbsfleet), hamstring victims Ben Williamson and Chris Zebroski and loanee George Dowling (glute muscle tear).

The Spitfires will travel north tomorrow and stop off to train at Doncaster where defender/midfielder Joey Jones and, possibly centre-back Reda Johnson, will undergo a fitness test.

“None of the injured players have trained this week so we may be in the same position as Monday,” said Hessenthaler.

“But I said from the very first game against Solihull that we were going to need the whole squad at some stage and that’s already been proved.

“But I couldn’t have asked any more from the players on Monday.

"To a man, they were absolutely outstanding. We’ve set our standards now and I expect the same again.”

Asked if it would be possible to ease the injury crisis with a loan signing, Hessenthaler said: "I've made some calls but have found it difficult. It's what's available financially.

"I'll have to talk to the club directors and maybe we can bring in one or two on loan. I have had conversations."