ANDY Hessenthaler reckons it’s only a matter of time before Eastleigh’s biggest goal threat Mark Yeates gets the break he deserves.

The Spitfires head to Hartlepool United on Saturday looking to end a scoring drought spanning more than 400 minutes of Vanarama National League football.

Eastleigh created more than their fair share of chances in successive defeats against Ebbsfleet, Harrogate and Maidenhead and, again, in last Saturday’s goalless home stalemate with AFC Fylde.

A fair percentage of those openings have been carved out by former Sheffield United, Watford and Bradford City winger Yeates, but ‘the luck of the Irish’ has so far deserted the 33-year-old Dubliner.

Yeates could have opened the scoring early doors again Fylde, but couldn’t sneak his shot past keeper Jay Lynch.

“Yeatesy’s been our biggest threat and the thing about him is that he makes openings for himself,” said Hessenthaler.

“He’s got clever feet and good movement and can create something out of nothing.

“I’ve watched the video of last week and he tried to bend it into the corner and the keeper’s saved it.

“If he gets it on target, he can do no more, but it’s just unfortunate that he’s come across keepers in good form.”

Hessenthaler, though, does not believe for one minute that Yeates’s confidence levels will drop.

“He’s got too much experience to let that affect him,” he said.

“It might affect a younger player, but Yeatesy’s a different character. I’m convinced that if he gets enough opportunities he will score.

“We’re still getting players in good positions and getting decent enough balls in the box, we’ve just got to start taking our chances.”

The recent dearth of points has dropped Eastleigh to 19th, nine points adrift of Hartlepool who are up in fourth spot.

Hessenthaler, though, will not be travelling north with a heavy heart.

“I’m quite relaxed because the lads haven’t played badly,” he said.

“There’s been a lack of points but, other than perhaps the second half at Harrogate, performances haven’t been bad.

“Last week was a positive in terms of keeping a clean sheet and we need to go on a decent run now.

“We could do with a repeat of last year when we went to Hartlepool and won 2-1.”

Two goals in four second-half minutes did the trick that day – Yeates getting the winner.

Michael Green (hip flexor), Ben Williamson (hamstring) and loanee George Dowling (glute) will not be fit to face the Pools.

Dowling, though, will train on Monday and could feature at home to a young AFC Bournemouth side on Tuesday (7.45pm) in the Hampshire FA Senior Cup.