MANAGER Ben Strevens is hoping new supporters won’t be put off after Eastleigh fell flat in front of their most sizeable crowd of the season.

With five successive National League wins behind them, the stage was set for the Spitfires to make it six league victories in a row for the first time since their National League South days of 2011.

But mid-table visitors FC Halifax Town clearly hadn’t read the script as they made off with a solid 1-0 victory, keeping their seventh clean sheet in their last eight league games.

The good news for Eastleigh is that, with 11 games to go, they are still in the play-off zone in seventh.

And much as Strevens was disappointed with their second-half showing, he had some sympathy with his squad, several of whom have been playing through the pain barrier to drag the side into promotion contention.

“We had a nice big crowd here (3,323) and you want them to come back,” he said. “I just hope they don’t get turned off because, overall, the boys have done really well.

“We’d been under the radar for a number of weeks with no one really talking about us, and then we popped our heads up with that win at Salford last week and went up to fifth in the league and now everyone’s come here today expecting us to win.

“But I knew it was going to be tough. Halifax have kept a lot of clean sheets and they defended for their lives first half.

“We had some real good chances and, on reflection, not getting a goal in that first half put paid to us winning the game.

“I didn’t sense that at half-time, I thought we’d go from strength to strength, but second half we were nowhere near as good as we have been.

“We’ve been struggling a bit with injuries and I don’t know if this was one game too far. We haven’t made excuses all season and I don’t want to use this as one, I just think we didn’t play as well as we can do.

“But for large periods of this season we’ve been very, very good. With the run we’ve been on, I can forgive the boys 45 minutes when they’re not quite up to standard but, unfortunately, that bad 45 minutes has cost us the game.”

Eastleigh will return to action - and, hopefully, winning ways - at 19th-placed Chesterfield on Saturday (3pm).