Just when Eastleigh boss Richard Hill looked close to getting a full squad fit and available, yet more problems reared their ugly head during yesterday’s bizarre 3-3 draw at FC Halifax Town.
Top scorer Ben Williamson limped off with hamstring problems after just 19 minutes of an extraordinary Vanarama National League showdown at The Shay.
With a trip to table-topping Sutton United coming up on Saturday, it’s touch and go whether the striker will be fit.
But what is definite is that goalkeeper Ross Flitney will play no part having got himself sent off for a second bookable offence in West Yorkshire.
Cautioned in the first half for clattering into Scott McManus, Flitney held onto the ball and sparked a melee after Tom Denton had trimmed Eastleigh’s lead to 3-2 with 17 minutes remaining.
Remarkably his dismissal came after Shaymen’s stopper Sam Johnson had also got his marching orders for a second yellow.
Unlike Halifax, who had goalkeeping No2 Tom Nicholson on the bench, Eastleigh had travelled north without a sub ‘keeper.
First-choice No1 Graham Stack had injured his shoulder against Maidenhead four days earlier, while young understudy Mark Childs is still a long way off fitness after damaging his knee in February while on loan at Gosport Borough.
It meant centre-back Andrew Boyce donning the gloves and, despite making one good save with his feet, the defender was beaten by Daniel Batty in the 90th minute as the Shaymen rescued an unlikely point.
“Stacky’s had a scan and his shoulder is not as bad as we thought, but we’ll assess the situation this week and do what we need to do,” said Hill.
“I’ll never slaughter my players, but let’s get it clear, Ross shouldn’t have done what he did.
“But I’ve said for years that a directive needs to be issued saying there’s no point hanging onto the ball after a goal is scored because the time will be added on anyway.”
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