Ben Strevens praised the effort of his Eastleigh side who fell to defeat against Hartlepool in the Vanarama National League last night.

Eastleigh were injury-hit before kick-off and could only name four substitutes, but Strevens insisted that he was not going to settle for those excuses.

A stunning Sam Smart strike levelled the scores following Gavan Holohan’s opener, but a 67th-minute goal from Mark Shelton proved to be the winner for the home side.

Strevens reflected on the night: “I can’t ask anything more from my boys tonight; to a man they really stood up in tricky conditions and in a tough game. Of course, we ultimately ended up losing the game but there are certain ways to lose a game that as a manager I can deal with.

“Today I can stand there and say to a man, they worked hard all the way through.”

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