Hill: Players will make right call

Romsey Advertiser: Jai Reason Jai Reason

RICHARD Hill says he will leave it entirely up to his players what to do the next time Eastleigh are awarded a penalty.

For the second week running Jai Reason had a spot kick saved against Weston-super-Mare on Saturday, following on from the previous week’s miss at Farnborough.

Thankfully, neither proved costly with the Spitfires winning both games to pile the pressure on Skrill Conference South leaders Bromley.

And Hill, who leads his side to Tom Widdrington’s Eastbourne Borough tonight, says he will have no bearing on who takes the next one.

Speaking after the 3-1 win over Weston in which Reason bounced back by scoring Eastleigh’s second, the manager said: “I leave the penalties to them. At the end of the day the players have to live and die by their actions.

“But you’ve got to give Jai a bit of credit today.

“For an hour everything that could go wrong did go wrong for him, but he kept plugging away, showed his character and for the last 20 minutes we saw what a good player he is.”

During his own playing days 50-year-old Hill earned a move to Watford on the back of netting 52 goals in 104 appearances for Northampton Town.

He smiled: “I wouldn’t have missed that penalty. I wasn’t a regular penalty taker, but I took a lot and I only missed once.

“But let’s not forget there’s a lot of pressure when you’re stood over that football, whether it’s 0-0 (as it was on Saturday) or you’re 3-0 up.

“Jai hit it firmly enough, but the ’keeper’s gone the right way.” Ex-Saint Widdrington’s Eastbourne sit eighth in the table, just three points outside the play-off zone with four games in hand on fifth-placed Weston.

Eastleigh suffered no apparent injury setbacks on Saturday with Jamie Collins coming painlessly through a 25-minute appearance off the bench after sitting out the midweek Maidenhead win with ankle trouble.

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