EASTLEIGH'S rookie boss Ben Strevens is making this management lark look simple.

He masterminded a 3-1 victory at Maidstone United tonight, leading the Spitfires to within one point of the National League play-offs.

All three goals emanated from set-pieces with Joey Jones bagging his first for the club and Paul McCallum plundering a brace for the second away game running.

The breakthrough came right on the stroke of half-time when Mark Yeates played a corner to Josh Hare whose goalbound shot from the edge of the box was side-footed in by Jones.

There hadn’t been much to chose between the teams in the first half, but Eastleigh totally bossed it after the break with McCallum heading in a Yeates corner to make it 2-0 on the hour.

Maidstone, who handed a debut to ex-Spitfire Dan Wishart, were distinctly second-best and the Yeates-McCallum double act came good once again on 85 minutes when the former Orient man rose at the back stick to net his 11th of the season.

Eastleigh goalkeeper coach Ross Flitney, in for the unwell Max Stryjek, was denied a clean sheet late on when Maidstone’s Michael Phillips netted a near-post header.

The result leaves the Spitfires ninth in the table and on a formidable run of just one defeat in 13 league games.

Strevens’ predecessor Andy Hessenthaler, who set that run in motion, returns to the Silverlake on Saturday (3pm) with Dover Athletic.

Meanwhile, Eastleigh will visit Hemel Hempstead Town in the FA Trophy first round on December 15. The Tudors saw off Lewes 3-2 in tonight’s replay.