CENTRE-BACKS Reda Johnson and Alex Wynter could miss the start of Eastleigh’s FA Trophy campaign at Hemel Hempstead Town on Saturday (3pm).

But if the towering duo do sit out the first round tie at Vauxhall Road, it will be purely down to injury concerns rather than manager Ben Strevens taking the competition lightly.

Wynter is still having groin trouble, while Johnson felt the force of a block tackle in the Spitfires’ 2-0 National League defeat at Wrexham last weekend.

“Alex didn’t start the last home game, but he felt fine at Wrexham until he stretched for the ball towards the end and hurt it,” Strevens explained.

“Reda’s feeling sore and if we do have any doubts about anyone whatsoever tomorrow, they won’t play – but I will still be putting out a strong team.

“Sometimes at the start of the Trophy it’s seen as just another cup competition and clubs would rather concentrate on the league.

“But if you win two or three games and get a bit of luck with the draw, very quickly you’re not too far away from Wembley which would be a massive day out for the fans and players and I think you have to have that mentality.

“The best chance I ever had in the Trophy was with Eastleigh in the year we did well in the Conference South. We lost in the quarter-finals to (eventual winners) Cambridge United.

“A Trophy run would be good for the club, that’s certainly the way I’m looking at it, especially after going out of the FA Cup early.

“Some people might not put out a strong team early doors, but we’ll be taking it seriously. We’re looking forward to it and we want to do as well as we can.”

Having been ignominiously turfed out of the FA Cup by Hemel’s National League South rivals Hampton & Richmond Borough, Eastleigh know better than to underestimate Joe Deeney’s Tudors who sit eighth in the table.

Strevens, based just a 30-minute drive away from Vauxhall Road in Milton Keynes, said “I’ve played there a few times. It’s a nice ground with good people and they’ve got a decent side.”

Ex-Luton midfielder Rob Sinclair, the Tudors’ player-of-the-month for November, is well known in this part of the world for his time with Salisbury and Aldershot.

Hemel are captained by former Barnet attacking midfielder Jordan Parkes, who recently scored his 100th club goal, and a famous name on the backroom staff is ex-Chelsea and Russia No1 Dmitri Kharine, the Tudors’ goalkeeping coach.

Hemel made hard work of getting to this stage of the Trophy, eventually beating lower-league Lewes at the second attempt last month.

They were pegged back to 2-2 in Sussex, having led 2-0, and were pushed to the wire before edging the replay 3-2.

Saturday's winners bank £6,000 from the FA Prize Fund.