IT will take more than two untimely injuries to dent Eastleigh’s determination to reach the Vanarama National League playoffs.

The Spitfires are on a roll of three straight victories heading into Saturday’s home game against cellar dwellers Braintree Town (3pm).

Under the guidance of young boss Ben Strevens, they sit proudly joint top of the current form chart, having banked 38 points from the last 20 games – the same as ex-Saint Tim Flowers’ table-toppers Solihull Moors.

Last Saturday’s 3-1 Hampshire derby win at Aldershot Town kept Eastleigh within a point of the play-off zone in ninth place but, with only a small band of senior players to call on, it came as a double blow to lose striker Ben Williamson and midfielder Oscar Gobern to injury.

Williamson bowed out after just ten minutes with a groin issue while ex-Saint Gobern, a 78th-minute replacement for 17-goal top gun Paul McCallum, had to be substituted himself with the recurrence of a calf problem.

Both are likely to be sidelined for three weeks which would rule them out of next Saturday’s trip to Salford City (who exited the FA Trophy 3-0 at Maidstone on Tuesday), the next home game against FC Halifax Town on March 2 (3pm) and, possibly, the trip to Chesterfield on March 9.

Strevens, though, is not dwelling on the negative and has total faith in his small but unified band of players.

He said: “A lot of the reason we’ve done so well is because we’ve got a small squad and a tight-knit group.

“Losing Ben and Oscar is not ideal but, fortunately, everyone else is okay and we’ve got a couple coming back in.

“Blackfield & Langley wanted to keep (young striker) Ollie Dennett for another month, but we’ve called him back and he’ll be involved on the bench tomorrow.

“Also (goalkeeper coach/No2 'keeper) Ross Flitney’s getting over his knee operation and he’s back in around it.

“I thought Chris Zebroski was excellent when he went on for Willo last week and we’ve got Cav Miley, who’s an excellent player, waiting to come back in. Plus young Jack McKnight and Tom Bearwish have been training really well.”

McCallum’s troublesome groin held up well at Aldershot, but the 25-year-old was struggling for a different reason just before plundering a quick-fire second-half brace.

“Macca landed awkwardly and hurt the back of his head and neck and (defender) Alex Wynter came running over and said ‘gaffer, he’s going to have to come off,” Strevens revealed.

“The next thing you know he’s scored and then, two minutes later, he’s scored again! It certainly didn’t seem to affect him the way he took his goals.”

On paper three points should be a shoo-in for Eastleigh on Saturday with Braintree carrying the weight of the entire league on their shoulders.

But the Essex outfit are not called The Iron for nothing and last weekend they stunned promotion-hunting Salford City with a last-gasp 1-0 win at Cressing Road - Callum Morton scoring in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

“I’ve watched that game and also their game at Hartlepool (a 2-1 defeat) and they’re not playing like a bottom-of-the-league side,” warned Strevens.

“They’ve got a few younger players and a few lads on loan from bigger teams.

“We’re going to have to play really well to beat them, but four wins on the bounce would be amazing.

“We’ve got a certain way of playing which seems to suit the group and, having watched the lads train, I was really confident going up to Aldershot last week.

“But this league is relentless and we’ve got to work even harder to maintain what we’re doing.”

Eastleigh’s home game against Barnet, which was postponed due to the Bees’ FA Trophy commitments, has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 2 (7.45pm).

*Eastleigh’s James Trant was among the scorers as England’s over-60s walking footballers trounced Gibraltar 11-0 last weekend.