Saints keeper is toughening up at Eastleigh

By Wendy Gee

Jack Dovey Eastleigh boss Ian Baird is convinced 19-year-old goalkeeper Jack Dovey will return to Saints a more battle-hardened player after a toughening up season in the Blue Square Bet South.

Totton lad Dovey, who joined Eastleigh on loan from Southampton last October, impressed Baird with the way he stood up to a second-half onslaught against Havant & Waterlooville last week.

"Havant went gung-ho in the second half, pushed four up front and threw everything at us and Jack showed real maturity in dealing with it," said Baird.

"To come under a bombardment like that on a concrete pitch on a freezing cold night will stand him in good stead for the future.

"For Jack to cope in that environment says a lot about him." 
Eastleigh's chances of building on that Havant win were sabotaged by a frozen pitch, forcing the 10am postponement of Saturday's home game against Tonbridge Angels.
Tonight's visit to Staines Town will see tenth-placed Eastleigh resume their play-off push.

"We haven't been able to train because of the weather, but the lads have done some work on their own," said Baird, who has two injury worries - Philip Appiah (hamstring) and Michael Green (back) - for the trip to second-to-bottom Staines.

Wheatsheaf Park is a happy hunting ground for Eastleigh, who triumphed 5-0 there last season, spearheaded by four-goal Jamie Slabber.


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