EASTLEIGH boss Andy Hessenthaler believes his team were badly let down by a refereeing oversight in Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Sutton.

Hertfordshire official David Rock was perfectly positioned when he awarded the 31st-minute penalty against Spitfires right wing-back Josh Hare which ultimately settled the game.

But, having watched the incident back on video, Hessenthaler is convinced that nippy Sutton winger Tom Bolarinwa fouled Hare rather than the other way round.

“The lad’s been clever. He’s put his leg across Josh and they’ve both gone down,” said Hessenthaler.

“Where the ref is standing he could see it better than anyone, but he’s got it wrong and it’s cost us a point.

“I’m going to make a formal complaint to ex-referee Steve Dunn, who’s the man we speak to about this sort of thing, and get him to have a look at it. I’d be amazed if he doesn’t come to the same conclusion as me.

“The video clearly shows their lad tripped Josh.

“Josh felt it wasn’t a penalty at the time and he lost his concentration a bit after the pen was given.

“We didn’t play great, but it’s not easy on the astroturf against a team who finished top-three last season. A point at Sutton – we’d have taken that.

“We didn’t create a lot, but neither did they and, unfortunately, it’s the penalty that’s got them the win.”

With two games of the season gone, it’s not inconceivable that Eastleigh could have four points in the bank.

Instead, the account is empty with Tuesday’s defeat exacerbating the pain of Saturday’s late collapse against Solihull – a match they bossed for long spells.

On Saturday they travel to newly-relegated Barnet who have begun their return to non-League with draws against Aldershot (0-0, away) and Braintree (1-1, home).

“We’ve got to get our heads up,” said Hessenthaler. “In terms of performance, we deserve more than we’ve got and the players know that. Hopefully we can go to Barnet and get the points in the bag.”

With five more games to cram in this month, Hessenthaler may well “freshen things up” at The Hive.

“Like I’ve said, the players on the bench are as good as we’ve got on the pitch, so there’s no reason we can’t use them,” he said. “We’ve got seven games this month and we’ve got to use the squad.”

Experienced striker James Constable, who finished last season on loan at Poole Town, was omitted from the 16 at Sutton and could well go out on loan again.

“Beano (Constable) wants to play and if he had the opportunity to go out again, we’d still consider it,” said the boss.

“We’ve still got three strikers (Paul McCallum, Ben Williamson, Chris Zebroski) and young Ollie Dennett as back-up."