The Start of a Cup Run?

Hamworthy United 1 Eastleigh 3

FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

Match Report by Ray Murphy

Eastleigh progressed into the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for only the fourth time in their history following a close victory at Wessex League side Hamworthy United.

Hamworthy started strongly forcing a corner in the first minute from which skipper Nathan Walker headed Micky Hubbards kick wide, Eastleigh returned with their own attacks with Andy Forbes forcing a save from home goalkeeper Mark Peters. Chris Piper’s effort from the edge of the box was also off target with the midfielder trying to steady his own footing.

A shock seemed on the cards when the home side took the lead on twenty-three minutes when Carl Mutch headed home a free kick from Hubbard to give their opponents from three levels higher an uphill struggle.

The lead only lasted four minutes, a thirty yard drive from Craig O’Connor was pushed onto the post by Peters but the keeper’s efforts was not enough to stop the equaliser giving O’Connor the opportunity to produce an exuberant goalscoring celebration somersault.

Paul Sales shot just wide from outside the area then on the stroke of half time, Sales’ downward header was headed wide by O’Connor from inside the six-yard box. O’Connor saw another long range effort saved by Peters in first half stoppage time.

Eastleigh held the upper majority of possession but the home side also created a couple of opportunities of their own. The introduction of Eastleigh substitute Adam Roberts on sixty-six minutes switched the play to Eastleigh’s favour. The winger created the second Eastleigh goal just five minutes after his arrival. His cross to the far post from the left flank was headed back by Forbes and although Paul Sales was unable to connect with an overhead kick, player manager David Hughes was on hand to rifle home his first goal of the season.

Seven minutes later another left wing cross from Roberts was met by the head of Sales to give Eastleigh a two-goal cushion.

Dani Rodrigues was introduced for his Eastleigh debut and one skilful piece of play produced an opening for Forbes, but the striker’s shot was wide. In the closing stages Walker had another attempt for the home side but again just off target.

Eastleigh have never progressed beyond the Third Qualifying Round.

Star Rating 3
Man Of Match: Adam Roberts (Eastleigh)


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