The lowest ranked team in the cup, Eastleigh, almost caused an upset in the FA cup Third Round against Bolton Wanderers.

The Championship side who currently sit bottom of the league with just 17 points were spared disappointment through a 87 minute goal from Darren Pratley.

The game almost didn’t go ahead, but after three pitch inspections, the match was given the all clear.

Bolton Manager Neil Lennon expressed his concerns over the pitch quality, saying, “I wasn’t overly happy with the pitch, one of the worst pitches I have ever seen, but we travelled.”

“The pitch was a huge problem with how the game panned out. The pitch is a leveller, they played very well, this is their big day.”

Despite the conditions, nothing could take away from Eastleighs’ strong performance, with striker Yemi Odubade causing The Trotters problems early on.

The home side went ahead after an own goal by center back Dorian Dervite and were denied a second goal after Wheater managed to clear the ball off the line.

Eastleigh Manager Chris Todd said, “The players put absolutely everything into it and they’ve given a performance that deserved a win.”

“The scenes when we took the lead were incredible. It’s something we’ve never seen before, but it just goes to show what could happen if we achieve what we want to as a football club.”

“They won’t be too keen on us coming to their place as we’ve shown how good we can be and the problems we can cause them and it’s going to be an interesting game when the return comes.”

The draw extended Boltons’ run of 20 games unbeaten against non-league clubs.

However, the club who are currently suffering with financial problems, will need to pull together if they want to beat the non-league team in the replay on the 19th January.


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Sport Development Student at Leeds Beckett University. Barnet FC fan.