Report: Eastleigh 1-1 Bolton
Wanderers and Eastleigh will go again at Macron Stadium in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup after the initial fixture ended 1-1 at the Silverlake Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Following a goalless first period, the home side opened the scoring courtesy of an own goal by Dorian Dervite shortly after the restart, with the Frenchman inadvertedly turning the ball past his own keeper.
The Whites searched in a bid to bring themselves back into the tie with Darren Pratley and Wellington Silva both coming close, but it was the former who pulled the visitors level late on to earn them a second shot at progression in the competition.
There were three changes for Wanderers from the side who started against Huddersfield Town last time out with Dorian Dervite, Neil Danns and Wellington Silva all in from the off for the visitors.
Shola Ameobi meanwhile stepped up his return from a recent injury lay-off by taking his place amongst the substitutes.
The home side started strongly, with Josh Payne seeing his half volley from eight yards blocked by him own man after Ben Amos had been forced to parry away a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
Wanderers were forced to defend deeply inside the opening stages with the hosts ruling proceedings as the rain began to fall at the Silverlake Stadium.
It was testing stuff early on as conditions played their part in much of the game play, while Yemi Odubade came within inches of connecting with a well weighted Jai Reason cross in the tenth minute of the match.
The latter came close once again soon after, this time blasting well over the crossbar after breaking free of the Bolton defence.
In the 14th minute, the visitors enjoyed their first real sight of goal as Wellington tricked his way to the corner of the Northampton penalty area, but for all his effort the Brazilian saw his ambitious lofted shot narrowly clear the goalmouth.
Having ridden the storm somewhat with Eastleigh’s early pressure, Wanderers began to look livelier in front of goal with Rob Holding’s downfield ball only just failing to find the feet of Gary Madine with the striker in on goal.
The home side were still the team enjoying the more threatening opportunities however, although Amos remained virtually untroubled between the sticks.
An injury to their star man Odubade just after the half hour mark however halted Eastleigh’s stride somewhat, with the number seven replaced by Kaid Mohamed for his Spitfires’ debut.
Wellington, a constant threat for Bolton, almost opened the scoring with his shot flying agonisingly wide while Dean Moxey’s effort was pushed around the post by Ross Flitney.
Wanderers’ best chances of the game, Holding came close to opening his account for the club from close range only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
With three minutes of additional time, the Whites continued their own pressure with Feeney testing Flitney, but the first period ended goalless.
The second half began with no changes at the break for either team and it was Bolton who started brightly with Neil Danns’ shot over a packed Eastleigh box posing no threat to the home side’s keeper.
The home side however proceeded to take the lead against the run of play when following a lofted dangerous ball into the six yard box, Dervite turned the ball into his own net under pressure with 51 minutes gone.
Buoyed by their opener, Eastleigh continued to push on and saw Joe Partington denied at the death following a mazy run from the full-back.
Having calmed the storm, Wanderers came within inches of drawing level as, following a clever one-two with Wellington, Pratley forced Flitney to palm his seemingly goalbound effort around the upright.
It appeared to be just the boost needed with the Whites putting the Eastleigh defence under pressure with Madine and Wellington in the midst of the madness.
It was almost two for he hosts however in the 66th minute as a goalmouth scramble ensued, with Amos and Wheater combining to eventually clear Wanderers’ lines.
The introduction of Shola Ameobi with 20 minutes saw Bolton go all out in attack, with Flitney fumbling Moxey’s free-kick moments later with the keeper lucky to recover.
A succession of Bolton corners with 15 minutes remaining saw the Spitfires put under pressure, but on the counter attack Eastleigh saw Reason’s effort hooked off the line by Wheater with a second goal for the hosts seemingly imminent.
An indirect free-kick awarded for an apparent backpass with ten minutes remaining had the Whites on the backfoot, although the final effort came to nothing much.
As the game entered its final stages, Wellington’s free-kick was slammed narrowly wide by Ameobi through a crowded penalty area while a double substitution of Liam Trotter and Kaiyne Woolery ensured that it was last chance saloon for the visitors.
And that reaped dividends with three minutes to go as, following a corner won by the latter, Pratley forced the ball home inside a crowded penalty area to draw Bolton level.
Just the fillip needed, four minutes of additional time saw both sides go all out for the win that would earn them their place in the fourth round, but neither were able to find another strike before the final whistle as the game ended all square.