Spitfires Shot Down Through Beavers' Brilliance
By Rob Overfield
Tim Hammersley on how the Beavers pulled off a massive upset at Eastleigh as Dickson’s late goal saw them into the hat for the First-round proper since 2007.
Both sides started the game with intent, with both teams creating a string of chances, without ever seriously threatening.
Eastleigh were the first to find the target with Mark Yeates shot from just inside the area being comfortably saved by Tom Lovelock in the Hampton and Richmond goal, before Ben Williamson had the ball in the Hampton goal, only for it to be ruled out for a clear offside.
Hampton began to find space in an increasingly open game, With Rhys Murrell-Williamson cutting in from the right-hand side, only to send his shot wide of the Eastleigh goal.
Eastleigh looked to play high balls into the Hampton box, but failed to seriously test Lovelock, with Paul McCallum’s header the only real test for the Lovelock.
Hampton continued to create chances but lacked a real cutting edge in the final third, with Murrell-Williamson and Zak Joseph both finding themselves in goal-scoring positions, without being able to get testing shots away.
The best chance of the half fell to the Beavers right on the stroke of half time, as Murrell-Williamson cut inside, beat his man, and fired a powerful shot across the Eastleigh goal, with the ball smashing into the far post.
The pace and intensity of the game didn’t drop after the interval, with both sides continuing to press and create chances, with Craig Dundas heading over after a good cross from Nathan Mavila.
Ben Williamson and Yeates both had chances for Eastleigh, with Chris Dickson going close for Hampton but again both teams failed to put serious pressure on the goalkeepers.
Eastleigh looked to have got a breakthrough as a corner resulted in a goal line scramble that saw several players try and put the ball in the net, only for Dundas to eventually clear for Hampton.
As the game looked like it would fizzle out into a draw, Hampton worked the ball into the Eastleigh area, with Dickson finding himself in space on the edge of the box and firing into the bottom corner to put the Beavers ahead.
Despite Eastleigh pushing hard in the final five minutes, Hampton saw out a famous victory, and are now through to the First-round proper for the first time in 11 years.
Match winning goal scorer Chris Dickson speaking ahead of Monday’s First Round draw, said: “I don’t mind who we get, obviously a big club would be great.”
“It’s been a while since the club got to the first round proper, so I’m delighted to get the goal, but obviously the win more importantly.”
“We just want to transition this into the league now.”
Beaver’s Manager Gary McCann said to the club's Twitter: “It’s a special moment, not just for the changing room but for the whole football club.”
“We’ve been starved of a bit of success in the FA Cup, so I’m really pleased we’ve put a performance together of that magnitude and are through to the First Round.”
“What the boys put together in that second half was not a smash and grab, it was a performance worthy of a win."