The FA Cup
EastleighEastleigh1BoltonBolton Wanderers1

Eastleigh 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

By Adam WilliamsBBC Sport at Silverlake Stadium

Non-league side Eastleigh came within minutes of upsetting Bolton as their FA Cup third-round tie ended all-square.

Darren Pratley spared bottom-of-the-Championship Bolton's blushes when he pounced on a loose ball in the area to equalise three minutes from time.

Eastleigh - the lowest ranked team left in the cup - led through a Dorian Dervite own goal just after half-time.

The centre-back turned Jai Reason's dangerous cross past his own goalkeeper as an upset looked on.

Reaction to Saturday's FA Cup third-round games

The game in Hampshire survived three pitch inspections before finally going ahead.

A crowd of more than 5,000 squeezed into the ground just a short walk from Southampton Airport and almost saw the home side reach the fourth round for the first time in their 70-year history.

Bolton, dogged by financial problems, brought 1,000 of their own supporters, who nearly had a wasted journey.

Troubled Bolton avoid a giant-killing

Bolton unbeaten against non-league sides

Bolton survived a tricky start as Eastleigh striker Yemi Odubade caused problems down the flanks and through the middle.

After the Spitfires took the lead, they came within inches of doubling it 14 minutes from time when Andy Drury's goal-bound shot was scrambled off the line by David Wheater.

Pratley looked Bolton's most dangerous threat in attack and was denied in each half by fine saves from home keeper Ross Flitney before eventually firing home unmarked from Liam Feeney's corner.

And though the Trotters escaped with a replay, they will have to battle past a dogged Eastleigh if they are to come close to matching their 2011 run to the semi-finals.

Would they or wouldn't they?

Ten Acres pitch hours before kick-off
Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium pitch passed a pitch inspection at lunchtime on Saturday

The game was only given the go-ahead 90 minutes before kick-off.

Referee Iain Williamson deliberated with both managers before giving the match the green light.

Following the postponement of Eastleigh's National League game against Bromley last weekend and a week of heavy showers, a round-the-clock effort from ground staff and volunteers kept the surface just dry enough.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon delayed naming his side until the pitch was finally declared fit.

And, after the game, it was announced that Bolton had accepted bids for striker Zach Clough and defender Mark Davies, both of whom were excluded.

Going good to (very) soft

Dorian Devrite's own goal
Dorian Dervite's own goal is not a thing of beauty but it the most famous goal in the history of Eastleigh, for whom this tie was only their sixth in the FA Cup proper draw

Conditions failed to improve when the game did eventually start.

Large areas of the surface immediately cut up, puddles formed in some quarters and both goalkeepers looked uncertain when clearing their lines.

Eastleigh keeper Flitney nearly opened the scoring in bizarre fashion when his long clearance bounced off a rare dry patch and almost lobbed his opposite number Ben Amos.

Rain started to fall moments before kick-off and continued throughout the first half.

But, the showers ceased during the interval, just in time for the hosts to take the lead through Dervite's error.

Manager reaction

Eastleigh manager Chris Todd told BBC Radio Solent: "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."

Bolton manager Neil Lennon: "I wasn't overly happy with the pitch, one of the worst pitches I have ever seen, but we travelled.

"The referee did say that if it rained he would call it off but I didn't really fancy coming back so thankfully the game went ahead.

"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."



Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1FlitneyBooked at 89mins
  • 2Partington
  • 6Reid
  • 4Evans
  • 20Harding
  • 14Strevens
  • 7OdubadeSubstituted forMohamedat 35'minutes
  • 8Payne
  • 18Drury
  • 10ReasonBooked at 89mins
  • 9Constable


  • 5Turley
  • 11Lafayette
  • 12Midson
  • 13Noice
  • 17Cook
  • 28Mohamed


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Amos
  • 45HoldingBooked at 31mins
  • 4Dervite
  • 31Wheater
  • 3Moxey
  • 18DannsBooked at 66minsSubstituted forTrotterat 85'minutes
  • 6VelaSubstituted forAmeobiat 71'minutes
  • 7Feeney
  • 22Wellington
  • 21Pratley
  • 14MadineSubstituted forWooleryat 85'minutesBooked at 89mins


  • 8Spearing
  • 13Rachubka
  • 17Trotter
  • 20Casado
  • 23Dobbie
  • 26Ameobi
  • 30Woolery
Iain Williamson

Match Stats

Home TeamEastleighAway TeamBolton
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Eastleigh 1, Bolton Wanderers 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Eastleigh 1, Bolton Wanderers 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Josh Payne.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Paul Reid.

  5. Post update

    Shola Ameobi (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Paul Reid (Eastleigh).

  7. Booking

    Jai Reason (Eastleigh) is shown the yellow card.

  8. Booking

    Kaiyne Woolery (Bolton Wanderers) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Booking

    Ross Flitney (Eastleigh) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Goal!

    Goal! Eastleigh 1, Bolton Wanderers 1. Darren Pratley (Bolton Wanderers) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rob Holding following a corner.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Bolton Wanderers. Conceded by Dan Harding.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Kaiyne Woolery replaces Gary Madine.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Bolton Wanderers. Liam Trotter replaces Neil Danns.

  14. Post update

    Offside, Bolton Wanderers. Wellington tries a through ball, but Shola Ameobi is caught offside.

  15. Post update

    Gary Madine (Bolton Wanderers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Will Evans (Eastleigh).

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Josh Payne (Eastleigh) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jai Reason with a cross following a corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Eastleigh. Conceded by David Wheater.

  19. Post update

    Back pass by Ben Amos (Bolton Wanderers).

  20. Post update

    (Eastleigh) wins a free kick in the attacking half.