EASTLEIGH have a strong chance of pulling another Hampshire side out of the hat in today’s FA Trophy quarter-final draw.
Amazingly the county accounts for four of the last eight berths in non-League’s premier cup competition.
While the Spitfires were celebrating a last-gasp 3-2 win over Dover at the Silverlake, their Skrill Conference South neighbours Havant & Waterlooville and Gosport Borough were busy beating Ebbsfleet United and Hungerford Town respectively.
In addition, Aldershot Town reached the last eight by beating Guiseley 3-0 in north Hampshire.
Former Eastleigh midfield warrior Jamie Brown was Gosport’s hero in their 1-0 triumph at Southern Premier Division outfit Hungerford.
Borough made hard work of it, but it was an exceptional finish that settled the tie on 68 minutes, sending the Privett Park club through to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
“The goal that won it was fitting to win any game,” said manager Alex Pike. “Sammy Igoe put a great free kick into the box and Jamie Brown (above), back to goal, showed great desire to get in front of the defender and volley into the top corner. Jamie’s our top scorer and it was a great finish.”
Southampton-based Brown very nearly undid his good work by giving away a late penalty for an alleged elbow on Jon Boardman. But with regular penalty taker Matt Draycott having been substituted, Hungerford skipper Matt Day’s spot kick was saved by Nathan Ashmore.
“We’ve got a small budget and to get to the last eight of a national cup at this level is a great achievement,” said Pike, whose only down side of the day was injuries to Winchester City and Eastleigh legend Andy Forbes and ex-Saint Tom Dunford.