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Highlights & report: Eastleigh denied FA Cup upset

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Highlights: Eastleigh 1-1 Swindon

Non-league Eastleigh were denied an FA Cup upset in front of a national television audience as League One side Swindon fought back to earn a replay.

Swindon, 35 places above their hosts, were close to a first-half goal when home keeper Ryan Clarke clawed out Luke Norris’ close-range header.

The small Hampshire club delighted 4,000 fans when Mikael Mandron deftly nodded in Jake Howells’ free-kick.

But Clarke conceded a penalty, which Michael Doughty converted to equalise.

The National League side almost snatched a dramatic winner in injury-time when Ayo Obileye’s shot was cleared off the line by Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill.

‘First goal should have been enough’

Ambitious Eastleigh had the honour of hosting the first televised FA Cup tie of the season, hoping to knock out Football League opposition in front of a BBC television audience, as Warrington and Salford had done in the previous two seasons.

So there was a party atmosphere as the home fans cheered a club who were playing in the ninth-tier Wessex League just 14 years ago.

The Silverlake Stadium went wild when France-born striker Mandron, who signed from Premier League side Sunderland in the summer, put them ahead after 64 minutes.

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Mandron heads Eastleigh into the lead

But then 34-year-old keeper Clarke brought down Doughty, who picked himself up to coolly drill in the bottom corner.

“The first goal should have been enough to win the game,” said Eastleigh manager Ronnie Moore. “Then Clarkey had a rush of blood and it was a penalty.

“But we live to fight another day.”

  • Read Friday’s other FA Cup report: Millwall 1-0 Southend

Keeper’s tribute to late father

Clarke, who played for Oxford and AFC Wimbledon before becoming Ronnie Moore’s first signing at Eastleigh, has only just returned to the side following the death of his father.

“Playing for 90 minutes is a release for me. He was a massive influence on my career,” he said.

“It is tough but he would have wanted me to crack on and play with a smile on my face.”

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Eastleigh keeper Clarke paid tribute to his father in his post-match interview with an emotional message

And Clarke produced the match’s moment of outstanding quality with a save likened to England keeper Gordon Banks’s acrobatic stop from Brazil legend Pele at the 1970 World Cup.

“That is a top save. I am thinking Gordon Banks,” said BBC pundit Martin Keown. “How did Clarke get to that? Outstanding.”

Goal or no goal?

Clarke said he was “claiming it” as a save but there was a debate whether Norris’ instinctive header had crossed the line or not.

Match of the Day pundit Phil Neville reckoned there was daylight between the ball and the goal. His colleagues Trevor Sinclair and Martin Keown disagreed.

So without the aid of goal-line technology – which is not used in the FA Cup – referee Oliver Langford and his assistants cannot be blamed for being uncertain the whole of the ball had crossed the line.

Judge for yourself….

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Goal or no goal? Did Swindon header cross the line?

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Eastleigh had a gnome perched on the top of their bench. Why? Because at every home game, the club have a ‘hunt for the gnome’ game in the match programme, and hide the figure somewhere in the stadium

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The trophy was on show on the Silverlake Stadium pitch before kick-off

Live Text

Match ends, Eastleigh 1, Swindon Town 1.

Second Half ends, Eastleigh 1, Swindon Town 1.

Foul by Luke Norris (Swindon Town).

Michael Green (Eastleigh) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Luke Coulson (Eastleigh) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by James Constable.

Attempt blocked. Ayo Obileye (Eastleigh) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Coulson with a cross.

Corner, Eastleigh. Conceded by Bradley Barry.

Lawrence Vigouroux (Swindon Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Reda Johnson (Eastleigh).

Substitution, Eastleigh. Scott Wilson replaces Mikael Mandron.

Attempt saved. Jake Howells (Eastleigh) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andy Drury.

Attempt missed. Michael Doughty (Swindon Town) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Michael Doughty (Swindon Town) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bradley Barry.

Substitution, Swindon Town. Jordan Stewart replaces Sean Murray because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Sean Murray (Swindon Town) because of an injury.

Offside, Eastleigh. Michael Green tries a through ball, but James Constable is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Mikael Mandron (Eastleigh) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James Constable.

Attempt missed. Jake Howells (Eastleigh) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Jason Taylor (Eastleigh) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Luke Coulson.

Substitution, Eastleigh. Ayo Obileye replaces David Pipe because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Michael Doughty (Swindon Town) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Connor Essam.

Attempt blocked. Nathan Delfouneso (Swindon Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Michael Doughty.

Attempt saved. James Constable (Eastleigh) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Green with a cross.

Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Ryan Clarke.

Corner, Swindon Town. Conceded by Connor Essam.

Foul by Raphael Rossi Branco (Swindon Town).

Mikael Mandron (Eastleigh) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal! Eastleigh 1, Swindon Town 1. Michael Doughty (Swindon Town) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Ryan Clarke (Eastleigh) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Penalty Swindon Town. Michael Doughty draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Ryan Clarke (Eastleigh) after a foul in the penalty area.

Attempt saved. Reda Johnson (Eastleigh) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jake Howells.

Foul by Luke Norris (Swindon Town).

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

Raphael Rossi Branco (Swindon Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Raphael Rossi Branco (Swindon Town).

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

Goal! Eastleigh 1, Swindon Town 0. Mikael Mandron (Eastleigh) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jake Howells following a set piece situation.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37795548