Football

Both Chris Todd, left, and Neil Lennon were pleased the FA Cup tie between Eastleigh and Bolton took place.

Chris Todd delighted after Eastleigh force replay

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Eastleigh manager Chris Todd was beaming with pride after his non-league side forced an FA Cup replay with Bolton.

Bolton, who currently sit at the bottom of the Championship, equalised through captain Darren Pratley in the 87th minute after Dorian Dervite put the ball into his own net earlier in the second half.

Todd believes his players deserved to win but despite the late goal, he remained happy with his side.

He said: "They should be very proud of themselves today because the performance was outstanding in my opinion.

"It's been a very special day for the football club today, topped off by the football players on the pitch.

"We are disappointed because we should have probably won but you can't take anything away, it's been a great day.

"We have come a very long way as a team and regardless of what position they are, they are three divisions above us.

"We played some great football on a very tricky surface.

"I think at the end there was a few calls from their bench to play the ball in the corner and that says it all."

Eastleigh will travel to the Macron Stadium for the replay having not lost in any competition since November and Todd is confident his players will be good enough to give Bolton another competitive game.

Todd said: "It's going to be a tough ask going to their home ground and their fortress but there is confidence that we can go there and put another show on.

"We are looking forward to that trip now, it's going to be a good game and we will go there full of confidence. We have been doing that in recent weeks but to go against a Championship team just shows how far we can go."

The match was nearly postponed by referee Iain Williamson as he called two pitch inspections before the start of the match but Todd believes despite the tricky conditions both sides were keen for the match to go ahead.

"Credit to Bolton, they wanted it on just as much as we did and credit to the referee, he stayed strong and kept the game on when a lot wouldn't - he has done well to keep it on," Todd said.

Bolton manager Neil Lennon told reporters after the match that he thought the conditions on the pitch were not up to scratch but he was glad the game had gone ahead.

Lennon said: "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."

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Topics:
Football
FA Cup

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