Eastleigh stun Royals in Emirates FA Cup second round

Sunday 03 Dec 2023
Paul McCallum celebrates sending Eastleigh through to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup

Paul McCallum was the Eastleigh hero as his double sent the National League side through to the Emirates FA Cup third round at the expense of Reading.

McCallum gave the non-league hosts the lead against their League One opponents midway through the first half only for Femi Azeez to level matters with four minutes to play.

Just as Reading thought they may have done enough to salvage a replay, however, McCallum scrambled in a dramatic late winner to spark jubilant scenes inside the Silverlake Stadium.

The visiting Royals, semi-finalists in 2015, won on the road for the first time in over a year last weekend but their travel sickness returned on the south coast as Eastleigh set up a tie with either Newport County or Barnet next up.

Eastleigh’s fellow fifth-tier outfit Chesterfield knocked out League One opposition for the second successive round as Leyton Orient followed Portsmouth in leaving Derbyshire empty-handed.

Idris El Mizouni’s own goal five minutes before half-time settled the contest in the home side’s favour, the midfielder heading Ollie Banks’ cross into his own net.

Dan Agyei had Orient’s best chance to level but his effort was kept out by Ryan Boot as the Spireites held on to book a trip to Watford.

Wrexham’s run to the fourth round was one of the stories of last season’s Emirates FA Cup and they kept their chances of going further this time around alive with a routine 3-0 victory over Yeovil Town.

First-half goals from Ollie Palmer and Andy Cannon were added to by Sam Dalby’s late strike at the Racecourse Ground and Phil Parkinson’s side will now travel to Shrewsbury in the third round.

Aldershot Town and Stockport County require a replay following an entertaining 2-2 draw at The EBB Stadium.

Josh Stokes’ deflected effort gave the National League hosts a 10th-minute lead but the League Two leaders quickly hit back through Neill Byrne’s long-range stunner.

Paddy Madden put Stockport ahead early in the second half but Stokes finished off an incisive counter-attack to earn the Shots a replay, with a trip to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion awaiting the winner.

By FA Staff