Can Eastleigh FC beat Newport County to host Manchester United in the FA Cup?

The Hampshire club, who play in the National League, host League Two Newport County at their Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday night. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Eastleigh FC will take on football giants Manchester United if they can beat Newport County in the third round of the FA Cup.

The Hampshire club, who play in the National League, host League Two Newport County at their Silverlake Stadium on Tuesday (16 January) in an FA Cup Third Round replay.

The Spitfires sit one league below their Welsh opponents but held them to a 1-1 draw to earn a replay at Silverlake thanks to a late Chris Maguire penalty.

Eastleigh manager, Richard Hill, has recognised the importance of this fixture insisting that the prize is "absolutely massive" should his side overcome Newport.

Eastleigh manager Richard Hill said it would be a "milestone" if the club hosts Manchester United. Credit: Bradley Collyer/PA Wire/PA Images

He said that the prospect of the 12-time winners of the FA Cup, Manchester United, coming to Silverlake would be a "milestone" for him and everybody involved at the football club.

He added: "My message to the players has been today, it might not mean nothing now that you got to the fourth round of the FA Cup, it might not mean a lot to you now personally, but in another 15/20 years time when there's a little snippet in a programme or a little snippet in the local paper and you go 'I was part of that'.

"Even just to get Manchester United to the Silverlake, it would be... well I don't know what it will be."

Chris Maguire, Eastleigh FC, said: "It's important to keep the nerves under wraps and play the game and not the occasion.

"You see that many times over the years of football, that people go out and do silly things because it is a big occasion and that can sometimes get the better of people.

"It's up to myself, the manager, and other players to try and keep the young lads focused and try and enjoy the game and if we do that then we'll have a good chance."

The side are the underdogs in this tie but have already shown their intentions in this competition after beating League One's Reading 2-1 to get to this stage.

However, they will require a second attempt to beat Newport who are in fine form after remaining unbeaten in their last five games.

The Spitfires have never made it to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Kick off between the two sides is at 7.45pm.

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