'Our fans were a credit to the club' - Eastleigh boss thanks supporters as FA Cup dream ends

  • WATCH ITV News Meridian's Sarah Gomme speaking to Richard Hill.

Eastleigh boss Richard Hill has thanked fans for their support after the club's FA Cup run ended with a 3-1 third-round replay defeat to Newport.

Reaching the third round represented the Vanarama National League side’s joint-best run in the competition and they earned a home replay with a 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade.

But the Sky Bet League Two outfit showed their class to earn a home tie against Manchester United in the fourth round.

The lure of a visit from The Red Devils and television coverage worth around £400,000 had both teams fired up but it was Newport who sent themselves ahead just three minutes into the game.

Eastleigh's Paul McCallum and Newport County's Bryn Morris battle for the ball during the Emirates FA Cup third round replay match. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Eastleigh's dream was alive once more when Paul McCallum had them back in this contest on 48 minutes, beating Nick Townsend with a fine half volley.

Veteran defender James Clarke, who scored in the first tie, restored County’s lead on the hour-mark.

Newport found the side netting again, this time through Seb Palmer-Houlden. Will Evans eventually put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go.

Eastleigh boss Richard Hill said: "Newport were better than we were. It's that little edge. They were better than us, crispier and cleaner than we were.

"Our fans have been fantastic. They were amazing last night, they were amazing at Newport in the first game. I can't thank them enough. We tried but we just didn't quite make it but the fans were a credit to the football club."

Eastleigh's Paul McCallum and Newport County's James Clarke shake hands after the Emirates FA Cup third-round replay match. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

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