BAT­TLING SPIT­FIRES STUNG BY BUSY BEES

The Non-League Football Paper - - FA CUP THIRD ROUND - By Sam Tobin

MARTIN ALLEN’S Eastleigh may have been out­classed by his for­mer club, but he insists re­turn­ing to Brent­ford is one of the high­lights of his ca­reer.

Eastleigh, who were knocked out by Bolton Wan­der­ers at this stage a year ago, were al­ways strug­gling – as Yoann Bar­bet’s penalty was fol­lowed by goals from Tom Field and Lasse Vibe in the open­ing 23 min­utes for the Cham­pi­onship side.

Mid­fielder Ayo Obil­eye pulled one back for the vis­i­tors, but the Bees stretched their lead be­fore the break cour­tesy of Field’s sec­ond and Ro­maine Sawyers.

And Allen, who man­aged Brent­ford be­tween 2004-06, was gra­cious in de­feat by ad­mit­ting his old team got the bet­ter of his new charges.

“It was very spe­cial. It has got to go down as one of the high­lights of my ca­reer,” he said.

“I wasn’t sure if that was a penalty. But they were bet­ter than us, let’s not kid our­selves. This was go­ing to be a hard game for us what­ever the weather. I thought the play­ers gave a great ac­count of them­selves.”

Brent­ford were given a head start when keeper Gra­ham Stack brought down Vibe, af­ter he met Sawyers’ neat pass, with Bar­bet calmly slot­ting home on nine min­utes.

Sawyers was provider again on 17 min­utes with a fan­tas­tic cross to Field, who net­ted his first se­nior goal.

Eastleigh spurned a chance min­utes later as Obil­eye was un­able to turn in a free-kick, and Brent­ford pun­ished them im­me­di­ately.

Mid­fielder Josh McEachran self­lessly passed to Vibe, who curled past Stack, to seem­ingly end the con­test.

Eastleigh clawed one back on 29 min­utes, as Daniel Bent­ley’s mis­cued punch fell to Obil­eye, who scored from four yards out. But the Bees re­stored their three-goal cush­ion shortly af­ter as Field ran onto McEachran’s pass and fired into the cor­ner. Sawyers then net­ted one him­self – Vibe pro­vid­ing a per­fect lay-off for his strike part­ner to score from 25 yards. The sec­ond half was played at a more se­date pace, but Obil­eye should have scored on 64 min­utes, head­ing Michael Green’s cor­ner over. Sub­sti­tute Jota went close for Brent­ford late on, but the game was won long be­fore­hand. “I asked for three things from the play­ers: work rate, at­ti­tude and ap­pli­ca­tion – and they gave me all three,’ said Bees boss Dean Smith. “I think I made my in­ten­tions clear when I named the team to the play­ers yes­ter­day. They knew we wanted to get through to the next round. Ob­vi­ously, it was a po­ten­tial ba­nana skin, but we needed to be pro­fes­sional. “We could have scored more, but they prob­a­bly could have scored a few as well.”

PIC­TURE: Action Images Ro­maine Sawyers (Brent­ford) 7,537 Peter Banks 6/10 PIC­TURE: Dan Youngs/ProS­ports

IT’S BE­HIND YOU! Ayo Obil­eye scores a con­so­la­tion goal for Eastleigh TOO STRONG: Rochdale’s Har­ri­son McGa­hey tus­sles for the ball

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