A PAUL McCallum brace saw Eastleigh dump out League One side Reading in a dramatic FA Cup second-round fixture on Sunday.

McCallum reacted quickest from a corner to restore the Spitfires lead in injury time after a late Femi Azeez strike saw Reading draw the game level with five minutes of regular time left.

Eastleigh forward McCallum, who has been in red-hot form since returning to the club this summer, had put the hosts ahead early on. 

Eastleigh’s reward for winning is a third-round match against the winners of Newport Country and Barnet’s replay, which takes place on Tuesday, December 12.

The Silverlake was packed for the Sunday afternoon clash, so much so that Eastleigh had to install a temporary stand to accommodate the high demand for tickets.

Richard Hill’s side trained at Southampton’s Staplewood Campus ahead of facing a side who sit 35 places above them in the pyramid.

Eastleigh made two changes to their team that lost to Chesterfield last weekend as Chris Maguire and Bailey Clements came into the team.

It was former Reading man turned Eastleigh captain Jake Taylor who registered the first shot of the game, sending a volley into Joel Pereira’s hands.

The game came to a standstill in the 16th minute when the Reading supporters threw tennis balls onto the field in protest against owner Dai Yongge.

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Royals fans have performed the same protest at every home game this season, but this marked the first time they have done it on the road.

Not long after the game had restarted the hosts took the lead. Scott Quigley’s cross found McCallum at the back and made no mistake from close range.

Reading grew frustrated as they struggled to deal with Eastleigh’s physicality, which was highlighted by Charlie Savage being shown a yellow card for a rash challenge on Maguire.

McCallum did have the ball in the net once more just before the break, but his header was ruled out for offside and a foul on the build-up.

Having been the provider for the first, Quigley had a chance to double Eastleigh’s lead moments before the break.

The 31 year old was set in on goal but couldn’t lift his shot over the onrushing Joel Pereira who kicked it away with his foot.

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Eastleigh continued to cause problems for the League One outfit after the break and created another golden chance.

However, McCallum was unable to direct a dangerous cross to the back post beyond the Reading goalkeeper.

Reading fans unsuccessfully demanded a penalty after Lewis Wing went down in the box following his close-range effort being denied by Joe McDonnell.

The Royals continued to pile on the pressure and came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Sam Smith headed Amadou Mbengue's inch-perfect cross over the bar from 10 yards out.

Smith saw another header blocked before Mukariu's rebound was blocked with five minutes left in the game.

It didn't matter however as Ruben Selles' side finally grabbed an equaliser on the next attack as Azeez rifled in from the edge of the box.

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With only three minutes left on the clock, McCallum reacted quickest in the box to poke home from a corner to send the home fans into raptures.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Atangana (Harris, 74'), Francillette, Taylor (c) (Nwabuokei, 58’), McCallum, Boldewijn, Langston, Hodson, Maguire, Clements, Quigley.

Unused subs: Scott, Barlow, Panter, Rutherford, Tshaka, Yang.

Yellow cards: Langston, Taylor, McCallum, Maguire.

Reading: Pereira, Mola, Holmes (c), Elliot, (Mukairu h-t), Kbibbs, Savage (Wing, 58’), Azeez, Ehibhatiomhan (Smith, 58’), Mbengue (Rushesha, 81'), Craig, Carson (Dean, h-t).

Unused subs: Button, Hutchinson, Abbey, Vickers.

Yellow cards: Savage, Mola, Mbengue.

Goals: McCallum 23’, Azeez 85', McCallum 94'

Attendance: 5,002

Referee: Lewis Smith

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