When news happens, text CHRON and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email & phone.
Hill: I could have been a Mango!
And for manager Richard Hill there will be a strange feeling of what might have been, given that he applied for the Mangos’ manager’s job around a year-and-a-half ago.
Hill had not long returned from assisting his good friend John Gregory at FC Kairat in Kazakhstan when the Mangotsfield job became vacant.
But having also been right-hand man to Gregory at Wycombe Wanderers and QPR and assisted Brian Little at Aston Villa, he got the impression he was over qualified.
Hill recalled: “It must have been about 18 months ago that the Mangotsfield job came up, so I applied.
“I got a phone call from one of their directors who’d seen my CV and asked if I’d applied by mistake and that was as far as it went.”
Fast forward to September 2013 and Hill has marked his first year as Eastleigh boss by guiding them to the top of the Skrill Conference South.
Mangotsfield, in contrast, sit fifth-to-bottom of the Southern One South & West, but they beat a quality Winchester side 2-1 with ten men on Saturday and no way will the Spitfires underestimate them.
“It won’t be easy,” warned Hill. “Mangotsfield will come here with a totally different mindset to when they play their normal league games.
“There’s no pressure on them – all the pressure’s on us.
“You always look for a favourable draw with regards to the level of the opposition but, as we’ve seen lots of times in the FA Cup, that doesn’t always count for a lot.
“I’m sure Mangotsfield have got four or five players who could play at our level or have played higher and you’ve only got to look at the impact (centre-back) Chris Dillon’s made for us this season having played Wessex football for Christchurch.”
Chris Todd made a brief comeback from hamstring trouble on Saturday, giving Hill central defensive options for tonight’s home league game against Tommy Widdrington’s Eastbourne Borough (7.45pm).
But right-back Dan Spence (hamstring) is still out and left-back Michael Green limped off late at Maidenhead after kicking the bottom of someone’s boot. Sholing’s reward for beating AFC Totton 4-0 in the FA Cup is a trip to their old South & West rivals Clevedon Town, who edged Plymouth Parkway 1-0 on Saturday.
The Boatmen pulled out of the Southern League for financial/ground development reasons – and having found out the cost of the Clevedon trip, manager Dave Diaper is more convinced than ever that it was the right decision.
“It’s going to cost £700 to get a coach down there – that’s another reason we’re not in the Southern League!” he smiled.
“There are a lot worse draws we could have had but, as manager, I’d prefer to be at home.
“We’ve mainly won at Clevedon by the odd goal in the past but last season we lost 3-1. Mind you, we’d just played Havant & Waterlooville one night and Frome the next, so scoring one goal was a miracle.”
Sholing tonight host Division One high fliers Tadley Calleva in the Sydenhams League Cup (7.45).
FA Cup second qualifying round, local ties: Eastleigh v Mangotsfield Utd, Basingstoke Town v Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon Town v Sholing, Bath City v Gosport Borough, Bashley v Hungerford Town, Gloucester City v Havant & Waterlooville, Cirencester Town v AFC Portchester, Hamworthy Utd v Poole Town, Dorchester Town v Shortwood Utd, Weymouth v Frome or Bognor Regis Town, Eastbourne Borough v Farnborough.
Comments are closed on this article.