Fourth qualifying round.

Eastleigh 0 Hampton & Richmond Borough 1.

CARETAKER boss Ben Strevens cut a lonely figure on the sidelines as Eastleigh’s FA Cup hopes were snuffed out by lower league Hampton & Richmond Borough this afternoon.

In a season when the Spitfires could desperately have done with the £25,000 fourth qualifying round winnings, the Spitfires were humbled by an 85th-minute Chris Dickson winner - and, truth be told, it was no more than the Vanarama National League South visitors deserved.

Eastleigh were shorn of five first-team regulars with new dad Michael Green, injured Reda Johnson and Josh Hare and on-loan Sunderland goalkeeper Max Stryjek all absent, along with striker Chris Zebroski who appears to have gone AWOL.

A visibly angry and upset Strevens said afterwards: “No one has any idea where Chris Zebroski is. He needs help, but he’s not at this football club at the moment.

“We hope Zeb will be back on Monday but he’s been through troubles in the past and we’ve all helped him. I’m desperate to help him.

“People only see what happens on the pitch out there, but it’s been a tough week for me. There’s been stuff going on that I’m not happy about.

“I’ve defended the players as much as I can, but I’m not going to defend them today.

"They haven’t let me down, they’ve let themselves down and it hurts for what that means for this football club and it hurts that I’ve got to put my name to that performance.

"Let's be honest, there's pretty much no chance now that I'll get the job.

"How the club moves now, I don't know, but it doesn't help losing in the league against a local club (Aldershot) and then going out of the FA Cup."

Danny Hollands, Ben Williamson, Ross Flitney and teenage Ollie Dennett came into the starting line-up, with four other young guns – Tom Bearwish, Callum Baughan, Lewis Harvey and Josh Cotton named on the bench.

The Spitfires had marginally the better of the opening exchanges with Williamson’s early shot blocked before Mark Yeates unloaded a 30-yard strike that flew wide.

Seconds later the visitors got their first shot away, through ex-Sutton striker Craig Dundas, which trickled harmlessly past Flitney’s left-hand post.

As Eastleigh kept probing, young Dennett picked McCallum out with a useful cross from the right, but the No9’s header hit defender Simon Downer on the chest and the danger was cleared.

Two good pieces of interplay between Williamson and Yates followed - the first one ending with Hampton keeper Tom Lovelock getting comfortably behind Yeates’ angled drive and the second with Williamson finding the back of the net, but the whistle had been blown for offside.

It was all looking pretty comfy for Eastleigh at that stage but, on 19 minutes, Hampton sounded out a warning when Rhys Murrell-Williamson cut in from the right and bent a left-footed curler narrowly past the near post.

Free kicks followed at either end, but Hampton’s broke down and Yeates’ delicately curved effort didn’t make it round the defensive wall.

With the low October sun shining right in the eyes of Hampton keeper Tom Lovelock, Eastleigh looked tailor-made to take advantage with Yeates’ teasing deliveries into the box. But a succession of headers from Oscar Gobern, Williamson and Andrew Boyce all failed to seriously threaten the visitors' goal.

With the Silverlake crowd getting frustrated, there was a whiff of panic in the air on 31 minutes when Beavers’ top scorer Dickson eased past Alex Wynter and squared a pass to Zak Joseph, but the visitors’ No7 was ridiculed by home fans as he went to ground in slow motion in a vain attempt to win a penalty.

On 37 minutes, Eastleigh showed a flash of their higher-league class when McCallum, back to goal, headed the ball down for Williamson who couldn’t quite bend his effort on target.

Williamson then turned creator, whipping in a cross from the left which the closely-marked McCallum headed over.

But it was visitors who ended the half the stronger with dangerman Murrell-Williamson first delivering a dangerous cross from the left which narrowly eluded Joseph at the back stick.

Then, on the brink of the half-time, the Beavers conjured up the chance of the half with a fantastic bending strike from the right by Murrell-Williamson which hit the far post.

Half-time: Eastleigh 0 Hampton & Richmond 0.

Buoyed by their promising finish to the first half, Hampton started the second on the front foot with Nathan Maliva delivering to the back stick where the powerful figure of Dundas headed wide.

Yeates then began to stamp his quality on the game as Eastleigh came back into it and, from one beautifully flighted ball by the Irishman, McCallum just failed to keep his header down.

Hampton, though, were well equipped to threaten on the break and Andrew Boyce had to take ‘one for the team’, shoving the visitors’ nine-goal top scorer Dickson off the ball as the ex-Charlton, Bristol Rovers and Crewe man threatened to burst through the middle.

Yeates then tested Lovelock with a deflected strike, but the greater threat came down the other end when, after Flitney had saved Joseph’s angled srrike, the impressive Murrell-Williams bamboozled the Spitfires on the byline and crossed for Dickson who somehow blazed over from close range – a real head in hands moment for the twice-capped Ghana international.

With Hampton’s confidence growing and Eastleigh’s in danger of evaporating, Dickson stung Flitney’s hands with a fizzing strike from distance before Murrell-Williamson fired over from similar range.

But the Spitfires dug deep to earn themselves a corner and, as another quality Yeates delivery came in, there was bedlam inside a packed six-yard box with Hampton somehow managing to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Dickson drilled a free wide for the visitors before Spitfires’ sub Tom Bearwish wasn’t too far away from making an immediate impact, firing a yard or so wide from Cav Miley’s lay-off.

But Hampton, roared on by a noisy band of travelling fans, continued to play with huge belief and they made Eastleigh pay in no uncertain terms in the 85th minute.

Sub Daniel Uchechi picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and picked out the run of DICKSON who leathered a right-foot strike from 15 yards that thundered past Flitney to send the visitors into the first round proper for the first time since 2007.

Eastleigh: Ross Flitney, Danny Hollands, Joey Jones, Cav Miley, Andrew Boyce, Alex Wynter, Oscar Gobern, Ollie Dennett (James Constable, 69), Paul McCallum, Ben Williamson (Tom Bearwish, 77), Mark Yeates. Subs (not used): Josh Cotton, Callum Baughan, Lewis Harvey.

Referee: Lloyd Wood.

Attendance: 740