Exmouth Town FC’s love affair with the FA Vase is alive and well following their 3-2 victory over Brislington on Saturday, writes John Dibsdall.
Next up is a trip to Cadbury Heath in the second qualifying round on September 14.
Town will be looking to avenge a 4-3 defeat suffered at the hands of the Bristol-based side in the second round proper last season.
With just 20 seconds played, Town could have been ahead against Brislington as fine link-up play between James Richards and Aarron Denny opened up the defence, but Exmouth couldn’t force the ball over the line.
As Town continued to dominate the opening exchanges, Denny shot straight at the ‘keeper and the goal they richly deserved came on 15 minutes.
Another excellent ball into the box, by Bradford’s Man of the Match Richards, was met by Jordan Harris. While the visiting gloveman saved the initial effort on the goal line, he could only push the ball against a defender and it rebounded into the net.
The equaliser came five minutes later. There appeared to be little danger when a long cross was delivered into the penalty area, but it was met by an unmarked player who planted a powerful header – giving Town ‘keeper Robbie Powell no chance on his first start of the season.
With Richards making several strong runs down the right flank, chances continued to be created. While Callum Shipton spurned one glorious opportunity, he atoned on 31 minutes by turning home another defence-splitting cross; this time from Ace High.
The visitors saw more of the ball at the start of the second half without really threatening and Town appeared to have made the game safe on 76 minutes. Harris made a strong run, passed to Shipton who, with an exquisite back heel, set Harris clear to score in the corner.
A goal out of nothing when a speculative strike from 25 yards was deflected past Powell set up a nervy final five minutes, but there were no more scares as Town once again progressed in this competition.
This Saturday, Town are scheduled to make a trip to Shepton Mallet for a league encounter, but that fixture is dependent on FA cup replays.
Shepton travel to Melksham Town on Monday night and Town are in action at Southern Road on Tuesday when they play Yate Town.
If Exmouth Town FC are successful, they will travel to Highworth Town, another Bet Victor Southern League side, on Saturday.
If Shepton are able to overcome their higher league opponents, they will play at Tavistock.
For the league fixture to go ahead, both sides will have to lose their cup replays.