Bexhill United marked their FA Cup debut with a splendid victory over higher grade opposition on Saturday.
Kevin Barden struck twice as Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division One side Bexhill won 3-1 against Premier Division outfit Loxwood.
Bexhill manager Marc Munday said: “It was a brilliant result, but fully deserved. We played the better football, won the battle early on and I just think they thought they were going to walk over us. I think they took us too lightly and we dominated all over the pitch.”
Bexhill bossed the first half of an extra preliminary round match played at Eastbourne United AFC because Bexhill’s own ground at The Polegrove is still being used by Bexhill Cricket Club.
Chris Cumming-Bart hit the post with a rocket of a shot and Andy Atkin also went close shortly before Bexhill opened the scoring in the 40th minute. Barden found the net with a fantastic finish after a great bit of play from the home side.
Bexhill remained on the front foot at the start of the second half. After Atkin again wasn’t far away, Barden doubled the lead in the 55th minute by touching home a Chris Cumming-Bart ball at the far post.
We played the better football, won the battle early on and I just think they thought they were going to walk over us.Marc Munday
Loxwood went down to 10 men midway through the half when a player was sent-off for a comment made to the referee, illustrating the frustration which had become clearly evident in the away camp.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Loxwood threw the kitchen sink at Bexhill during a dominant 10-minute spell. They pulled one back after Bexhill goalkeeper Yankuba Camara came for but didn’t get to a corner.
But Bexhill remained strong and carried on playing their football. Barden just missed out on a hat-trick before substitute Ben Phipps sealed the win with his first senior goal for the club at the end of an amazing solo run from Andy Garman.
Bexhill’s reward is a very welcome £1,500 from the FA’s prize fund and a preliminary round showdown at home to Faversham Town. A date and venue for the match are still to be confirmed, but it will be played on the weekend of Saturday August 29.
Bexhill: Camara; G. Aston, Cruikshank, Elliott-Noye, Ottley (N. Tudor); Garman, J. Aston, Woodward, Barden (Phipps); Cumming-Bart, Atkin. Subs not used: A. Tudor, Buay, Wheeler.
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