FA Vase - second qualifying round
Exmouth Town 3, Bridgwater Town 0

BRIDGWATER Town were dumped out of the FA Vase by South West Peninsula League Premier Division outfit Exmouth Town on Saturday.

The Robins struggled to get going on a tricky pitch and fell behind when home striker Ace High latched on to a long ball and fired past Jake Viney.

Jake Brown had a golden opportunity to level it up shortly after the restart but spurned a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and Exmouth punished the visitors almost immediately as High netted his and the hosts’ second.

The scoring was completed from the penalty spot on 75 minutes, leaving Town ruing another premature cup exit at the hands of a lower division side following August’s FA Cup extra-preliminary round defeat at Cheddar.

Town player-manager Dave Pearse told the Mercury: “We got found out a little bit.

“Karl [Baggaley] and I watched them last Wednesday night and we knew it was going to be tough.

“They are a big, tough, organised side and we lost the battle.

“We didn’t adapt to the pitch, which wasn’t in great nick, and I think if we had been playing at home it might have been a different game.

“It was a really disappointing way to go out and we let ourselves down.

“We made lots of mistakes and were sloppy in possession. People were taking too many touches and we just couldn’t find that killer ball.

“I feel like we have taken 10 steps forward with how we have played this season, but Saturday felt like a few steps back.”

Town are eager to bounce back when they return to league action at home to third-placed Bradford Town on Saturday.

Pearse said: “They lost to Wellington on Saturday, which was a bit of a surprise, but they are a good side and we will have to be on it from the start.

“Everyone will have to be an eight out of 10 if we are going to win it - last Saturday everyone was about a six.

“We are disappointed to be out of the FA Cup and the Vase so early, but it does give us a chance to focus on our league form and get points on the board.”

Bridgwater sit top of the Western League Premier Division with 19 points from seven games - and a healthy goal difference of +19.

Bridgwater Town: Jake Viney, Dave Thorne, Kurt Robinson (c), Mike Duffy, Mark Armstrong, Tom Ellis, Ian Bellinger (Ryan Burrows), Sam Towler (Dave Pearse), Jake Brown (Charlie White), Harry Horton, Jake Llewellyn