Emirates FA Cup
Extra preliminary round
Millbrook 0, Bridgwater Town 1

JOSH Wadham's strike 15 minutes from time was enough to give Bridgwater Town a welcome FA Cup victory over a team making their debut in the competition this season, writes Kerry Miller.

In truth, it was attritional evening all round where all the pointers were indicating a home win, but somehow the Robins pulled through.

Dave Pearse and Karl Baggaley lost key defender Tom Ellis, who pulled out in the morning of the match, and then top scorer Jack Taylor to a stomach bug 25 minutes in.

By that time they were up against a skillful home side who dictated the play for most of the first half and should have been comfortably ahead at the break.

Home strikers Lee Robinson and Ryan Knight were a handful from the start and only a superb block from Sam Towler to keep out the latter stopped Millbrook from taking an early lead as the visitors tried in vain to settle after a tortuous journey down to Cornwall, but the odds were evened up on 20 minutes when Robinson was carried off in some discomfort after dislocating a knee.

Conor Bryant replaced Taylor and his header from an Ollie Morris cross was touched over by goalkeeper Chris Wearing on the half-hour, but that was the visitors' only chance while Millbrook should have gone ahead right on half-time, but Jake Foster’s close-range header somehow stayed out.

Foster then blazed over when he should have scored not long after the restart, when a brilliant George Painter tackle kept him out, but soon after that the Bridgwater defender was also helped off, to be replaced by Adan Hiroli.

The Robins were improving, and Mike Duffy and Bryant both had shots kept out by Wearing.

But the keeper could do little with 15 minutes left, as the ball was worked across to the left and Wadham’s curler found its way into the bottom corner for what proved to be the winner.

It was tough on the SW Peninsula League side, whose first ever foray into the FA Cup attracted five times their normal crowd (including visiting groups from Grimsby Town and Charlton Athletic), but the Robins escaped back up country knowing they had dodged a bullet.

Bridgwater Town: Jake Viney, Ollie Morris, Jake Llewellyn, Mark Armstrong, George Painter, Jordan Greenwood, Ryan Brereton, Sam Towler, Jack Taylor, Josh Wadham, Mike Duffy. Subs (used): Conor Bryant, Adnan Hiroli, Tyne Govier.
Attendance: 247

Bridgwater begin their Western League Premier Division campaign this coming Saturday, away to Buckland Athletic.