PETERSFIELD TOWN 0
BUZZING Bridport beat Petersfield Town 2-0 in the Isuzu FA Vase second qualifying round to win their first game for a staggering 392 days.
Bridport, led by interim boss Chris Herbst, qualified for the main draw for the first time in four years courtesy of Josh Hunter and Mike Calverley goals.
Herbst’s Bees will discover their first-round opponents in tomorrow's draw, while also pocketing a welcome £725 for the victory.
Wessex League Division One side Petersfield appeared a good footballing side but it was Bridport – and Herbst – who got their tactics correct.
READ MORE: Bridport 0-2 Dartmouth - match report
Spotting that Petersfield were good in possession, Herbst called for his players to sit in and the Bees duly enjoyed good chances on the break.
Bridport saw a shot cleared off the line and Hunter blasted over the rebound, but the striker made no mistake in the 19th minute when he found a tiny gap between defender and post with a header from a corner.
Taking a 1-0 lead has been something of a rarity for Bridport this season and their defence of it was severely tested.
Kieran Alcock shot wide and was then denied by Jordon Scadding before the Rams saw an effort cleared off the line.
After half-time, Hunter forced a fine fingertip save from Petersfield keeper Jordi Wilson but the visitors still presented problems as sub Mino Balde-Djaura worked home custodian Jordon Scadding.
As Petersfield pushed forward in search of a leveller, the game became stretched as Bridport exploited space on the counter.
And a final moment of quality assured Bridport of their place in the main draw when Owen Peart picked out the run of Calverley, making his comeback from a nasty knee injury.
The striker sprinted on to the pass and crashed an effort past Wilson into the far corner to spark wild scenes of celebration, the Bridport players bundling on top of the goalscorer.
Speaking post-match, Herbst was understandably in a state of ecstasy.
He said: “It was quality, everyone played well. It was so good, a great atmosphere as well. I’m still buzzing. It means a lot. It was 392 days since the last win.
“They were a good footballing side but we caught them on the break and we had the better chances.
“I said that they could have the ball and they probably had 60 per cent possession at least, but we hurt them when we had the ball, so I was happy with that.
“It was a quality feeling and the lads deserve it as well. Not winning a game for a year must be hard.
“They’ve worked hard for it. Everyone played so well, I can’t fault them. Between the two teams we had 15 players unavailable, so it’s a massive win.”
And Herbst is now eyeing another tie at St Mary’s Field when the draw is made.
He said: “A nice home draw again, that would be ideal. Other than that, no preference.”
Bees: Jo Scadding, Greenwood-Neate, Oliveira, Baker, Baggs, Gall, Hereka, Howe (O Peart 76), Hunter, Ayunga (M Calverley 84), Weedon (McAllister 83). Sub not used: Yu.