Saints had to come from behind to beat Tuffley Rovers 4-1 in Saturday’s second round tie with three goals in 11 minutes booking their place after they trailed for much of the contest.
Rovers took an early lead when Warren Mann broke into the box and calmly slid the ball under Ali Worby. Tuffley created further chances, the best when Brett James pulled his shot wide and Worby saved well with his legs from Dom Kent.
Saints began to pull themselves back into the tie, James Watts shot over and George Ball exchanged passes with James Hammond but was thwarted by a last-ditch challenge. Just before halftime Ball curled his shot just wide as Saints looked for the equaliser.
Tuffley held out until late in the second half when a quick break saw Ryan Knight cross for Josh Bowden whose header was well saved by the Rovers keeper but the Saints striker managed to scramble home the rebound.
Saints took the lead when Lewis Baldwin speared a right foot shot into the top corner from 25 yards following a corner. Saints increased their lead when Knight found space left and struck another absolute belter that whizzed past the keeper before he could react.
The game was sealed when Saints scored a fourth goal in 11 minutes when Jordan Godfrey picked up a pass from Ollie Goddard just outside his own area. Godfrey sent a 60-yard cross-field pass to Knight and he quickly fed Bowden who shot first time and, although the keeper made a great save, Ball was on hand to guide in the rebound.
Saints entertain Flackwell Heath in Saturday’s UHLSport Hellenic League premier division clash looking to get back to the top after being knocked off by Ascot United.