Sherborne Town continued their unbeaten start to the season as Haydn Hodges’s goal helped the Zebras book their place in the FA Cup Preliminary Round with victory over Pewsey Vale.
The Zebras will face either Christchurch or Alresford in the next round in two weeks’ time after holding out for victory after making the perfect start at the Wessex League outfit.
Gary Bowles almost opened the scoring after two minutes, but the former AFC Bournemouth and Yeovil Town man fired straight at Pewsey goalkeeper Richard Payne. Sherborne did go ahead one minute later when Lewis Morgan set up Hodges, who drilled the ball home from 12 yards.
Sherborne continued to dominate and could have added to their tally with Steve Burton and Marc Caines going close for the visitors. Pewsey nearly equalised through Tom Whitham after 15 minutes, but his effort was sliced off target.
Moments later, Sherborne thought they should have been awarded a penalty for a shove on Caines in the box – but play was allowed to continue. Sherborne continued to dominate and Hodges would have doubled his tally, had his attempt not been cleared off the line with Payne left stranded.
Pewsey should have levelled after 28 minutes when Whitham latched onto a poor back header by Ben Cochrane as the striker knocked the ball past advancing Sherborne goalkeeper Jamie Beale. However, Whitham’s attempt struck the post as the Zebras were given a let off.
Sherborne started the second half well, but struggled to carve out threatening opportunities. The hosts pushed for an equaliser, forcing Beale into action as he denied Gareth Robb and Liam Crabbe – before Jamie Stone headed over from a corner in the closing stages.