Exeter City 3 Heybridge Swifts 1: Brave Heybridge bow out of the FA Cup
- Credit: PA
Exeter City 3 Heybridge Swifts 1
Plucky Heybridge Swifts bowed out of the FA Cup, but not without a fight following a tight first round tie at Exeter City this afternoon.
The Bostik North visitors gave their League Two hosts a real battle, at St James Park, following their long journey down to Devon on the previous day.
Sam Bantick celebrated a goal on the 70-minute mark, to peg back Exeter to 2-1 and set up a nervous few minutes for the Football League club.
After a goalless first half, during which the Swifts more than held their own, Jayden Stockley netted a brace to put Exeter 2-0 up just after the hour mark.
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Stockley headed home former Colchester United midfielder Lloyd James’ cross in the 59th minute to break the deadlock.
And Stockley doubled the lead just four minutes later, firing home following a corner routine with a cross by Lee Holmes.
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But instead of wilting, Heybridge came storming back and the halved the deficit in the 70th minute through Bantick.
The influential Lewis Godbold, who had only been on the pitch as a substitute for six minutes, provided the assist for Bantick to direct a rising shot high into the net.
Heybridge then had dreams of fashioning an equaliser and so a replay at Scraley Road.
But Liam McAlinden bagged a third for the Grecians, from Stockley’s delivery in the 86th minute, to end the Essex club’s brave challenge.
EXETER: Pym, Sweeney, Brown, Moore-Taylor, Woodman (sub Holmes, 61), Taylor, James (sub Edwards, 71), Boateng, Moxey, Reid (sub McAlinden, 75), Stockley. Unused subs: Hamon, Jay, Byrne, Collins.
HEYBRIDGE: Sambridge, Carreño, Henshaw, Cawley, Sampayo, Bantick (sub Brown, 87), Chatting, Griffiths (sub Godbold, 64), Luque, Dark, Callander (sub Gardner, 68), Unused subs: Andrews, Fagbohun, Conway, Sillgato.