The Larks advanced to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Trophy for the first time with a superb 5-1 victory at Southern League neighbours Paulton Rovers in which everyone played a part.
Previous games against the two sides have been competitive affairs and we expected this to be no different, although no one predicted the margin of victory on the day. The Larks stunned the crowd by scoring twice in the first three minutes of the game. Striker Lewis Powell sent the Paulton keeper the wrong way from the spot after we were awarded a penalty for handball, and then Sam Crumb launched a rocket of a strike to double our lead.
Before half an hour had elapsed the score line was already 3-0 to the Larks thanks to the best of our five goals, a glorious low drive by Tom Fry, assisted by a pinpoint pass from Lewis Powell. To their credit Paulton did not back off despite our advantage and Leighton Thomas got one back with a fine free kick which Shaun Semmens could do nothing to stop.
Being 3-1 up at the break had not whetted the Larks’ appetite for goals. We won a corner 20 minutes into the second half, taken by Tom Fry, and captain Mike Baker was the first to react, poking home from close range. At 4-1 the visitors could afford to drop a gear and Paulton probably had the better of the next spell, but Lewis was determined to regain his place at the top of the Larks scorers table and made it 5-1 with a low shot only three minutes before the whistle.
Man of the match was Matt Britton, who dominated the midfield with many fine tackles.
The draw for the next round will be made on Monday 1st November, and the tie will be played on 13th.