Veteran striker Clinton Morrison made sure Exeter City weren’t on the wrong end of an Emirates FA Cup upset as they beat Didcot Town by 3-0 in Sunday's first game.
Former Republic of Ireland international Morrison broke the deadlock moments after half time before Tom Nichols and Alex Nicholls killed the game off against the lowest ranked team remaining in the competition.
Didcot Town 0-3 Exeter City
The Emirates FA Cup
First Round Proper
12noon, Sunday 8 November 2015
Loop Meadow Stadium, Didcot
Live on BT Sport
Winners receive £18,000 from prize fund
By Alex Smith
Exeter hadn’t won in The FA Cup since 2009 and were humiliated by eighth-tier Warrington last year – but they didn’t make the same mistake this season.
They had to wait until the 12th minute to cause worry to the Railwaymen’s defence but keeper Leigh Bedwell clung on to Jordan Moore-Taylor’s back post header.
Jamie McAllister made sure Bedwell was at his best again with a left footed curler – but the former Swindon Town shot-stopper pushed it away.
But it only took three minutes of the second half for Morrison to ruin the occasion – the ex Crystal Palace and Birmingham City man’s deflected stabbed shot wrong footed Bedwell and dropped in off the bar.
Tom Nichols tapped-in with 17 minutes to go after Arron Davies' header came off the bar and Alex Nicholls clinched it with another simple goal.
Eighth tier Didcot’s best chance of a consolation fell to left-back Jamie Organ, who crashed a late strike onto the bar.
Highlights of the game in Didcot can be seen here
And City boss Paul Tisdale admitted he was a relieved man at the final whistle after avoiding a second FA Cup giant-killing in successive seasons.
"It was about winning today and getting through," said Tisdale. "We had the experience of last year which wasn’t a great thing to have on our recent results.
"Hopefully the players used that experience in the game today and it was about making sure it didn’t happen again.
"The players were pragmatic about their approach today and we didn’t over-do it with loose thinking, we went in very sternly. We earned it today."