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“We thoroughly deserved the win”: Hartpury University manager Martin Longworth after reaching the FA Vase fourth-round

Hartpury University equalled their best ever FA Vase run with a 2-1 win over Clevedon Town leaving manager Martin Longworth relishing the opportunities ahead.

Ben Baxter’s second half double overturned Sam Beresford’s early opener for the visitors to secure a fourth-round spot for the Acorns.

“Going into the game we knew it was going to be a tough task and they’re a very good outfit,” said Longworth post-match.

“We had a gameplan and on the complexion of the game, we played really well and were unlucky to go in 1-0 down a half time.

“They listened to some tactical information and thoroughly deserved the win.”

The manner of the win particularly pleased Longworth and the coaching staff after a successful start to the new season that has them sat in third in the Hellenic League Division One.

“We had a little chat about it as staff after the game and it isn’t too many times this season that we’ve been behind at half-time,” added Longworth.

“The manner of coming back was brilliant but we knew deep down that the result wasn’t reflective of the performance which was great from the lads as they knew there was another 45 to 55 minutes to go and they trusted themselves and the process and reaped the rewards.”

The Step Six side will find out their fourth-round opponents on Monday afternoon and will be looking to avenge their 2-0 loss to Atherstone Town at the same stage last term.

Longworth is adamant it will be a different experience for his charges this season though.

“It was a lot different last year as it was our first every year in the Vase and we actually won five games to get to the fourth round and beat three teams in higher leagues to get there,” admitted Longworth.

“This year we’ve won two games against teams in higher leagues to us and there’s some really good teams still left in the draw.

“Hopefully we get a home tie as anytime we play at home; we back ourselves to beat anybody which is great, but we’ve also proven we can go away from home.”

Hartpury’s winning goal on Saturday

An away victory came in the second round this year with a 5-3 win over Nailsea & Tickenham, the first Step Five club Hartpury defeated this season.

It has helped contribute to the Acorns being five games away from Wembley and Longworth left his team with a simple message on Saturday evening.

“It isn’t very often you can count on one hand how many games you are away from Wembley,” said the Hartpury boss.

“We’ve got a good opportunity, and we need to maximise it.”

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