IT WAS third time lucky for Whitchurch United boss Carl Bennett, as for the first time since taking charge of the Jam Boys they made the preliminary round of the FA Cup after a 1-0 win at Cripps.

Ryan Lambert with a late late wonder strike won the replay in Bristol in the 91st minute, just as it looked like the game was heading to extra time.

The contest was as even as the score suggested and in the first 45 minutes Whitchurch focused on defence and the Western Premier Division side were unable to break them down.

However, the visitors created very little with Lambert the lone striker. He was joined up top by Cameron Hough after the break, and the Jam Boys had chances, but it remained 0-0.

It was left to Lambert to win the game with a thunderbolt of shot from 40 yards out which beat the home goalkeeper who was in the middle of his box.

From the kick-off Cripps threw everyone forward, but Whitchurch won the ball and took it to the corner and the final whistle blew.

The victory earned the Jam Boys a home tie with fellow Wessex Leaguers Moneyfields a week on Saturday and ironically they play the same side again in the Hampshire Senior Cup four days later.

Talking after the game, Bennett said: "It was a really tough place to go and it was very even neither side really deserved to lose. I am delighted we won, as finally as a manager, I have taken the side past the extra preliminary round after losing in replay for the past two seasons.

"Everyone chipped into the performance from back to front and we looked very compact at the back. After conceding three goals in the first 30 minutes of the season, we have now gone 240 minutes without conceding another goal which is very pleasing."

Last Saturday, Whitchurch drew with Cripps 0-0 with the game being marred to a bad injury to Basingstoke Academy player Charlie McCann, who headed to hospital with a suspected broken ankle after he landed awkwardly from a jump. It has now turned out to be ligament damage, but it will still see the winger sidelined for a few games.

The previous Wednesday, the Jam Boys were beaten 3-0 in their league opener against Amesbury, whose boss is former Whitchurch manager Jim Macey.

They return to league action on Saturday with a tough trip to the Isle of Wight to face Newport and then on Wednesday night, Alresford will make the trip to Longmeadow for another league clash.