As you would expect, Bexhill got the second-half underway in plenty of confidence and they almost doubled their lead straight away when Michaela Bryant dragged a shot ever so slightly wide of Laker’s far post.
Oakwood were determined to show the cup tie wasn’t over and when Lauren Tyler decided to test Tucker from distance with a free-kick, her parried save looked destined to fall to an Oakwood attacker, but Bexhill survived and cleared.
For all the efforts Oakwood put in, the defence was starting to look shaky and when Lauren Swarbrooke was allowed through on goal, one-on-one with Laker, she wasn’t able to capitalise and struck wide.
This was followed by another long-range effort from Knight who, with confidence from her earlier goal, forced Laker into a full stretch finger-tip save.
From the resulting in swinging corner, Killick-Bird headed off her own goal-line for Oakwood but only into the path of Pier who was there to poach the ball home and ensure a less nervy end for United.
As the game drifted into injury-time, it looked as though Oakwood might snatch some late salvation when Ioana Vilciu was played through one-on-one with Tucker, however, the Bexhill stopper leaped to the ground brilliantly to ensure her clean-sheet was to be kept intact.
Following the match, Bexhill United manager, Katie Wilde, was elated with the lift it has given them: “I can’t put it into words, the last couple of seasons we’ve had a new challenge, we got relegated last season so to have a nice big lift like this is great for us.
“To lose one of our most influential players so early, we had to regroup and then we lost another influential player in Dom Beckett, so we’ve been right up against it. The second-half I can’t fault the work rate, we dug in and we were there for each other.”
Assistant manager, Rick Tate, also spoke of his delight at the players’ mentality in the game: “We needed something like that (the opening goal) to get us out of the position we found ourselves in after Izzy went off injured.
“That was just what we needed and most of all we came out in the second-half on the up really. Oakwood got back in the game, but we held strong at the back.”
Finally, Wilde added: “We have a lot of players who have just stepped up to open age football and that can be very difficult to manage. I said to the girls if you don’t get a lot of time on the pitch it’s not a reflection on you it’s a reflection on the game.”