Barnstaple Town manager Dean Edwards believes his side won’t have any problems in the Southern League this year if they put in performances like Saturday’s FA Cup win over Helston Athletic.
Barum were good value for a 2-0 win over the South West Peninsula League side in the preliminary round tie, with second half goals from Harry Clarke and Saddam Bello ensuring they progress.
They will host Southern League Premier South side Wimborne Town in the first qualifying round on Tuesday, September 22.
The win also gives Barum a boost heading into their first game of the Division One South season – a trip to AFC Totton on Saturday.
Edwards said: “We’ve got Totton on Saturday, who I would say are favourites to win the league. We’ve got to go and put the same performance in.
“If this side sticks together and keeps playing, they’re not going to have the problems of the last few years.”
The Barnstaple manager was pleased with the ‘team spirit’ his side showed as they saw off a Helston side which included Billy Tucker and his former Bideford teammates Matt Bye and Dan Harrison.
Edwards said: “They’re an ambitious club who are recruiting well. It was a tough encounter. After 20 minutes we should have been 2-0 up – we missed some great chances.
“If we had been ruthless enough we could have had the game wrapped up by the hour, but we didn’t and we made it a bit more difficult for ourselves but in the end, 2-0 – it was alright.
“Helston wanted to win that game, no mistake about it, but I think we nullified their threat of Billy on the right and the two lads up front and to be honest with you they didn’t have a lot more.
“We had some lads who are capable of unlocking their defence and we’ve scored two decent goals. All in all we’re a happy club.”
Edwards also praised Ollie Tomlinson, who joins the club on loan from Plymouth Argyle and slotted straight into the centre of defence – four days after facing Norwich with the Pilgrims in the EFL Trophy.
Edwards said Tomlinson and fellow centre-half Jordan Foster were ‘men of the match’.
“We’ve got to be thankful to Plymouth Argyle. Ollie played against Norwich on Tuesday and he’s come and played against Helston today and credit for his attitude,” said Edwards.
“[Tomlinson and Foster] soaked everything up and didn’t lose much. All in all it was a good result and a pleasing result. It’s an achievement for the lads and they all worked together.”