BOWERS & Pitsea booked their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history by recording a 2-1 comeback win at Lewes.

Although Kayne Diedrick-Roberts put Lewes ahead from the penalty spot, goals from James Thomas and Brad Warner ensured Rob Small’s side would emerge victorious at the Dripping Pan for the second time already this season.

And Small was proud after seeing his Isthmian Premier League outfit complete the turnaround.

The Bowers boss said: “Getting through to the third qualifying round has been a long time coming.

“We’ve been wanting to progress in the competition and I’m glad that we got the result we were hoping for.

“It was a really difficult game and we were a big underdog going to Lewes.

“But we got to make history and that makes me really proud.

“I don’t really care who we get in the next round because anyone who has got through to the third qualifying round is a good side, so any tie will be tough.”

Bowers came closest to forcing a first half breakthrough when Max Cornhill headed a Tom Stephen corner onto the post.

Despite Bowers creating openings, Lewes broke the deadlock eight minutes after the interval.

Callum Chafer got a hand to Diedrick-Roberts’ penalty, but the effort still found the back of the net.

However, Thomas got Bowers back on level terms against their Isthmian Premier League rivals.

Lewis Manor’s flick-on found the winger, who cut inside before slotting home.

And Warner grabbed what proved to be the winner five minutes later.

Having entered the fray just two minutes earlier, Warner netted after a driving run from Thomas.

Chafer made a fine late save to deny Michael Dome-Bemwin, while Stefan Ilic blazed over to enable Bowers to make history.

And Small was keen to praise Thomas, who got his name on the scoresheet and grabbed an assist a matter of moments after the Bowers chief was initially intending to substitute the winger.

“James put in a magnificent second half performance and I was about to take him off because he had worked his socks off,” added Small.

“We were 1-0 down, so I was going to freshen it up.

“As we were getting the numbers on the board in preparation for making the substitution, James got himself a goal.

“The goal gave him the adrenaline and energy that was starting to fade. He scored a tremendous goal and set up the second goal, so he won the game for us.”