Defeat to bogey side leaves Evesham in bottom four

By Liam Moakes 14/03 Updated: 26/03 11:16

TUESDAY'S 3-1 defeat at bogey side Stourbridge brought an end to Evesham United's four-match unbeaten run and saw them slip into the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division relegation zone.

The Robins headed into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to play-off chasing St Albans City on Saturday in which they were desperately unlucky not to take maximum points, but in midweek boss Matt Clarke was left with a depleted squad featuring just three substitutes and the Glassboys emerged convincing winners.

All of this means tomorrow's visit to Arlesey Town - now above Evesham on goal difference in the division's last safe place - has taken on huge significance and the task will not be easy against the Bedfordshire outfit, who have won their last three matches.

On Tuesday United were looking to earn some long-awaited revenge over Stourbridge having not beaten them since November 2008, but they have now gone 11 matches without a win against the Glassboys after falling away in the second half.

Neither keeper was seriously tested in the first period and Evesham then began the second half well as home keeper Lewis Solly pushed aside Pedram Ardallany's drive before Neil MacKenzie and James McPike both went close.

However, it was Stourbridge who opened the scoring in the 53rd minute when hesitant defending from Wayne Daniel and keeper Dan Platt gifted Leon Broadhurst a soft opener.

Unsurprisingly the lead was doubled 15 minutes from time when Nathan Bennett met Sean Geddes' free kick to find the net with a well placed header.

Geddes got on the scoresheet himself with ten minutes to go with a penalty awarded after Callum Henry had brought down Sam Rock in the box.

Evesham finished the game with a flourish though and Solly made a smart save from leading scorer Marcus Palmer before McPike pulled a goal back with a header which beat Solly from Palmer's cross in the 86th minute.

On Saturday Evesham were very unfortunate to earn just a point against a St Albans side who have lost just one league game in 2012.

The hosts took a 26th minute lead when Palmer did well to win a corner on the right and from Lewis Tasker's set piece Daniel got in a header which crossed the line despite the best efforts of Narada Bernard to clear.

Soon afterwards Josh Quaynor fired straight into the arms of City keeper Nick Jupp when well placed and the second half followed a similar pattern as Evesham continued to look the more likely to score.

Ben Pugh rounded Jupp only for James Gray to deny the United striker with a last-ditch block before defender Henry Eze was inches away from scoring after a neat one-two with Craig Wilding.

However, the visitors levelled against the run of play in the 76th minute when Danny Hart's corner from the left was met by the onrushing Cedric Ngakam who planted an unstoppable header past Platt into the roof of the net.

Back came Evesham and in stoppage time Eze wasted a wonderful chance to clinch victory when he blazed over from Jack Winter's cross from inside the six-yard box.

Evesham are also in action next midweek when they host promotion-chasing Chesham United on Tuesday (7.45pm).

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