Evesham revival is stopped in its tracks

By Liam Moakes Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 15:10

EVESHAM UNITED ended a four-match losing streak with an excellent 3-1 win at North Leigh on Saturday but were unable to build on the success as they went down 2-1 in Tuesday's rearranged encounter at Shortwood United.

The results mean the Robins continue to meander in mid-table with little prospect of reigniting their Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West play-off challenge unless there is a dramatic upturn in form.

Having clinched victory on Saturday, Paul West's team looked set to maintain their momentum on Tuesday when Carl Brown fired them into a ninth minute lead as his cross-cum-shot caught Tom King in the home goal in two minds and finished up in the back of the net.

However, within 60 seconds Luke Gullick rose unchallenged to head Shortwood level and what proved to be the winning goal arrived with 16 minutes on the clock when Matt Bennett gave Evesham stopper Tom Cross no chance with a clinical finish from 12 yards.

Cross prevented Gullick from extending Shortwood's lead in the second half with a fine save low down to his right and it was left to Simon Fitter to go closest for the Robins before the end, but King managed to turn behind the midfielder's free kick which had looked destined for the top corner.

The much-changed Evesham side had claimed a third away league win of the season at the weekend at a freezing Eynsham Hall Park.

Martin Hutchcox and Joel Hardwick made their first starts and youth team players Jamie O'Meara and Josh Goddard were among the substitutes.

Kicking down a prominent slope, North Leigh made the better start and forced United keeper Cross to make important stops from John Mills twice and Lewis Coyle in the opening quarter.

However, Evesham weathered the early pressure and broke away to take a 20th minute lead through James Blake's angled finish after he had cut in from the left.

In the last action of the first half North Leigh were reduced to ten men when Toby Clarke was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Fitter.

With the elements in their favour, United made their extra man count by scoring twice in three minutes as the match entered the final ten minutes.

Firstly Brown was pulled down in the box and Leigh Downing coolly dispatched the resulting spot kick past Sam Worrell.

Brown then got on the scoresheet when he beat Worrell with a splendid first time effort from 25 yards.

Despite Andy Caton pulling a goal back for the hosts, substitute Dwayne Spence found the North Leigh net again in stoppage time, but his excellent finish was disallowed for offside.

Weather permitting Evesham are in action at the Jubilee Stadium tomorrow when they entertain lowly Taunton Town.

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