EVESHAM United head into Saturday’s FA Cup preliminary round tie at Rugby Town buoyed by their first victory of the Southern League Division One South campaign.
The Robins were beaten 1-0, somewhat unfortunately it has to be said, in Saturday’s league opener as Neikell Plummer’s 25th-minute goal proved enough for Wiltshire hosts Melksham Town.
However, Paul Collicutt’s men bounced back at the first opportunity with an entertaining 3-2 home win over Bristol outfit Mangotsfield United on Wednesday thanks to goals from Ashley Williams, Joe Turley and Lewis Ellington.
The hosts took the lead on the half hour mark when Nick Hancock’s free-kick caused chaos in the visitors’ box and Williams was on hand to fire home.
It took Mangotsfield just four minutes to restore parity through a fine individual effort from Michael Bryant but, against the run of play, Evesham were back in front a minute before half-time when Turley netted from ten yards to cap a superb team move involving Stephen Davies and Cory Simpson.
The home side almost increased their advantage two minutes into the second half but Marley Thomas fired against the bar after linking up well with Davies and soon afterwards Hancock produced a blistering 35-yard strike which was superbly saved by Cameron Clarke.
As the game entered its closing stages both sides were intent on throwing everything into attack and it was Evesham who grabbed the all-important fourth goal of the match on 86 minutes when substitute Tyrone Tucker-Dixon powered along the right before sending in a low cross which was tapped home by Ellington.
The visitors refused to surrender and headed wide from a corner before reducing their arrears in the 90th minute through Louis Britton, but it was too little, too late to save them.
United now bid to make cup progress at Butlin Road this weekend against a Rugby side who play a level below.
The two teams last faced each other nine seasons ago in the Southern League Premier Division when the Robins recorded a win and a draw against Lee Colkin and Michael Love’s side in what turned out to be the end of Rugby’s six-year stay at that level as a result of their bottom-placed finish at the end of the 2009/10 term.
The first meeting between the two clubs dates back to October 1979, though, when 116 people attended an FA Vase round one tie at Butlin Road which the visitors won 1-0.
Should a replay be required, it will take place at Evesham on Wednesday, September 5.
The Robins are in league action on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm) when they visit Cinderford Town.