11:29am Wednesday 19th February 2014
BELOW-par Evesham United slumped to a disappointing 2-1 home defeat against lowly Didcot Town in Calor Southern League Division One South and West.
Without four regulars, United looked out of sorts and, despite a late rally by Paul Collicutt's 15th-placed side, struggling Didcot deservedly returned with all three points.
Playing their first home game for more than a month, United went into the match searching for their first league double after winning 3-1 in Oxfordshire earlier in the season.
The first-half ended scoreless despite both sides creating decent chances.
Early on, visiting skipper Luke Carnell outjumped home keeper John Bateman but headed over and Michael McKirnan curled a drive just wide.
Evesham responded with James Vercesi going close and then Marcus Palmer firing into the side-netting after rounding James Foster in the Railwaymen's goal.
On the stroke of half-time, Bateman produced the save of the match to keep out Josh Dutton-Black from point-blank range.
The second period was just 12 minutes old when Didcot took the lead through a John Mills shot that found the bottom corner.
Bateman prevented Didcot going further ahead midway through the half when he brilliantly turned behind Pablo Haysham's goal-bound volley.
Ed Williams then flashed a couple of efforts wide for the hosts but Didcot looked most likely to score next.
Ben Whitehead and Haysham struck the United woodwork and twice in quick succession Evesham cleared off their line following goalmouth scrambles.
Richard Mansell, who injected some life into the United performance after coming on as substitute, levelled the scores with a minute to go.
But Didcot had the final say by scoring the winner through Haysham with the game moving into stoppage time after sloppy defending by the Robins, who head to Shortwood United on Saturday (3pm).
The Robins' home game with North Leigh last Saturday was postponed.
Evesham: Bateman, Wilson, Wellon, Barnfield (Mansell 75), Axton, Watkin, Kennedy, Williams, Palmer (Davis 84), Vercesi, Tambling (Eyre 60). Subs not used: Barnfather, Hitchman.
Following recent postponements, Littleton and Pershore Town have home Midland Combination Premier Division games on Saturday against Nuneaton Griff and Bolehall Swifts respectively (both 3pm).
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