10:55am Wednesday 2nd April 2014
TEENAGER James Bowen made an Evesham United debut to remember with two goals and an assist in their 4-0 home thrashing of play-off contenders North Leigh.
The 18-year-old, on work experience along with Adam Powell from League Two side Cheltenham Town, came off the bench in the first-half for the injured Marcus Jackson.
Bowen then took centre stage with silky skills and clinical finishing in the Calor Southern League Division One South and West clash at the Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium.
North Leigh were always a threat going forward and could have been ahead through several Conor McDonagh strikes.
But Paul Collicutt’s side made the breakthrough after 38 minutes.
Powell delivered a right-wing free-kick that found Bowen at the back post and the youngster netted with a fine volley past Millers' keeper Adam McHugh.
Mark Bell should have levelled but dragged his shot wide after racing clear, while United keeper Louie Barnfather blocked bravely to deny the dangerous McDonagh.
Evesham continued to play at a high tempo in the second-half and extended their lead on 66 minutes.
Bowen collected the ball out wide before cutting in past several defenders and unleashing an unstoppable drive past the helpless McHugh.
Bowen was inches away from notching a debut hat-trick as Evesham continued to enjoy their best spell in the game.
With the North Leigh defence all at sea, Lance Smith connected with Bowen’s through-ball to make it 3-0 with a first-time strike from the edge of the box.
McHugh pushed Bowen’s free-kick behind for a fruitless corner before the scoring was completed two minutes into stoppage-time.
Smith crossed for substitute Elliot Kennedy to score the fourth goal and gain revenge for a 2-0 defeat at Eynsham Park earlier in the season.
The Robins host Godalming Town, who are two places below them in 18th, in the league on Saturday (3pm).
They lost 2-1 at Tiverton Town last Saturday with Carl Brown scoring.
Evesham: Barnfather, Tambling, Mansell, Wilson, Wellon, Sauntson, Jackson (Bowen 26), Powell (J Smith 74), L Smith, Brown (Kennedy 80), Evans. Subs not used: Hitchman, Dovey.
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