Brave efforts against high-fliers take Robins into league finale

Evesham Journal: Brave efforts against high-fliers take Robins into league finale Brave efforts against high-fliers take Robins into league finale

EVESHAM United complete a tough Calor Southern League Division One South and West campaign at home to basement boys Guildford City on Saturday (3pm).

The Robins’ three-match unbeaten run ended with a double defeat over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, going down 3-2 at home to play-off hopefuls Paulton Rovers and 1-0 at title-chasing Merthyr Town.

They pushed the high-fliers close in both matches with Evesham set to finish in seventh-from-bottom position after an inconsistent season which saw Paul Collicutt replace summer appointment Shaun Cunnington as manager in late October.

Collicutt will value a full pre-season with his side but first they do have the chance of silverware when facing Redditch United in the Worcestershire FA Senior Cup final on Tuesday, May 6.

Paulton came from behind on Saturday to beat Evesham in injury-time. In the first-half, the visitors should have added to just the one goal they scored on 10 minutes through Scott Brice from a corner.

But top-scorer Lance Smith levelled three minutes after the break and Ben Evans put Evesham ahead on 59 minutes with a superb volley that gave the keeper no chance.

However, Nick McCootie equalised four minutes later, getting on the end of an accurate cross from the left wing.

Paulton's Stuart Tovey was sent off for violent conduct 14 minutes from time.

But the 10-man visitors applied more pressure late on and were rewarded in injury-time when Josh Klein-Davies drove the winner low past Evesham keeper Louie Barnfather.

On Monday, Evesham put in a good display against promotion-chasing Merthyr Town but lost to a goal on the hour mark from Ian Traylor.

Played in front of the largest crowd seen in the division this season of 712, the Robins could not score the goal to earn the draw their performance deserved.

After a quiet start, Evesham began to look threatening and Smith went close with a fierce 20-yard shot before seeing an effort from close range well saved.

Evesham then put a header from a corner inches over and not long after went closer still when a cross from the right by Carl Brown hit the bar before the ball was cleared.

It took 30 minutes before Merthyr created a worthwhile chance. A couple of minutes before the break, Evesham keeper Barnfather did well to push away a free-kick from Kayne McLaggon from just outside the area.

The level scoreline at half-time flattered Merthyr but they took the lead in the second period following a corner when the ball eventually came out to Gavin Williams on the left.

Williams crossed for Traylor on the corner of the six-yard area to get in a glancing header over the keeper and in off the far post.

Merthyr then created more chances, including hitting the bar with a header.

Evesham v Paulton: Barnfather, Tambling, Mansell (Powell 80), Wilson, Wellon, Saunston, Evans, N Jackson, L Smith, Kennedy (Brown 86), Bowen. Subs not used: Dovey, Palmer, J Smith. Attendance: 119.

Evesham v Merthyr: Barnfather, Tambling, Mansell, Wilson, Wellon, Sauntson, Brown, Powell (Bowen 56), L Smith, Kennedy, Jackson (Evans 70). Attendance: 712.

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