EVESHAM United boss Paul Collicutt had a nagging feeling Lady Luck had deserted him – even with a little less than an hour still to play at Cirencester Town.

The Robins must now rely on slips from others to realise their Southern League Division One South play-off dream after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to the fourth-placed Centurions.

It came after United rattled the woodwork three times, twice in a goalless first half before strikes from Alan Griffin and England Schoolboys ace Owen Windsor put them to the sword.

Ciren also pelted the frame of the goal twice, beginning with Tommy Anderson’s flicked header against the post in the eighth minute.

Back came Evesham to go within a fraction of the opener through Kane Simpson’s free-kick that bounced back to be cleared before an Adam Page corner somehow avoided going into the net having swirled against the upright.

The breakthrough came eight minutes into the second half as the vastly-experienced Michael Pook teed up Griffin to sweep home from close range.

Toumani Sidibe then whacked the post from an acute angle with Aidan Bennett returning the favour before Windsor produced a composed finish from Anderson’s assist with 17 minutes to go.

Added to the mix was a standout performance from rookie Ciren keeper Sam Ayres, on as a fifth-minute substitute following an injury for Mateusz Wieczorek.

“It was quite an eventful afternoon with one thing and another,” said Collicutt.

“People from both teams and neutrals came up to me and said how much they had enjoyed the game, that it was a good advert for our league.

“They had a lad who had scored for England Schoolboys in the week against Scotland. He got the second, put in a good shift and looked like a talented player. I would say he could make the Football League in time.

“Their keeper went down five minutes into the game and they put in a young lad. I thought to myself this will go one of two ways, he will have a nightmare or one of those days where he is unbeatable – he ended up being man-of-the-match.

“I would say we edged the first half and they had the second. All in all it was a highly-entertaining game and had we taken our chances we could have been in a very good position at half-time.

“We hit the woodwork three times, they went just as close a couple of times as well. In any sport you have to have that rub of the green and we did not get that on Saturday.

“Pagey hit the post direct from a corner and somehow it came back out – when things like that happen you know it is not going to be your day.”

Robins: Hannah, Hancock (Kye Simpson, 82), Page, Turley, Anson, Wellon, Thomas (Price, 86), Williams, Kane Simpson (Brown, 74), Davies, Sidibe. Unused subs: Harding, Thompson (g/k).

Attendance: 232.