EVESHAM United moved into third place in Southern League Division One South & West despite surrendering a 2-0 lead and having to settle for a 2-2 draw at Cinderford Town on Tuesday.
The Robins, fresh from Saturday’s thumping 7-0 victory over bottom placed Bashley in Hampshire, took an early lead in midweek through Kyle Knott before debutant Lee Smith added a second goal soon afterwards.
However, within the space of two minutes in a crazy opening 17-minute period, George Lloyd halved the deficit and then former Evesham striker Ethan Moore completed the comeback to earn the Foresters a share of the spoils.
The hard earned point meant Evesham leapfrogged neighbours Stratford Town into third spot and extended United’s impressive sequence of results to just one defeat in 15 games.
Paul Collicutt’s men were in front as early as the sixth minute when the unfortunate Knott sliced the ball into his own net in attempting to clear Nick Stanley’s driven cross.
Continued United pressure resulted in a second goal, when the experienced Smith beat his marker before slipping the ball beyond the advancing Alex Harris.
Cinderford then turned the game on its head with two goals inside 60 seconds.
Lloyd beat the returning Kevin Sawyer with a first-time drive from outside the box and then in the home side’s next attack Kieran Thomas’ corner was helped on to the unmarked Moore who touched the ball home at the near post.
Play then settled down after the frantic start and it was Evesham who went on to create the better chances before half time. Town stopper Harris made an important block from Marcus Jackson and then he saved well at his near post to prevent Adam Mann from finding the net.
The second half was an even contest as defences dominated but both sides did have penalty appeals turned down. First Mann took a tumble when rounding Harris and at the other end Lloyd went to ground under a challenge from Will Wellon, but both shouts were waved aside by referee Mr Morris.
United substitute Lance Smith and the dangerous Jackson both went close for the Red & Whites before the end but the Town defence held firm to deny the Robins a late winner.
ON SATURDAY United strolled to their fifth league double and at the same time chalked up league win number seven away from their Jubilee Stadium headquarters.
Evesham, who thumped Bashley 5-0 earlier in the season, handed a first start to young midfielder Ollie Knowles but were without Sawyer, Lewis Binns, Kevin Slack, Lance Smith and Elliot Kennedy, forcing manager Collicutt to name just three substitutes on the teamsheet.
Bashley, who were still seeking their first home win of the season, were under the cosh from the start and rode their luck for 12 minutes, before Ashley Edenborough stretched his legs down the right and crossed to Mann who side-footed home from six yards.
United’s advantage was soon doubled when defender Wellon connected with Sean Wood’s corner to send a bullet header into the roof of the net for his first ever goal for the club.
Surprisingly there was no more scoring in the first half although Edenborough (twice), Stanley, Mann and Jackson should have added to the Robins’ lead.
After the interval, United were camped in the Bashley half and went on to score another five goals.
The energetic Jackson made it 3-0 with a rasping drive into the top corner on 53 minutes and moments later Bashley’s already miserable afternoon went from bad to worse when Leighton Speechey-Price was sent-off for two bookable offences.
Evesham, however, showed no mercy to their hapless hosts and added a fourth in the 71st minute when substitute Liam Harding got his first senior goal for United with a near post header from Jackson’s cross.
It became 5-0 on 80 minutes when Harding tucked away his second, lashing home after the Bashley defence had failed to clear Wood’s corner.
The full time whistle could not come quickly enough for the home side but United were not finished and added two more before the end.
With five minutes to go, Mann touched in Jackson’s low cross for his ninth goal in 14 games for 6-0 and then Stanley snaked his way through unchallenged to easily beat keeper Callum Maher for goal number seven to complete a devastating display.
Evesham continue on their travels with a trip to Sholing on Saturday which is followed by Tuesday’s visit to Wantage Town.
LITTLETON’S Les James Challenge Cup game against Leicester Road, which was postponed on Saturday, will now take place at Leicester Road this coming Saturday (2.30pm).
Bromsgrove Sporting are the visitors to Littleton on Tuesday (7.45pm) in the Smedley Crooke Memorial Challenge Cup.
PERSHORE Town’s Midland Football League Division One home game against Studley on Saturday was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Town visit Lichfield City this Saturday (3pm).