EVESHAM United booked themselves a home game with county rivals Redditch United in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup courtesy of a deserved 3-1 home victory over Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South opponents Kidsgrove Athletic on Saturday.
The Robins rallied after going a goal behind to comfortably make it through the preliminary round tie as Jared Wilson scored twice from the penalty spot to head United’s goalscoring charts with four goals in seven games.
Before the kick-off both teams observed a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for Evesham Club president Malcolm Davis, who sadly passed away last week.
Evesham were on their game straight from the kick-off to force a succession of corners and only some last-ditch defending by the visitors prevented Paul Collicutt’s men from taking the lead.
Wilson created the best opening by sending Ashley Edenborough clear but the normally reliable striker ballooned his shot wide with only Grove keeper Joe Hemmings in his sights.
Kidsgrove then shocked the home crowd by snatching an unexpected lead against the run of play when Joe Woolley beat Kevin Sawyer with a first-time drive on 33 minutes.
The Staffordshire side then sat back on their lead, content to get bodies behind the ball, but after a period of United pressure debutant George Washbourne levelled the tie at 1-1 with a fine finish into the bottom corner with just 60 seconds of the first half remaining.
Evesham continued to dominate after half time and went ahead within four minutes of the restart when Washbourne was brought down by Clifton Forbes in the box and Wilson made no mistake from 12 yards.
Wilson then stepped up for his second penalty of the game on the hour mark when Jack Watts was sent tumbling in the box by Daniel Adeoye and Wilson easily beat keeper Hemmings with another precise finish.
Sawyer was never tested at the other end and Washbourne, Edenborough and substitute Nathan Jackson all went close to extending United’s lead before the end.
The Robins, who banked £1,925 in prize money for the victory, return to Southern League Division One South & West action on Saturday with a visit to Wimborne Town before hosting Didcot Town on Tuesday.
United currently sit ninth in the table with nine points from six matches.