Wimborne Town 0 Evesham United 1
Evo-Stik Southern South & West Division
EVESHAM’S play-off bid continued to gain momentum thanks to Lewis Binns’ early strike at the Cuthbury on Saturday.
The Hartpury College youngster’s first goal of the season after just three minutes sealed United’s first league double this term.
The Red and Whites, however, made heavy weather of defeating a plucky Wimborne and should have wrapped the game up by half time.
But a catalogue of near misses and good goalkeeping by Magpies’ Shane Murphy kept the home side interested until the final whistle.
It is now just one defeat in 12 for Paul Collicutt’s men, who lie eighth in the table, just five points outside the play-offs.
Wimborne, who were taken over by a consortium in midweek, included Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, brother of Arsenal and England’s Alex, and Kaleem Haitham in their line-up, who were both making their first starts for the home side on-loan from Football League Two table-toppers Portsmouth.
United welcomed back midfielder Ashley Williams from suspension and added 18-year-old Bidford-based Bradley Whelan to the substitutes bench.
Despite the long journey to the south coast, United began at breathtaking pace and silenced the home crowd by taking a third-minute lead.
Jacob Sloggett, who terrorised Wimborne with his pace all afternoon, skated past several defenders before finding the onrushing Binns, who rifled home past the sprawling Murphy.
There was continued urgency and intent from United but Murphy pushed aside efforts from Sloggett, Adam Mann and leading scorer Lance Smith and then Williams and Nick Stanley fired narrowly wide.
United, though, were given a fright approaching half time but Kevin Sawyer made a fine save after Haitham had found space in the penalty box.
United carved out another opportunity soon after the restart when Murphy saved from Smith and Sloggett’s follow-up was blocked by defender Billy Maybury.
On the hour, Mann galloped through the home defence, but saw his drive agonisingly come back off a post before being cleared.
Carl Preston, who looked dangerous down the Wimborne left, then tested Sawyer who brilliantly bent backwards to touch the ball over.
Following a frantic goalmouth scramble, Sawyer came to United’s rescue by hooking the ball off his goalline and away to safety.
United, however, weathered the storm and went on to finish the game on the attack.
The single goal proved enough and, with skipper for the day Linden Dovey outstanding at the back, any attacking threat from Wimborne fizzled out to nothing.
Tonight (Tuesday), Evesham are scheduled to travel to fourth placed Swindon Supermarine.