Collicutt reflects on 'one of those days' after Robins draw - The Evesham Observer

Collicutt reflects on 'one of those days' after Robins draw

Evesham Editorial 24th Jan, 2017 Updated: 24th Jan, 2017   0

MANAGER Paul Collicutt refused to criticise his Evesham United players after they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by visitors North Leigh on Saturday.

On a weather-hit day of Southern League Division One South & West fixtures, the second placed Robins were only able to extend their advantage over third placed Tiverton Town to one point as their mid-table Oxfordshire visitors provided stubborn resistance.

Because of a heavy overnight frost only three games survived in the division and it was a disappointing outcome for the 322 United fans who braved the cold to witness their side dominate most of the game but fail to deliver in the final third.

However, Collicutt remained upbeat and is backing his side to take out their frustrations on Saturday’s visitors Paulton Rovers.

“It was a frustrating afternoon for us but I don’t think we did a lot wrong,” said the boss.

“We bossed the game and created enough chances to win, but unfortunately the goals didn’t go in and on another day we may have scored three or four.

“North Leigh came with a game plan to get bodies behind the ball and made life difficult for us to break them down.

“We now move on to another important game against Paulton Rovers on Saturday.”

Had the contest been decided on possession and chances, United would have won comfortably, but it is goals that count and United will be kicking themselves for not making it four wins in a row against John Brough’s side.

For the third game running Collicutt kept faith with the same starting 11 as Garyn Preen played his penultimate game before returning to National League South side Hungerford Town following his loan move to the Jubilee Stadium.

In an even opening the outstanding Preen shot over and had his drive saved by Oxford United loanee keeper Manny Ogboola, while at the opposite end Kevin Sawyer came to United’s rescue by blocking with his feet to keep out Morgan Williams.

However, on 17 minutes Jamie Cook’s ball in from the right found Lance Williams who swept the ball home beyond Sawyer to give the Millers a shock 1-0 lead.

United almost levelled in their next attack but Michael Hopkins cleared Nick Stanley’s header off the line and, after ping-pong in the North Leigh box, youngster Archie Haskayne shaved the visitors’ crossbar with Agboola clutching thin air.

The hardworking Adam Mann was unable to force the ball over the line following a goalmouth scramble before Agboola got down well to save from Haskayne and Liam Harding directed a header just over as United continued on the front foot.

United’s equaliser finally arrived on 44 minutes when top scorer Lance Smith, fresh from rejecting a move to Premier Division outfit Redditch United, did all the spade work before supplying Preen who drilled a superb finish past Agboola into the bottom corner.

The second half was a repeat of the first with United asking all the questions and North Leigh happy to sit back and get everybody behind the ball.

Nevertheless, more chances continued to fall United’s way and full back Stanley, who ventured forward at every opportunity, got in a couple of rasping drives and both Smith and Ashley Williams got in headers which just cleared the bar.

United’s best chance to win the game fell to Harding in the last minute but, after meeting Lorcan Sheehan’s corner at the back stick, his diving header rolled the wrong side of the post with Agboola beaten.

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