CALLUM Ebanks’ late drive won the day for Evesham United as they wrapped up their pre-season preparations with victory over Bishops Cleeve on Saturday.
The slender 1-0 triumph gave the Robins a momentum boost ahead of Saturday’s home FA Cup preliminary round meeting with Coventry United, which is followed by their Southern League Division One South opener at home to Sholing.
Chances were very much at a premium during the opening half, with the biggest opening falling to Ebanks who kept his shot too close to former Robin Kevin Sawyer who made the save.
Despite this, the match was largely an end to end contest and always looked like bursting into life at any given moment.
Lewis Clayton showed excellent concentration to keep out a rare Bishops Cleeve attempt as the game ticked towards its conclusion.
With the crowd of 198 fearing a scoreless game was on the cards, Ebanks came to the rescue by sparking some late magic – namely a pearler that whistled into the top corner via the crossbar.
An immediate leveller almost followed for the Hellenic League visitors at the Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium, but Clayton again pulled off a clever stop to ensure Evesham victory.
As a result of the late winner, United ended their warm-ups with a record of five wins, one draw and three losses, although progression in the Cup this weekend will rank far more significantly for Neil Hunt’s men.