EVESHAM United geared up for Saturday’s vital encounter at Yate Town by returning to winning ways with a thrilling 4-3 victory over fellow play-off hopefuls AFC Totton.
The Robins fought back from 2-0 down to seal a stunning success as new signing Kai Fisher levelled at 3-3 in the 90th minute before Kane Simpson’s goal in the seventh minute of added time settled the outcome of a superb match.
Saturday’s win lifted Paul Collicutt’s side into fourth place and maintained the five-point cushion to the highest placed team outside the play-off zone. Totton slipped to seventh, now six points behind United, albeit with a game in hand.
The task for Evesham now is to try and apply pressure on the top three – all of whom are seven points ahead of United with a game in hand – with Yate the lowest of those sides on goal difference.
Totton made a flying start to Saturday’s Southern League Division One South encounter as they took the lead inside two minutes when Connor York was quickest to react and head home on the rebound following a fine save from Andy Hannah.
Evesham rallied well and Steve Davies was denied by a superb full-length save from Max Harris just a minute later before midfielder Davies then produced a superb ball across the face of goal which nobody got on the end of.
The Hampshire side were content to play on the break and their plan was working as they made it 2-0 in controversial fashion on 32 minutes when Stuart Green found the net.
The assistant referee’s flag was in the air for offside but, following a discussion, the referee overruled his assistant and awarded the goal.
If they were disjointed in the first half, then Evesham were rampant in the second and, after surviving a scare when Craig Feeney fired over, the hosts reduced their arrears on 54 minutes when Cory Simpson centred for the impressive Marley Thomas to poke home from close range.
The game was then halted shortly afterwards when Cory Simpson suffered a broken leg which is likely to rule him out of action for the remainder of the season.
Once he had received treatment on and was then stretchered off the pitch, the match resumed with Evesham desperate to win the three points for their stricken team-mate.
A fine move between Davies and Thomas was rewarded on 67 minutes when the duo’s efforts resulted in Kane Simpson making it 2-2 with a brilliant strike.
Totton were not done though and they restored their advantage on 76 minutes when they capitalised on sloppy defending to net through Feeney.
Collicutt’s men were determined though and, after Ashley Williams headed over from Thomas’ corner and the latter dragged his effort wide with just the keeper to beat, the hosts were level when Fisher’s towering header crashed into the back of the net.
With the crowd buoyant, the seventh and decisive goal of the game went United’s way when Thomas drove into the box and his pinpoint cross was met by Kane Simpson who put the finishing touches to the attack to complete a brilliant fightback.
There was still time for Hannah to make an excellent save to deny Justin Bennett in the 99th minute before the majority of those inside the Jubilee could celebrate the most dramatic of victories.