EVESHAM United ended their Southern League Division One South home campaign with a deserved 3-1 victory over high-flying Moneyfields.
Victory for the visitors would have all but secured a play-off place, but Sunday’s defeat leaves them with work to do to secure a top five finish – which is still just about within Evesham’s sights too after an impressive display.
Evesham will most likely need to win both of their remaining two matches to seal a play-off spot – starting with Saturday’s visit to leaders Blackfield & Langley who could be crowned champions with a win – but they can take great heart from a superb display against Moneyfields who, despite their loss, remain firmly on course for a place in the end of season shoot-out.
The hosts made a flying start as they took a sixth-minute lead when Adam Page’s excellent corner was headed into his own net by Curtis Da Costa.
Four minutes later there was danger for United when Moneyfields won a free kick on the edge of the box, but Jake Raine fired the set-piece over the bar.
However, just moments after Kane Simpson had fired narrowly wide, the Robins went 2-0 up in the 14th minute when Joe Turley’s raking pass found Simpson and he squared the ball across the box for Steve Davies to thump home his sixth goal of the season.
The match continued in end-to-end fashion throughout the first half and there was an escape for United on 43 minutes when Steve Hutchings headed against the bar.
The third goal of the game also went Evesham’s way on 50 minutes when a teasing cross from Page found Turley who crashed an unstoppable strike into the back of the net.
There was no easy finish to the game for Paul Collicutt’s side though as just two minutes later an excellent long-range shot from Joe Briggs gave Andy Hannah no chance and reduced the Portsmouth side’s arrears to 3-1.
However, some stubborn Robins defending ensured there was no way back for the visitors and left Collicutt smiling on his 60th birthday.
Meanwhile, United’s 2018/19 end of season awards have been dished out and players’ player of the season was midfielder Nick Hancock.
Three awards went the way of midfielder Turley as he scooped the manager’s player, supporters’ player and supporters’ club player of the season accolades.
The golden boot went to Kane Simpson and supporters’ club member of year is Donna Cleaver.
Key remaining fixtures: Friday – Melksham Town v Winchester City; Saturday – Blackfield & Langley v Evesham United; Cinderford Town v Yate Town; Monday – Slimbridge v Cinderford Town; Winchester City v Blackfield & Langley; April 27 – Bideford v Evesham United; Cinderford Town v Winchester City.