Four-midable Smith stars as Robins run riot - The Evesham Observer

Four-midable Smith stars as Robins run riot

Evesham Editorial 24th Oct, 2016 Updated: 26th Oct, 2016   0

Evesham United 5 Larkhall Athletic 1
Southern League Division One South & West

STAR striker Lance Smith stole the show with a sensational four-goal haul as United maintained their unbeaten home league record in convincing fashion on Saturday.
Smith, who recently rejected a move to Northern Premier outfit Hednesford Town, now has 13 goals to his name this season as the Robins cemented sixth place and closed the gap on leaders Hereford to eight points.
Although Smith grabbed the headlines, it was another high-tempo performance by United who have now won five league games on the spin and all this after Larkhall had shocked the home crowd by taking an early lead through ex-Hereford winger Joe Tumelty.
Evesham boss Paul Collicutt said: “We conceded an early goal but the lads showed great character to come back and win the game comfortably.
“I was pleased with the effort we put in and it’s another excellent performance in front of our own supporters.
“It was also nice to have two local lads on the scoresheet, Lance took his four goals very well and I was over the moon for Mark (Magee) who finally opened his account for the club.
“Overall it was a great team effort and we go again on Wednesday with a difficult game at improving Slimbridge.”
It was the second time Smith has struck four goals in a game this season and the second occasion the Robins have found the back of the net five times this campaign.
Larkhall, under new manager Geraint Bater, arrived at the Jubilee Stadium unbeaten away from home and against the run of play they took a 13th-minute lead through Tumelty, which turned out to be the visitors’ only shot at goal all afternoon.
Before falling behind, Smith showed his intentions by having the ball in the Larkhall net after just two minutes but dramatics by goalkeeper Ben John swayed referee Simon Brown into disallowing the goal for an alleged foul on the flapping Larks stopper.
Despite dominating from the start, it took 25 minutes before Smith levelled with a well struck drive after playing a clever one-two with Nick Stanley on the edge of the box.
United continued to play some attractive football but had to wait until the 53rd minute to take the lead as Adam Mann did all the donkey work on the left before squaring to the unmarked Smith who tapped in from close range.
Mann, who was always in the thick of the action, then sent over a teasing cross to the back post which both Lewis Binns and Smith just failed to reach with the goal at their mercy.
Mann, Leroy Odiero and Binns all went close before Smith completed his hat-trick on 78 minutes with a downward header from Lorcan Sheehan’s delicious cross.
John in the Larkhall goal then enjoyed a purple patch with a string of fine saves in quick succession, the best being one-on-ones with Paul Fahy and Magee which he kept out with brave blocks.
However, the gloveman was beaten for a fourth time with four minutes to go when Magee got clear after latching on to Odiero’s excellent through ball and the United substitute coolly found the net with an exquisite finish beyond the advancing John for his first goal for the club.
There was more drama to come in stoppage time when Smith got clean through, only to be tripped by John who was subsequently sent off and Smith easily converted from 12 yards past stand-in keeper Jack Allward to complete the rout.

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