27th Feb, 2021

Harry’s header clinches a point

Evesham Editorial 5th Dec, 2019 Updated: 5th Dec, 2019

HARRY FRANKLIN’S late header ensured Evesham United secured a share of the spoils from Tuesday’s long trip to Bideford.

Franklin rose like a salmon to head home from a corner in the 83rd minute and leave the ‘Battle of the Robins’ all square at 2-2.

United, still fifth in Southern League Division One South, now aim to return to winning ways when they visit Hampshire outfit Moneyfields on Saturday.

Paul Sullivan’s seventh-minute penalty had put the visitors ahead in Devon but Ryan Turner struck twice in the first half to turn the match on its ahead before half-time.

After Sullivan had opened the scoring, Bideford responded well and Turner fired just past the post before Evesham’s Adam Page had a goal ruled out for offside.

Evesham keeper Jonathan Brown then twice denied Theo Simpson in quick succession but, despite getting a hand to the ball, the stopper was powerless to prevent Turner levelling with an 18-yard strike when a 28th-minute corner was not fully cleared.

Bideford took the lead just before the break when Max Smallcombe played a great ball for Turner to latch on to and the striker raced beyond a defender before burying a superb finish past Brown into the far left corner.

The second half brought fewer clearcut chances but Ben Carter went close for Bideford, only for Franklin to have the final word when he climbed highest from an inviting set-piece.

United defender Aaron Roberts tweeted: “An eight-hour round trip and not at our best but, in minus temperatures on a difficult pitch, we’ve come away with a point.

“Thanks to everyone who braved the cold to travel to support.”

On Saturday, Cheltenham Town loanee striker Aaron Basford marked his Evesham debut with a goal but the visitors were beaten 3-1 at AFC Totton, for whom it was just a third win of the campaign.

Eighteen-year-old Basford, a second-year scholar, netted in the 55th minute but goals from Robin Nicholls (18), Silvano Obeng (32) and Craig Feeney (87) won the points for the hosts.

There was also a Robins debut for midfielder Tom Chamberlain, also a second-year Cheltenham scholar, as the fellow loanee played the final 15 minutes in Southampton.

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