CAPTAIN Matt Sysum and Adam Mann both bagged braces as Evesham United maintained their outside chance of making the Southern League Division One South & West play-offs with a comprehensive 5-0 victory at Wantage Town on Saturday.
The win secured the Robins’ second league double of the campaign and leaves them ninth in the table – ten points adrift of the all-important fifth place – heading into a key game at home to seventh placed Shortwood United on Saturday.
Wantage were outplayed from start to finish at Alfredian Park by a slick Evesham outfit who, with 47 points from 28 games, can feel somewhat unfortunate not to be closer to the play-off spots.
Paul Collicutt’s side’s margin of victory could have been even greater as they struck the crossbar twice, had an effort cleared off the line and forced Town stopper Ed Cavanagh into making a number of important saves.
Wantage, on the other hand, only managed one shot on target and that arrived in stoppage time when substitute Matty Clarke forced Kevin Sawyer into his only save of the afternoon.
Collicutt was delighted with his side’s performance and said afterwards: “We hadn’t played for two weeks but our fitness levels were good.
“The boys went about their business the right way and we thoroughly deserved the win. We played some good football on a tricky pitch and looked dangerous every time we had the ball.
“I was chuffed to score five goals away from home and more than happy we kept another clean sheet.”
Despite United’s dominance, Collicutt’s men only found the net once in a one-sided first half and that arrived five minutes before half time.
After winning a corner on the right, captain Sysum met Sean Wood’s flag-kick and powered an unstoppable header beyond Cavanagh.
Earlier Cavanagh had denied Mann, Wood and Jacob Sloggett with smart saves and, when the home keeper was beaten, defender Cameron McNeil cleared off the line to deny Nick Stanley.
The Wantage crossbar was struck by Sysum soon after the restart but two goals in quick succession put the game out of Wantage’s reach.
Mann curled a delightful drive past Cavanagh into the far corner for 2-0 and then moments later good work by Lewis Binns on the left ended with the hardworking Nathan Modest blasting home into the roof of Cavanagh’s net with a clinical finish.
United continued to pile men forward and a fourth goal duly arrived in the 67th minute when Cavanagh spilled Modest’s downward header, allowing leading scorer Mann to bundle home his 16th goal of the campaign.
The Wantage crossbar was struck for a second time by substitute Clayton Green before Sysum completed the rout with another trademark header from Wood’s corner for his tenth strike of the season to seal an emphatic victory for the Red & Whites.
A SUPPORTERS’ coach has been organised to take Robins fans to the match at title challengers Taunton Town on Saturday, February 27.
The coach will leave the Jubilee Stadium at 11am and supporters can reserve a seat by contacting Mike Peplow on 07889 011539.