Market Drayton Town 0 Evesham United 2
FA Cup preliminary round
THE ROBINS would have been visiting Market Drayton Town for a league game this season had it not been for a successful appeal in the summer to prevent a lateral move to the Northern Premier League.
Instead, the sides met at the Greenfields Sports Ground on Saturday in the FA Cup and it was Evesham who progressed to book a home tie with NPL Premier Division outfit Barwell in the first qualifying round on Saturday, September 3.
The only previous meeting between the two clubs at the Jubilee Stadium in 2013/14 ended in a 3-1 victory for United.
This time the scoreline may have been different, but it was another deserved victory for the Red and Whites who are £1,925 better off for their efforts on a wet and windy afternoon in north Shropshire.
Nick Stanley and the prolific Adam Mann got the goals and manager Paul Collicutt was well pleased to progress into the next round.
“The tie was a tricky one on paper but we adapted to the difficult conditions and took both goals very well,” said Collicutt.
“I had them watched and knew they were a good side but we had a game plan and I felt we deserved to go through.
“They came at us down the slope in the second half but we defended well and always looked like scoring at the opposite end.
“To keep a clean sheet away from home was another positive for me. We took a good following with us and I was pleased for them (the fans) to come away with the win.
“Barwell will be another big test but I always look forward to playing sides from a higher league to see how far we have come.”
With the slope in their favour, United went ahead in the 18th minute through Stanley’s crisp finish from close range after Paul Fahy had created the opening after a jinking right-wing run.
United continued to press for the remainder of the half but failed to beat Ashley Rawlins for a second time as the Town stopper made important saves to keep out Mann and Lance Smith.
With the elements in their favour, Market Drayton looked more threatening in the second half and Glynn Coney sent over a number of dangerous crosses which were cleared by United’s watertight defence.
Any Market Drayton hopes of a comeback were destroyed when Mann drove in the second goal after Lewis Binns and the impressive Joe Turley had combined for the United hitman to tuck away his second goal of the season on 67 minutes.
The home side were left with no alternative but to throw men forward and Will Whieldon went closest to pulling a goal back but Sam Gilder made a superb block on the edge of his box after the Town striker got clear down the middle.
There were no more alarms for United who comfortably saw out the tie to remain unbeaten since the opening day of the season.
The Robins return to Southern League Division One South & West action on Saturday with a home game against relegated Bideford.
Then follows a Bank Holiday Monday (3pm) visit to Shortwood United.