Evesham United 2 Wimborne Town 0
Southern League Division One South & West
TWO second half goals earned Evesham United their first victory of the season against previously unbeaten Wimborne Town on Saturday.
The Magpies arrived at the Jubilee Stadium with maximum points from their opening two games but a strong second half performance from United deservedly got their win column up and running.
A trio of key players returned for the Red and Whites but there was no place for last season’s top scorer Adam Mann, who recently returned from holiday and had to settle for a seat on the substitutes bench.
Sam Gilder continued between the sticks in the absence of regular goalkeeper Kev Sawyer.
The majority of the opening 45 minutes was competitive but fairly uneventful as the sides cancelled each other out.
Gilder did have to be alert to push over Jamie Davidson’s curler that was heading for the top corner and then a combination of Gilder and Lewis Binns kept out Luke Holmes at the near post.
Lance Smith’s header at the other end was beaten away by on-loan AFC Bournemouth stopper Pat O’Flaherty before Gilder spilled a routine cross at the feet of Toby Holmes, but the Wimborne striker pulled his shot horribly wide.
United began the second half with a spring in their step as skipper Matt Sysum went close with a powerful header and on 52 minutes the hardworking Smith pounced to drill home his second goal of the season after the Wimborne defence had failed to deal with Paul Fahy’s left-wing cross.
The woodwork then denied Smith, whose deflected drive struck the visitors’ crossbar with O’Flaherty soundly beaten.
United were now buzzing and went on to dominate the remainder of the game.
Wimborne defender Adam Hester cleared off the line to deny the impressive Nick Stanley who had snaked his way into the box but, after some intense pressure, it was no surprise when goal number two arrived with nine minutes to go.
Fahy’s deep cross evaded O’Flaherty and was blocked on the line by Hester, leaving the predatory Mann the simple task of sweeping home the loose ball.
Before the final whistle O’Flaherty prevented further goals by making excellent saves from Mann and the combative Sysum when both efforts looked destined for the back of the net.
A delighted United manager Paul Collicutt said afterwards: “The first half was even and Wimborne looked a stronger side than they were last season.
“We created a lot more chances in the second half and looked bright, producing some decent football, and it was a well deserved three points.”
United travel to Wantage Town on Tuesday.