EVESHAM United’s Southern League West play-off hopes suffered a setback as their six-match unbeaten run was brought to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Yate Town on Saturday.
Maximum points at The Jelf Stadium would have seen the Robins sitting in fourth place heading into Saturday’s visit to Devon to face second bottom Barnstaple Town, but instead Paul Collicutt’s side are ninth after a frustrating afternoon.
Returning to Worcestershire empty-handed was incredibly tough on United, who more than played their part in a highly entertaining affair but were undone by the heroics of Yate keeper Harvey Rivers.
The visitors made a bright start and Adam Mann headed wide from a decent position before Rivers made smart saves to deny Matt Liddiard and Archie Haskayne.
However, it was the hosts who made the breakthrough on 18 minutes when Mayson Evans powered down the right before finding Ben Brooks who fired home into the top corner.
Evesham rallied impressively and Rivers again had to be in top form to thwart Mann and Liddiard, but it became 2-0 on 27 minutes when Robins keeper Kevin Sawyer parried Steve Davies’ shot into the path of Ross Langworthy who thumped the ball into the net.
United almost halved their arrears before half time when Linden Dovey’s cross hit the bar but it did become 2-1 six minutes after the interval when Matt Bennett headed home from a corner.
It became pretty much one-way traffic as Lewis Binns’ strike shaved the post and Rivers parried substitute Aysa Corrick’s effort on to the bar before the woodwork was rattled yet again when Mann struck the post from 16 yards.
There was still time for Bennett to smack the woodwork again before Brooks came close to making it 3-1 on the break.
Despite the disappointment of the loss, there were many positives to take from Evesham’s display and they will look to take their anger out on Barnstaple on Saturday before Tuesday’s rearranged fixture at Cinderford Town.
The rearranged game at home to Slimbridge will take place on Wednesday, February 21.