A MAKESHIFT Evesham United side made an early exit from the Red Insure League Cup as two second half goals secured a 2-0 first round victory for Stratford Town at a windy DCS Stadium on Tuesday.
Reserve team players Josh Goddard and Samuel Comfort were handed their first team debuts, while a host of regulars were given the night off ahead of Saturday’s important FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at home to Conference South high-flyers Bromley.
The first half ended goaless, despite United having most of the play. Aaron Drake forced home keeper Andy Kemp to make early saves and then Robins striker Kevin Slack had an effort hacked off the line by Town defender Aaron Stringfellow.
Kemp then kept out a Jack Watts header as United continued to impress but in a rare Stratford raid former Evesham player Simeon Tulloch had a goal chalked off for offside.
Due to an injury to one of the refereeing assistants, the half time break was extended by 13 minutes before Stratford’s reserve goalkeeper Dominico Roggero took over the flag for the second half.
Tulloch continued to look threatening and, after his shot had been blocked, Richard Gregory pounced to give Town a 69th minute lead.
It became 2-0 and game over for United seven minutes from time when a challenge by substitute Nathan Jackson on Chris Sterling in the box resulted in Tyrone Fagan slotting home from the penalty spot past youngster Goddard to send the hosts through to the second round.
The Robins are now hoping for a bumper crowd at the Jubilee Stadium on Saturday when they bid to cause an upset and sink Bromley to book a place in the first round proper of the FA Cup, when League One and Two teams enter the competition.