Prolific Smith at the double as Robins ease to away success - The Evesham Observer

Prolific Smith at the double as Robins ease to away success

Evesham Editorial 19th Dec, 2016   0

North Leigh 1 Evesham United 4

Southern League Division One South & West

STAR striker Lance Smith took his tally for the season to 23 as United stormed to a convincing victory in Oxfordshire on Saturday.

In fact, the biggest threat to a Robins victory came from the thick blanket of fog which descended on Eynsham Park midway through the first half and raised fears of an abandonment, but thankfully for the large contingent of Evesham supporters the game was completed to enable United to chalk up their eighth away success of the league campaign.

Credit must go to referee Andrew Humphries and his assistants who handled the conditions admirably to allow to game to continue and reach its conclusion.

This was echoed by United manager Paul Collicutt who said: “The officials were first class and used common sense throughout.

“They were always on top of the situation and I was relieved we completed 90 minutes after playing so well.

“It’s always a big ask to come here and win but we were very good and could easily have scored more goals.

“It was a professional performance and everyone contributed against a strong North Leigh side.

“Both teams wanted to play and it turned out to be an entertaining game of football.

“The win was for our fans who travelled here in numbers and gave the boys great support.”

United began at a high tempo and the unmarked Smith headed straight at Manny Agboola but the Millers keeper was soundly beaten on 15 minutes when Carl Brown raced up the slope from just inside the North Leigh half before planting a tremendous low drive into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes later Smith did find the net to make it 2-0 with a thumping finish from 12 yards after a surging run on the right by the impressive Paul Fahy.

However, before Smith struck loanee Garyn Preen came to United’s rescue with a goalline clearance to deny Jamie Cook whose shot looked destined for the far corner.

The second half started with a bang as United scored twice in the opening three minutes.

Preen pounced on a loose ball to score his first goal for the club and then Fahy created the opportunity for Smith who expertly tucked away goal number four from close range.

With the three points now in the bag, the only obstacle in United’s way was the weather, but fortunately the mist and fog did not get any worse and referee Humphries allowed play to carry on.

Leading scorer George Seacole pulled a goal back for the hosts on 55 minutes but that was as good as it got for John Brough’s men.

United dominated the remainder of the contest but were unable to find the target again as the North Leigh goal led a charmed life and Agboola pulling off a series of outstanding saves.

Two stops in quick succession from Fahy were top drawer and, when Agboola was beaten, Dan James poked the ball off the line to deny Evesham substitute Nick Stanley.

Before the end Preen and substitute Mark Magee tested Agboola but once again the stopper proved his worth by making more fine saves.

Third placed Evesham host Shortwood United on Boxing Day before travelling to leaders Hereford on Monday, January 2. Both games kick off at 3pm.

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