GOALS from Kye Simpson and Joe Tumelty helped Evesham United end an eight-match run without a victory with a hard-fought 2-1 success at Winchester City on Tuesday.
The Robins led 2-0 inside 51 minutes thanks to Simpson’s 39th-minute opener from close range and Tumelty’s penalty after Simpson had been upended, before a looping header from Rob Carr reduced the hosts’ arrears in the 86th minute and set up a tense finale for Paul Collicutt’s men.
However, the visitors stood firm to triumph in Hampshire and bounce back impressively from Saturday’s 2-0 home loss to fellow promotion hopefuls Cirencester Town.
United will now seek to gather some much-needed momentum on Saturday when they make the long trip to north Devon, bidding for three points against a Barnstaple Town side sitting second-bottom of Southern League Division One South.
However, Collicutt has warned his side to expect nothing less than an extremely tough game against a Barnstaple side who have secured three successive wins – including inflicting a first league defeat of the season on leaders Yate Town on Saturday – having previously lost their first nine games of the campaign.
United, meanwhile, go into the game in sixth place – outside the play-offs on goal difference and four points behind Yate – but having played more matches than the sides around them.
Evesham will make fitness checks on striker Kye Simpson, winger Tumelty and defender Shayne Anson. Simpson hurt his knee in the warm-up at Winchester but battled on to play just over an hour before being substituted, whilst Tumelty is still hampered by scar tissue following two summer hernia operations and Anson has hurt his groin.
At the weekend, United began well without creating any clearcut chances and they fell behind in the 28th minute when the division’s top goalscorer Ben Whitehead evaded the offside trap before slotting home.
The visitors almost extended their lead on 44 minutes when Alan Griffin was just unable to force the ball across a crowded goalline, but they dud make it 2-0 moments later when Ellis Dunton converted from a narrow angle on the edge of the six-yard box.
United battled valiantly throughout the second period but in truth the visitors were well worth their victory.