Evesham United 2 Chasetown 1
FA Trophy preliminary round replay
A NO-NONSENSE half time team talk built the foundations for an impressive second half display by the Robins as they overturned a first half deficit to beat Chasetown in Tuesday’s replay and set up a first qualifying round tie at home to Redditch United on October 31.
It was a game of two halves as the Scholars looked the sharper of the two sides before the interval and held a 1-0 lead at the break.
However, after a few choice words from manager Paul Collicutt, the second half saw a dramatic turnaround as United produced some scintillating form to gain revenge for their early
FA Cup exit against the Staffordshire side in August.
Chasetown had continued where they left off in the first game – a 1-1 draw on Saturday – by dominating from the kick-off and it was no surprise when Ryan Wynter fired the visitors into a 1-0 lead with 20 minutes on the clock.
United continued to be second best for much of the first half, even though half chances fell to Adam Mann and Dan MacDonald, whilst Nick Stanley fired across the face of goal following a clever one-two with Lance Smith.
Wynter then went close to adding a second for Chasetown but his goalbound shot was cleared as the vistors finished the half on the front foot.
United resumed for the second half as if they meant business and early on only a last-ditch tackle on Mann prevented the Robins striker from grabbing a leveller.
Former Evesham stopper John Bateman then saved from Ashley Williams but on 53 minutes the equaliser duly arrived courtesy of Stanley’s excellent delivery from the left that was swept in by Mann from six yards.
The whole complexion of the game had changed and moments after the goal Smith got clean through but snatched at his shot and Bateman was able to save.
United, though, did not have to wait long before going ahead for the first time in the tie as Stan Mugisha clipped MacDonald as he raced into the box and for the second game running Matt Sysum sent Bateman the wrong way from the penalty spot on 64 minutes to make it 2-1 with his third goal of the season.
United dominated the remainder of the game and were camped in the Chasetown half. MacDonald, twice, Smith and Mann all went within a whisker of finding the back of the net and when skipper Sysum did head home in the last minute his effort was disallowed for a foul on Bateman.
There was still time for Red & Whites substitute Kevin Slack to pull his shot just wide of an upright with Bateman beaten just seconds before the final whistle.
ON Saturday Sysum’s 85th minute penalty earned Evesham a replay just when it looked as though the Robins were set to suffer a second cup exit of the season at the hands of Chasetown.
Mann was bundled to the ground in the box by Mike Williams and Sysum confidently tucked away the spot kick beyond Bateman.
Chasetown had taken a 15th minutes lead when the dangerous Mugisha capitalised on poor defending to fire a crisp finish into the bottom corner.
After this MacDonald twice came close to levelling for Evesham with a shot on the turn which fizzed just over and then the same player forced Bateman to make a full length save from a well struck free kick.
United were aided in the 74th minute when Chasetown substitute Dan Edwards was shown a straight red card and the visitors took advantage of their numerical superiority to level, although they were almost dumped out of the competition when Chasetown new-boy Joe Halsall – snapped up from Stratford Town – rattled the crossbar.
SATURDAY brings a return to Southern League Division One South & West action for seventh placed Evesham when they travel to Larkhall Athletic, who of course ended the Robins’ promotion hopes in the play-off semi-finals last season.
Tuesday then brings a Red Insure League Cup first round trip to Premier Division outfit Bedworth United.