Evesham United 3 Yate Town 1
Southern League Division One South & West
THE ROBINS extended their unbeaten run to four games with their best performance of the season to see off Yate Town, who themselves arrived at the Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday with three straight league wins to their name.
It was an attacking masterclass, especially in the first half, by United who ran their Bristol-based visitors ragged with a brand of sublime one-touch football and movement off the ball.
Delighted Evesham boss Collicutt said afterwards: “The first 45 minutes were the best I’ve witnessed since taking over as manager.
“The tempo was excellent and some of the football we played was breathtaking.
“Every player was on top of their game and the only downside for me was to concede a goal in stoppage time which ended our run of clean sheets.”
Collicutt’s side showed their intentions from the start as Jordan Bryan saw his shot cleared off the line by Town defender Mayson Evans after just two minutes.
However, it was not long before Bryan found Lance Smith on the right and his ball across the face of goal was coolly slotted home by Adam Mann on seven minutes.
The Yate defence cracked again in the 19th minute when Joe Turley’s deflected shot came back off the crossbar to the unmarked Smith who headed in his seventh goal of the season.
United continued to dominate the passage of play with Mann on a couple of occasions unable to convert at the back post and Smith, who is subject of an approach from Northern Premier League side Hednesford Town, forcing Jonathan Brown to make two outstanding saves.
More United pressure saw a third goal arrive in the 35th minute courtesy of Liam Harding’s thunderbolt header from Lorcan Sheehan’s pinpoint corner.
Before the break further efforts from Smith, Turley and Mann were within a whisker of finding the target.
As so often happens after such a one-sided first half, the second period was somewhat of an anti-climax but nevertheless opportunities continued to fall United’s way.
Smith rounded Brown only to have his effort blocked by Kye Thomas and both Mann and Ashley Williams directed headers just over when well placed.
Substitute Elliot Kennedy replaced the impressive Bryan and went close to getting on the scoresheet as he dragged two efforts wide after darting runs on the left.
However, United’s hopes of a fourth clean sheet in a row were ended in bizarre circumstances added time.
A linesman flagged for offside as the ball was played through and, as the United defence stopped expecting to hear the whistle, substitute Luke Bryan nipped in to score an unexpected consolation goal for the visitors.
Evesham, who are up to fifth and within seven points of leaders Hereford, are without a game on Saturday and return to action on Tuesday when they visit Premier Division high-flyers Leamington in the League Challenge Cup first round.