INJURY-HIT Evesham United were no match for Southern League West leaders Taunton Town who cruised to a 3-0 victory at the Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.
However, despite dropping to fifth, the Robins remain in the play-off zone and will be looking to bounce back immediately when they travel to Hampshire to face AFC Totton – two places and two points below United with two games in hand – on Saturday.
In a feisty encounter, Taunton showed why they have suffered just one league defeat this season as they produced a commanding performance.
It was the Robins who had the first meaningful effort on goal when Nick Hancock fired just wide but Taunton took the lead in the seventh minute when Dan Sullivan turned his defender and his pinpoint shot gave Evesham goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer no chance.
Five minutes later Town increased their advantage when Pierce Mitchell finished a flowing move and shortly afterwards Sullivan was only denied his second goal thanks to a brilliant piece of defending from Leroy Odiero.
With Taunton now keeping the ball for long periods with some great passing, fine movement off the ball and excellent pressure on the ball whenever they lost it, Evesham’s periods of possession were few and far between and they were unable to get into the attacking third.
In the last five minutes of the first half the home side showed more desire but they were still unable to make any impression on the visiting defence and only two superb saves from Sawyer kept the scoreline down.
Shortly into the second half Hancock’s free kick found Lewis Powell who headed just wide before Mark Francis saw his effort comfortably saved by Taunton keeper Lloyd Irish.
Evesham’s best moment came from Archie Haskayne in the 73rd minute but his shot was tipped over the bar by Irish.
At the other end, poor defending allowed Sullivan the opportunity to score his second and Taunton’s third on 83 minutes to extend the visitors’ unbeaten run to 14 games.
Meanwhile, midfielder Lorcan Sheehan has departed the Jubilee to join North Leigh, despite interest from Cinderford Town and Westfields.
Sheehan said on Twitter: “Would just like to wish everyone involved at Evesham United the best for the rest of the season!
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club and playing for you. Also, it’s been a pleasure to play with such a great bunch of lads and wish them all the best in the future. #uptherobins.
UNITED exited the FA Youth Cup at the second round stage as visitors Crew Alexandra secured a 4-0 victory on Tuesday.
For the first 25 minutes the hosts competed well and limited the League Two Academy side to a number of half chances. The best chance for Evesham was a header from a free kick that went just over the crossbar.
Crewe took the lead in the 29th minute when a goalmouth scramble led to Luke Walsh prodding the ball over the line and soon afterwards the professional side had two chances to score, but appeared more intent on walking the ball into the net.
Evesham continued to give their all and fine keeping from Nathan Taylor kept the hosts in the game heading into the final quarter.
However, it all changed with 25 minutes remaining when Regan Griffiths scored after some swift passing moves and ten minutes later Crewe captain Joe Lynch finished well before on 80 minutes substitute Challis Johnson scored with a powerful shot from just inside the box.
The closest Evesham came to scoring was in the 89th minute when a free kick from Bradley Stalley was comfortably saved by Crewe keeper Will Appleyard.
Evesham can be proud of their efforts against a side who had drawn 0-0 at Leeds United Youth the Saturday before.
INJURIES added to Pershore Town’s pain of being knocked out of the Smedley Crooke Memorial Charity Cup on Wednesday night.
Despite taking a 2-1 lead at West Midlands Premier hosts Bilston Town Community, depleted Pershore bowed out 4-2 as three players were added to the casualty list.
Bilston led at half time but Dan Getliff levelled and Aaron Xavier produced a stunning goal of the season contender to put Quentin Townsend’s men ahead.
However, with all three midfielders being crocked and tiredness taking its toll, Pershore could not hold on.
For more Pershore news, turn to page 37.