EVESHAM United will have to rouse themselves for Sunday’s (2pm) FA Cup preliminary round tie at home to Harefield United after being left stunned by Larkhall Athletic’s miraculous midweek comeback.
Dave Reynolds’ 80th-minute goal gave the Robins a 2-0 lead against their ten-man Bath hosts but Carl Abbott’s men were shell-shocked after a quickfire brace from Dale Evans in the 83rd and 85th minutes was followed by a 90th-minute winner from Brad Norris to seal a 3-2 win.
It was a hugely frustrating Wednesday night in Somerset for the visitors who were the dominant side for much of the game having taken a 24th-minute lead through Michael McGrath’s first goal for the club when he thumped home from Brian Smikle’s cross.
United will now bid to lift themselves for Sunday’s cup tie, which is followed by a home league game on Wednesday when Slimbridge are the visitors for a match in which both sides will be targeting their first win of the Southern League Division One South campaign.
Evesham, who have snapped up keeper Lochie Robertson (played on Wednesday) from Bristol City on a short-term loan to cover for the holidaying Reece Francis, were also left frustrated on Saturday after having to settle for a 1-1 draw in their season-opener at home to Paulton Rovers.
The opening quarter of the match was scrappy to say the least but the visitors made the breakthrough when former Robin Jacob Sloggett fired past Francis from long range.
Evesham gradually got into their stride and Brad Maslen-Jones headed just over the bar from Lee Chilton’s 38th-minute corner before the equaliser arrived on the stroke of half-time when Reynolds robbed the visiting keeper of possession and produced an exquisite turn and finish off the post.
United were the far more likely winners in the second half but Jordon Sangha fired just wide, Maslen-Jones shot narrowly over from 30 yards, Matt Dodd was denied one-on-one and substitute Adam Page fired just wide late on.