Robins get back on track at Didcot - The Evesham Observer

Robins get back on track at Didcot

Evesham Editorial 14th Dec, 2016 Updated: 14th Dec, 2016   0

EVESHAM United returned to winning ways in Southern League Division One South & West with an impressive 2-1 victory at in-form Didcot Town on Tuesday.

Fresh from Saturday’s disappointing 4-1 home defeat to fellow promotion-chasers Tiverton Town – a second successive loss – the Robins needed a solid team performance to get back on track and they produced just that in Oxfordshire.

Paul Collicutt’s outfit owed their success to two first half goals, but were made to work hard as they then lost in-form midfielder Joe Turley on the hour mark with a nasty looking injury before having Gloucester City loanee Leroy Odiero sent off for the second time this season with eight minutes of normal time remaining.

Top scorer Lance Smith, Liam Harding and Nick Stanley were all absent from the side which went down to Tiverton, so Ryan Paddock made his debut at the heart of the United defence and Mark Magee returned up front.

Third placed United made a blistering start and should have taken the lead in the opening minute but Paul Fahy directed his header wide from just a yard out.

However, with five minutes on the clock, Lorcan Sheehan got on the end of Fahy’s cross to steer home a first-time shot beyond Leigh Bedwell to give the Robins a 1-0 lead.

No sooner had United’s celebrations died down, referee Mr Ainscow spotted an infringement in the United area and up stepped Ben Whitehead to make it 1-1 from the penalty spot.

Despite the setback, United continued to keep their foot on the gas and went close to regaining the lead through the hardworking Adam Mann who placed his shot wide after good work on the left by Garyn Preen.

Another Evesham goal was coming and, when it did arrive in the 20th minute, Mann made no mistake at the back post from Paddock’s header across the face of goal.

In a rare Didcot attack Whitehead struck a post but it was United who found the net again before half time, only for Magee’s effort to be ruled offside.

Bedwell was at full stretch to keep out a Fahy drive at his near post at the start of the second half and Mann turned his marker only to fire wide of Bedwell’s far post.

United then had Turley stretchered off on the hour and on came Carl Brown as his replacement, before Odiero then collected a second yellow card to leave United to see out the game with ten men.

Despite nearly ten minutes of stoppage time, United weathered a late Didcot onslaught to claim a well deserved three points and close the gap to second placed Tiverton to two points.

EVESHAM’S unbeaten home league record was shattered on Saturday when Tiverton put the hosts to the sword.

The Robins took a 17th-minute lead through Smith’s 21st goal of the season but that was as good as it got for the home faithful in dreadful conditions.

United handed a debut to 25-year-old Preen who started a one-month’s loan at the Jubilee Stadium from National League South side Hungerford Town. The left-sided player has represented Wales at under 17 and under 19 level, winning 14 caps.

Smith fired United ahead from the penalty spot after being tripped by Steve Kingdon, but the visitors roared back to secure maximum points thanks to two goals in each half including a stunning late 30-yard strike from Levi Landricombe.

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