EVESHAM United will be bidding to bounce back from their FA Trophy exit when they host Devon outfit Willand Rovers in Southern League Division One South on Sunday (2pm).
The visitors will arrive in the bottom five and the fourth-placed Robins know the fixture is an ideal chance to boost their early-season promotion push.
However, they will need to produce a vastly improved display than the one witnessed in midweek at the Grove as Halesowen Town triumphed 3-0 in Tuesday’s Trophy preliminary round replay.
The sides had drawn 1-1 at the Jubilee on Saturday when new recruit Harry Franklin climbed highest in the box to head home an equaliser in the 78th minute of an entertaining encounter in which both sides created plenty of goalscoring opportunities. Gifted playmaker Ash Sammons had given Halesowen a 15th-minute lead.
Franklin then fired just over from long range in a tense finish to the game but defeat would have been harsh on either side, leaving Evesham to head to the Southern League Division One Central side for a replay.
Halesowen were dominant second time around and showed why they are well equipped to push for promotion under the management of former Bromsgrove Sporting and Redditch United boss Paul Smith.
Aaron Roberts produced a brilliant goalline clearance to deny Halesowen’s Luke Yates on 17 minutes but there was no denying the forward nine minutes before half-time when he netted on the rebound after Lochie Robertson had saved from Josh Hawker’s powerful strike.
Evesham, for whom Kai Tonge looked most likely to find a way through the hosts’ rearguard, fell 2-0 behind in poor fashion nine minutes after the break when a long goal kick was allowed to find its way through to the prolific Montel Gibson who lifted the ball beyond Robertson with the minimum of fuss.
Evesham substitute Billy Howard had only been on the pitch seven minutes when he was sent off for hurtling into James Bowen and the visitors’ misery was completed in stoppage time when the impressive Yates drove forward and fired inside the far post with the aid of a vital deflection off Brad Maslen-Jones.