16th Jan, 2021

Robins' home inconsistencies continue

Liam Moakes 3rd Jan, 2018

EVESHAM United’s Jubilee Stadium frustrations continued as the wasteful Robins were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Shortwood United on New Year’s Day.

Paul Collicutt’s side went into the match on the back of successive league wins, latterly a 2-0 victory at North Leigh on Boxing Day, and remain firmly in the Southern League West play-off race, but the latest encounter was two points dropped.

Evesham were able to field the same side which had triumphed in Oxfordshire, but Shortwood were depleted by injuries and only able to field three substitutes, including 50-year-old ex-Portsmouth and Swansea City midfielder Chris Burns who helped Pompey reach the 1992 FA Cup semi-final.

The visitors took an eighth-minute lead when Joe White’s cross was turned into his own net by Nick Rhodes.

Evesham came roaring back and Archie Haskayne fired a strike against the crossbar before the hosts levelled on 24 minutes when Haskayne showed neat footwork to find Linden Dovey who crossed to the far post for Adam Mann to convert.

An impressive turnaround was completed just a minute later when Lewis Binns’ cross was flapped at by goalkeeper George Burton and Matt Liddiard converted to put Evesham 2-1 up.

Mann, Binns, Lewis Powell and Rhodes all missed chances to leave the Robins home and dry and the home side were made to pay when Shortwood stunned the crowd by equalising in the 74th minute.

Evesham keeper Kevin Sawyer could only parry a shot into the path of Chris Earle who gleefully converted the rebound.

Collicutt’s men piled on the pressure in the closing stages as Mann forced a smart save from Burton, Carl Brown went close and Binns’ powerful shot was palmed away, but a fifth and decisive final goal of the game did not arrive.

At North Leigh, the Robins took a 28th-minute lead when Matt Bennett delivered a deep looping cross to the back post where Powell was able to head the ball back across goal and over the keeper before it dropped inside the far post.

North Leigh improved in the second half but Evesham doubled their advantage midway through when Liddiard’s header capped an impressive counter-attack.

Ninth placed United – three points outside the play-off places – face an important game on Saturday when they head to fourth placed Wimborne Town, who sit three points above the Robins having played a game more.

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