EVESHAM United headed into tonight’s (Tuesday) visit to Cirencester Town sitting fifth in the Southern League West table after a hard fought 2-0 home win over Barnstaple Town on Saturday.
United manager Paul Collicutt was looking for improvements from last Sunday’s defeat to Wimborne and the first half probably did nothing to change his mood as neither side seemed to want to take control of the game.
The Robins’ first chance came in the seventh minute when Adam Mann put the ball just wide of the post with a trademark strike from the edge of the box and their next opportunity came when Evesham new-boy Ethan Moore headed just wide from Mann’s free kick.
Barnstaple offered nothing in attack and appeared happy to sit back and defend, occasionally firing a long ball out of defence trying to hit Evesham on the break as the first half drew to a tame close.
However, the hosts provided the 198 spectators with a much-improved performance in the second half with a lot more opportunities. Lewis Powell headed over the bar and Moore and Matt Liddiard both had chances blocked by an overcrowded visitors’ box.
The 62nd-minute introduction of Bradley Gray was the game-changer as straight away Gray probed deep into the visitors’ half.
His efforts were rewarded in the 73rd minute when Gray’s corner from the right was met in the box by Liddiard whose powerful header found the net.
Just four minutes later the same pair combined for the Robins’ second goal – this time from the opposite side of the pitch – as Gray’s free kick from the left again found Liddiard who headed home his and Evesham’s second goal.
On a day when the hosts were the only side prepared to attack, Evesham keeper Kevin Sawyer never had a single save to make.