Boston up next in Trophy for Robins - The Evesham Observer

Boston up next in Trophy for Robins

Evesham Editorial 7th Dec, 2020 Updated: 9th Dec, 2020   0

THEIR league season may still be on hold but there were smiles on the faces of the Jubilee Stadium faithful on Saturday as Evesham United progressed into the second round of the FA Trophy.

In the ‘Battle of the Robins’, it was the Worcestershire side who held their nerve to prevail 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Devon outfit Bideford who had snatched a dramatic late equaliser to take the match to spot-kicks.

Evesham will host former Football League side Boston United – now playing in National League North – in the second round having reached this stage for the first time in 19 years.

It will be a stern test for Neil Hunt’s side against a team from two levels higher but the tie on Tuesday, December 15 is one to be relished.

The winners will host Curzon Ashton or AFC Fylde – both of National League North – in the third round on Saturday, December 19.

As expected, both sides were rusty in the early stages of Saturday’s match having not played for six weeks but Evesham did have the ball in the net in the 17th minute, only for Aaron Basford’s lobbed effort to be chalked off for offside.

Four minutes later Bideford almost took the lead, only for Lewis Clayton to race from the United goal and do just enough to put off George Nancekivell whose shot struck the outside of the post when one-on-one.

The hosts rallied and Harry Franklin twice went close but Bideford again went close just before the break when only a last-ditch challenge from Jordan Lymn thwarted Joe Charles.

Jamie Lucas (front left) celebrates opening the scoring from the penalty spot. Picture by Stuart Purfield.

The Devon side began the second half the brighter of the two sides before Evesham began to move into the ascendancy, but there was still little sign of a goal.

However, that all changed with the introduction of substitutes Josh Hunt and Jamie Lucas for Evesham and the hosts took the lead in the final quarter when Harry Franklin was brought down by keeper Liam Kingston deep in the visitors’ box and Lucas rifled home the penalty.

Following their penalty Evesham were looking the stronger of the two sides and almost doubled their advantage on 86 minutes when Hunt beat the offside trap and his cross found Jack Horrell on the edge of the box, his powerful strike went high and wide.

There was drama to follow though when Bideford took advantage of hesitant penalty area defending to level when Lewis Wilson fired home through a crowd of bodies.

Evesham had a couple of chances in injury time to finish the task but Bideford managed to clear the ball off their line in the 92nd minute and then a minute later Lorcan Sheehan’s free kick from just inside his own half found the head of Ryan Paddock whose header looked like it was going in, only to be headed off the line at the far post.

The dreaded penalty shoot-out decided what was a very even affair with some excellent penalties from both sides and it was Paddock who netted the deciding kick.

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