EVESHAM United did it the hard way but maintained their Southern League West momentum with a stunning 4-3 comeback victory at Wimborne Town on Saturday.
The Robins trailed 3-0 to Toby Holmes’ hat-trick with just 20 minutes remaining and a miserable journey home from Dorset beckoned, but Paul Collicutt’s men were not beaten and goals from in-form Matt Liddiard, Adam Mann (2) and Archie Haskayne left the hosts stunned.
Victory means Evesham have taken ten points from their last four games and are up to sixth – a place below fifth place Wimborne in the final play-off spot and with a game in hand.
The Robins now look forward to Saturday’s visit of 15th-placed Paulton Rovers, which is followed by another key encounter when Swindon Supermarine, currently fourth and a point above United, come to the Jubilee Stadium on Wednesday.
In truth, Evesham were desperately unlucky to have found themselves 3-0 down in the first place on Saturday.
Lewis Powell shot over and the visitors had an effort cleared off the line before Toby Holmes put the hosts ahead in the 12th minute when he reacted quickest to convert after Kevin Sawyer had made an excellent stop to keep out Luke Burbidge’s shot.
The lively Paul Fahy saw an effort blocked and Gerard Benfield made a brilliant save to deny Haskayne before Wimborne took advantage of their escapes to go 2-0 up in the 17th minute when Luke Holmes’ ball over the top released namesake Toby to arrow in from the right and beat Sawyer.
Whilst Evesham were unlucky not to have scored, they did look vulnerable at the back and it appeared to be game over when Toby Holmes made it 3-0 in the 53rd minute from the penalty spot having been brought down himself.
Sawyer’s effort to keep the ball out was admirable, but he could only parry the ball on to the inside of the post before it crossed the line.
However, a series of substitutions from Collicutt gave renewed vigour to the visitors and they got on the scoresheet in the 70th minute when Liddiard climbed highest to head home from a corner at the far post.
Relentless Evesham pressure continued and Mann fired home from the edge of the box six minutes later to make it 3-2 before the almost inevitable equaliser arrived on 80 minutes when Haskayne fired a superb strike home from 25 yards.
A glorious comeback was completed four minutes from time when Mann bent a 20-yard free kick into the net and there was still time for Benfield to make a brilliant save before the hosts had Luke Holmes sent off for a poor tackle in midfield.
Meanwhile, two of United’s U21s signed first team forms ahead of the visit to Wimborne. Keeper Josh Rogers and central midfielder Daniel Tustin, both 19, were unused substitutes.