Smith sees red as Robins are sunk by strugglers Slimbridge - The Evesham Observer

Smith sees red as Robins are sunk by strugglers Slimbridge

Evesham Editorial 1st Mar, 2017 Updated: 1st Mar, 2017   0

EVESHAM United were unable to halt their slump in form as Slimbridge secured their first win in 15 matches with a 2-1 victory at the Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.

The Gloucestershire side, who had shipped 22 goals in losing their last seven league games, left with maximum points thanks to an injury time goal from substitute Mason Lewis.

To add to the Robins’ misery, they saw top scorer Lance Smith sent off for kicking out and he will now serve a three-match suspension.

Despite enjoying an impressive winning streak earlier in the campaign, United’s play-off bid is stuttering and they have slipped to fifth place after going five matches without victory.

With five of the top seven sides still to visit the Jubilee Stadium before the end of the season, the push for the play-offs looks like going down to the wire.

United showed first with Slimbridge player/manager Freddy Ward clearing off the line before the ball smacked against the crossbar before the danger was cleared.

Liam Harding sent a wind-assisted shot from the halfway line just over and both Smith and Elliot Kennedy fired in shots as United kept up the pressure.

At the other end, Adam Mace’s free kick caught out the United defence but sailed just wide of the back post with keeper Kevin Sawyer struggling to make his ground.

However, United led in the 29th minute courtesy of Kennedy’s powerful finish after the Slimbridge defence had failed to clear a trio of Lorcan Sheehan corners.

Yet, straight from the restart, a combination of comedy defending and a loss of footing by Sawyer gifted Slimbridge striker Jack Sklenar a soft equaliser.

Moments later, Smith was red-carded for allegedly kicking out in frustration after Slimbridge stopper Marcus Beauchamp had gathered at the back post and was about to clear his lines.

Despite being a man down, with a strong wind at their backs United continued to pose the greater threat in the second half as Adam Mann twice and Mark Magee went close, whilst Newport County loanee Beauchamp got his body behind Nick Stanley’s firmly struck free kick.

The Robins, however, were given a fright with 15 minutes to play when Sklenar found space on the edge of the home box but Sawyer was up to the task with a fine save as he kept the ball out with an outstretched foot.

United continued to ping balls into the Slimbridge box with a flurry of late corners and free kicks but failed to deliver in front of goal and ultimately paid the price when debutant Lewis raced clear and shot beyond the advancing Sawyer to seal the visitors’ first victory in three months and give their survival hopes a massive boost.

United travel to 15th placed Larkhall Athletic on Saturday.

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