Ten-man Robins return to winning ways - The Evesham Observer

Ten-man Robins return to winning ways

Evesham Editorial 6th Mar, 2017   0

Larkhall Athletic 1 Evesham United 2

Southern League Division One South & West

A HEAVILY depleted Evesham ended a five-match run without a victory with a hard fought success at Larkhall Athletic on Saturday.

The victory was not without drama as once again United had a man sent off when midfielder Carl Brown was dismissed before half time and manager Paul Collicutt was ordered to the stands after the break.

Garyn Preen and Mark Magee got the all-important goals which clinched a much-needed win at Plain Ham and moved fifth placed Evesham seven points clear of sixth placed Mangotsfield United, who have two games in hand.

Collicutt said afterwards: “I was pleased with the way we responded after Carl Brown’s red card. We all came together and there were some very good individual performances out there.

“I felt the sending off was harsh with both players going for a 50/50 challenge. There was no intent on Carl’s behalf and he’s distraught with the decision.

“The pitch was woeful but we tried to get the ball down and play football. We deserved the win for the huge amount of effort and hard work the boys put in and I was pleased for Mark Magee who got the winning goal because he worked his socks off all afternoon.

“Larkhall have improved under recently appointed Phil Bater and they’re always a difficult side to play against. It was keenly contested and by winning we’ve done something Hereford didn’t do here a few weeks back.”

The pitch successfully passed an 11am inspection but the bad news for Collicutt was Linden Dovey, Leroy Odiero, Lance Smith, Archie Haskayne, Paul Fahy, Joe Turley, Elliot Kennedy and Sam Pearson were all missing, whilst former striker Ashley Edenborough was named on the bench after a surprise return to the Jubilee Stadium in midweek.

At the beginning and on a difficult surface it was end to end stuff as both sides created some decent chances.

The Robins’ Adam Mann prodded wide at the back stick and then failed to get a touch to Bradley Gray’s cross, while at the other end Joe Tumelty pulled his shot wide and Joe Raynes brushed the United crossbar.

Magee and Gray had efforts comfortably saved by Ben John before United opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Gray and Mann combined to create the opening for Preen, who showed his quality by curling home a delightful shot from the edge of the box.

The unfortunate Brown then got his marching orders six minutes later following a tackle in the middle of the park that was deemed reckless to become the eighth United player dismissed this season and third in the last three games.

Larkhall made a positive start to the second half and were handed a route back into the game when Tumelty levelled the contest at 1-1 following good work by Greg Peel on his home debut.

However, the second and winning goal for United arrived on the hour mark when Nick Stanley delivered a peach of a cross from the left and Magee planted a textbook header beyond John into the far corner.

United’s ten men continued to play some good possession football and little was seen of the home side as an attacking force.

Indeed, in the closing stages Magee and Preen both tested keeper John, while substitute Lewis Binns sent over a number of teasing crosses which created all sorts of problems for the Larkhall defence.

There were no alarms down the other end and after Collicutt had been sent from the dug-out as United comfortably saw out eight minutes of added time to return to winning ways and give their play-off hopes a welcome and timely boost.

The Robins host Barnstaple Town on Saturday.

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