Paul West ended his second spell as Evesham United manager with a well deserved 2-0 victory at Taunton Town in the Evo-Stik Southern South & West Division.
Young midfielder Leigh Downing bagged both goals to take his tally to 14 and finish top scorer in his first full season with the Robins. Evesham were unable to name a recognised striker in the starting line-up forcing Jamal Clarke to once again begin up-front and a foul on the central defender led to United taking the lead on 9 minutes. Man of the Match Downing took the resulting free-kick and curled in a delightful shot beyond the reach of keeper Christian Watts. Taunton who won 4-2 at the Jubilee Stadium earlier in the season, were unable to breach a solid looking Evesham defence with skipper Matt Sysum and the dependable Chris Jackson always on hand to snuff out any threat of danger.
Taunton upped their game during the early stages of the second-half forcing a succession of corners without seriously testing Ben McNamara in the United goal. Evesham continued to look the more creative side and most likely to score again. Aaron Daniels rattled the Taunton crossbar and another Downing free-kick was gathered by Watts as West`s men looked to finish the game off. With the clock ticking down, a relatively quiet afternoon then exploded when an off-the-ball incident between Evesham`s Richard Mansell and Taunton substitute Corey Lewis resulted in both players being sent-off by referee Mr Lawrence. United, however, finished with a flourish resulting in a second goal three minutes from time. Downing held off a couple of defenders to race through on goal and plant an excellent drive past the despairing Watts.
At the final whistle the United players and management gathered to show their appreciation to the 34 Evesham fans congregated behind the goal for their efforts supporting the team in what has been an up and down season.
Ben McNamara – The talented Aussie keeper had a quiet afternoon. Had little to do but always looked assured throughout. Noticable that results improved since his arrival from Nuneaton Town. Has the ability and confidence to go on and play in the Football League. Shame about the dodgy barnett!!!
Jared Wilson – Kept things neat and tidy down the right and looked dangerous going forward. Returned from injury at Christmas and done the business making the full-back berth his own. Could have bagged a couple of goals in the final few weeks of the season.
Richard Mansell – Another excellent display tidying things up at the back. Still on the road to recovery after an horrendous knee injury and will be a class act next season when fully fit.
Matt Sysum – Captain Fantastic. Another towering performance from the skipper. Led by example and wore the shirt with pride. Has been a rock at the heart of United`s defence and a leader both on and off the pitch. Unfortunately starts sluring his words after two bottles of Bud!!!
Chris Jackson – The father figure of the side who dominated in the air and formed a solid partnership with the captain. Jacko never gave the Taunton strikers a look-in. Has been a great ambassadorfor the club and looked a million dollars since his move in February from Banbury United. Never stops talking and the life and soul of any party!!!
James Blake– Another excellent shift from the quiet assassin. Rarely gave the ball away and always on hand to help out a fellow colleague. You always know what your going to get from Blakey – Honesty, commitment, hard graft and one goal a season!!!
Leigh Downing – Capped a Man of the Match performance with two stunning goals. Despite a topsy turvy season the midfield mystro has been a shining light and finished top of the scoring charts. Impressive first season at the Jubilee Stadium and has the credentials to play at a higher level. Must give Roy Hodgson a ring!!!
Leon Kandekore – Forced to play in midfield at Wordsworth Drive and got the job done. Has never let the side down when called upon and always ran his heart out for the cause. Great to see him find the net against North Leigh a few weeks back.
Jamal Clarke – “Fash the Bash” once again was forced to lead the line and did another great job. Held the ball up well and showed some silky skills. Played in most positions this season and never once let the side down or looked out of place.
Aaron Daniels – A good 90 minutes despite playing out of position. Gave 100% and went close to finding the net in the second-half. Would win a “Mr Muscles” competition by a country mile!!!
Nathan Hands – Worked tirelessly down the left. Defended when called upon and linked-up well in attack. Has a cultured left peg and one for the future.
Sub used – James Jones – The “Jersey Flyer” came on at the death and lasted two minutes without getting cramp!!! Only seen glimpses but looks the bizzo. Would definately come last in a “Mr Muscles” competition!!!
Referee: Mr M. Lawrence (Bridgwater)