After an absence of six years football returned to the Vale when Evesham United Old Boys took on Manchester United Legends at the Robins Spiers & Hartwell Jubilee Stadium. A crowd of around 1700 saw the stadium opened by Ron Atkinson and then witnessed United record a comfortable 4-1 victory.
Remarkably, despite heavy showers in the morning following on from the deluge on Friday, the afternoon remained dry. The new pitch holding up very well.
After cutting a red ribbon on the halfway line to announce the stadium open, Atkinson praised the hard work that had been done to eventually move back into the town and wished the club every success for their 2012/2013 campaign in the Evo-Stik Southern South & West.
A strong Legends side took a grip of the game scoring twice in the opening eleven minutes. Clayton Blackmore fired the Red Devils ahead getting on the end of Sammy McIlroy’s cross and then Andy Ritchie followed up to score after keeper Dave Adey failed to hold Lee Martin’s low drive. A mistake at the back by David May allowed Matt Coppin to pull one back for the Evesham Old Boys but the Legends restored their two-goal advantage soon after when Adey upended Alan McLoughlin in the area and Blackmore coolly scored from the penalty spot. The scoring was completed before half-time, Deniol Graham beating Adey from close range.
Evesham’s best chance of the half saw the unmarked Simon Brain head wide from a Tim Davies’ cross.
The second half was a more even affair with chances at both ends. Russell Beardsmore, Peter Davenport and Ritchie all should have found the target for the Legends, while former Evesham manager Paul West squandered the Old Boys best chance in the last minute stroking the ball wide with only keeper Fraser Digby to beat.
Legends: Digby, Irwin, Albiston, May, Duxbury, Martin, Mcloughlin, McIlroy, Ritchie, Blackmore, Davenport. Subs: Thornley, Beardsmore, Graham
Old Boys: Adey, Smith, Brown, Fleetwood, Davies, Hall, Candy, Coppin, West, Campbell, Brain. Subs: Taylor, Stevens, Cotterill, Emms, Russell, Wright, Saunders. Whittington, Hands, Clarke, O’Neill
Referee: Brian Durie (Tewkesbury)
The evening saw a social event where The Badboys entertained a crowd of people who had contributed in some way over the last few years to the Club.