Evesham Ladies took on Hereford Ladies at the Jubilee Stadium in warm sunny conditions and the temperatures on the pitch matched those watching with an encounter that nearly boiled over at times.
Hereford started strongly not allowing Evesham to settle and with wind and sun on their backs used the conditions to their advantage pumping long balls forward to their agile strikers. This lead to a Hereford free kick being awarded and Sophie Holbrook’s shot managed to get through the Evesham keeper to open the scoring.
The hosts continued to be unsettled as Herefords tactics were causing uncertainty, leading to a corner for the visitors after 20 minutes. Holbrook curled the corner towards the near post and it skimmed off an Evesham defenders head and into the net to increase the visitors lead. Although Evesham were trying to get a foothold in the game Hereford were quick in to the tackles and both sides were starting to get a bit hot headed. The Hereford defence were restricting Evesham to very few chances and when they did manage to get a strike on goal Sarah Reed the Hereford keeper managed to cling on as it looked as if it was going over her head.
After much needed refreshment at half time, battle recommenced this time with the sun on the Evesham Ladies backs. Evesham pushed the visitors back and at last started to get their passing game going, moving the ball out to both wings with Hannah Watts again instrumental. With one forward move Katie Armento latched on to the ball just outside the penalty area and the Evesham striker lifted the ball high over Reed into the net to reduce the arrears. This started to raise the hosts’ belief and they continued to press however Hereford continued to be dangerous on the break. Evesham managed to get a couple of successive corners and one resulted in the ball falling to Armento at the far post who curled a shot past the keeper from a very tight angle to level the scores with 15 minutes to go.
Both teams realised all was now still to play before and the game was end to end. Jessica Newman (injured in the first half) having to save a fierce shot from the visitors before the ball was cleared.
However with only minutes remaining Evesham managed to get the ball past the generally solid Hereford defence and Rosie Johns, the Evesham Captain, raced on to meet the ball just before the keeper to force it past and into the net with both players sprawling on the ground. As expected the visitors tried to push forward from the restart but time was against them and Evesham held on for a memorable comeback victory.