Match Report: Evesham United 1-0 Barnstaple Town

Todays game should have been a very tense affair as between the two sides one is fighting relegation, with the other sitting just outside the play-off places, it most certainly seemed to be far from that with neither side appearing to want to take control of the game in the early stages.

A 6th minute speculative Kane Simpson volley was easily saved by Steve Oliver in the Barum goal, then at the other end Saddam Bello used some trickery and excellent footwork to work his way across ‘The Robins’ 18-yard box before going close, his shot appeared to skim the top of crossbar.

Finally as the clock ticked to 20 minutes Evesham put together their first meaningful attempt on the Barnstaple goal, some excellent build play that included several excellent passes allowed Nick Hancock to cross the ball, his cross was met by the head of Steve Davies who sadly could only steer the ball into the hands of the advancing keeper.

In the 24th minute Evesham placed the Barnstaple goal under siege, with the ball going from one side to the other across the six-yard box. With the visitors seeming powerless at being able to clear the ball it eventually fell to Toumani Sidibe who gave the keeper no chance, as he rifled his shot into the back of the net, his first goal since joining ‘The Robins’ was well worth waiting until third start for.

The first half ended with both sides being fairly even, with neither side dominating play and the 215 fans watching a game that could go either way.

The visitors had an excellent chance to draw level with the second half just 5 minutes old, in a piece of good football leading to a cross from the left which Steven Holland was only able to slice wide of Andy Hannah’s post.

Following a slow start to the second half Evesham finally seemed to back in the groove, a Marley Thomas cross on 56 minutes looked to be destined for the head of leading goal scorer Simpson, the visiting keeper seemed to take the ball off Kane’s head. More good work followed by the eventual winner of the Supporters Club Man of Match, Sidibe was too strong for 3 defenders before eventually getting to the by-line and sending in a cross that was slightly too strong.

Barnstaple had another chance to draw level, probably their best of the game. When from an 81st minute corner Steve Hollands header looked to heading into the net only before the safe hands of Andy Hannah yet again came to the rescue. Evesham had another couple of half chances to seal the points with Sidibe now bossing the right wing.

As the game went into time added on the visitors were reduced to 10 men, Saddam Bello was shown a red card. When the 7 minutes of added time came to an end the home supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief, 3 points at the end of a very close fought game.

EUFCSC MoM: Toumani Sidibe

Attendance: 215

Evesham United: Hannah, Hancock, Page, Turley, Anson©, Welon, Thomas, Williams, Kane Simpson (Kye Simpson 75), Davies, Sidibe. Subs Not Used: Price, Brown, Dovey.