Defensive lapses cost Evesham United and handed victory to Cirencester Town who moved to the top of the Calor League Division One South & West. Cirencester arrived at the Jubilee Stadium second in the table and boasting the league`s best away record with eight wins already under their belts.
Before the game United lost Neil Barnfield in the warm-up and sorely missed the sevices of the influential midfielder who picked-up a back injury. Cirencester kicked-off with a gale force wind behind them and took only four minutes to edge in front. John Bateman`s attempted clearance fell to James Mortimer-Jones whose deflected shot sailed into an unguarded net.
Evesham threatened briefly when Elliot Kennedy blazed over after showing a good turn of pace but it was Cirencester who scored again ten minutes before half-time. Lee Smith was brought down by Jared Wilson, who was lucky to escape with just a booking, in the box and Steve Davies confidently scored from the penalty spot.
It was a different story in the second-half with United upping their game and Cirencester content to defend in numbers to protect their 2-0 lead. Carl Brown got in a couple of early headers that rolled wide and then Shane Anson cleared off the line from Allton Axton. United`s pressure was finally rewarded on 74 minutes when following an Ed Williams corner the ball got played back in to Brown who swept home from ten yards. Evesham`s joy was short-lived when poor marking allowed Smith to take advantage and restore the Centrions two-goal lead with a firm drive past Bateman. United didn`t lie down and got another goal back with two minutes to go. Substitute Michael Tambling was bundled over in the penalty box by Ben Prictor, who got a second yellow for his actions allowing United skipper Richard Mansell to net from twelve yards. This set-up a tense finish but Cirencester wethered the storm to collect a hard fought league double and take over top spot from Merthyr Town.
Bateman, Wilson, Mansell, Botfield (Smith 64), Dovey, Axton, Kennedy (Tambling 87 ), Davis, Brown, Vercesi (Palmer 69), Williams.
SUBS NOT USED: Millard and Barnfather.
REFEREE: Mr C.Husband (Worcester)