Match Report & Pictures: Evesham United 4 vs Stratford Town 7 – League Cup

On a damp dreary night at the Jubilee Stadium the match was completely the opposite to the weather, a lively affair with no less than 11 goals to keep the 159 football faithful amused.

This Challenge Cup goalfest got underway very quickly, Stratford were the first to score in the 3rd minute when Stephens struck a well placed free kick from 20 yards out. It did not take Evesham too long to get onto level terms when a Jordan Bryan cross was turned into Stratford’s net by their own defender on 5 minutes.

It was then the home sides’ turn to take the lead, a poor clearance by Stratford keeper Connor was picked up by Mann who took it into the box before firing a shot that gave Connor no chance. At this point it looked like goals might be the order of the night and in the 11th minute Stratford got level when Luckie made a mazy run into the box before putting the ball past the advancing Gilder. With four goals in the first 11 minutes the crowd knew the next would not be far away, Luckie got his second of the evening with an unstoppable shot from just inside the box.

Brown scored with first touch

With the goals coming thick and fast it was impossible to take your eyes off the game, that was until the 21st minute when a floodlight failure meant nobody could see a thing. When the lights came back on some ten minutes later it was Stratford whose eyes seem to adjust best, their number 10 Stephens got his second and Stratford’s fourth with yet another superb set piece free kick. Evesham pressed in the last 15 minutes of the first half without success, their best opportunity going over the bar from a Peel free kick.

Just three minutes into the second half and Stratford increased their lead when Jazz Luckie got his hat trick, this time he picked up the ball in the Evesham box and his clinically placed shot found it’s way past Gilder. It was now Evesham’s turn to join in with the goals and they did, two in a minute, Powell found the back of the net from a Mann cross & Brown scored with his first touch of the game having come on as substitute just 40 seconds before.

At this point the Robins seemed to be taking control of the game with Brown failing to hit the target twice one over the bar and one just wide, it was then Gray’s chance to miss his opportunity going over the bar from a free kick for a foul on Adam Mann. With the home side not able to increase their goal tally it was only a matter of time before Straford would increase theirs, Luckie took his goals to four on the night with yet another quality strike. The Town substitute Akenkorah rounded off the evenings goals when he seemed to waltz into the box before beating the keeper Gilder at his near post. It was a night when the higher rated Southern League Premier sides quality finishing was the difference.

Evesham Utd: Gilder, M Williams (Gray 45), Bennett, Hancock, Odiero, A Williams, Bryan, Haskayne (Brown 63), Peel (Powell 52), Mann, Binns. Subs: Gray, Brown, Powell, Sheehan, Fahy
Stratford Town: Connor, Payne, Hancocks, Tudorache, Reeci, Thomas, Marsden, Mohammad, Taylor, Stephens, Luckie, Subs: Evans, Francis, Ahenkora
Attendance: 159
Pictures by Stuart Purfield here