Evesham United’s Division One West play-off push was hit by a 2-0 defeat at Swindon Supermarine after not looking at all threatening for the vast majority of the game.
Starting the day outside the playoffs, the home side took a massive step towards promotion, by beating and leapfrogging the team who started the day in 3rd and it was at a canter.
Joe Shepherd tested the Evesham keeper Kevin Sawyer after three minutes from distance but the first real chance of the game saw Supermarine take the lead as Brad Hooper played Michael Hopkins in down the left hand side and he sent over a composed cross to pick out Joe Selman at the far post who had time to take a touch and fire past Sawyer.
Three minutes later it should have been 2-0 when Hooper fluffed his lines. Following a surging Selman run down the right hand the centre midfielder blazed over from Selman’s pull back. Aaron Woodley forced Sawyer into a regulation save two minutes later at his near post when he took a shot from the edge of the area.
It was from a poor kick out that Supermarine would have their next chance. Sawyer half cleared his lines from a backpass, but his low clearance only fell to the returning Lee Marshall, and with Sawyer out of his goal, Marshall couldn’t find the empty net from 30 yards.
Evesham had their first chances of the game half way through the first half. Joe Turley curled over from 20 yards before Garyn Preen hit one wide from distance a minute later. Josh Hill made his first save of the game when he comfortably saved from Carl Brown after 24 minutes. Selman had another shot saved from a Hopkins corner which forced another corner in which he had another shot blocked by Andy Lewis that looked to be heading towards the Evesham goal.
As the game headed towards the half, Hooper doubled Marine’s lead. Selman, intercepted a pass and went flying past Will Wellon to pull the ball back for Hooper who steered the ball into the corner of the net from 8 yards to make it 2-0 which was a much fairer reflection of the game to this point.
Evesham started the second half with the wind at their backs and forced all the early pressing and dominated possession, but had little to show for all their efforts. Skipper Zak Westlake went into the book for a foul on the edge of the area after 55 minutes. From the resulting free kick, Adam Mann’s effort was easily dealt with by Hill. Shortly after Matt Liddiard hit one wide and Hill would do little else for the remainder of the game.
The only real talking points during the remainder of the game came with less than ten minutes to go as Hooper was played through by Selman, but rather than taking a shot with his left foot, he scooped it over with the outside of his right. Selman went through a minute later, but when he may have had a shot, his pass towards Hooper, was cut out and the away side cleared the danger.
Above from Swindon Supermarine Website
So we fall to fifth in the table and with all teams down to tenth with games in hand, it is inevitable we will fall out of the play-off places. It is four defeats in six, so the next two home games with Winchester and Bideford are vital to win.
Evesham United: Sawyer, Lewis, Wellon, Turley, Williams, Liddiard, Ebbutt (Bryan 30), Hancock, Brown (Fahy 65), Mann, Preen (Dunbar 80)
Sub not used: Bennett