Report courtesy of Willand Rovers
The opponents for tonight’s important game, Evesham United, came into the match as desperate for points as the hosts, albeit looking to secure a playoff place rather than just a place for next season.
There was one chance from the draw against Larkhall, with Bray replacing Camilo in the starting eleven.
An early crunching tackle from Hewitt showed Willand’s intent, the combative midfielder winning the ball on the halfway line before unleashing an ultimately unsuccessful but free flowing attack.
The first chance of the game came in the 9th minute, a cross headed from under the bar by an Evesham defender before it could trouble the line.
Evesham’s first chance came in the 15th minute, a free kick fired in low into the danger area that Burton did well up push away around the post.
It was a frenetic but nervous start from both teams with Willand adopting an early approach of launching long balls towards the diminutive Griffith that were easily dealt with and returned by the gargantuan and bloodied Evesham number 5.
Willand eventually began to dominate the game though, complementing their early long ball tactics with some excellent pressing play from the front three that started to ask questions of the Evesham defence.
The best chance of the half came in the 35th minute, Rice raiding down the left before finding Moulden who slipped the ball back to an unmarked Guppy. The Willand midfielder struck the ball well but could only find the keeper with his powerfully hit shot.
Willand continued to press and created a number of half chances as the game ambled towards half time. A winding run from Kempster was hampered by an Evesham defender, leaving the Willand fullback unbalanced and unable to find a cross, a quick free kick from Searle found Bray whose cross was put out out for a corner, from which Moulden almost swept directly into the top corner of the goal, the keeper doing well to palm the ball around the post.
In truth the half was a fractious affair, with neither side able to produce the quality or intensity required to break the deadlock.
Half time Willand 0 – Evesham 0
The second half started as the first ended, although Evesham may argue that they were the team who came out of the changing rooms with more gusto.
The game was decided by a moment of brilliance in the late evening gloom. Belmonte picked the ball up in his own half and the Evesham striker, seeing Burton loitering outside of his box without intent, proceeded to lob him from a full 70 yards, much to the delight of the traveling fans. It was a moment that even with heads held firmly in hands you couldn’t help but admire.
Evesham should have extended the lead minutes later when Milton was robbed of the ball by the Evesham winger, his cross falling to the feet of Belmonte at the back post who may have still been celebrating his earlier goal as he blazed his shot over from 6 yards.
Willand continued to push forward but frustrated at times with some lackadaisical and misdirected play before Guppy missed a chance to level up the game with the last touch of the ball, somehow missing the target from 6 yards with his header.
Willand now move on to the final game of the season, away to Cinderford on Saturday, with their fate still firmly in their own hands.