Courtesy of Wimborne Town FC 

After Evesham had taken a first-half lead, a penalty by Harry Morgan, and a strike in a goalmouth meleé by Sam Griffin secured all three points to return Wimborne to the top of the table. Manager Tim Sills made three changes to his starting XI bringing in Jez Bedford, Sam Griffin and Cam Munn. Central defender Sam Roberts made a welcome return to the subs bench.

With the new LED floodlights shining brightly, it was a perfect evening for this twice-postponed league game. Playing towards the housing estate end, Wimborne made a promising start, clearly enjoying playing on a decent surface. Morgan controlled the ball on his chest before sending Jonny Stuttle chasing down the inside-right channel, and Oakley Hanger sent a couple of trademark free-kicks into the Evesham penalty area. The visitors repelled these, and then looked dangerous on rapid counter-attacks. The hosts kept pressing and won two corners in quick succession. From the second of these Connor Cocklin sustained a nasty gash on his forehead and had to be replaced by Sam Roberts. With controlled hustling in midfield, the Magpies kept looking for that first goal: Jez Bedford excited the crowd by going on a jinking run, and Hanger’s free-kick from wide on the left was tipped over by Taylor.

Then, just after the mid-point of the half, Evesham stunned the large crowd by taking the lead. Clever inter-play on the left resulted in Owens’ low cross for Heap to score from ten yards. Now the momentum of the game changed, and it was the Robins who looked the more likely to bag the next goal. They were doing the harrying and forcing mistakes, but Wimborne’s defence stood firm, and didn’t allow the visitors any clear cut chances. Wimborne recovered towards the end of the half as Sam Jackson headed Hanger’s free-kick over, and Cam Munn headed Sam Griffin’s cross wide. Referee Whittington played six additional minutes before calling a halt to a disappointing half for Wimborne. What was needed was one of Tim’s team talks.

And it was an energised Wimborne who took early control of the second-half. A high cross from the right caused confusion in the Evesham area for Bedford to fire the loose ball just wide of the post. In the next attack, on fifty-four minutes, Bedford’s dribble on the left was illegally ended and the official pointed to the spot. Harry Morgan thumped the ball into the net. With the noisy crowd willing them on, the Magpies went looking for a second. Hanger sent in a low cross from the right; Bedford combined with Jackson for a low cross from the left; and Jackson went on a charge down the left.

But Evesham were still in the game. A free-kick from the left fell to Steele who couldn’t get enough power on his shot before Ross Flitney grabbed the ball, and the keeper had to be alert to grasp a cross. Billy Walker seemed to be in the right place at the right time as he intercepted, tackled, headed clear, and shielded the ball. Wimborne continued to patiently build from the back, then attacked when opportunities arose. Josh Carmichael fired over from thirty yards, and Lovell appeared to be up-ended in the box after Stuttle had bravely won the ball back from his marker.

With ten minutes left, Wimborne were awarded a central free-kick inside Evesham’s half. Hanger took it, Roberts headed down, Walker swung a leg, and the ball came back to Griffin who put the ball in the net. New Cuthbury was rocking! It was a nervous final few minutes plus the added-on six. Players from both teams gave their all as tired legs suffered from cramp. Wimborne’s defence, from front to back, held firm, and at last the final whistle went to signal scenes of joyous pandemonium.

Evesham United: Taylor, Ngathe (Clark 88), Awadh (Sammons 82), O’Regan, Raison, Djurovic, Steele, Willcox, Owens, Heap, Moran (Dunn 65)

Subs not used: Hammett, Evans-Harriott

Attendance: 591

Video highlights here