Evesham started down the slope with the wind slightly behind them knowing that Phoenix would be a hard team to break down on home turf, as they had found in the cup quarter final earlier in the season.
So it was no great surprise, when Evesham gave away a free kick in a dangerous area, that Phoenix put in a fierce shot which Kelly Fowkes the Evesham keeper was only able to push on to the bar and the hosts striker pounced to head in and take the lead. Evesham were awoken from their slumber and soon got back on level terms, a bouncing ball being headed over the defender by Nicole Maher, on her last appearance before leaving for Cuba, and Sophie Griffiths ensured it crossed the line.
Almost immediately Evesham were on the attack again and a break down the left saw a cross from Grace Harker which was finished by Katie Armento. Phoenix however were determined and for the next 25 minutes the play was mainly in midfield with the bobbly pitch being hard to deal with by both sides. It was not until the ball broke for Armento 30 yards out that the striker got another sight of goal and shot powerfully over the keeper who had come off her line. This gave Evesham a bit of breathing space and just before half time another cross from Harker went right across goal and Maher missed with her first shot but managed to turn and get the ball in to the net off the defender.
Changes were made by both sides at half time, as the pitch started to take its toll, and Phoenix upped the intensity as they started to play down the slope.
It was not long before the hosts forced a corner and some confusion in the Evesham box meant the corner was flicked in at the near post to reduce the deficit. Evesham then responded again with Rosie Johns influential alongside Kasey Corbett in midfield and a pass out to the left wing found Harker in space and she cut in and fired a lovely shot with her right foot into the far corner.
Phoenix however didn’t give up and a missed place pass in the Evesham defence was latched on to by the Phoenix winger who fired neatly passed the stranded Evesham keeper for a third goal for the hosts.
Both sides continued to battle but with tiring legs all round the ref signalled full time to leave the victory and the points with Evesham who moved 4 points clear at the top of the table.
In other news a big thank you to Wattsie (Hannah Watts – pictured) who has left after 7 years with the Girls/Ladies as she goes off to Fiji. A technically gifted midfielder with plenty of attitude, she will be missed for the run in and the cup final, we all wish her well and hope to maybe see her again in the future in red and white stripes.