Match Report courtesy of Wimborne Town 

First the good news: a third successive clean sheet, three games unbeaten, we remain fourth with a game in hand, and another 500-plus crowd at New Cuthbury. The not-so-good news? That’s five games without a goal. Wimborne created the better chances but were unable to convert any.

Manager Tim Sills started fit again Dan Bartlett, and gave debuts to the two loanees from AFCB: Lewis Brown in central midfield, and Max Kinsey-Wellings on the right of a back three, in a more attacking formation than the two recent away games at Sholing and Manor Farm.

With The Magpies (fourth) and The Robins (sixth) both coming into the game on the back of two clean sheets, it was hardly surprising that clear-cut chances would be at a premium. However, home hopes were raised in the first minute when Dan Bartlett’s corner was only cleared as far as Jez Bedford whose instant volley from the edge of the box was saved by Ed Brearey.

Lewis Beale headed a right-wing corner well wide, and Harry Baker had his shot on the turn blocked in the opening fifteen minutes. Play flowed from end-to-end as both teams passed their way through midfield; it was pleasant to watch without much real goal-mouth excitement. Evesham’s only goal attempt of the half came just after its mid-point: Kyle Belmonte came in from the left to curl a low shot wide of Shane Murphy’s far post.

On 40 minutes Connor Cocklin in the inside-left channel, received an inch-perfect crossfield pass from Bartlett before testing Brearey from 25 yards, but the Robins’ shot-stopper produced another good diving save to turn the ball for a corner. Moments later a driven cross from Bartlett was headed back by Baker to Connal Morrison whose shot was bravely blocked. Cocklin made a crucial interception; Kinsey-Wellings threaded a super pass through to Bedford whose cross was cleared; and Beale fed Bedford for another right-wing cross as Wimborne finished the half in the ascendency.

Evesham are a well-organised side with Charles Wise a dominant central defender in the air. And, not surprisingly, he was the target for the visitors’ set pieces. The big man also showed clever feet with a deft overhead from Adam Mace’s cheaply won free-kick on the hour mark – it was the only time The Robins tested home keeper Shane Murphy after the interval.

Wimborne continued to probe for that opening goal and turned up the pressure as the half progressed: – on fifty-five minutes Harry Baker flashed a header over the bar from Bartlett’s cross; five minutes later Morrison won the ball near the half-way line, drove forward and crossed; substitute Asa Phillips was tenacious on the right before playing Baker through only for the striker to be given off-side; debutant Lewis Brown’s low cross following good link-up play on the right was scrambled away; Bartlett’s venomous drive produced a fine save but would have been ruled out for off-side; another Bartlett thirty-yarder was deflected for a corner; and Bedford’s shot from the edge was turned over the bar by Harry Morgan just before normal time was up.

The performances of the two recent signings were the positives from the game. Kinsey-Wellings looked very assured, and can pick a pass. Brown was neat and tidy early on, and grew in confidence. They are both going to be great assets as the season heads for its conclusion.

Overall it was a frustrating afternoon for home supporters. Of course a clean-sheet is to be celebrated, but we’ve gone 492 minutes since Bealey equalised against Melksham exactly a month ago. The top three have opened up a 7-point gap, leaving over half the division’s teams eyeing the other two play-off spots, so it could come down to goal difference.

Attendance: 564

Match stats:

Magpies Robins
Goal attempts on target 2 1
Goal attempts off target 5 1
Goal attempts blocked 2 0
Corners 7 1
Fouls conceded 3 5
Offside 3 3
Cards 1Y 0

Evesham United: Brearey, Keightley, Djurovic, Mace, Wise, O’ Regan, Hallahan, Hammett (Denness-Barratt 90) Belmonte, Griffiths (Moran 85), Lymn. Subs not used: Aldridge, Belnavis